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Why I am resigning from BJP: A data analyst

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Shivam Shankar Singh quite bjp

Political discourse is at it’s lowest point in the country, at least in my lifetime. The partisanship bias is unbelievable and people continue to support their side no matter what the evidence, there is no remorse even when they’re proved to have been spreading fake news. This is something that everyone — the parties and the voters/supporters are to be blamed for.

BJP has done a great job at spreading some specific messages with incredibly effective propaganda, and these messages are the primary reason that I can’t support the party anymore. But before we get into any of that, I’d like everyone to understand that no party is totally bad, and no party is totally good. All governments have done some good and messed up on some fronts. This government is no different.

The Good:

1. Road construction is faster than it was earlier. There has been a change in the methodology of counting road length, but even factoring that in it seems to be faster.

2. Electricity connection increased 

All villages electrified and people getting electricity for more hours. (Congress did electrify over 5 lakh villages and Modi ji finished the job by connecting the last 18k so, you can weigh the achievement as you like. Similarly, the number of hours people get electricity has increased ever since independence, but it might be a larger increase during BJP).

3. Upper-level corruption is reduced 

No huge cases at the ministerial level as of now (but the same was true of UPA I :/ ). Lower level seems to be about the same with increased amounts, no one seems to be able to control the thanedar, patwari et al.

4. The Swachh Bharat Mission is a definite success

More toilets built than before and Swachhta is something embedded in people’s minds now.

5. UJJWALA Yojana is a great initiative

How many people buy the second cylinder remains to be seen. The first one and a stove were free, but now people need to pay for it. The cost of cylinders has almost doubled since the government took over and now one costs more than Rs. 800.

6. Connectivity for the North East has undoubtedly increased

 More trains, roads, flights and most importantly — the region is now discussed in the mainstream news channels.

7. Law and order is reportedly better than it was under regional parties.

Feel free to add achievements you can think of in the comments below, also achievements necessarily have caveats, failures are absolute!

The Bad:

It takes decades and centuries to build systems and nations, the biggest failure I see in BJP is that it has destroyed some great things on very flimsy grounds.

Electoral Bonds 

It basically legalizes corruption and allows corporate & foreign powers to just buy our political parties. The bonds are anonymous so if a corporate says I’ll give you an electoral bond of 1,000 crores if you pass this specific policy, there will be no prosecution. There just is no way to establish quid pro quo with an anonymous instrument. This also explains how corruption is reduced at the Ministerial level — it isn’t per file/order, it is now like the US — at the policy level.

Planning Commission Reports

This used to be a major source for data. They audited government schemes and stated how things are going. With that gone, there just is no choice but to believe whatever data the government gives you (CAG audits come out after a long time!). NITI Aayog doesn’t have this mandate and is basically a think tank and PR agency. Plan/Non-Plan distinction could be removed without removing this!

Misuse of CBI and ED

It is being used for political purposes as far as I can see, but even if it isn’t the fear that these institutions will be unleashed on them if they speak up against anything Modi/Shah related is real. This is enough to kill dissent, an integral component of democracy.

Failure to investigate Kalikho Pul’s suicide note, Judge Loya’s death, Sohrabuddin murder, the defense of an MLA accused of Rape who’s relative is accused of killing the girl’s father and FIR wasn’t registered for over a year..!

Demonetization 

It failed, but worse is BJP’s inability to accept that it failed. All propaganda of it cutting terror funding, reducing cash, eliminating corruption is just absurd. It also killed off businesses.

GST Implementation 

Implemented in a hurry and harmed business. Complicated structure, multiple rates on different items, complex filing… Hopefully, it’ll stabilize in time, but it did cause harm. Failure to acknowledge that from BJP is extremely arrogant.

The messed up foreign policy with pure grandstanding 

China has a port in Sri Lanka, huge interests in Bangladesh and Pakistan — we’re surrounded, the failure in Maldives (Indian workers not getting visas anymore because of India’s foreign policy debacle) while Modi Ji goes out to foreign countries and keeps saying Indians had no respect in the world before 2014 and now they’re supremely respected (This is nonsense. Indian respect in foreign countries was a direct result of our growing economy and IT sector, it hasn’t improved an ounce because of Modi. Might even have declined due to beef based lynchings, threats to journalists etc.)

Failure of schemes and failure to acknowledge/course correct 

Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Make In India, Skill Development, Fasal Bima (look at reimbursements — the government is lining the pockets of insurance companies). Failure to acknowledge unemployment and farmers crisis — calling every real issue an opposition stunt.

The high prices of Petrol and Diesel 

Modi Ji and all BJP ministers + supporters criticized Congress for it heavily and now all of them justify the high prices even though crude is cheaper than it was then! Just unacceptable.

Failure to engage with the most important basic issues 

Education and Healthcare. There is just nothing on education which is the nation’s biggest failure. Quality of government schools has deteriorated over the decades (ASER reports) and no action. They did nothing on Healthcare for 4 years, then Ayushman Bharat was announced — that scheme scares me more than nothing being done. Insurance schemes have a terrible track record and this is going the US route, which is a terrible destination for healthcare (watch Sicko by Michael Moore)!

You can add some and subtract some based on personal understanding of the issue, but this is my assessment. The Electoral Bonds thing is huge and hopefully, the SC will strike it down! Every government has some failures and some bad decisions though, the bigger issue I have is more on morals than anything else.

The Ugly:

The real negative of this government is how it has affected the national discourse with a well-considered strategy. This isn’t a failure, it’s the plan.

It has discredited the media, so now every criticism is brushed off as a journalist who didn’t get paid by BJP or is on the payrolls of Congress. I know several journalists for whom the allegation can’t be true, but more importantly, no one ever addresses the accusation or complaint — they just attack the person raising the issue and ignore the issue itself.

It has peddled a narrative that nothing happened in India in 70 years.

This is patently false and the mentality is harmful to the nation. This government spent over Rs. 4,000 crore of our taxpayer money on advertisements and now that will become the trend. Do small works and huge branding. He isn’t the first one to build roads — some of the best roads I’ve traveled on were pet projects of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. India became an IT powerhouse from the 90s. It is easy to measure past performance and berate past leaders based on the circumstances of today, just one example of that:

Why did Congress not build toilets in 70 years?

They couldn’t even do something so basic. This argument sounds logical and I believed it too, until I started reading India’s history. When we gained independence in 1947 we were an extremely poor country, we didn’t have the resources for even basic infrastructure and no capital. To counteract this PM Nehru went down the socialist path and created PSU’s. We had no capacity to build steel, so with the help of Russians the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC), Ranchi was set up that made machines to make steel in India — without this we would have no steel, and consequently no infrastructure.

That was the agenda — basic industries and infra. We had frequent droughts (aakaal), every 2–3 years and a large number of people starved to death. The priority was to feed the people, toilets were a luxury no one cared for. The Green Revolution happened and the food shortages disappeared by the 1990s — now we have a surplus problem. The toilet situation is exactly like people asking 25 years from now why Modi couldn’t make all houses in India air conditioned. That seems like a luxury today, toilets were also a luxury at some point of time. Maybe things could have happened sooner, maybe 10–15 years ago, but nothing happened in 70 years is a horrible lie to peddle.

3. The spread and reliance on Fake News

There is some anti-BJP fake news too, but the pro-BJP and anti-opposition fake news outstrips that by miles in number and in reach. Some of it is supporters, but a lot of it comes from the party. It is often hateful and polarizing, which makes it even worse. The online news portals backed by this government are damaging society more than we know.

4. Hindu Khatre Mein Hain

They’ve ingrained it into the minds of people that Hindus and Hinduism are in danger, and that Modi is the only option to save ourselves. In reality Hindus have been living the same lives much before this government and nothing has changed except people’s mindset. Were we Hindus in danger in 2007? At least I didn’t hear about it everyday and I see no improvement in the condition of Hindus, just more fear mongering and hatred.

5. Speak against the government and you’re anti-National and more recently, anti-Hindu

Legitimate criticism of the government is shut up with this labeling. Prove your nationalism, sing Vande Mataram everywhere (even though BJP leaders don’t know the words themselves, they’ll force you to sing it!). I’m a proud nationalist and my nationalism won’t allow me to let anyone force me to showcase it! I will sing the national anthem and national song with pride when the occasion calls for it, or when I feel like it, but I won’t let anyone force me to sing it based on their whims!

6. Running news channels that are owned by BJP leaders who’s sole job is to debate Hindu-Muslim, National-Antinational, India-Pakistan and derail the public discourse from issues and logic into polarizing emotions. You all know exactly which ones, and you all even know the debaters who’re being rewarded for spewing the vilest propaganda.

7. The polarization

 The message of development is gone. BJP’s strategy for the next election is polarization and inciting pseudo-nationalism. Modi ji has basically said it himself in speeches — Jinnah; Nehru; Congress leaders didn’t meet Bhagat Singh in jail (fake news from the PM himself!); INC leaders met leaders in Pakistan to defeat Modi in Gujarat; Yogi ji’s speech on how Maharana Pratap was greater than Akbar; JNU students are anti-national they’ll #TukdeTukdeChurChur India — this is all propaganda constructed for a very specific purpose — polarize and win elections — it isn’t the stuff I want to be hearing from my leaders and I refuse to follow anyone who is willing to let the nation burn in riots for political gain.

These are just some of the instances of how BJP is pushing the national discourse in a dark corner. This isn’t something I signed up for and it totally isn’t something I can support. That is why I am resigning from BJP.

PS: I supported BJP since 2013 because Narendra Modi Ji seemed like a ray of hope for India and I believed in his message of development — that message and the hope are now both gone. The negatives of this Narendra Modi and Amit Shah government now outweigh the positives for me, but that is a decision that every voter needs to make individually. Just know that history and reality are complicated. Buying into simplistic propaganda and espousing cult-like unquestioning faith are the worst thing you can do — it is against the interests of democracy and of this nation.

You all have your own decisions to make as the elections approach. Best of luck with that. My only hope is that we can all live and work harmoniously together — and contribute towards making a better, stronger, poverty-free and developed India, no matter what party or ideology we support. Always remember that there are good people on both sides, the voter needs to support them and they need to support each other even when they are in different parties.

By Shivam Shankar Singh – The author is a former-data analytics for the BJP’s poll campaigns.

Disclaimer: The blog has been re-published with permission of the author and without much editing. The opinion expressed in it does not necessarily reflect Himachal Watcher’s point of view.

Himachal Watcher is a Himachal Pradesh Based Non-Funded & Independent Online English Magazine

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Shimla-Based IT Start-Up Scaling Global Market in Short Span of Time

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Shimla based it company netgen solution

Shimla-A youth from a small town of the Mandi district – Sarkaghat- started as a freelancer and went on to launch his own start-up in 2014. By 2021, the start-up grew into a company that has garnered international clients  and also designed and developed websites and web apps for several Departments of the Himachal Pradesh Government.   

Netgen IT Solutions Pvt Ltd- a young agile company- has, so far, developed websites for the Department of Information Technology,  Women & Child Development, Rope & Rapid Transport Development Corporation, HP Milk Federation Cooperation,  and the HP AIDS Control Society.

Besides, it also developed  HimSuraksha Abhiyan App (National Health Mission) and the website of the Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation along with a  Services Portal.

Further, the website of the Department of Information & Public Relations and the single window system was also developed by NetGen.

Having developed over 2500 websites, Netgen IT Solutions has an imprint of having worked for clients spread over 25 countries in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

Bootstrapped as a Start-Up on 7th July 2014, the company has evolved to offer a diverse set of services for web, e-commerce and mobile solutions that have enabled Global and Indian business to adapt to a Digital First environment. In seven years, this Shimla-based company has carved out a niche for itself.

The company started with a small team of just four people, and today it employs strong-heeled 25 IT professionals. The skillset of web developers, designers, networking specialists, social media marketers and others is expanding with the growth of the company.

To mark the NetGen Foundation Day, the company hosted a live inter-action of the team members with some clients to understand the need for future technologies and solutions for a fast-changing business environment in the shadow COVID pandemic.

Mr Rajneesh Rana, Founder and Managing Director of the company, is a computer science graduate. Speaking about the company’s journey, Rana’s says, “Stepping out from working as a freelancer at the small township of Sarkhaghat, in Himachal Pradesh, to launching a start-up company, was my first step in entrepreneurship. The company was founded on a shoe-string budget with a small capital outlay. After overcoming the initial hesitancy, we’re on the firmer ground today.”

With the growth in demand for IT Services, the company in the initial year faced manpower shortages. The management took to train and equip freshers in a mentorship program to meet its needs for IT Professionals and also to equip others to find gainful employment elsewhere. Netgen till date has trained over 50 freshers with essential and advanced IT skills. Most of them for the first time in their careers got exposure to the IT Industry.

The company’s IT Technical Team today is professionally equipped to work in 20+ technologies that can be deployed across a vast network of industries. 

The Netgen team of IT professionals has expanded the services that the company now provides. A multitude of projects employing creative website design-development; customised software products; e-Commerce solutions; server administration – web security – networking services; mobile application design – development; social media marketing; stand completed.

“There is a growing demand for many other IT and IT-enabled services that the company has successfully delivered for Global and Indian clients,” said Rajneesh. 

“Since the breakout of the COVID pandemic, the demand for online services has increased. It created an environment that demands moving things onto digital platform, bringing more opportunities for the IT sector ,” added Rajneesh.  

“Take the case of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, India. To secure baseline health data of the over 70 lakh residents in the state and to prepare effective strategies for countering the spread of the pandemic in challenging hilly terrain, the state government needed a simple but effective IT-enabled solution to capture the data as fast as possible,” he said.   

“The ‘Him Suraksha Abhiyan’ application designed and developed by NetGen IT Solutions was used by thousands of teams spread under 2300+ sub-centres. In just over a month, the software solution created successfully captured the data of over 68 lakh residents of Himachal Pradesh,” he added.

The 70:30 Percent (%) Global – Domestic revenue stream of Netgen has prepared the company to expand both its export and domestic service portfolios, said Rajneesh. 

Mr Ravinder Makhaik, Director of the company says, “growing steadily, Netgen is a debt-free, profit-making company. A healthy mix of domestic and international businesses, with sound financials, gives the company strength to take up more challenging projects. Our portfolio of government projects is making good progress.”

Founded as a 1 lakh authorized capital company and with annual revenues rising at a 25 % compounded annual growth rate, the Netgen Board of Directors has decided to expand the authorized capital of the company to Rs 10 lakh to meet future growth needs.

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Who is IPS Gaurav Singh, the Officer in News for Slapping CM Jairam’s Security Personnel

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WHo is IPS Gaurav Singh

Kullu-Superintendent of Police, Kullu, Gaurav Singh became a national sensation after he allegedly slapped the security personnel of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Wednesday. The incident occurred outside Bhuntar Airport where the Chief Minister had come to welcome Nitin Gadkari, Minister, Road Transport & Highway, who is on a five day visit to Kullu.

Also Read:  IPS Gaurav Singh and CM’s Security Personnel Exchange Slaps & Kicks, Video Goes Viral, Inquiry Ordered

The incident, where SP Kullu is first seen slapping a security official of CM’s convoy, ASP, Brijesh Sood, and another security official kicking Gaurav Singh afterwards, was shared widely on social media and has garnered a lot of criticism. This incident has created curiosity among the people to know more about the IPS officer who was once termed as the Singham of Himachal Pradesh.

At that time, IPS Gaurav Singh had also been in news for being the youngest serving IPS in the state. He has been in news for his extraordinary work ethics often and has an impression of an honest and fearless officer. A 2013 batch IPS officer Gaurav Singh was born on 1 July 1990 in Agra. He has earlier served as the ASP Shimla, Baddi, Kangra and Solan, before assuming his duties in Kullu.

Gaurav Singh is widely known in Himachal Pradesh for his exceptional case solving skills. He, as ASP Shimla in 2015, had solved the infamous (Boileauganj) blind murder. In 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Disc Award by then DGP Sanjay Kumar for solving the murder case and for his good working culture and behavior.

Also Read: Himachal’s Singham is back in Baddi – hub of drug and mining mafia

IPS Gaurav Singh was also praised for solving 177 cases of illegal excavation in Baddi and imposing a fine of 26 Lakh rupees. Similarly,  he had also busted 13 cases of illicit drug and 75 cases of illicit liquor manufacturing.  Gaurav was then transferred under alleged political pressure by Virbhadra government. He served for a period of 7 months in that office.

Also Read: Baddi’s Singham – IPS Gaurav Singh slapped with transfer orders for standing against mining and drug mafia

Other than his exceptional case solving skills, Gaurav is also known for his strict work ethics. He had taken action against 26 police and home guard officials, out of which 22 were from Lahaul-Spiti and 4 from Baddi. As ASP Solan, Gaurav Singh had solved cases of ATM cash theft, chain snatching, and two murder cases. He challaned the tipper of  ex-Congress MLA’s wife in relation to illegal mining. He was transferred immediately to Kangra following alleged political pressure from the Doon MLA. 

Following the Buntar incident, Gaurav was transferred to the Range office Kullu. DGP Sanjay Kundu is conducting an inquiry into the matter. He has sent two Chief Minister’s security personnel, involved in the incident, on compulsory leave till the inquiry is complete.

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No Dialysis at Tanda Medical College; No Nephrologist, Machine Dysfunctional, Patients from Five Districts Left in Lurch

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Tanda Medical college dialysis facility

Kangra: Amid regular press statements of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur led Himachal Pradesh Government over its consistent efforts to improve the state’s health infrastructure, media reports have been highlighting facts contrary to these statements.

According to a report published in Hindi daily, Covid-19 patients with kidney-related medical conditions from Hamirpur, Mandi, Una, Kangra and Chamba are left in the lurch. The report said that these patients have no nearby options as none of the hospitals in the above mentioned five districts have dialysis facility for Covid patients. These patients are either referred to IGMC, Shimla, or PGI, Chandigarh. Also, the report says, the multi-specialty Hospital Tanda Medical College does not offer dialysis to kidney patients. Dharamshala hospital is unable to offer dialysis to Covid positive kidney patients as it lacks ventilator support.

The report cited a reference of a local who alleged that his mother, who was on dialysis, was admitted to a hospital in Nurpur. She was referred to Tanda Medical College where she tested positive. He said the hospital told him that they don’t offer dialysis facility. He was told that dialysis is performed at Dharamshala. But the hospital in Dharamshala lacked ventilator support for covid patients. The mother died while the son tried to arrange dialysis outside the state. The son said his mother would have survived if she could receive timely dialysis.

Dr. Bhanu Awasthi, the principal of the College, told the daily that Tanda Medical College does not have a Nephrologist and the available dialysis machine is not functional. The hospital has been requesting the government to fill the vacant post, he said. G.D Gupta, CMO Kangra, confirmed that patients in the district have died as they could not receive dialysis treatment because the hospitals in the district don’t have dialysis facilities for COVID patients.

Another report published in an English daily highlight the plight of cancer patients who are deprived of their chemotherapy session, posing threat to their lives.

The report says that various hospitals in the state were converted into Covid-19 treatment centres, and patients suffering from other severe illnesses were not receiving treatment in the districts of the lower Himachal Pradesh. Cancer patients in Kangra have alleged that they are not receiving treatment at Tanda Medical College which they fear could be life-threatening.
The report said Tanda Medical College is the only hospital with a facility for cancer treatment in the lower Himachal which was converted into a Covid hospital. The super-speciality wing of the hospital which caters to cancer, cardio and neuro patients has remained closed since last month. This is causing a delay in the completion of chemotherapy sessions.

Dr Bhanu Awasthi told  the daily that the treatment was suspended temporarily due to a surge in Covid cases. He said that patients who require immediate chemotherapy can go to Indira Gandhi Medical College. He said the cases in Kangra district were coming down and if the situation improves, they will be able to open the super specialty wing soon.

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