The good, old saying, which is colloquially used to describe the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, has survived down the ages. Though not without reason. It carries sense – even more so in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetised India – particularly in Uttar Pradesh.
Statistics being dished out by official agencies and pro-establishment experts to show that things are moving in the right direction sound hollow at the ground level. Tens of thousands of labourers, artisans and weavers are losing jobs by the day in cities like Agra, Varanasi, Kanpur, Moradabad, Allahabad, Ferozabad and Aligarh.
The scene in rural areas is even worse, with farmers finding it tough to buy fertilizers and pesticides. What adds poignancy to the farmers’ woes is the fact that many of them have had to sell their freshly harvested paddy at almost half the price. And there are few takers of the perishables such as fruits and vegetables in mandis. It’s a grim scenario all over poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.