Source: 
The News
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1197010-modi-s-claims-and-darker-side-of-indian-democracy
Author: 
Sabir Shah
Date: 
05.06.2024
City: 
LAHORE

Latest analysis by an eminent Indian citizen-led apolitical NGO and credible election watchdog

Tipped to clinch power for a rare third time, two-time Indian Premier Narendra Modi has recently claimed 8.2 percent growth for year 2023-24 exemplifies his country is the fastest +growing economy globally. But wealth inequality, alarming poverty levels and presence of 20pc criminals in Lok Sabha haunt the world’s largest democracy with over 968 million eligible voters.

The latest analysis by an eminent Indian citizen-led apolitical NGO and credible election watchdog, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which has been carried by all prestigious media outlets across the border, reveals 20pc of candidates in 2024 Lok Sabha elections have declared criminal cases against themselves, marking an increase from 19pc in 2019, 17pc in 2014 and 15pc in 2009.

Of these 8,337 candidates studied, 1,643 have criminal cases, while 1,191 (14pc) face serious criminal charges, including those related to rape, murder and crimes against women.

A June 3, 2024 report of Economic Times states; “Out of 8,360 candidates contesting, 8,337 have been analysed, revealing significant insights into their backgrounds, including criminal records, financial status, education and gender representation. The analysis revealed 20pc of candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves, marking an increase from 19pc in 2019, 17pc in 2014 and 15pc in 2009. Of the 8,337 candidates analysed, 1,643 have criminal cases, while 1,191 (14pc) face serious criminal charges, including those related to rape, murder and crimes against women. Out of total candidates, 31pc are crorepatis (millionaires), which translates to 2,572 candidates”.

The media house adds: “This is a notable increase from previous elections, indicating a trend towards more affluent candidates entering the political fray. The average assets per candidate amount to Indian Rs6.23 crore (equivalent to Pakistani Rs20.75 crore), reflecting significant wealth among the contesting candidates. The elections were conducted in seven phases, with varying candidate statistics for each phase”.

The same facts and figures have been published by The Hindu, NDTV, Times of India and many other key newspapers and television channels of India.

On May 10, 2024, Doha-based Al-Jazeera Television had reported: “A new study by researchers at the ‘World Inequality Lab’ shows income and wealth inequality in India today is, in many ways, worse than it was even under British colonial rule. India’s richest 1pc control 22.6pc of national income and more than 40pc of country’s wealth. Meanwhile, the bottom 50pc control less than 10pc of national wealth”.

The media house asserted: “Inequality was worsened over the past decade of Modi’s rule. India has 271 dollar billionaires, third behind only China and US—and world’s highest number of poor at 228.9 million, according to ‘Oxfam India’. The Congress party has accused Modi government of ‘crony capitalism’ and favouring certain businesses in government contracts. The government has denied the accusations, saying it has not favoured companies and has instead invested in welfare programmes to improve the lives of the poor”.

The Al-Jazeera Television report maintained: “Experts say India’s inequality is the result of prevailing economic and political system. Even as both governments of BJP and Congress have launched reforms and pushed for economic growth over the past three decades, they have failed to generate enough employment, check inflation and move the workforce from low-income farming to well-paying non-farm jobs, resulting in high inequality of wealth and income”.

France24, a French publicly-funded international news television network based in Paris, said in its November 18, 2022 report nearly 15 percent of Shining India’s population did not have access to a toilet. This French television had actually quoted World Bank in its afore-cited report.

Quoting a Harvard University study, a March 11, 2024 report of India Today had read: “India had by far the largest number of zero-food children (6.7 million), which is almost half of all zero-food children in 92 countries included in this study. Nigeria had the second-highest number of zero-food children (962 000) followed by Pakistan (849 000), Ethiopia (772 000) and Democratic Republic of Congo (362 000). The authors of this study analysed 276,379 children from 92 low and middle-income countries, aged 6 to 23 months, whose caregivers had reported on their feeding”.

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