Honourable Prime Minister,
Sir, this letter is not intended to criticise you or your government’s policies, but to just bring forward certain aspects that I felt needed to be spoken about. There is so much that has happened over the last three years, or at least one feels so, which actually means that a lot has been done. But, how much of it has actually impacted the common man for good?
Let’s start with the latest move of GST (Goods and Services Tax). It was meant to reform the economy. Ok agreed, but what about the fact that the common man has to shell out 18 per cent extra when he goes to eat out a regular restaurant. A bill that was earlier Rs 140, has now suddenly become around Rs 180. The whole logic of GST was that old tax rate was to be replaced with new tax rates. But, the normal restaurants have just added 18 per cent to their bills, keeping the rate of the food items the same. As a result, people have to cut down on eating out, one of the few family outing options for the common man, and many like me have also stopped giving tips to the waiter. Sorry to disappoint them, but I can’t afford it any more, though I feel sad when they look at the empty returns.
Sir, hadn’t you said that you would return Rs 15 lakh to each honest taxpayer, which later was termed by your trusted confidante Amit Shah as a political jumla? Forget about getting the promised money, now, we are paying additional tax.
Sir, coming to Aadhaar, it is yet another political card which is troubling the common man no end. We need to link Aadhaar to PAN card, SIM card, bank account, and now even need it for death certificate. There are people who are facing trouble in getting an Aadhaar card for various technical reasons. Linking them is a distant matter. And this is quite a painful task, queuing up at various places to do the linking part. And after all that, there is no guarantee that things would be better for the common man. There are already cases of fake Aadhaar cards and data being leaked. So, what makes the government believe that linking Aadhaar is a means towards a corruption free society?
Sir, these days there is a tendency of your party to blame the Congress for every malaise in the country. When mob attacks reached an unacceptable level, the defence was it happened during the Congress regime as well. The same was shocking reaction of Amit Shah to the tragedy in Gorakhpur hospital. NDA came to power on the promise of change and hope, but by comparing every of their failures to the Congress, they are making us lose hope, that things aren’t going to be any different, and the promise of ‘acche din’ was just another political jumla.
Sir, we agree that the Congress has done a lot of harm to India during the 60 plus years of its governance. But, do give them some credit where there is due. The fact that a chaiwalla has gone on to become the Prime Minister is itself the biggest proof that the country has progressed since 1947. And, ironically, the very Congress the party is blaming is responsible for being the harbinger of change. Yes, they made plenty of mistakes. But, they did not have an easy job on hand. They had to build a country from scratch, and there is no guarantee India would have been any different if BJP was in power for all these years. Things always seem easier in hindsight.
Sir, we know your government has been in power for only three years. And it is too short a time to make significant change. There is too much wrong with the country. But, at least don’t live in denial mode, and paint a rosy picture of the country. If demonetisation has indeed brought out a lot of money, please distribute it among the common man. This is your opportunity to fulfil the Rs 15 lakh promise. And please don’t term anyone anti-national, just because he or she criticises you or your government. It is a basic fundamental right of a person to speak out what he feels, just like what the outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari did. But, you and your party’s reaction to the same was rather disappointing, and the manner in which you put down a senior leader was rather demeaning for someone of a stature of a PM.
Sir, you have some great concepts like Swachh Bharat (Gandhiji’s original idea) and Digital India (first conceptualised by Rajiv Gandhi). Best of luck to you for them. But, first please take care of the basic needs of the common man. An aam aadmi in Mumbai leaves home and travels in a crowded train under inhuman conditions (fans, tubelights mostly not working, just like in Bollywood), not knowing whether he will reach home safely. Many lose their lives just because they head out to work, and have no option but to travel in overloaded trains. Again, this is a legacy inherited by the opposition, speaking of which you are blessed to have someone like Rahul Gandhi, who is like a fish out of water, and will surely help you win the 2019 elections.
Sir, again we don’t expect miracles from you, but don’t react as if you have done some with your invisible magic hand. And finally, let the junta say “Sava Sau Karod log aapke saath hain”, and not the other way round, as has been the case of you boasting in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. That will be the ultimate proof of your success.
(The views expressed by the writer are personal, and not endorsed by the company)