Ahead of Parliament’s Winter session, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lashed out at Narendra Modi government for “rupturing” the country’s social fabric through “mala fide unless proven otherwise” doctrine of governance.
In an opinion piece for The Hindu, Singh, who was the Prime Minister of India between 2004-14, blamed the Modi government, claiming there was a “palpable climate of fear” in society. He said “many industrialists” had told him they live in fear of harassment by government officials.
“Entrepreneurs are hesitant to put up fresh projects, for fear of failure attributed to ulterior motives. Technology start-ups, an important new engine of economic growth and jobs, seem to live under a shadow of constant surveillance and deep suspicion. Policymakers in government and other institutions are scared to speak the truth or engage in intellectually honest policy discussions,” Manmohan wrote.
He further said that the Modi government seems to view everything and everyone through a tainted prism of suspicion and distrust, and has positioned itself as some saviour, “resorting to foolhardy moral-policing policies such as demonetisation, which have proved to be ill-thought-out and catastrophic”.
Warning that the country faces the very real prospect of ‘stagflation’, the former Prime Minister states that urgent steps are need to restore consumption and revive private investment through ‘social policy’.