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The cost of reforms for New India – A lesson to learn

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Ritwik Mehta
Ritwik Mehta
I am a policy research analyst with having a deep interest in economics. I am a freelance digital marketer and a data science enthusiast.

The years 2019 and 2020 will be written in history as the phase of remaking and reshaping India into a modern one, breaking the shackles of decades-old laws and acts. It will be enshrined as the phase when a government fulfilled all the promises of its election manifesto within a year! But alas!, our nation especially the leftist army and the urban Naxals want the same India of 1947. The government has already hit a series of six sixes in this 5-year test match.

The first six was hit bypassing the Muslim Women Protection Right Bill, the second six with the abrogation of article 370 and 35-A, the third six by passing the citizenship amendment act, the forth six by passing the unlawful activities prevention act, fifth six by passing the banking regulation act and now the sixth six by passing the farm bills. It has left the whole anti-national army in awe. The pain is so much that even Rahul Kanwal and Arfa Khanum had to ask ‘why the government is in a hurry to bring the laws?’ But do you know the cost of all these reforms that a taxpayer had to pay? Everything comes at a cost and eventually, these reforms also cost the general public a lot. Let’s have a look. 

The CAA-NRC-Delhi Riots

A bill that was not about taking citizenship but giving it, was rejected by the liberals by saying ‘Hindutva ki Kabra Khudegi AMU ki Chaati Par’ and ‘Jinnah Waali Azaadi’. The so-called peaceful protests took the lives of 53 people and injured 473 civilians along with 108 cops. Delhi’s metro services and transport services came to a sudden halt while CBSE board exams for class X and XII had to be postponed in North-East Delhi centers. According to the charge sheet by the Delhi police, the riots cost Rs 20 Crore. This loss doesn’t include the loss incurred by DMRC and inconvenience caused to citizens. Talking about Uttar Pradesh, the riots in Rampur estimated the worth of damage around Rs 25 Lakhs, 14 Lakhs in Meerut, 15 Lakhs in Sambhal, and 19.7 Lakhs in Bijnor. 

The rioters burning Delhi

In order to identify the protestors, the government has to further deploy surveillance cameras and use facial recognition technology to nail down the vandals. Thus, upgrading to the better version of Mahatma’s satyagraha will also come with a huge cost as India cannot afford unhindered damage to public property without accountability. 

The Farm Protests

The protests that started with raising the voice against the farm bills soon got hijacked by the Maoists and Khalistani groups. The reforms that came out as a suggestion from multiple committees like Shankerlal Guru Committee Report, Montek Singh Ahluwalia Report, RCA Jain Committee Report, Model APMC Act, MS Swaminathan Report, National Commission on Farmers Report, Harshavardhan Patil Report, and Standing Committee Report, was termed as ‘black laws’. 

The government is still ready to make the amendments in the clauses of the bill but how can a government release the Delhi riots accused who have UAPA charges against them? 

More of Khalistani than Farmers Protest

Most of the protestors are from Punjab, a state which has already bypassed the bills by bringing their laws in Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Since Congress found political mileage in these protests, it supported the protests and as a result, Punjab’s industry has faced a loss of Rs 30,000 Crore as of now due to the blockage. Industry bodies like ASSOCHAM and CII have already estimated that these protests are resulting in a daily loss of Rs 3,000 – Rs 3,500 Crore to the nation. In the coming days, the logistics cost will go up by 8%-10% and companies will start facing labor shortages. 

India’s economy is still recovering and when we talk about making a super-power, can we afford such protests? Doing a protest is the fundamental right of a person, which even SC reiterated while hearing but it should not harm the economy and public property! In 2021, you will see much bigger reforms like bringing the Uniform Civil Code, or One Nation One Election. So, as a responsible citizen, should we plan to destroy the nation (as done by the opposition) or cherish the reforms brought by the government? I do believe that our government must always have a long discussion on these overhauling reforms in the parliament as well as on public platforms, before bringing a bill. Discussion is a necessary evil but not riots! In the end, I remember those wonderful words and a piece of advice by former PM Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee: 

सरकारें आएंगी, जाएंगी, पार्टियां बनेंगी, बिगड़ेंगी मगर ये देश रहना चाहिए 

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Ritwik Mehta
Ritwik Mehta
I am a policy research analyst with having a deep interest in economics. I am a freelance digital marketer and a data science enthusiast.
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