Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant has invoked mass criticism over his comment that “too much democracy” is hampering tough reforms in India.
In a virtual event organized by Swarajya magazine, Kant can be heard saying “Tough reforms are very difficult in the Indian context, we have too much of democracy…You needed political will to carry out these reforms (mining, coal, labour, agriculture) and many more reforms still need to be done. This government has demonstrated the political will to carry out hard reforms.”
The video of the event is still available on Swarajya’s YouTube channel.
However, Kant came in defence of his statement when Hindustan Times shared their story—sourced from the news agency PTI. He said: “This is definitely not what I said. I was speaking about MEIS scheme and resources being spread thin and need for creating global champions in the manufacturing sector.” Hindustan Times later deleted the story and also removed it from Twitter.
Swarajya also tweeted saying, “Swarajya’s interaction with @amitabhk87 was on PLI & manufacturing and not on political systems. His response was in the context of spreading resources too thin and not creating global champions. Some mischievous elements have attempted to distort and quote it totally out of context”.
But, Kant indeed said that India is “too much of a democracy” not once, but twice. He can be heard saying the same from 25:43 in the video above.
Reactions on Twitter
Upon confirmation, netizens on Twitter came down heavily on the Niti Ayog CEO for his comment. Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, in his tweet, said that the present government thinks reform means theft hence they want to do away with democracy.
Senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan shared a video clip of the event where Amitabh Kant was heard saying “too much democracy” and tweeted about how Kant now denies saying what he said because of all the criticism coming his way. He also said that the “Godi media” withdrew the statement but forgot to delete the video.
Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, who is currently in detention once again, tweeted and took a jibe at the “too much democracy” statement.
Lawyer and Congress politician Jaiveer Shergill tweeted and asked some important questions about unemployment, recession, fuel prices and farmers.
The statement has also invited a lot of sarcasm its way. Congress politician Srivatsa wrote, “People who think there is too much of Democracy in India can go to Pakistan or China no?”
Many people took to make memes and sarcastic comments trying to figure out how much democracy is too much democracy.