2017 was Bad!
2017 was a bad year for India. Economic growth was poor and jobs did not get created. Political discourse deteriorated with the PM falsely alleging the former PM of collaborating with Pakistan to win Gujarat elections; religion no longer remained separated from administration with people like Yogi Adityanath becoming CM. Killings of Muslims became a regular feature in BJP ruled states. To make matters worse Congress too showed inclination towards Hindu chauvinism. Independence of Election Commission (Gujarat election dates) & RBI (Demonetization) came into doubt. The state of bureaucracy and police in the year deteriorated further. Judiciary remained over-burdened, but gave a mixed performance:
- Good: In the case of right to privacy.
- Order of standing for national anthem in cinema halls.
- Hadiya case.
- Kerala student hugging case.
Considering the lows of 2017 it will not require 2018 to be a great year to be better! Let me do a quick forecast:
- With global economy on an upswing and reduced impact of stupidities like demonetization growth, exports and jobs will pick up.
- The pre-election budget will be a populist one and expected reduction in corporate tax will induce private investment and FDI.
- Monsoon rains and oil prices will continue to pose question marks.
- State of the farmers will continue to remain as bad.
- State elections are due in Karnataka, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan (early 2019), Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura. BJP is likely to raise its tally of seats in the states.
- Political discourse will deteriorate further. Hate speeches, divisive politics, false propaganda and use of black money will increase. No leader will express pro-minority views.
- With greater power in the hands of the Army and religious leaders and lowered capacity of US to influence, Pakistan is likely to cause greater trouble in 2018 than 2017.
- A more nationalist China may create problems like Doklam again.
- With increased anti-Muslim activities in India, little real power in the hands of Mehbooba Mufti, greater belligerence by Pakistan at the border and export of terrorism Kashmir situation is likely to deteriorate further.
- Chinese influence in Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka will increase, thus raising the threat to India’s security.
Considering that 2017 was bad and expectations of improvement in the economy and stability of the government leads us to conclude that overall 2018 would be a little better!