The funniest noise in the cacophony of excuses for India’s straitened economic circumstances ~ when they are not being totally denied ~ comes from the clueless and often preposterous pronouncements of ministers and other functionaries of the ruling dispensation.
Without rushing to rebut the status of the Prime Minister as “father of the country”, the authorship of the theory of gravitation, the ownership of the Supreme Court ~ it is “ours” to go by the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Mukut Bihari Verma ~ or the relevance of maths for purposes of understanding India’s gross domestic product, it is worthwhile to point to the numbers staring at the country, beginning with the unhappy tidings from the bourses, for both stock and forex trades.
Tuesday’s crash of the Sensex and the drop in rupee value are symptoms of a largely “made in India” malaise, with the government seeking to fix blame on unlikely constituencies instead of taking convincing action to fix the problem.
Even as one is at variance with Piyush Goyal’s position on the laws of gravity, there is no denying the worrying connection between gravity and GDP with numbers falling on every GDP component save for the GFCE (government final consumption expenditure), which has moved up from 6.6 per cent to 8.8 per cent between April-June 2018 and 2019.
Those falling are private final consumption expenditure, down from 7.3 per cent in 2018 to 3.1 per cent in 2019; gross fixed capital formation, down from 13.3 per cent to four per cent; exports, down from 10.2 per cent to 5.7 per cent; imports from 11 per cent to 4.2 per cent and, of course, the GDP, down from eight per cent to five per cent.
For the government, brazening it out vis-à-vis the ignominious ignorance of its support base, which has bought into the five trillion dollar economy dream ~ even without knowing, as the BJP spokesman demonstrated on national television, how many zeros make a trillion ~ despite the currently empty pockets and state of joblessness, may be excellent strategy in the short term.
However, the politically wise amongst the BJP’s ranks would advise the party that even a parliamentary mandate of 303 has to be supported by roti and rozgar and cannot be managed by playing the 370 game.
For the rest, had it not been for the calamitous conditions facing India’s poor, especially those in the dispossessed countryside, one could laugh with the Indian humorist, having a field day with such brilliant content provided by the political leadership that has a lot of egg on its face.
It is unfair, however, to lampoon the hapless Mr Goyal or even the finance minister for her blame-the-millennials position for automotive woes because they have inspiring performances to emulate, beginning with the Edward Learian “India and Canada are like that ‘2ab’ that comes from the formula of (ab)square”, served by Mr Goyal’s boss in Canada, which the bhakt lapped up, even as it left those more familiar with the fundamentals of algebra aghast.