People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 11

March 14, 2004

Unraveling Of Fraudulent Campaign 
CPI(M) Begins Series of Exposures


IN THE run up to the 2004 general elections, the nation is witnessing the most unprecedented and, at the same time, outrageous conduct of an incumbent government in misusing public money to disinform the people.  The `Shining India' campaign has consumed multi-hundred crores of rupees from the public exchequer to present a one sided distorted picture of the Indian reality.  In `Shining India', a tiny miniscule of Indian corporates and  entities in the share market `shine', while majority of the teeming millions are engulfed in abysmal darkness.


In this backdrop the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has decided to disseminate widely its point by point rebuttal of the facts dished out in the advertisements under the `Shining India' campaign. A series of media conferences are being held as part of this exercise, which has been titled "Lies, Damned Lies And Statistics" to indicate the magnitude of the gigantic statistical fraud that the NDA government has perpetrated. The purpose of this series was explained thus: “An atmosphere where glamour and glitz is threatening to overshadow the plight of the people and the burning problems that they are faced with, we seek to unravel the truth, distinguishing the  myth of `Shining India' from the stark Indian reality.”


In the first press conference of the series on March 9, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, Sitaram Yechury, and CPI(M) floor leader in Rajya Sabha, Nilotpal Basu, took up the issue of unemployment, which underlines the severest crisis facing largest sections of the Indian people. They blasted the Vajpayee government for adopting “jobloss growth” policies whereby lakhs of workers and employees are being retrenched. “Let alone the promise of providing 1 crore jobs a year, they have thrown tens of lakhs of working people on to the streets”, they said quoting concrete figures. 


The CPI(M) leaders took particular exception to the way the Planning Commission acted in a brazenly partisan manner to participate in ‘Shining India’ campaign. “The manner in which the Planning Commission has conducted itself  is unprecedented and completely contrary to the spirit of cooperative federalism. It is not accountable to any single government -- either the Union or the state -- but to their collective totality -- the National Development Council.  But, this time around, the Planning Commission has acted in the most brazenly partisan manner to participate in the `Shining India' campaign and supplemented the efforts of the NDA government in reinforcing the  myth that they are trying to weave around the campaign”, the CPI(M) leaders said.


On March 9, the second episode in the series was unveiled, dealing with the “food question.” Sitaram Yechury and Nilotpal Basu explained, using official figures and statistics the alarming food security situation in the country. “Shining India” saying ” is inhabited by almost a fourth of the world’s hungry, they said warning of a serious agrarian unrest brewing in rural areas. Quoting various studies and reports, it points out that “the poor of the country, specially in the rural areas, have been forced to consume less foodgrains under the Vajpayee regime due to their reduced income on the one hand and increased food prices on the other.”