New Delhi. After India experienced a meager 5.3% of GDP growth rate – the lowest in the last 9 years – in the March Quarter of the last fiscal year, experts have been trying to analyze and unravel this setback. Economists and policy makers have put forward various explanations for the low rate, but the most significant development on this front has been the nomenclature of this growth rate.
“We have decided to call it the ‘Anna rate of growth’ – on the lines of the ‘Hindu rate of growth’, which was used to refer to the dismal growth rate – around 3.5% – of the Indian economy in the 1950-1980’s,” Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission informed.
Justifying the decision, Mr. Ahluwalia said that if the term ‘Hindu’ could be associated with the growth rate experienced in the Nehruvian-socialist era, the term ‘Anna’ surely could be associated with the growth rate experienced in Manmohanian-coalitionist era.
“Nobody, perhaps not even Arundhati Roy, has explicitly blamed Hindus or Hinduism for the slow growth rate of Indian economy in 1950-1980’s, yet we use the term ‘Hindu rate of growth’. While in this case, Team Anna has been clearly blamed by many leaders and commentators,” Ahluwalia pointed out.
“RTI activists have scared the bureaucracy and everyone is now scared to take decisions, lest they are accused of fraud and favoritism,” the deputy chairman of the planning commission reiterated the argument made by many commentators blaming Team Anna for policy paralysis.
“That’s why there is a stronger case of calling this slow rate of GDP growth as ‘Anna rate of growth’ – and I personally favor this view,” Mr. Ahluwalia concluded.
When Faking News pointed out that there have been more cases of RTI activists being killed than government officers going to jail due to RTI revelations, and thus there was a stronger case of RTI activists being worried and scared of putting a signature on an RTI query than a bureaucrat putting a signature on a file, Mr. Ahluwalia termed this as an extraneous argument.
“That has got nothing to do with economic growth,” he said, “We have enough cases to prove that hard working bureaucrats were being weighed down by over enthusiastic activists, and thus we can link the economic growth to this phenomenon.”
Many other experts too have supported this view and have blamed Team Anna for slowing down the Indian economy.
“They forced people to sit on hunger strikes – which pushed food and agricultural production down – and all that people were doing in offices were to change their display pictures to picture of Anna Hazare – this caused industrial production to go down,” one of the cabinet ministers, widely believed to be Kapil Sibal, argued.
While the common man was busy finding out how much does petrol actually cost in his city after the hike and reduction within a week, Team Anna has decided to protest against this move and has demanded to bring all economists under Jan Lokpal.
(originally written for and published in English daily DNA)