In what can be perceived as the third round of ‘intellectual outcry’, a group of 108 economists and social scientists have come together to protest against what they said was the “Narendra Modi government’s move to revise or withhold the release of unfavourable economic data”.
The current government has not released the National Sample Survey Organisation’s employment survey for the year 2017-18. The intellectuals claim that the withholding is due to the fact that the survey would have shown a record high unemployment rate.
Chairperson of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), P.C. Mohanan stated, “Any statistics that cast an iota of doubt on the achievement of the government seem to get revised or suppressed on the basis of some questionable methodology. The national and global reputation of India’s statistical bodies is at stake. More than that, statistical integrity is crucial for generating data that would feed into economic policy-making, and that would make for honest and democratic public discourse”.
However, the liberal economist, in his bias, failed to realise that the government jobs data had not been finalised. “The periodic labour force survey (PLFS) report of NSSO (National Sample Survey Office) is not yet finalised. It’s a draft report which has not been verified by the government,” Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said at a press briefing. “We are waiting for six-quarter data in the absence of which we cannot do quarter-on-quarter comparison.”
This sudden protest against the Modi government right before the elections has ulterior political agendas. The “left liberals” want to spread fake propaganda to criticise the current government.
Moreover, this is not the first time this has been done. In August 2018, a bunch of 48 retired civil service officers had decided to protest against the arrest of 5 human rights activists in Pune. The group, being “resolutely committed to constitutional values and principles” stated that they felt compelled to speak against “what we perceive as the most brazen display yet of coercive authority by the state.” These “activists” were involved in a range of crimes from the planned assassination of top government functionaries to ties with Kashmiri separatists and riots in Pune. The retired bureaucracy, obviously having nothing better to do with their time decided to come out in support of the accused.
A futile group protest was also seen in 2015 during the “Award Wapsi” campaign. More than 50 writers had returned their awards to protest alleged growth in intolerance under the Modi government. These writers were a part of a politically motivated campaign organised by Marxist writers and Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi to defame the government.
In the piece titled ‘The truth of award-wapsi and the hypocrisy behind it’, former Saahitya Akademy president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari said the four-month campaign was motivated by three groups of writers, those who had a personal hatred for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, friends of those who wanted to defame the government and a group of 25 writers who were seeking publicity for themselves.
“I have evidence to prove award wapsi was not spontaneous but an organised effort led by five writers, many of whom were holding anti-Modi sabhas even before he came to power,” wrote Tiwari. Vajpeyi, he alleged, started the movement “only because of personal reasons and hatred against Modi”.
He has also published the text messages and letters he had received during that period from writers, many of whom said they were being pressurised by their peers to be part of the movement.
The “supposedly moral protest” of 2015 and 2018 had been fizzled out after a few months of controversy. These have been nothing more than attempts by the “liberals” to defame the current government as the country gears up for the much awaited 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Like 2015 and 2018, this too shall fizzle out and Modi government is expected to come back to power in 2019.