Phenomenon of Populism

In our country elections are held in the fashion of festivals and every now and then political leaders have to rub shoulder with common masses. After being elected, political leaders in power resort to populist measures to keep those happy who stood by them at elections, and thus the phenomena of populism comes into play. It may be in form of some announcement declaring concessions of free power to the farmers during their harvest time, distribution of freebies such as televisions and smart phones or laptop or make available cheap foodgrains to the people. Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh during its last tenure of 2012-17 gave free laptops to the students passing Intermediate examination and provided cash to a section of girl students from poor sections in the state. Present government of Bhartiya Janata Party has waived off loans up to Rs. 1.00 lakh of farmers, as promised in their manifesto.

During Indira Gandhi’s regime when Indian National Congress was the dominant political force, government launched various schemes and projects under the garb of socialism or Garibi Hatao but those proved ineffective to strike at the very root of poverty. Governments instead of training people with required skills to sustain on their own and become self dependent and rise above poverty line, let them remain dependent on the state and the alms by the rulers. Poverty was not alleviated leaving the masses empty handed. Schemes like MNREGA instead of empowering and unshackling masses from chains of dependency and helplessness have in effect perpetuated phenomenon of poverty and equipped the corrupt with vehicles of carrying on with embezzlement of tax payer’s money. It is now established fact that, since independence, country adopted half-hearted, un-pragmatic and impractical approach and policy framework to remove poverty . The approach yielded no permanent and concrete results.

The distribution of freebies is a at the expanse of exchequer to extract hard loyalty from the voters and keep the fire of psychological and emotional slavery burning in minds of poor and weaker sections who constitute their electoral base. Practice of populism was viewed by competing parties to win over sections of voters to their side.

Now the time has changed. The present regime has shifted the focus from dependency to self dependency encouraging youths and educated persons to get training and acquire skills as per their aptitude and be able sustain oneself, become self dependent and contribute to nation building and lead a dignified life. The essence of this skilling framework is to make human resources of the country productive beings who could not only generate employment for themselves but acquire capability of providing jobs to others also.

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