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Day 42 – Q 2.Do you think the rhetoric of ‘gareebi hatao’ has remained nothing more than electoral sloganeering for the political parties in India? Critically comment.

2. Do you think the rhetoric of ‘gareebi hatao’ has remained nothing more than electoral sloganeering for the political parties in India? Critically comment. 

क्या आपको लगता है कि ‘गरीबी हटो’ की  वक्रपटुता भारत में राजनीतिक दलों के लिए एक चुनावी नारा मात्र बन कर रह गई है?  समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।


  • Introduction- A brief on poverty in India.
  • Was ‘Gareebi hatao’ a rhetoric? – Analysis. Points both in favor and against.
  • Way forward
  • Conclusion


Garibi Hatao desh bachao (“Abolish poverty, save the nation”) was the theme and slogan of Indira Gandhi’s 1971 election bid. It was part of the 5th Five-Year Plan.
The programs created through garibi hatao, though carried out locally, were funded, developed, supervised, and staffed by Government officials. It did little and accomplished less: only about 4% of all funds allocated for economic development went to the three main anti-poverty programs, and precious few of these ever reached the ‘poorest of the poor’.
Since 1971 the ‘gareebi hatao’ rhetoric has been adopted in each general election since then by the political parties.

Nothing more than a rhetoric:

  • Rather than focusing of poverty eradication, the programmes have largely focused on creating buzz so as to generate huge vote bank. Unrealistic policies were framed.
  • The definition of ‘poor’ in India is yet not defined properly. Having anti-poverty programmes in such a case is bound to be ineffective.
  • Poor remains to be most vulnerable.

‘Gareebi hatao’ is not just a rhetoric:

  • Several Indians have escaped the clutches of extreme poverty. In fact, about 44 Indians come out of extreme poverty every minute, one of the fastest rates of poverty reduction.
  • Social indicators like Infant Mortality Rate, stunting, undernourishment etc. has improved over time.
  • Programmers like MNREGA has truly empowered rural people.

Way forward:

  • Redefining the definition of poverty. Poverty lines have to be recalibrated depending on changes in income, consumption patterns and prices.
  • Bottom up planning.
  • The Indian political, policy and administrative systems have to adjust to the new realities of the transition to a middle- income country, in which poverty does not mean living at the edge of hunger but, rather, lack of income to take advantage of the opportunities thrown up by a growing economy.
  • Programmers like Skill India mission, Make in India campaign, PMAY and MUDRA yojana should be implemented effectively.


Poverty reduction is a gradual process. The governments have been undertaking various anti-poverty programmes. It is time the definition of poverty is refined and the issue is tackled holistically.

Best answer: Aishwarya Singh

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