Let us not allow facts and outcomes get in the way of our ability to believe in ‘Achhe Din 2014‘. Instead, we should look back and marvel at how nicely the promise was packaged and how happy it made us.
The ‘Achhe Din of 2014’ deserves the award for the best packaged scheme in India until now.
One example is how it promised to clean all the rivers of India, starting with the Ganga. No one knew if there was even a time-bound blueprint to clean Ganga and how it will work. But who cared back then. Our dear Narendra Modi just had to declare that he is “Ganga Maiya ka beta” and, of course, everybody believed that a son would tear apart mountains to take care of his dear mother. Four years and Rs 3,000 crore later, the Ganga river continues to be dirty.
But let us not allow facts and outcomes get in the way of our ability to believe. Instead, we should look back and marvel at how nicely the promise was packaged and how happy it made us.
In fact, Achhe Din was overflowing with such similar amazingly packaged gifts. All black money will be bought back from the Swiss banks within 100 days. All criminal politicians will be punished in fast-track courts within one year. Such was the magic of the gift-wrapped ‘Achhe Din 2014’ that people have still not bothered to open it and look inside.
It was like that golden coloured, special edition of potato chips packet, sprinkled with exotic Himalayan herbs that you buy and keep on your shelf to eat in future. You keep adoring the attractive package, you dream about opening it and tasting its mouth-watering pleasure. But you’re so engrossed in the day dreams that you haven’t woken up to actually try it.
But a handful of people did open it and found it was full of fluff and air with no golden chips inside. And they were dismissed as negative naysayers.
Most people preferred to remain in the mesmerised state.
Then came another attraction to distract them — another advertisement from the potato chips company. This time it was a brand new diamond edition of the chips in the market, which promised to make you lose your belly fat thanks to the ayurvedic gau mutra mix inside the potato chips. It was called ‘New India 2022’.
This was groundbreaking. The advertisement for the diamond edition of the chips was brilliant and published in all major newspapers every second day for months. Those who had actually opened the golden edition earlier, tried to warn people. Open the golden edition packets first, they said. But their voice was buried soon enough, because the majority argued:
‘Do you know a better alternative to losing fat? We have no option but to buy this diamond edition!’
The rational minority advised them about other legitimate ways to lose fat, like exercising or eating healthy. But that takes too much effort and time, because it is easier to go and buy the wonderful diamond chips and immerse oneself in belief.
Healthcare for 50 crore people, yet no blueprint on where the money will come from. Housing for all by 2022, yet no progress report on how much has been done so far. Farmers’ incomes will double by 2022, yet no detailed explanation on how it will be achieved. Where will the money come from for this? New India is Achhe Din Dobara. It is the diamond edition of the potato chips pack.
Meanwhile, your golden edition pack is collecting dust in the farthest corner of the top shelf in your kitchen. Maybe now they are scared it may contain a pakoda instead.
Dhruv Rathee is an activist and YouTuber.