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6 Things That Have Changed Since BJP's Rule
Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef
When the UPA-2 government was defeated by the BJP in 2014, it was a day of celebration. During various campaigns prior to the election, BJP showered promises on the people. It was a new ray of hope after the unsuccessful regime of the Congress-led government in the country. Narendra Modi, hence, came into power and there begins the new saffron era in India. Here are 6 things that have changed since the BJP stepped into governance. Let’s have a look.
1. Crimes in India
In 2016, according to the NCRB data, the total crimes were recorded to be 2.97 million while the crime rate was found to be 379 crimes per lakh population. Even journalists and rationalists were killed for speaking against extremist right-wing Hindutva outfits in India. The records show that while in 2015, 10,854 cases of rape were registered across India whereas, at least 19,765 of such cases being registered in 2016. In fact, crimes against women increased 83 percent from 185,312 in 2007 to 338,954 in 2016.
Nearly 55,000 children were kidnapped in India in 2016, a whopping 30 percent increase over the previous year. According to the NCRB, violence against women has gone up from 41.7% in 2012 to around 54% in 2015. Despite desired actions from the government, Modi remained silent as well as his party leaders.
An all-time high of 8.30 percent was marked in 1983 and a record low of 3.41 percent in 2014. Now, the unemployment rate in India has increased to 3.52 percent in 2017 from 3.51 percent in 2016. But Skill India seems to have an impact in the society as many opportunities were created then. It goes without saying that the people in India do suffer from unemployment and underemployment issues.
Read more on: Where are those 10 million jobs?
3. Poverty in India
India is the country with the highest population living below the poverty line. It is said that less than 20 percent of the rural population of India have access to clean water. India has the most number of people who live below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day and 224 million Indians still live below the poverty line, according to a World Bank report.
In 2013, the percentage of persons below the poverty line has been estimated as 25.7% in rural areas, 13.7% in urban areas, the average poverty rate was 21.92. However, the current poverty rate in India is 21.1 percent.
Even though there are many poverty alleviation schemes like Jawahar Gram Samridhi Yojana (JGSY), Annapurna, Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana etc. do exist in India, the plight of the poor in India seems to be unresolved. It is highly ironic that we are moving fast forward in terms of technology and the people are still left behind underdeveloped.
India is the breeding ground of all sort of communal violence, killings and atrocities. The common men are the victims of the communal viciousness. Politicians and political parties are no less in persuading the masses for negative output through their venom spewing remarks of hate speech. Caste-related violence, both against scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, has also steadily risen in the last few years. Crimes against scheduled castes have increased from 33,655 in 2012 to 47,604 in 2014. Crimes against scheduled tribes have increased from 5,922 in 2012 to 11,451 in 2014. Even now, the number is going up indeed, the situation is getting worse to handle as India witnessed 'over 822 communal incidents in 2017, 111 killings, 2,384 injuries in the violence', says Centre.
5. Education Sector
On a positive note, the amount allocated to education has also increased to Rs 85,010 crore in 2018 from around ₹66,000 crore in 2013. The budget allocation for school education is expected to rise by up to 14% in the 2019 fiscal year, with the focus on accelerating schemes already put in place and a special top-up likely for quality improvement.
6. Rural and Urban Development
The number of houses completed each year under the Centre’s flagship rural housing scheme, now called the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Grameen), has nearly doubled since its overhaul two years ago. The PM Awaas Yojana (Grameen) aims to provide ‘housing for all’ by 2022, with its immediate objective set at reaching 1 crore families by 2018-19.
In 2017-18, around 38.67 lakh houses were built under the PMAY(G), and 32.22 lakh in 2016-17. Contrast this with the number of houses completed under the IAY in 2015-16, nearly half at 18.22 lakh. It was lower in the preceding financial years: 11.91 lakh in 2014-15, 10.51 lakh in 2013-14, and 10.49 lakh in 2012-13.
Around 95.4% of central funds sanctioned for upgrading 12 heritage cities were unused and the programme’s November 2018 deadline approaches. Work on 93% of sanctioned houses–meant to meet 16% of India’s urban housing shortage–was incomplete as of January 2018. No more than 3%, or 23, projects of 642 identified by the Smart Cities Mission were completed by February 2017, valued at Rs 305 crore (of Rs 38,021 crore available), the government told the Lok Sabha that month. Little is known of how state governments are raising funds and implementing these programmes.
Like other governments who have ruled India, Modi led NDA government too introduced various schemes and policies. However, the conditions of the people in terms of living haven’t changed as the country is still fighting against unemployment issues, poverty, malnutrition, underdevelopment etc. No matter how the schemes and policies are working, the government must give an accountability for their actions. Implementing them and making our lives better are their core responsibilities as our lawmakers. If we aren’t holding them accountable, who else will?