After India experienced a meager 5.3% of GDP growth rate — the lowest in the last nine years — in the March quarter of the last fiscal year, experts have been trying to analyse 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 around 3.5% growth rate of the Indian economy in the 1950s to 1980s,” said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, planning commission.
Justifying the decision, 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 the Manmohanian-coalitionist era.
“Nobody, perhaps not even Arundhati Roy, has explicitly blamed Hindus or Hinduism for the slow growth rate of Indian economy in 1950s to 1980s, 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,” Ahluwalia reiterated the argument made by many commentators blaming Team Anna for policy paralysis.
“That’s why there is a stronger case for calling this slow rate of GDP growth as the ‘Anna rate of growth’ — and I personally favor this view,” he 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 signing on an RTI query than a bureaucrat signing on a file, 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 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 was change their display picture to picture of Anna Hazare. This caused industrial production to go down,” argued one of the cabinet ministers, widely believed to be Kapil Sibal.
While the common man was busy finding out how much petrol actually costs 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.