RSS leader questions NDA policies, says response to farmers’ suicides not enough
The BJP-led NDA government’s claim of pursuing a pro-poor economic policy was questioned on Friday by a senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue, who termed the continuing farmer suicides a corollary of an untamed agrarian crisis.
In an indictment of the economic policies of the Centre, RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said the government’s response to the suicides committed by hundreds of farmers in the past one decade was not enough.
The government policies have failed to create equitable wealth for a large section of the population and instead focused on a “few individuals,” helping them become “billionaires,” Hosabale said.
The observation betrays the Sangh’s lack of confidence in the BJP’s economic policies.
“One lakh farmers committed suicide in India in 10 years… we have not seen (any) government being brought down because of this. God forbid, but if 10 IT industry captains had done so...What would have happened?” he said.
Linking the deaths to poor policy intervention he said: “Let’s assume many had not done so for economic reasons, even then such a large number of farmers choosing to end their lives is a sad commentary on the government’s planning and economic policies.”
Hosabale was speaking at the first National Economic Conclave 2017, which was organised by the India Policy Foundation, a think-tank affiliated to the Sangh.
Speaking to HT on the sidelines of the conclave, Hosabale said just as some non-government organisations have conducted research on the issue of farmer suicides, the government too needs to do its bit.
On the issue of demonetisation, Hosabale was circumspect.
While Sangh affiliates such as the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and the Laghu Udyog Bharati were unequivocal in their opposition to culling of high denomination currency and the thrust to digital payment platforms, Dattatreya said it was too soon to come to any conclusion. “The initial response (to demonetisation) though is positive,” he told the HT.
Hosabale also cautioned the government against charting any policy that is not drafted “keeping India’s cultural and social ethos in mind or the one which is inspired by the western nations.”
“Which economic model should we follow ...the experiment is still on. We have implemented the socialist and capitalist models, but where have we reached? We as a nation have not been able to clearly chart out an economic path for the development of the entire nation,” he said, calling for a “social and cultural audit”.