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Letter to the Editor: Identifying Indian Right

Strong nationalism is always a defining feature of our ideological leaning, says BJP spokesperson

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Letter to BS | right wing | Bharatiya Janata Party

Business Standard  |  New Delhi 

BJP

Voltaire said, “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.”

Since the took over Afghanistan, there has been a sustained effort from certain segments in India to equate the Indian right, particularly BJP ideologues, with Islamic fundamentalism. I wonder what else could trigger a journalist like Vir Sanghvi to write such an article (“Searching for the Indian Right”; August 18).

We at the BJP have accepted ourselves as being called right wing, meaning it in a particular way. has both economic and social connotations. Our right-to-centre ideology has clear economic content. Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly spoken about less government and more governance. He has extensively spent his political capital on reforms.

BJP is a right-to-centre party as we have faith in the market as an efficient mechanism for price discovery and resource allocation. We strongly believe that as a wealth creator, private industry, investment and business have a crucial role in the economic growth of our country.

Economic policy and growth must balance the role of government and private players. The support of manufacturing policies for MSMEs, opening Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for different sectors, opening large-scale defence production to private manufacturers, and the focus on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) are a case in point.

People hailing the 1991 reforms as India’s turn towards the right miss the point that post-1991, successive governments felt the need for reforms in agriculture, labour laws and land, but could not muster the courage to usher them in. Our government has undertaken far-reaching steps in agriculture reforms by bringing three new laws, despite strong opposition from certain segments; consolidated labour laws into four codes, which has been passed in Parliament and awaiting notification; has worked for repealing more than 1,500 redundant laws; and disinvestment of public sector undertakings is on, full-swing.

When we came to power in 2014, industry and the financial institutions were suffering from twin balance sheet problems, with overleveraged debt for firms and under capitalised banks. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), an iconic reform, was brought in for financial resolution and debt restructuring. Now the companies have a respectable exit policy and banks have a strong mechanism in place to recover stressed assets. Government is also working on resolution of distressed financial institutions, increasing the limit of deposit insurance. With privatisation of banks, we have come full circle, from bank nationalisation back in 1969. Retrospective tax has been done away with and a start-up ecosystem is booming under our government, with 32 new unicorns. As committed, corporate tax has been reduced; and the implementation of GST and virtual e-assessment are in line with less government interventions.

Those who hail the Left and the for welfare forget that the large-scale leakages and corruption marked the UPA government and crony was the order of the day. We brought digital transformation, using new and innovative technologies. Data mining and artificial intelligence etc are being extensively used to set up efficient and targeted delivery mechanisms for the welfare schemes of the government. Persistent absolute poverty is to be tackled at all costs; we should not keep our eyes closed to society’s needs and it cannot be the prerogative of socialists alone. Reaching out to the last man in society (Antyodaya) is always our goal.

In the name of secularism, pseudo secularism and vote bank politics persisted in all policies and actions of the UPA regime. There has been a rise of certain fringe elements as a counter to politics of appeasement but clubbing them with mainframe BJP is uncalled for. Building a counter-narrative to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, to making triple talaq illegal and to the repealing of Article 370 are all borne out of the vested interest of certain quarters.

In the social domain, we take pride in our culture and continuation of social traditions and practices. Strong nationalism is always a defining feature of our ideological leaning. This pride is not hatred against Muslims as Mr Sanghvi wants to conclude. True secularism is what we stand for, welfare for all and appeasement of none.

Gopal Krishna Agarwal

National Spokesperson of BJP

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First Published: Thu, August 19 2021. 22:14 IST
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