Modi govt undermining values democratic polity should protect: Manmohan

Manmohan Singh. Photo: ANI

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh Friday accused the Modi government of "slowly but surely" undermining the values that a democratic polity should fiercely protect and called for a meaningful national debate on it as also the failure of ruling dispensation in fulfilling its promises made.

Releasing a book titled "Shades of Truth" by former union minister and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, he hoped this is the beginning of the national debate that everyone needs.

In a scathing indictment of the Modi dispensation, Singh said key national institutions vital for good governance are experiencing unprecedented new strains, India's neighbourhood is far less secured than it was in 2014 and its ties with neighbours deteriorated in the last four years.

"The Modi government has slowly but surely undermined the values that any democratic polity should fiercely protect. Important national institutions vital for good governance are experiencing unprecedented new strains.


"Our neighbourhood is far less secured than it was in 2014. Our relations with neighbours have deteriorated in the last four years. Modi government has failed to address issues relating to a creative use of science and technology for national transformation," he said.

"Women, Dalits and minorities are increasingly living in an environment of insecurity," he said, adding that nothing concrete has been done to bring back the promised billions of dollars allegedly held abroad as black money.

"Academic freedom is sought to be curbed, the environment in our universities is being vitiated. All this is a powerful indictment on the Modi government's performance and there has to be a meaningful national debate on issues raised by Kapil Sibal. So, I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of that national debate and we all need that and together with an alternative narrative that the country needs to study and adopt," he said.

Singh said the book is a highly researched subject and a comprehensive analysis on the functioning of the Modi government in the last four years.

"It highlights the failures of the Modi government to fulfilling important promises made to the people ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014," he said.

This government, he said, has not constructively dealt with the agrarian crisis facing the nation and the indication of that is the farmers' protests across the country.

Singh said farmers are still not assured of receiving remunerative prices of their produce and the youth are desperately waiting for the promised 2 crore jobs per year, while the employment rate is declining.

He said people are not impressed by the figures that are being put out by the Modi government to justify the creation of large number of jobs. While industrial production and exports are stagnant, programmes like Make in India and Stand Up India are yet to make a meaningful impact on growth.

Singh highlighted that demonetisation and hasty implementation of the GST have badly hurt enterprises, which are yet to derive significant benefit from ease of doing business schemes.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel