Between the chants of ‘NaMo’ and ‘RaGa’, where does the common man stand?

The common man wants to know as to what has been done to reduce inflation and corruption

What have you done for me? The common man wants to know...
What have you done for me? The common man wants to know...

This is an updated edition of some still relevant points of a prior post with the same title published on my personal blog (link) one year prior to the 2014 Indian General Elections.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he general elections in 2014 are a good two years past, the election trumpets have subsided but not the media frenzy or the political pitch. Somewhere in those muddy fields and jammed streets, the common man made his mark, his vote count. Yes, that is all the value of his vote in a vibrant democracy, it counts! His fist was closed till the results were out but its punch shew the direction in which s/he wants the nation wants to move forward. The results are out but the debates still rife in newspapers and newsrooms, the virtual networks and the real choupals.

A new government led by a globe-trotting Prime Minister Narendra Modi is at the helm of affairs of the center only to be humbled down by

  1. a hurt, resigned to fate but yet to retire Congress party fighting it out in the Rajya Sabha;

  2. the still surviving regional parties fighting it out in state assembly elections.

NaMo and RaGa not only represent diagonally opposite ideologies but stand in stark contrast to each other, the past still haunts Narendra Modi wherever he goes or was for that matter, not allowed to go and Rahul Gandhi fails to demonstrate his vision for the future and yes, neither of you, even today talk much about the present.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]e, the common man, then reeling under inflation and corruption, were burdened with the homework of finding answers to questions in the background of Rahul Gandhi family’s glorious past and in the showcase of Narendra Modi’s promised future posed at Jaipur Chintan Shivir of INC and the BJP Council Meet in Delhi respectively.

No, the common man still doesn’t have answers the questions Mr. Rahul Gandhi or Mr. Narendra Modi, but do they have an answer to our questions? Yes, we too have questions and not merely the right to have questions and they are quite a few:

  1. Yes, Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi contested for the 2014 General Elections and Narendra Modi led BJP won; yet the pertinent question is not who won, but will, “We, The people of India” lose, where do we stand in the great game?1

  2. No, we are not concerned about the glorious past of your family Mr. Rahul Gandhi that has gone by and the bright future of India promised by Mr. Narendra Modi that beholds us, but we are damn concerned about the mess we live in present, will you clean this and how?

  3. ‘15 paise in a Rupee’, Rajiv Gandhi’s oft-quoted statement, was used by both of you, Mr. Rahul Gandhi at Chintan Shivir and Mr. Narendra Modi at BJP Council meet, albeit, like warring lawyers using the same provision, with different interpretations. Though neither the Reserve Bank, nor the beggars accept the paise, but if Rajiv Gandhi’s statement is the Common Law, who will move in the amendments to change the situation?2

  4. Metaphors of “Honeycomb” or “Mother India” will appease or aggravate the emotions of the nation but will not change the ground realities and “Bharat Nirman” or “Incredible India” campaigns may highlight but they will not bury either your achievements or failures. Propaganda or Agenda, what is in the store for the common man – high promises, higher expectations, but who can Deliver? And yes the whole of the pie, without taking his ‘cut’!

  5. Indian Economy, in spite of all talk and hype of economic reforms, liberalization and globalization, continues to be a monsoon economy, i.e., it is more dependent on the mythical Rain God Indra than the economic reforms initiated by Bureaucrat-Economist Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. What is your strategy to increase our resilience to the whims of erratic monsoon winds?3

  6. What is development – Economic or Social? Is it not a question of “either-or” but both? There is no pick and choose either with Economic or Social Development or with the villages of Bharat and the cities of India. May I point out that the Preamble to Constitution of India, promises us both Economic and Social justice. You are not given a choice and you will have to deliver on all parameters, be it Economic Growth and Public Infrastructure or unemployment or poverty or malnutrition, etc.4

  7. And finally, it is back to square one, the point where we started, yes its Narendra Modi vs. Rahul Gandhi or may be Nitish Kumar or Arvind Kejriwal or Mr. whosoever, but where do we, the common man stand? Is our present but, a prized catch in the tug of war for the PM’s chair?

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]B[/dropcap]efore I call it the day, and having used the phrase ‘Common Man’ a lot, I find it appropriate to clear the air and issue a disclaimer “No, I don’t belong to or support Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. When nothing material was left with us, the common man, he simply took / stole our identity!”

I am an Accountant and yes I am used to footnotes to throw more light on the balance sheet. No, I cannot manage without it, please forgive me!

  1. For those who may be ignorant about it, “We, the people of India” is a phrase used at the beginning of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, to signify the collective will of the Indians to adopt and enforce their Constitution and of course, like many other provisions of our constitution, this one is borrowed from the American Constitution.

  2. Read Lokpal – Janta’s, Sarkar’s, we don’t give a damn to the claims of a particular brand, we know the disease we are suffering from and need a medicine, forget medical care, we are yet to receive First Aid!

  3. Dear Economists, it’s not reforms, it’s the monsoons, and that’s where you need to place your heads and bets on! An erratic monsoon and drought in major states in 2012 and 2015 have decelerated our economic growth rate. In the preceding decade, India experienced a record economic growth exceeding 8% CAGR albeit being excessively favored by a positive monsoon rainfall and also the fact that it did not experience any major drought like situation after financial year 2002-03. Facts to ponder on, Did Dr. Manmohan Singh really care about either policy or reforms between 2004-2012, or was it not in Fall 2012, after the monsoon failure that the nation received emergency medical antidotes of FDI. You may want to say it is a coincidence, you mean it, really do you?

  4. the list of both parameters and our aspirations is long and hence the Etc (pronounced Et cetera) and it means “and other things”.

The author is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Nirmal Ghorawat


  1. I want to kake 3 points .
    1. The common man lost his character somewhere down the way by falling for various inducements forhis vote.He does not have the power of discretion.Person without self esteem can be turned easily into a virtual beggar and that is what is happening.
    2. The re are only politicians ,no statesmen unfortunately.So he lives from election to election, campaign to campaign, makes money after getting power and plans to present some old/new tear jerker wrapped in new freebies before elections.More corruption, more black money are only to be welcomed not shunned.
    3.As the voters remain already compromised one way or the other it is only their ill fate that they are left at the mercy of the monsoon.


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