Today, when the central government is completing the first year of its second term under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the country is fighting a formidable disaster in the form of COVID-19. Even the developed and resource-rich countries of the world have laid their arms in front of this epidemic. However, due to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has been fighting against it with full force by minimizing the ill effects of this epidemic.
The vision of poor welfare and the objective of establishing an egalitarian society were mainly present at the center of the policies of the first tenure of the Modi government, that even continued in the second term. In the last two months, the government seems to be working with the same vision amidst the challenge posed by COVID 19. Along with dealing with this crisis, the Modi government is taking all possible measures to support the poor, backward and labourers of the country.
When the Modi government came to power at the Center for the first time in 2014, the problem of economic disparity was complex. The gap between the rich and the poor was much larger than it is today. The standard of living of the poor was not rising up to the standards. The main reason for this was the predominance of economic disparity. In a way, it would be fair to say that the economic disparity was a major hurdle in the overall development of the country.
As decades of ongoing economic disparity strengthened social inequality. fixing this was a major challenge before the new government in 2014. The Modi government first started its policy efforts to overcome it. In the government’s vision, the resolutions of Antyodaya were clear. The feeling of poor welfare was paramount. Prime Minister Shri Modi stated clearly, “Our government is dedicated to the poor welfare.” Thus the government started the making of policies to reach the people standing at the last mile of the society based on the concept of Antyodaya of Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
Despite more than six and a half decades of independence, a large population of the country could not even become a part of the banking system. This population was of poor, backward, deprived sections of the country. They were denied mainstream economic activities for decades. On August 28, 2014, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’ under which accounts of the poor sections of society were opened. Through this, the government did a big job of incorporating the poor of the country into the mainstream of the economic system. Under this scheme, more than 35 crore accounts were opened in the country. But the opposition then ridiculed the scheme for not realizing the far-reaching benefits, but over time it has become clear that the scheme has proved to be extremely effective in empowering the poor of the country and bringing transparency at the level of governance.
Under all government schemes, the amount given to the poor, farmers, etc. is now directly passed on to them through these accounts without the intervention of middlemen. Even in the time of this crisis, when the lockdown caused economic problems for the workers and the farmers of the country, the work of providing financial assistance directly to their accounts was immediately done under this system. According to a figure, between March 24 and April 17, an amount of Rs. 36659 crore has been sent to the accounts of 16 crore people.
If the government had not opened the bank accounts of these people through Jan Dhan Yojana in 2014, it would never have been possible to distribute such huge amount of assistance to the poor and deprived sections on such a large scale and with such speed and transparency. Apart from this, through schemes like Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, Ayushman, the government has tried to protect the interests of the weaker sections of the society by empowering them.
There has been a lot of politics done in the country in the name of social justice, but the intention to implement it in the true sense was not among those who did politics on it. Those who were indulging in the vote bank politics in the name of social justice, only shaped it into ‘casteism’, whereas for BJP, social justice has meant ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ without affecting anyone’s rights. At the policy level, the Modi government ensured that equal opportunities are available to all in the society.
Along with the interests of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the government has taken steps like giving constitutional status to the Other Backward Classes Commission, ending interviews in class 3 and 4 post in government jobs and ensuring 10 percent reservation for the general class on economic grounds to give tangible shape to the real concept of justice. The BJP government stood with complete readiness with reservation provided for the SC, ST and backward sections of the society. At the same time, the government took the bold decision to give 10 percent reservation to the economically backward sections of the society without reducing the rights of anyone. Narendra Modi’s government has fully committed itself to ensure that there is no injustice to any section of the society.
Apart from this, keeping in mind the interests of women, the government announced the Ujjwala scheme on 1 May 2016, under which free gas connections were provided to poor women of the country, 8 crore women in 715 districts of the country got gas connections under this scheme. Also, through the schemes such as Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi, etc., it not only brought sophistication in social thinking towards women but also provided them opportunities to move forward. The government has also taken steps towards providing skill training to the disabled.
Bharatiya Janta Party does not work for class struggle in the society, we work for the all-round development of the society. The way of class struggle is being adopted by left parties, BJP‘s ideology based on Integral human philosophy also teaches us that no person is small or big in society, all are equal.
This vision emerges in the policies and plans of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his government. Whether it is the first five-year term of the government or this one-year term, or the functioning of the government during the current Covid disaster, the aim of the government has been to take all the citizens of the country together on the road of progress by giving opportunity to the people and communities who are lagging behind and craft India, a country, society with a happy, prosperous and equitable spirit.
(The writer is National General Secretary, BJP)