by N.S. Venkataraman 5 August 2018
Last four years plus in India with Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister has been an eventful and exciting period.
One of the senior members of Mr. Modi’s party described him as an event manager before Mr. Modi became the Prime Minister. While Mr. Modi proved this description to be partly correct as he has been continuously communicating with people and organizing positive events such as yoga movement, his performance has been much more than mere facts.
After all, in a country of India’s size and complexities, not only good things have to be done but the message about the good stuff happening should reach the people, to build their morale and confidence about the future of India. This is what Mr. Modi has been striving to do.
Mr. Modi’s pledged critics have been criticizing him for not fulfilling some of his promises. But, their criticisms are uncharitable, since they do not refer to several things which he has achieved in the short period of four years plus.
What stands out about Mr. Modi’s four years plus as Prime Minister is that nobody doubts his sincerity and ardent desire to lift India in the world stage.
The focus of Mr. Modi’s governance has been to make a meaningful and positive impact not only in the overall economic growth of the country but also to make a quick and positive difference in the day to day life of the deprived and downtrodden section of the society.
His achievements are many. One is the shock treatment given to those who thought that the persons indulging in corrupt practices would not be challenged at all.
With the considerable courage of conviction, Mr. Modi announced demonetization. In spite of the temporary problem that it created, people by and large stood by him, appreciating his approach to root out the evil of black money. The demonetization measure created enormous apprehension and fear amongst those thriving with tax evaded black money in the parallel economy and a large number of people were brought into tax net.
While critics say that the demonetization measure was boggled, Mr. Modi clearly stated that it was only the first step in the long road to root out corruption in India.
The demonetization step made everyone realize that there is a leader who can act strong when necessary, even if it would cost his job.
This was followed by several other initiatives to streamline administration and put the economy on the healthy path such as implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy code to punish the loan defaulters and force industrialists and investors to realize that they cannot get away after defaulting considerable loans to the banks. So many other initiatives in economic front in a short period of four years plus is unsurpassed in India in the nearly seven decades after independence.
At the same time, several social initiatives that Mr. Modi has taken to serve the cause of the poor and downtrodden in the country are laudable and praiseworthy. The construction of thousands of free toilets, providing free LPG connections to the poor people, enabling the poor people to open bank accounts, the introduction of digitalization are all some of the high-class transformative reforms of far-reaching significance.
During the last four years plus, Mr. Modi has been continuously talking about economic and social development and highlighting the traditional greatness of Indian society. He has indeed brought a change in the mood of the countrymen and by boosting their aspirations and desire with hope to improve their living conditions. The yoga movement, clean India programme are all gradually bringing about healthy transformation in the mental makeup of the countrymen.
Indeed, India has still a long way to go.
Corruption has not been completely eradicated and several social evils that have been existing for many decades have not yet been rooted out.
The constraints facing Mr. Modi are high. Section of the media and politicians and the so-called social activists in India have not been as responsible and balanced as they should be. Fissiparous tendencies in the country due to linguistic or caste or other reasons are persisting.
What is very important to note is that Mr. Modi has made robust efforts with considerable foresight and vision to attack the fundamental problems facing India and utilize the opportunities that are available to make the country achieve a big leap forward.
Let not anyone, whether in India or abroad, underestimate the great courage of conviction, faith in India’s destiny and sagacity shown by Mr. Modi to undertake fundamental economic and social reforms, which indeed are having a positive transformative impact on India.
As the next parliamentary election is in the offing and the opposition parties are grouping themselves to unseat Mr. Modi without any comprehensive action plans, India’s chances of sustaining the growth path hinge on the countrymen voting back Mr. Modi as Prime Minister of India in the 2019 parliamentary election.