Is there an economic slowdown? | Author Ruchir Sharma shares his views | Verified With Faye D'Souza



all right welcome we are watching mirror now fetus's I thank you for joining us we're doing a verified today because I have a very interesting guest who's been kind enough to come into the studio and I Richa Sharma you'll know him from the business channels because people are normally asking him advice about the economy the GDP and where to invest money but virtue shabbos also the best-selling author and of this brand-new book this is a book that basically chronicles his journeys across India as he started tracking elections 20 years ago it's very insightful it's very easy to read and I recommend for if you're new to the entire election formula and you want to know where all of this started this is a good way to bring yourself up to speed so she's been kind enough to come into the studio and they couldn't have been a better time to have this conversation great book project congratulations what if I'm really interesting is that there are a lot of things about this election in this campaign that people think are happening for the first time or are being done for the first time for example bringing in the whole nationalism politicians is saying really mean and uncool things to each other but you the truth is that this is not happening for the first time politics in India has always been sort of in this range isn't it yes that's true in terms of it's a continuum in terms of but I do feel that this election if I just sort of recount my 27 election trips have been recovered in the book compared to this one it's about the most polarized though I've seen at every level polarize at a caste level at a region level at a regional level and at a leader level it's all together now in the past as you say that it's not as if this happen for the first time elections in India have often been fought presidential when the Gandhi family used to dominate the discourse yes then elections were fought you know in a very presidential format yes or they tried only format of anybody yes back in 89 and even when he's trying you know back in 91 he was trying there it was very much around one leader but also interesting is the fact that how the sort of roles reverse as I sort of document it you know towards the end of my book which is that the slogans at the Congress and the opposition are using today are what the BJP and the other would use in the 80s and 90s and the slogan that the BJP is using today for getting a strong government must get Sarkar as they call it I mean I'm creating this fear that if you end up electing the opposition that would be such a negative that's exactly the kind of narrative that the Congress would use against the opposition back even a a salute kisser car we'd never thought would be the Congress saying to the BJP for example yeah but and also remember the 89 election you know this girl this goes back but this is the start of my political journey in 89 when the darkest advertising campaigns I had ever seen was when Rajiv Gandhi and his team uses very dark campaign to try and make it out to be that if the opposition comes to power you know you can turn the lights out in India that's the kind of dark campaign which was run so I I guess that's what I've tried to do to document that house yes things have changed and not changed over the years and how there are echoes with the past elections competitors it's really interesting and an important way for us to figure out how we got to this point because just looking at this election in isolation perhaps doesn't make sense and you do you do some from what you're saying and also from the book that you disagree with the idea that you got one done or a coalition government is specifically bad for us because this is something that's being propagated even you know if we walk across the room to our colleagues at et now there is this idea that if it's a coalition government that the markets will crash and fire and brimstone will rain upon us and zero they everything will end but do you agree with that idea there's no empirical evidence first to back this up yeah you know because I sort of make the point like in the book that if you are a very diverse country then coalition's are a natural byproduct of that and this is true globally from Canada to Italy whatever you feel if you located countries which are very diverse which are very heterogeneous in their makeup coalition governments are a natural reality of that and in fact in India we've had a very centralized government again going back to Indira Gandhi in the 1970s that tears the social fabric of a country apart because this country is more like a European Union a collection of 29 states rather than a homogeneous entity like China or some of the country that we wanted to believe even compared to democracy like America so I think that to be to fear a coalition is completely wrong now the second point I'll make is the markets reaction which is what you like reaction to that as if this is going to be sort of the end of everything yeah but now look at what happened in 2004 in 2004 we had this Black Swan election when it only expected the BJP to win that election and the BJP ended up sort of sorry nobody expected the opposition to and the Congress to come and the BJP ended up losing that election in the first few days there was panic in the markets you know that's what people fear but it also marked the start of the biggest bull market in India's history after that the next five years were incredibly sort of you know heady because of a global economic boom so we here sitting in India tend to overemphasize the politics and the local factors and not see this in the larger context and just one final point I'll make on this subject the talking about coalition governments the dream budget if you remember you know what people refer to when the best budgets which was ever produced in India's history was during a coalition government government of 1997 yes and the big part making reforms which took place in India in the early 1990s took place when the Narasimha Rao government felt very fragile in fact yeah I remember like in those couple of years almost every week that the speculation as to when this government could fall because they just didn't have enough numbers and all sorts of acts were being done to keep the government together so there is no real relationship I find between the nature of governments and how the market is important to remind people that even if the market reacts strongly upwards or downwards it normally sort of finds its level in a few days it doesn't stay there forever does it very true so we find that that it's really a couple of weeks and then after that there are so many factors which determine how the markets doing even last week for example the market fell a lot yes I'm sitting here we love to speculate all this has happened because of the fact that you know there's increased political uncertainty but in fact it's the trade war in terms of what's happening between us in China that was driving things are as far the markets concerned so it's great fun following politics in India but don't let let that influence your investing decisions I think those two need to be absolutely especially if you're a long-term investor then it's absolutely I mean you could place a small bet if you want to at this point but it doesn't make sense to hedge your life savings on any of this yeah that's good oh you've also even you talked about the group of people that you travel with apparently you still travel with them you'll also play some bets it says so in your book what are you betting on this time okay so have you closed your bet so I'll tell you what the tradition is which is that every time a trip comes to an end on the final night the 2005 this is a group of 20 of us that I put together nearly two decades ago we sit down and in a very competitive exercise we sit there and sort of come up with our forecast and there's yeah there's a big honor roll which has maintained at the end as to who wins in terms who's closest to get in the forecast correct what I can say about the group quite proudly is the factor of the 27 election trips I've been on on 26 of those election trips we have it is got the direction correct so now what happened this time we we travel to West Bengal and Hotel Pradesh to get a feel of what's happening in this election and then we sat down on the final night in Varanasi and came up with our forecast the group's forecast the group's forecast I can speak about it here is that with the average was that the BJP alone would get about 215 seats or so the Congress would get about 95 seats that is what the group forecast was at the end of the election that we came up with but now here's the big health warning the big caveat that I'll say that these numbers in India are you know like I would I would discount them heavily for one reason which is the fact that if you if the BJP is let's say votes swing is one or two percent more then it's seeds could go up to 230 250 yes if the BJP is vote swing is one or two percent less than what's anticipated then it could go down to 200 or below now how the election looks is so different compared to a BJP at 250 or plus and a BJP at 200 or under so dramatically and you tell me that after traveling in India or traveling in this country can you realistically detect that 1% swing which may happen left or right it's impossible also because I suppose and and it just come across in the book really well that every part of India is different in what's differently so your travels for example between Luther Pradesh Madhya Pradesh in Rajasthan and Rajasthan is very different yeah from what other Pradesh is considerations are when it goes to polls so you can't really predict I suppose you know it changes from say in our 2030 kilometer distance people are thinking differently people are voting differently but I want to understand from you so obviously the question that everybody is asking is will it be a Modi circa yeah right because however it however the numbers come together at the end what will that result be now I understand you believe that between 240 and 200 would be very different would come up with a very different result how so yeah because I think that I mean like the BJP knows this and I think that there the BG that if the betting market is correct today which is predicting about 244 the BJP alone then along with its allies it pretty much easily makes it faster half a mark right I think that if the number of Falls closer to like 200 then it becomes like Open Sesame that we don't know as to who's gonna form the government then or the BJP will will still emerge the single largest party but then all sorts of negotiations will begin the people will be demanding Deputy Prime Minister shape all that sort of stuff that jocking will begin but I'd say that the market consensus today is about 240 the set of our market and 240 or so is basically a be an outright BJP victory but what is there an odd that the shutterbug market would be that far off and it would be closer to 7 in the past as I said yes you know like it's happen and both arguments can be made here that typically if you look at the exit polls or SATA Bazaar they've typically underestimated the winner in the past so that's the that's the positive argument the put the negative argument is that we are once again looking at 2004 type of situation where yes you know that you don't have the fact that there is this feeling that there may be a fear factor which could be sort of underlining some you know like which could be distorting some of these poles and all which are being done that people are not that free to express their opinion the way they once used to be so basically you're saying that when you and your group of say colleagues and journalist friends are going out and talking to people they're not actually telling you what's really on their mind but when they go into the booth and they watch that's when they'll be truly honest well of course they have to be 21 and stay but yeah there could be a gap there which is the fact that there could be a gap between the two that is something which maybe think there's no evidence of check to back it up but you know like I said that in that what could you know there's a central case scenario what could go wrong is how we always take you perhaps are the best person to ask this question and I must tell you I'm struggling I've been struggling with this question pub quite publicly on air since this election began and you begin your book talking about how you grew up or you spent a lot of time in your ancestral village in Uttar Pradesh with your grandfather and there was a very strong caste system yes present at that time and then you take us through the entire journey of how Indian politics ever has evolved since then now we have on this channel because we're a channel that spends a lot of time on the ground with people more than we do with politicians we've chronicled the entire job crisis for the last year and a half we've chronicled the farm crisis for a year and a half where we've gone out to every big state in this country into the villages and talked to farmers and there's no doubt that there is a problem do you believe at the end of the day people will vote or you know because the Watts will depend on or be influenced by that distress in any way or will people still go back into the boots and vote based on caste and religion as they have and you know that's so interesting because even though the positions I mentioned to you you spent nearly a week in utter Pradesh as part of a 28 election trip and here's what I found when we were there which is that we want to believe that we moved especially like in these urban places like Mumbai we want to believe that we move to a post caste world which is that we don't really sort of you know want to think around caste lines yes instead what I found in Uttar Pradesh was that the caste lines were not only hardened but we had moved to a post truth world and what do I mean by a post worth world which is this that you know to finish when you go if you ask any person what they view let's say on Modi is or what we view and development is that has he done any development work for the country the entire answer is dictated by the person's cast on the same issue so you ask an upper caste you ask a Brahmin you ask a Taku you ask a non Yadav OBC you ask a non-native Dalit and they all will sing praises of moody on the other hand if you ask ya the ER Tov which is my what these sub caste or you ask a Muslim and on the same issue they will be see Tyrion how nothing has happened in the in the like in the state so there is no objectivity anymore about which is what you call a post true exactly because I'm trying to say that people are picking the facts or cherry-picking the facts or in seeing the facts to the way they want to not based on what for example you asked him like other toilets working you know have you got money for building the toilets have you benefited from any of the scheme such as the vacation you know getting the you know like the gas cylinders and stuff and there's no answer which is like objective you know because if you're a moody supporter you will see yeah yes you good things have happened if you're not a moody supporter you will say but you know no I haven't got the toilet I haven't got the money for it or if I've got the toilet I don't know what the connection yes in terms of it so there is no truth as such entirely on caste they are it's you know while that may be a caste to divide you know their Pradesh any of the big cities any of the social circle that you know up the viewers of this channel perhaps would be and there are those people who staunchly believe that Narendra Modi should be given a second term and then you should have what they call continuity and there are those who staunchly believe no and it's a post truth world because whatsapp has provided everybody with enough arguments on both sides yes so we could you know you could actually have a non-stop continuous argument with someone where you're throwing facts at each other saying no but this proves he's good and somebody else will say this proves not and you're absolutely right every story now has two sides to it yeah I mean how older ization is incredible because because you know we spoke about the polarization so it's about as I hinted to it at a caste level we know there's a huge one happening at the religious level anyway yes at a leader level of this massive polarization that you had to love Modi or you really don't like him right I mean there's no sort of middle ground a promo devoted an anti multiple yes in the Hindi Heartland states recommend force so the fourth level of polarization which is regional there is it that you know that people don't travel that much of the salt is in my book as I document that it took us only till 2006 since we ship to the south and we haven't done it like enough of the South is what I I feel and the South and narrative is very different you know Tamil Nadu go to Andhra Pradesh and you literally people are asking you Modi who Rahul Gandhi who I'm from the south and there's been so it could have been the doing off the regional parties it could have been the way maybe the national government is function over the last five years but the South feels alienated yes so people feel that these sort of Hindi enforcing governments yes constantly telling us what to do how to live and what language to in the language has become a really big point yeah what language to speak at it sort of galvanized a lot of support in the south against governments of leaders of rulers coming from the north coming from Hindi who talked to us in you know this has become and if we you know it's become a challenge for them campaigning as well because every time the main BJP leaders or even the main Congress leaders have to go down to the south to campaign they have to get someone to translate for them the translators not always happen our trips you know like we would like to Tamil Nadu as you know people know here that less than 5% of Tamilians speak Hindi or I understand Hindi so I think that's so it's so true that's why the BJP is expansion plan has not been able to sort of reach much not to communicate you know because know there's almost like a negative reaction to it yes in terms of like too much in these speaking and and they use it you know Stalin maybe met him would always sort of speak complain to us symbol you know that the there are the national highways why they're putting on you know like in these signs and you know like and the like revolt against that so that's so true as for the South is concerned we just don't seem to sort of appreciate that like in terms the one and you and there's one more angle to this the tax sharing angle that's becoming a big issue now yes which is the fact that you know that why should the northern states get a greater share of the tax revenues just based on the population yes you know where is we are the ones you know sort of who have higher economic growth contributing more but isn't it I mean it's i tracking a little bit is there a logical answer to that because the north by that definition has more mouths to feed and we have to feed oh I know but the South feels resentful that you know like we did I'm gonna be your judgment here in terms of which is better but just the fact that in the South there is a very different narrative in plainness a very different narrative where the national parties where this is Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh in these two large states in the South the national parties are held in disdain word should yes and even in Karnataka the BJP in the Congress have a presence there but they have a presence from local leaders that's it's not truffles on the owner in the mood either is playing a large role in in this in Karnataka but 130 seats of the South yes do you think the South will hold the card of bridging the gap for whoever wants whoever does from government but as I said like it depends on the numbers right that it's a BJP falls short which is of this consensus number of 240 or so in the market and it falls short then then the entire game shifts to the south virtually because you know the both what happens in Andhra Pradesh and in Telangana then you know will determine a lot and then a very important player will also come to be standing in the DMK because most sort of indication suggests that they're quite well most of those 39 seats that will come out of laminate right so absolutely so that could be the beauty of this election to which is the fact that the South finally gets its sort of you know like say in terms of they have in the past to you know with the watch by government sort of revolves so much seen a lot of government that's right I think that's so that's why this sort of narrative that the coalition governments are bad for us and I think you know like it's a bit misplaced just because of the heterogeneity of this country you need coalition governments at time to represent everybody and the fact that you've had such under representation from the south is something which may be corrected if you do end up getting a coalition government she's even headed by the BJP well you also talked about your various meetings with various politicians and I do want to focus on on your interactions with marina Moody and his team and of course Rahul Gandhi and his team because they're the main voices or considerations today mr. Modi wasn't always very you know sort of open to having discussions with the with the people you weren't you were traveling with is that true yeah that's true because I think that he's very sort of its its party because there are people and a group who feel very strongly about what happened in Gujarat back in 2020 and you know we met him in 2007 in Raj code at the time he was campaigning for to be reelected as the chief minister that's the being that you're referring to and I guess there was a lot a clash of ideology then that he was trying to sort of say I've done so much for development let's let's talk about that and and he had because you know like the growth rate of Gujarat when he was the Chief Minister was 12% a year for that period whereas they were there other people saying that you know that okay fine you've done so much for development what about taking care of the marginal of the marginalized community in your state so we had that incredible clash and I think that both mr. Modi and mr. much having sort of forgiven a lot of the English media for the sort of campaign that they sort of had against what happened in Gujarat in 2002 and that comes up repeatedly in our meetings as far as both mr. Modi and subsequently mr. Bashar concerned this that there is some sort of that's that relationship is sort of soured about them in the English media yeah in terms of English media is changing it's it's it's talking about what you know what was back then and how they still view a lot of the English liberal media that's just how just now term them the car market 2014 it leg was pressed it to you it's now it's like quite frankly personally as a journalist myself I believe prostitutes is the most vile term that has ever been used where you you know you basically call someone a prostitute I mean there's nothing worse than that for journalists who are doing their jobs there are good journalist and bad journalists but there's one big difference I feel because you know like in the u.s. to also we know the mr. Trump yes he he also uses a lot of you know vile terms as you put it as far as the media is concerned but in private mr. term mr. Trump wants to quote a lot of these same people he you know like he wants to get his interviews in the New York Times he wants to talk to the he wants to try and change the narrative at CNN and yes so it's a very different dynamic in private and a very different public facade here I find out the fact that it sort of extends to the private as well that the sort of hostility which is there for a lot of this media which comes through in some of the meetings that we have had which I've documented in the book that I find is the big difference between let's say mr. Trump and the leaders out here truly Trump is not something very special in this country but I do want to ask you about about Rahul Gandhi as well you did talk about your first couple of meetings with him but you said he talks more than he listened and he did seem completely you know sort of green and he took a fairly long time to mature there's still conversation about whether or not he has matured for a politician who's there about 50 at this point he might be running out of you know cooking time you know on a later selection trip I like what the TMC NP mr. Dinesh Trivedi had to say about Rahul Gandhi he basically told us that Rahul Gandhi is not as dumb as people think but he's not as smart as he thinks so you know that sort of capture I think what is the sentiment today as far as he's concerned that I don't think that that earlier image of you know just sort of done by on the block I think that has changed somewhat but it's still not a positive sort of yes convinced or convinced someone who's watched elections very closely and you do also but I love that about this about the book you talk about what rallies are like how the press sits on a different enclosure how the people are sitting in the Sun and you know generally elections in India always happen in the summer yes in the weather at first parts I know and a feel for the politicians here because even you know like we we like to criticize politicians a lot but I've seen them campaign including on a latest trip with mamta Banerjee drenched in sweat so many people who claim that they've turned from white to black which you know in a color conscious country that sort of is big deal yeah and for people this is really grueling in terms of why we have elections at this time is unfathomable to me but it is really growing a few for the politicians apparently the reason why we have elections in summer is because that is the only time in India when you have a whole month and a half of weather predictability across the country because the rest of the time it is either real because I mean I mean that's not right because as a document our first election trip in fact that we went on as a group was in February of 1998 you know which was a full-scale campaign and that was a pretty good sort of campaign that we got to see in fact India's elections early on in the 50s and 60s would almost always be held around the same time in in in late winter so I think that you know this yeah I just wanna come back to this and you have talked about the mood and the approach of each politician for example you talk about how Sonia Gandhi comes out of a helicopter she walks up to the stage what her interactions are like with other people specifically with the Congress party has do you see them having the kind of organization or thought process that maybe the BJP brings into mr. Modi so he's always been very deliberate in the way he dresses the way he walks the way he's photographed the way the videos get released about him does the Congress is are they even thinking in that direction now have they not gotten there yet they're trying to catch up right it is no match as far the organizational skills are concerned of these two parties I think the Congress knows it very well that there's no match for that and and so therefore no matter what the outcome of this election they'll it seem like the gap between these two parties will still remain quite large you know like one of the most fascinating things I found in like on this election trip of ours was the incredible surge of the Congo of the BJP in West Bengal in fact I don't think I've ever witnessed something like this before which is the fact that how one party disintegrates so quickly and how another party fills in that gap so quickly as we saw in basically disintegrate you mean the left exactly the left but the BJP is rise they're the factor into the you know we went in for the 2016 assembly election to West Bengal the BJP I think clocked a vote chef only 10 yes in this election if you know people are to be believed who we spoke to like well in bingo the BGP Zwarte share in big oil could cross more than 30 percent that's very interesting all is also the third largest state website with the number of seeds so do you think the BJP might be able to and they will have a shortfall in some of the other so if Hindi speaking states will they be able to make up with been gone or not in not make up maybe but I mean the factor in bingo last a for you know talk to the BJP I mean it will exist it exists 10 11 per percent would share the fact that that could cross 30 percent very begins to start converting into seeds I think that's such an incredible sort of achievement so that's what I tell you what the organization is skilled that I can't imagine the Congress party doing something as dramatic as that in any state track this I think know that this is not a six-month job for the BJP at least they started years ago they've had a team sitting out of west bengal orissa for example the northeast the entire luke east program this is this they've been there constantly an election mode so they're constantly in preparation more perhaps something that other party should also learn yeah it was like this has been a great be quick and the opposite about the congress party because i think that if the congress party and the opposition were to really under performing the selection again i think that a major factor for that may have been the late entry of Priyanka Gandhi know through Pradesh yes because we were the energy opposition on the ground and what people told us was the fact that the Margit bundle is working relatively well but the one problem that may have happened there is that the entry of Priyanka Gandhi so late yes yeah me at the margin have chipped away at some of the anti you you actually said that the BJP should send a thank-you note to Priyanka Gandhi and maybe money Shankar you say but being a guardian because you know flitting the world you see I mean like could be splitting like you know she splits a bit of the anti BGP what's in a very tight election where the vote share of both these fronts is virtually identical of the BJP and the Mahad bundle two or three percent is only makes need to make a big difference for 2030 seats that's not you know like you know I I want to get into some of these big states at this point and you did say that the Maya with the support or the mahogany Bandhan support right now is very strong yes initially there were there were questions about whether or not the Yadav's and the Chavez would be able to set aside their differences and they've been sworn enemies for a really long time and actually come together and campaign for each other and fight like a team but it does sound like they have managed to do that has the Congress's biggest mistake been not being able to reach an understanding in Uttar Pradesh in West Bengal for example in Delhi for example where they're trampling on the toes off there would be allies what super dish I think for someone like Priyanka Gandhi who we have document in the book to be one of the most effective campaigners the Congress party has for her to enter so late into through the dish I think may have been a tactical mistake she would be much better if she wanted to really help the Congress party to have gone against the BJP head-to-head in states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan should be much better doing that so I think that this could be one of the biggest tactical mistakes that the Congress party may have made especially like regarding utter Pradesh the other states maybe not that much but like hotel Pradesh in particular I think so maybe it after they blame Iowa tea for it but whatever between the two of them is that do you know Gandhi is more effective than her brother as a campaigner yeah I mean I think so you know from Boyle he knows what we've seen but she is constantly speaking about how her brother's the smarter one so I don't know where that comes from but she's constantly saying that to us but in terms of just sheer interpersonal appeal that we have seen on the campaign trail I think that Priyanka does manage to connect much better so if they were going to bring her in anyway they should have done it earlier yes and that also that the mess that was created by thought she would Kontest from varanasi which was a story floated by the congress to begin with Priyanka and the herself brought it up several times when she was in public authorities it they were teasing and then they decided that no she's not going to contest' do you think that was a mistake as well well that's a small stuff and I'm silly but the big picture stuff is they said if she had to enter the campaign at this later stage she read much better advise going to states like the pradesh rajasthan you know where the contest was tight in terms of the communist of BJP and taking them head-on rather than potentially splitting the anti-bjp vote yeah you do talk about poopy attending you know sort of campaigns of her grandmother as a child I mean yes yeah at the age of five was when I saw her trying to make a reelection bid in in 1979 yes a lot of people do believe that Priyanka and these popularity and if you look at the visual on the screen right now is because of how much she reminds people of her grandmother do you think that's true or does she bring more to the team it's a part of that as well those mysteries of it of Indian elections you know like you know which is the which is the fact that if you take polls to maybe not now but it is the last few decades they would keep showing up indra gandhi as the most popular leader yes you know when these polls would of prime ministers even though as a as an economic person you would look at the track record in and you what exactly is that all about but she had that emotional appeal so yeah sure about sort of resembling that but indian politics has changed today just going on the back of charisma you know like for example even twenty years ago when we began the campaign i remember that we talked to pick a gandhi comes to the fore how she be able to sweep you pee and stuff in a lot of people actually seriously believe that today it doesn't work that way you know like charisma takes you that far you need a lot more than that just a surname encourage between we talked about the south but my avati initiative month of energy Naveen Patnaik are also interesting not exactly dark horses but horses to consider because they will all perhaps come into a play on the 23rd of the month but certain number of seats in the bank might any of them be possible allies for the BJP in your opinion I think the bigger potential allies if the BJP needs them are likely to be parties which are not in direct competition with them so now for Naveen Patnaik it's getting difficult because the BJP is rising as the main opposition party exactly within Orissa I think for Maya the–to will be very difficult because she will be looking like you know for the next election in terms of fit so it's really for the parties where the BJP is not a threat those are the parties which would be more natural allies which would include Telangana Andhra Pradesh Jagmohan exactly and Tommy knew who they already have allies but there's any switch there you can argue there but I think that for that doesn't leave them with a lot though that's that's I mean the current NDA yeah plus k CR and Jagan moon yet other than that you know that the argument of how will you fight the next state election would be to four month of energy from Iowa T for you Congress well I think that for me is the real sort of you know like being there is becoming of the book is this is a story of many India's yes it's the rise of regionalism in India there is we here in Delhi Bombay love to talk about this as a national vote center around national parties BJP congress but so because okay so sorry before we run out of time and I since I do have you in the studio I must ask you this there has been enough talk about and I'm switching gears here about an economic slowdown perhaps we haven't paid enough attention to it because of the elections everything else that's going on but if we actually stack up that the evidence at this point the latest auto number sure twenty percent drop in sales of auto across the board from two wheelers two sedans two tractors there is considerable evidence of you know jobless or an unemployment at this point there are big questions being raised by the NSS so on our own GDP numbers and whether our GDP numbers reliable and as someone who personally spent 15 years in business news that I find fairly you know disturbing in your opinion when you look at all of this evidence is there enough evidence for you to suggest that they may be or there is an economic slowdown oh that unquestionably there is in terms of like an economic slowdown and the problem this time is that nobody has a good answer for it you know that yes the global economy is weak and I've always been a big believer that what happened in the global economy impacts the Indian economy and we don't appreciate that enough but the fact that even things like consumption are slowing now yes which used to be so bulletproof yes I think it's really worrying indicator to me and something when the new government comes I mean you know like has to be like a priety until what you going to do with this in terms of slowdown but the fact that there's a slowdown on but it's because of a liquidity squeeze that people are speaking about or there's something more sort of endemic which is happening I think that this is a real issue and that's why my point is that after the elections over very quickly the focus is going to shift yes sous-sous because it'll slow down it's also true that there is a considerable amount of money being pumped into the economy right now by the elections because political parties are spending whether above the border or under the table they spending and when that is done it's that steroid will get rid drawn and then will we then see a very sharp perhaps dip in the money circulating and the consumption and the buoyancy now but that's probably seeing that so if talking about it further leg down that's the scary bit you know the counters the fact of a new government comes to power it's gonna sort of you know try and sort of boost sentiment and the capex I call by sort of focusing on what do we do to get investment going again but yeah and you know like since you brought this up back to the election let me leave you with one really interesting statistic here which is what I think that the viewers you know should also be startled by but something which sort of at least startled me that they spend in this Indian election is going to be greater than what was spent in the US election in 2016 yes so the 2016 US election yes and that the like estimates are official basically said that this paint was about six and a half billion dollars for the 2016 presidential and congressional elections he'll the Tramp got elected in 2016 most private estimates that I've seen within India is harder to document this where you said so much happens on the grounds most estimates suggests that for this election in India the spending could be as much as eight billion dollars so the fact that an economy which is one-tenth the size of America and an economy where the per capita income is 125th that of America is spending more on its election then America statistic is staggering for two reasons one is to us where the money is coming from yeah because obviously and America also does that you have the super PACs which are corporates who give money to politicians to win elections but people know exactly where that money is the Million number is roughly what it is yeah that's that's so you know who's who's funded this politician which means you know whose favors he's going to want to return when he comes to power we don't know where this money has come from and it's perhaps very scary yeah now I'm going to ask you in a situation where eight billion dollars have been spent over a period of say three to four months and consumption is low we've had HUL say they're not recession proof Darbar Goodridge a lot of these companies are talking about how basic consumption has come down now is that scary yeah it's clearly but I said the only upside I hope is the fact that something is done to improve the investment environment because that's the one which we already depressed the fact that if the new government comes to power and something is done to improve the investment environment is my hope but yeah I am concerned by the economic situation I'm also concerned by the creeping competitive populism as I've put it which are then no matter which party it is that everyone wants to spend more yes you basically in the name of helping people yes there is those welfare schemes just won't seem to help the eye for example you've mentioned that in them do you see that as a good idea they were you know economists who who sort of put out this idea of minimum basic in where is the money for all this is my entire issue and you know this is why we never be a China romanticize China a little bit I don't romanticize China at all in fact I say the fact that we can't be China because it's very homogeneous country but I also remind people that what China did for infrastructure spending compared to welfare spending at this stage of the development was so dramatically different what India is doing so that is something which I do speak about you know from a historical snapshot but we can't change that what I'm still hoping is that we can upright is correct like going back to the election we went to interpretation and not a real big issue no to positions you will know is the GAO – yes the fact that following the ban on cows slaughter you have these thousands of cows which are astray you know like damaging crops people hurting people and and causing all sorts of social tensions as well and apart from that also the fact that you know like lots of people you live we met in some of these places we went to in Barra bunky Mohan Lal Khan's they're telling us that they have to that the that the there's much more risk at home now because the men have to sleep on the fields to try and protect the fields so like the homes are more open to burglary that's what some of the woman were telling us it's really disturb the ecosystem but here's what happens no party is willing to sort of now issue it's become a holy cow issue right so no parties and instead is spending more and more and promised you spend more and more on building cow sheds yes to help the the cows so if is that going to be a development price base would be that yes only that much money we have I'm all for giving people much money as we can but only that what do you if we should be taxing our rich more I think you'll read acts of it's quite a bit at tax rates are quite high in terms of fear and I know but technically someone who's making say 40 lakh rupees you're speaking about the same taxes income withdraw rupees if you tried this in the past in terms of what happens yes and we've seen what the results are you know they've had very prohibitive taxes in the past now do we really want to turn the clock back so much in terms of what happens yeah we can debate whether English should having wealth tax or in like inheritance tax and all that that's fine but should we really be turning the clock back so much when we start you know start talking about this again or we sort of focus how do we release more money to spend on infrastructure I think gas is the big debate so that's my sort of thing that what why we can't be the next China but on the other end let's celebrate the fact and this is what this book does yes which is that this incredible election India's taking place despite all the advantages the BJP enjoys yes from the incredible money power from the incredible organizational power the fact that we're still having a pretty competitive election a pretty robust election is I think something which needs to be celebrated and something which why we should sort of love the fact that it is so vibrant the innate Democratic culture in this country all right you thank you so much for spending time with us has been a brilliant conversation and I wish you a lot of luck for the next thirty elections that you are going to track and a lot of luck with all of the investments as well thank you enjoyed that thanks you

20 thoughts on “Is there an economic slowdown? | Author Ruchir Sharma shares his views | Verified With Faye D'Souza

  1. So there is a lot about this concept of post truth society and caste/ideology dynamics that we can learn from even just observing the big western super powers and how politics over there has shifted radically to the point of creating a very clean and precise division of political opinions. As journalists, you would yourself seen that majority of our population today lives inside news "bubbles" which only feed them the narratives that they agree with, and viewers stick with those same sources of news because it simply just make them happy and shows them a false reality. This works very strongly in favor of caste based political opinions, which do obviously(and sadly) still matter a lot in this country.But there are always going to be some flip sides as well. So firstly, when you consistently stay inside these "bubbles", you not only lose sight of reality, but also the narratives and progress of your opposition. And secondly, in a country like ours where news media still has a relatively very low direct outreach to consumers, we have a lot of people who decide their political opinions based upon their personal observations of their own wealth, lifestyle etc. The only way to take people out of these false realities would be to stop basing and broadcasting news upon narratives and making it more about the facts. That single, though extremely difficult, change would lead to a far more well informed and also a far more decisive voter( and it would actually apply to a lot of decisions beyond just voting, because it gives the people a free mind to form their own opinions and their own unique decisions). It's like a form of anarchy that wouldn't work to destroy the system but rather build one that is capable of working for all individuals.

  2. BJP will not cross 80 seats as long as the EVMs are not rigged……

  3. You watch the video and then you read the comments they help you learn so much more. Comments here are mostly civilized and educational.

  4. Throw out Modi, Shah, Jaitly out of India
    Make ——–

    Sashi Tharoor the Prime Minister
    Mamata Banerjee as our Home Minister
    Chandrababu Naidu as our External Affair minister
    Raghuram Rajan as our Finance & Corporate Minister
    Sachin Pilot as our Transport, Development Minister
    P. Chidambaram as our Railway Minister
    Mayawati as our Minority affair Minister
    Sadhguruji as our Agricultural Minister
    KCR as our Defence Minister
    Also give a Cabinet position to Jyotiraditya Scindia as he deserves!!!!!!!!

  5. RSS Pracharak Swami Aseemanand Breaks Down While Speaking To Republic TV WHERE ARE U ALL CORRUPT BASTARD MIRROR NOW,NDTV, INDIATODAY WIRE,BCOZ OF U HINDUS ARE HATING MUSLIMS

  6. there an economic slowdown | Author Ruchir Sharma shares his views | BCOZ OF BASTARD CORRUPT JOURNALIST LIKE BITCH Faye D'Souza GOT 200 CR

  7. Too much talk about markets is irrelevant! Less than 3% of the Indian public invests in the stock market…

  8. Despite the fact that narender Modi is completely hand in glove with who's who of the Hindu Rashtar India Inc can anyone discover why economy is in shambles? Indian economy has been ruined my rise of Hinduism. Read history of India and find that non-hindu areas and time period enjoy prosperity while Hindu Rashtar radical parts suffer from debilitating poverty. Who do you blame if not the Hindu Rashtar superstitious mindset?

  9. The weak government is good for tax thieves and richs, and the strong government is good for poor and honest

  10. Up seats should be reduced in proportion to no of seats in all other states rather than the population number. Introduce some family planning. Ruchir sharmas caste consciousness remains intact even if he is frm usa

  11. This guy is one of the most overrated guy…Faye doesn't even want to acknowledge what happened in Karnataka.BJP did good only due to Modi

  12. Ruchir Sharma is highly overrated. What is his field of expertise?

  13. I can forgive Rajiv Gandhi for all his sins. I can forgive him for using 'INS Vikrant or Virat' for his vacations. I can forgive him for '84 Sikh Riots'. I can forgive him '89 Bhopal Gas Tragedy'. I can forgive him for 'Shahbano case'. I Can forgive him for 'Bofors' also. But I will never forgive him for giving us 'RAHUL GANDHI'.

  14. Ruchir Sharma will be proved wrong AGAIN.
    BJP will not get more 170 seats.
    INC is definitely cross 150+.
    Regional parties will be King Maker for INC only.

  15. modi wont come as a pm on 2019 . its the end of modi era

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