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It’s time we analysts of Indian politics made two confessions. First, that we’ve been debating the wrong question for some time. And second, that we’ve been peddling the wrong answer as well.

The top-of-the-mind question ever since the 1991 reforms has been, does good economics make for good politics? Translated: Can you reform the economy, shrink the government and bureaucracies to cede some power to the markets, generate growth, and get re-elected? And if not, what is it that you need?

The answer has been: Get a strong leader who isn’t afraid to take political risks. That is the only way to get good economics. Such a strong leader will have the political capital to ride out the unpopular side-effects of economic reform, such as a rise in inequality and creative destruction of capitalism. Eventually, he will be a winner. As will the rest of us.

The lived reality of recent political history demonstrates how we’ve been wrong on both counts. We are into the sixth year of our strongest leadership since Indira Gandhi. Some, particularly Narendra Modi’s supporters, might in fact argue he’s been way stronger than her. He has, after all, taken risks and made decisions she didn’t at her peak, even if she would have wanted to, like abrogating Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Or, as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, a rare genuine scholar in this Cabinet, said earlier this week at the annual conference organised by New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research (where ThePrint was the digital partner) — through these decades, successive governments had been ‘kicking the can down the road’ on many contentious issues. The Modi government has shown the strength to decide on these. Bell the cat, bite the bullet, take the bull by the horns, you can choose your metaphor.

So far so good, and the feeling might indeed be heady if you were a loyalist, which is a sufficiently large number of Indian voters to give Modi’s BJP its second full majority. But some questions follow. First up, if India’s strongest and most audacious leader yet is practising good politics, has it led to good economics? Or just moderately better economics than under his weaker predecessors? Or at least, to steal a popular Americanism, less worse than before?

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Also read: RBI waited too long to take control of Yes Bank


We are not asking you to start regretting who you voted for. Many considerations and motivations, not all economic, determine who you vote for. As also for your preference of an all-powerful, strong leader. There can be culture, nationalism, religion, oratory, charisma and all of the above. The argument is over whether strong leaders pursue good economics, even if the methods and ends they pursue may be profitable for them, in terms of getting re-elected.

Narendra Modi’s re-election with an even larger majority in the summer of 2019 proved two things. One, that he played good politics. And two, that while his economics was all getting twisted up, with stalling growth, rising deficits and record unemployment, voters didn’t bother.

That is why we said we had got our first question wrong all these years: Does good economics make for good politics? It should have, instead, been: Does good, successful politics need to even bother about economics? The answer is obvious: If you know your politics, hit the right emotional buttons, deliver some tangible, populist benefits at the doorstep of enough people, they will overlook unemployment, stalling growth, stagnating farm incomes and so on.

In any case, his many voters don’t even look at economic data. Particularly, when other instruments might be more effective in giving them a ‘feel-good’ feeling. This ‘feel-good’ is precisely the emotion which the Vajpayee government was hoping to ride in that ill-fated 2004 election on the slogan of ‘India Shining’.

Having admitted that our basic proposition was flawed, we move to the next. That a strong leader necessarily gives us what we desire: Decisive economic leadership, unmindful of immediate political risks, and beneficial for all. Neither the data, nor the feel of the economy today, brings us that comfort.

All economic indicators have turned negative, and been so for some time: Growth, deficit, trade (exports and imports), investments, savings, employment and so on. The only area where you see some good news is hard infrastructure. Never since 1991 has the Indian economy had such a sustained growth slowdown or stagnation in its economic data. Could it then be that the rise of a strong leadership is not a guarantee of good, bold economics?


Also read: Fears of crisis at Yes Bank over dodgy loan book were raised as far back as 2015


The thing most difficult to find to substantiate what is, at best, an opinionated analysis, and at worst, a subjective one, is data. We are fortunate, however, to find this gem thanks to Quartz.com geopolitical reporter Annalisa Merelli, who’s reported in detail on a study conducted by Stephanie Rizio and Ahmed Skali for the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Victoria University. The study has been published in the journal Leadership Quarterly, and you can read Merelli’s report here.

These researchers studied the political and economic history of 133 countries from 1858 to 2010 (152 years), and concluded that strong leaders were “either damaging or inconsequential for their economies”. What, then, about ‘benevolent dictators’ like Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew or Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, you might ask?

The study concludes that it is by sheer chance that the pantheon of strongmen may produce the odd good one. That they will have a negative impact on their respective economies is the rule by and large. “Strongmen mostly leave a country’s economy worse than they found it, or simply ‘ride the wave’ of an economic growth that would’ve happened” nevertheless, Merelli reports from the study.

Not all of these leaders are dictators. Many rise in democracies and must face frequent elections. Why don’t the voters then punish them faster; why are they more forgiving towards them than towards the leaders they see as weaker?

In the Indian context, think about how, in less than three years of throwing Indira Gandhi out because of the Emergency, the voters brought her back. What is this irresistible pull of a strong leadership? We lean on the Melbourne researchers again, even though what they say isn’t particularly flattering of the voters anywhere — though personally I adore monkeys. “In time of hardship,” Skali told Merelli, “primates tend to accept, and follow, the authority of an alpha male.”

This proves how, just as we were wrong in raising that first question — is good economics good politics — we were equally wrong in our answer, that strong leaders equal good economics. Look back on Narendra Modi’s years now. The boldest — and in my view the most welcome and reformist — step he had initiated, the new land acquisition bill, has been the only major decision he has retreated on.

At the peak of his power and popularity, he baulked at this risk. The only time he has done so in nearly six years. The worst and the most reckless, demonetisation, he persisted with. It also benefited him politically, at least in the Uttar Pradesh elections that followed immediately thereafter, as it reaffirmed his strong and decisive image.

One thing I never imagined as a backer of free-market reform, fair competition, low tariffs, freer trade, moderate taxes and minimum government, is that I might end up borrowing from Thomas Piketty to round off an argument, however complex it might be. His first book, I thought, was a nut-job. In the second now, Capital & Ideology, he is making sense. “Inequality is neither economic nor technological,” he writes, “it is ideological and political.” And it is bound to persist as long as strongmen-leaders thrive in spite of it, riding their domineering politics and ideology.


Also read: Why Indian economic tiger became puppy with tail between legs & what markets want Modi to do


 

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53 Comments Share Your Views

53 COMMENTS

  1. To the Editor,
    Firstly Thank you very much for running a quality new product. I follow cut the clutter regularly.

    I have a hypothesis on which I think needs an informed perspective. I think people who are most likely to have objections to economic reform are rich businessmen who have the most to lose if we are to have direct foreign investment not only restricted to the stock markets. They do not want competition from good company’s from developed nations. Nationalism is a good bogey.

    Any attempt to uplift the poor out of misery is unlikely to be contested by them. The middle class will not object for more reform – they benefited – the reversal in policies has actually cut down opportunities for them. Where do we hear of labor shortages anymore which was a norm from 1992-2008? The bureaucrats I do not know but the politician to are in favor of reform but they rely on the money from these same businesses and when in power we see no reform but the exchange of favors.

    Can we ever break this nexus? Am I right? This is the reason whoever comes to power economic reform will always be on the back burner. Can media be asked to look into this crises of perception in our country?

  2. The thing is simple, common people: mainly illetrate and semi-illetrate don’t think much on their own. They can’t actually, and fall for alpha man kind of thing as told in this earlier. Telling them technicalities is like asking Monkey how the Ginger tastes or playing pipes in front of Buffalo.
    Strong leaders do one thing, they become strong by playing with emotions and tactfully take over various pillars to suppress dissent and other modes of transparency. They use the power to increase the power, and reach a stage where they can tape the common agenda on their own choice.

  3. Strong leaders and economic progress have nothing to do with each other. in the Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi years the duo got elected repeatedly. what was the economic growth in those years? people like strong leaders, that is all. a strong leader promises nothing in return. a large number of people are comforted by his/her presence (“all eez well” – to quote the song from the movie “Three Idiots”). in fact, Mr Shekhar Gupta, you have argued elsewhere persuasively that India took the boldest economic decisions when we had minority governments like Narasimha Rao’s and Chandrasekhar’s. so the converse is also true. for economic reform what you seem to need is a genuine crisis!

  4. As always when such analysis comes in, the question coming to mind is: What about China? For a country that counters all facts around what makes a successful economy, why is it always an exception? What makes China so exceptional?

  5. India does not such type of strong leaders. I suggest that India needs a good hero. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself,” according to Joseph Campbell’s author of The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Hero must put aside his pride, his virtue, beauty and life and bow or submit to the absolutely intolerable. Anyone can become a hero—on purpose or even accidentally like MK Gandhi. Here is other side of human personality – zealots are those who instead of clearing his own heart tries to clear the world.

    In modern India what we have is an electoral authoritarian who practices authoritarianism behind the institutional facades of representative democracy.

  6. Ever since Modi Ji entered in political mainstream from 2001 in Gujarat , three trends are perceptible in Indian media, particularly , anti Hindu media . (1) Modi was demonized for Gujarat riots to appease minorities Islamists by faithful media at behest of Congress party till 2005 as party s strategy of minority appeasement and at behest of congress government ,under same policy, thereafter. His contribution to Gujarat states development was ridiculed by his political opponent media warriors not withstanding the fact that Gujarat voters who were actually to judge him voted thrice for his leadership. If he was such a novice in economic matters how Gujarat kept on progressing and how and why on Earth the voters of Gujarat , a economical giant state of India have consistently have been voting for him and his party consistently since the dawn of 21st centuary.
    (2) Since 2014 , after the shocking defeat of so-called secularists in general election at his hands the media and Congress party s dynasts tried their best to project him as “ as one time aberration in continuity of dynasty “ and come up with derogatory slogans like “chowkidaar Chor hei “ unabashedly against him to malign him and defeat him at next hustling in 2019 irrespective of the his record in economic policy matters and policy of welfare pursued by his Government. Unfortunately most of economic-Journalist think spending on social upliftment policy a drag on development. Most of them sing praise of market economy. The present writer is not exception.

    {3} During first tenure as the Prime minister of India Modi government was successful in meeting the aspiration of its voters . Its policies uplifted GDP growth rate , Controlled inflation to large extent , spent large-heatedly on social welfare schemes and tried his best to secure India external boarders . Spent heavily on up gradation defense forces and defense preparedness , entered into defense deals running into billions of dollars without any taint of personal corruption. But the Congress party and its obedient media unleashed a disinformation campaign –“ Chokdaar chor hei” to taint his image . But the Indian voters returned Modi with increased majority .From this shock defeat Modis detractors are yet to come out. Since installation of Modi Government for second terms when this government tried to implement its core agenda of the party —on Kashmir, abolition of instant Talaque by Muslim men, amendment to citizenship law to provide for humanitarian treatment to immigrants belonging to Minority community people who were/or victims of atrocities by the people and Governments in three adjoining Islamic countries , The so-called liberal and leftist media at behest of past masters started and is keeping communal opposition to this humanitarian law passed by the Parliament of India. As over empathize on this is likely to boomrage sooner or later , Now , World wide economic down turn remains only hot stick to beat Modi government . The media fails to see decline in GDP rates in whole world economies and its reflective impact on Indian economy , goes on to parrot the language of worthies like Chindamrams , who himself and his sons are under scanner by investigating agencies and spent some good days of their life in resorts called Tihar Jail and like.
    The media personnel in India should always see national security, country s foreign affairs, threat from Jihadists and terrorists , policies for upliftment of deprived section of society , need for faster adoption of new and emerging technologies above dirty party politics and should come up with positive suggestions . It is not that media as super boss has delegated responsibility to Modi Government or any incumbent government to perform has monopolized right to reprimand without carefully examining the constrained faced by delegate.
    There is no need for comment on what is written by Shekhar Gupta ji . He is a senior journalist , but he seems to still living in paradise lost in 2014.Hope he will come out of it after third defeat of dynasty in 2024.

  7. SG has fallen into the same trap that most economic and political experts have. Modi isn’t ignoring the economic system of the country; he is rewiring it into an asset creating, honest dealing and pro-poor ecosystem.
    The policies pursued in the economic realm is causing pain due to its deep-rooted cleansing; it is almost like cleaning the engine while the trunk is running.
    Here are a few examples:
    1. Climate Change: LED bulbs, LPG vs wood-burning, Solar power vs Coal – or course it is causing some stress to the traditional industry but we have a greener cleaner India.
    2. Banking System – DeMo, NPA, Audit will ensure depositor money goes into fair lending……of course it is making businesses relying on ever0greening go kaput.
    3. FastTag/DBT/IT – The thousands of corrupt officers now don’t get this income and hence discretionary spend has fallen. (NHAI collects 80 vs 40 Cr)
    4. Swach Bharat – Imagine 50 Cr people shitting 200 gms of faeces everyday day through the year on open land.
    The black economy has been butchered so growth has slowed and businesses are careful is setting new ventures, that’s hurting jobs.

    • honest dealing and pro-poor ecosystem. Boy are you a Bhakt or what? No better example that your suggested example of DeMon as a positive. If your take a meat cleaver instead of laporoscopy for an aneurysm you will be left with neither brains nor head

    • “Bhakts”, IT cells’ gangs and “chamchas” should leave platforms like ThePrint is all I can say. These have already wounded social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

  8. I take strong exception to anyone calling Modi “strong”. This is what I call backhanded chamchagiri. The appropriate adjective in his case is, “foolhardy”.

  9. Gupta ji has realised , much before pappus and his party did, that Modi will be back in 2024 again. Hence Gupta ji is modifying his criticism of Modi.

  10. Shekharji, Indiraji once publicly said that only left wing politics can succeed in India and she was spot on. Therefore, all political leaders including Modiji will continue to indulge in populist measures and freebies. Secondly, Modiji has good ideas and intentions and can do good on policy front. But most of the implementation is in the hands of state governments and local bodies. He can do only so much and not beyond.

  11. Voters are also without alternatives to choose. Rahul is a nice guy it appears. But he does not give confidence to the voters, especially because he gives the sense of PRIVILEGE. People today do not like a privileged guy. Congress needs a grassroots leader like Modi, who is able to represent ordinary Indians.

  12. The problem is how you define strong leadership. Unfortunately ,everything has become about management of perceptions and PR rather than true leadership with this government. After getting caught at the wheel sleeping and then coming up with strong words and bluster which would do a dialogue writer like Javed Akthar proud is the hallmark of the current PM and his government.To paraphrase George Orwell, it has become about giving “an appearance of solidity to pure wind”. But reality has started catching up and there’re not many places to hide and you can only instigate so many communal riots and polarisation before people wisen up.
    Look at the latest fiasco with the Yes bank, which lent over 100,000crore within two years alone to failing companies and the owner dumped all his shares months ago and no questions were asked and now there is the eyewash ED raids when the horse has bolted. Who is left in the lurch?the public who are not sure what will happen to their thousands of crores in deposits, share holders who have lost over 3000 crores so far and SBI which has to manage the liabilities.
    Lots of other examples abound. -massive intelligence failure which led to Pulwama attacks which got lost in all the bluster after the Balakot raids
    Actions count much more than words. Real strength is leadership is about taking taking difficult decisions with a long term plan ,not about short term tactics to get applause from a pliant media and public.
    We are living in interesting times and there is more to come.

    • Very true. In fact Modi is a weak leader. In spite of having a humongous majority he has been unable to pass a single reform that benefits the common man. Most of his so called reforms have only inconvenienced voters. He has no courage to implement his own electoral slogan ‘ Minimum government and maximum governance’. His latest failure (in a long list of failures) was in maintaining law and order in India’s capital during the US President’s visit.

  13. Wrong to say Modi is not doing reforms. But bold reforms do not bring growth immediately. The world is lowing and becoming less global. So reducing opportunity for high growth. Many bubbles created for high growth economy in the past are bursting now. India is facing very uphill task of having very high growth.

  14. A few points need to be clarified: 1- Land acquisition bill- the assertion that “At the peak of his power and popularity, he baulked at this risk.” is not correct. Modi despite repeated promulgation of the ordinance could not get it past Rajya Sabha and had to abandon it! It was wrong in the first instance to bring an ordinance and then hope for support from other parties in Rajya Sabha. Modi did not commit this mistake later e.g. Art 370 or Triple Talaq etc. 2- Modi is a strong leader but Rajya Sabha composition stymies his power. He can do whatever he wants with his Lok Sabha majority but Rajya Sabha is his problem. So he is as strong as Rajya Sabha allows him to be. Hence, comparison with Indira is not contextually correct though in popular imagination he is a stronger leader than India. 3. Modi is actually doing many things on economic front but results are not seen directly on the ground. He has not enunciated his economic vision and policy beyond talking broadly. He needs to do much more but by instinct, he is not an ‘economic’ right winger. So not much can be expected from Modi, except in bits and pieces. But hopefully, his own goals like 5 trillion USD economy etc may compel him to turn right and act fast on long pending but common sense economic reforms. 4. Modi is doing a good job for the poor and benefits of his schemes is reaching them. Given his non-corrupt and decisive image, the poor will definitely vote for him irrespective of GDP growth or unemployment rate etc. 5. As Modi is finishing most of the BJP’s political agenda rather quickly and decisively, the opposition is using poor GDP growth to hammer him. It will not succeed until a strong, dependable leader comes up from opposition. This is a big worry as there is no one on the horizon right now.

    So whether we ask wrong questions or give wrong answers, there is no alternative to Modi for the third term as well. Of course, sickulars like Shekhar may find this prophesy difficult to accept. But Shekhar should remember that such choice will be in the National Interest of the country.

    • It is a myth that Modi is doing good to the poor. All that he is doing is continuing the same old Congress policy of giving doles to the poor. Instead of helping people to fish he is only giving them fish. This is at best a short term solution that only helps till the next election. Modi has no plan to empower the poor by helping them come out of their poverty. To climb out of poverty India needs leaders like PVNRao and A Vajpayee who truly understood India’s ethos and culture.

      • Such sheer nonsense. If 85 paisa was leaking before as Rajiv Gandhi said, Modi made sure those leaks are minimized. So even if same amount of money is given to the poor it would be 5.5 x times when you make sure the real poor gets it. That is what good governance is!

  15. If strong leaders do not deliver good economics, does the contrary hold true? What actually is the purpose of this article, unless it is for Shri Gupta to show his reading skills and pretend to be an academic of sorts, like Shri Yogendra Yadav?

  16. Strong leader of the country???? Whats the use??? When the priorities are misplaced. With all the best resources we continue to be in penury leaving the 3% rich and prodigals.

  17. 1. I disagree with views expressed in this article, which is no doubt a thought-provoking one. 2. I say that there can be more than one opinion on subject of the current state of our economy and steps required to put economy on growth path. 3. In this context I am reminded of views expressed by our Former PM Dr, Manmohan Singh in a signed article published by ‘The Hindu’. Dr Manmohan Singh sees nothing right in the way NDA government manages our economy. That also is understandable because I feel that many NDA critics are not really worried about slowdown in economy. Unfortunate fact is that these critics are more interested to malign image of PM Narendra Modi/NDA government and somehow they wish to undermine performance of economy since 2014. I wish to know whether author of this article is also among these well-educated critics. 4. It is obvious that for sake of country, personal agenda should not replace a national agenda; if personal egos clash, then no one can guarantee anything. 5. I say this: why not we look at the current problems of economy as opportunity to set things in order? Then the question is would the opposition parties cooperate with the NDA government to implement much-needed economic reforms or oppose them for political reasons?

  18. Sir,
    I very often visit Rajasthan as my ancestry is there. It’s one of the poorest of the poor states.
    No proper roads, electricity, water, Basic necessities of life.
    BJP Government was there for 5 years. Modi Government was there in center for 5 years before 2019 election.
    Both at centre and state BJP was in power.
    They did nothing in the state( both the BJP Governments Modi and Raje) yet people of Rajasthan voted for MODI in all 25 seats. Congress 0 seats.
    Very shocking!!!!!!!
    And last 7 months or so Central government has done nothing for Rajasthan.
    Yet people in Rajasthan are crazy for MODI though they are the poorest of the poor.
    Karl Marx rightly mentioned’RELIGION IS AN OPIUM’
    People in Rajasthan will vote for MODI in 2024 in all 25 Lok Sabha seats.
    So poverty does not matter sometimes electrally.
    Subramanium Swami is correct when he says you can’t win election with good economics, you win elections with the help of rhetoric and emotions.

  19. Yes you get strong leaders but what makes all the difference to the country and people is their personal characters or ‘गुण’ and intent.On these counts I am afraid Modi unlike Indira scores poor.That is going to make all the difference to the people and the country.Just watch …do not want to say more.

  20. Many a man, including yours truly, did not vote Modi so that the Aloo is Rs.5 cheaper per kilo in the Baazaar.

    A quarter of BJP voters voted to see a determined push for the hardline Hindutva agenda.

  21. Dear Shekhar sir,
    Thanks for an ORIGINAL and thoughtful piece on what, for me personally was a PARADOX of voters choices ,especially for last two years in indian politics. However at the end of the article I felt slightly incomplete in terms of your arguments
    Are you planning to continue this in the next article?
    Regards
    Harish Rawat

  22. The boldest and greatest of economic reforms were witnessed in 1990-91 during MMS and PVN times. Both were considered weak in terms of demeanor lacking in charisma and oratory skills. Substantiates the study

  23. Findings of this study simply corroborate what we always observed and knew. Strong and despotic rulers neither listens to nor get any sane advice and creates enormous social and economic havoc.

  24. Strong leadership is the need of the day. Weaklings like Manmohan Singh or God forbade Rahul Gandhi becomes the leader, then you become a laughing stock of the whole world.

    As regards to economy, under Modi things have dramatically improved to what he inherited from ManMohan Singh. (Let you know that 50 years back he was my economics professor for two months at Punjab university. He could not control a class of 29 boys, let alone the nation).

  25. Problem is you had conceded that economics is outside your core area. Same with other editors and newspapers. MMS said that he wanted to make economic news as important as political and he might had done so in 2004 to 2006 but after rush of economic jargon like IPO, bonds it is back to politics. After 2014 newspaper fraternity which is mostly liberal took on itself to up the ante of political journalism in an attempt to check BJP so now we have even more political webpaper quint, livewire etc. Even print is making living out of new politicalization of newspaper. And after 2016 or so somepapers have moved towards BJP thereby furthering the politics angle…now you need to read two paper to get the right perspective.

    • Exactly! Gandhiji would mostly go for the middle path and try to take everyone along! But was he weak?!

      Taking extreme decisions that are not thought through does not make you strong!!

  26. Bjp congress rss communists all follow same third class socialist economics of freebies subsidies reservation loan waivers. Indian politicians murdabad.

  27. Some of these academic studies seem purposeless and pointless. Alright, if strong leaders mean weak economies, what remedy do these learned scholars point to have? Hopefully, not recommend weak leadership!

  28. In other words, politicians of all hues tend to exacerbate inequality and differences among people to keep getting elected again and again. “Strong” political leaders are particularly good at it and we Indians will have to suffer for all eternity it seems because –
    a. naturally we are different from each other – in religion, language, dialects, customs, food habits, dressing, lifestyle choices, education, regional development etc. and
    b. the current “strong” dispensation seems to be exacerbating these differences even more.
    and the worse thing is – data suggests there is unlikely to be any economic benefit to all these sacrifices.

  29. Let us not forget Indira Gandhi won for us the 1971 Bangladesh war. She will be remembered in the history for this extraordinary feat. Undoubtedly, she was a novice in economic matters and mostly used the banking sector for political purposes. But again those were the times when economic aspirations of the Indians were very modest. We witnessed unprecedented scorching inflation in the 1970s but Indira Gandhi explained this as an international phenomenon and the voters didn’t mind. GDP growth rate hardly mattered and it was unthinkable to make a scrutiny of GDP growth rate on quarterly intervals. When India prepaid IMF loan in the 1980s it was considered as a great achievement! Forget Indiraji, her son Rajiv Gandhi too was a novice in handling of economy. He overspent and bungled and this eventually led to the economic crisis of 1990-91.

  30. This baldy Shekhu’s article is not worth the piece of paper he writes on. He ignores many welfare measures of Modi govt like Ujjawala scheme, 100% electricity connections in the country, 100% toilets and many others. He should not make sweeping and thus erroneous comparisons of Mr. Modi with other world leaders. Mr. Modi is the tallest world leader. Being not an economist himself, it would be better for him and us not to comment or analyse on economy. His worship of Indira Gandhi is ridiculous.

    • You should be called Buddhutree for your inane and completely stupid views. What 100 percent electricity, what 100 percent toilets it’s all hogwash you imbecile.

      • ”Since the campaign was launched, just under 80 million toilets have been built in India. 419 districts are now classified as being open defecation free. The share of the population with access to a toilet has also been climbing steadily and it currently stands at 89 percent, according to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. ”
        Agreeing there is some lie in government statistics, still you cannot deny lot of work has been done in the health sector, and poor are better in the last six years. They now have bank accounts and government money goes direct to their accounts. This is no mean achievement in a country like India where every third person is a crook, and that includes you also.

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