Check Facts, Choose Well

For cynical voters who would rather not take the trouble to step into the electoral booth, Jill Telford’s exhortation — ‘Vote as though your life depends on it’ — could just be the much-needed spur. With this quote, the article ‘Eight-point report card for Modi’ on the April 7 issue of The Week sets out to help voters judge the performance of the Narendra Modi regime on the basis of eight parameters. Asking voters to compare and think wisely before making their choice, the article lays out the parameters including delivery of government services, creation of opportunities for livelihood, a corruption-free and transparent government, security of the nation and peace and so on.

The analysis claims improvement in delivery of government schemes and services, notably plugging holes in PDS and success in paying LPG subsidy directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. The government’s achievement in taking India to the sixth largest global economy rank has been highlighted, but the report may just have skipped some ‘troublesome’ statistics, like about employment. According to a news article on Business Today dated February 1, 2019, the Modi government is far behind in meeting its promise of creating 1 crore jobs annually. As for the NDA claim of giving corruption-free and transparent governance, it so happens that India’s ranking in the latest Transparency International report is 78 out of 175 countries, which is worse than her 2015 ranking of 76. The present ruling dispensation may well claim that peace and the country’s security have been fully secured, but what about the February 14 suicide attack in Pulwama? It just goes to show that when ‘facts’ are somewhat dodgy, readers could end up more befuddled by the narrative.

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