Earlier this week, home minister Rajnath Singh stated that the government would not interfere in anyone’s choice of food. He was echoing fellow minister M. Venkaiah Naidu who had said much the same recently. This would, perhaps, have confused the protestors in Aizawl Singh was attempting to placate. After all, the central government had shown via its ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets, and numerous other ways, that it was attempting to do precisely what the home minister said it wasn’t.
Meanwhile, finance minister Arun Jaitley made it clear that the centre had no intention of sharing the burden of various states’ ruinous farm loan waivers. That was a smart move—except that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who kickstarted the waiver fiasco on the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh.
The government has a great deal on its plate, from the bad loans problem to the dip in the latest growth figures. It must set its priorities in order. Dabbling in dangerous populism is not the way to go about it.