Hindutva, Economic Neoliberalism and the Abuse of Economic Statistics in India

Neoliberalism and the Abuse of Statistics in India

In “Hindutva, Economic Neoliberalism and the Abuse of Economic Statistics in India,” Jayati Ghosh describes how, at first sight, Prime Minister Modi’s unabashedly pro-big capital agenda could seem contradictory to his politics of hatred that severely disrupt economic growth. However, the ability of the government to persuade the public that the economy is doing well serves the neoliberal agenda by taming the resentment of the poor and enabling further concentration of wealth. The manipulation and/or destruction of the statistical system are decisive to the Modi government’s project.

>> Read article published in South Asian Multidisciplinary Academic Journal

Abstract

This essay argues that attempts at implementing the Hindutva agenda adversely affect economic activity. At first sight, Modi’s unabashedly neoliberal and pro-big capital claims could seem contradictory to his politics of hatred that severely disrupt economic growth. However, the ability of the government to persuade the public that the economy is doing well or that adverse outcomes are not the result of its own policies, actually serves the neoliberal agenda by taming the resentment of the poor and enabling further concentration of wealth. The Modi government is focused on the management of perception rather than on actually developing and implementing economic policies that would benefit the people. In this regard, manipulation and/or destruction of the statistical system are decisive, which is why an aggressive attitude to economic statistics has become one of the defining features of the government.

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