OpinionPolitics

India loves Prime Minister Narendra Modi because he is the best thing ever to happen in Indian politics

India loves him because there was no Prime Minister like him!

Narendra!

The name itself speaks strength.

Narendra means King, ruler. Once a Narendra took India’s glory to the world and became famous as Swami Vivekananda, and now another Narendra is taking India towards the glory of its ancient times.

The Prime minister of India, Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi is celebrating his birthday today, a very Happy birthday to the Pradhan Sevak.

Narendra Modi is a leader who is unique because of the fact that there is a class of people who worship him for his ideologies, there is another who absolutely spew venom against him.

Love him or hate him, there is no one like him.

The open truth is that the supporters of Modi government and Modi himself, are far more open to its criticism than the dynasty worshipers in the Congress.

For more than six decades congress continued its appeasement politics. They kept the poor, poorer. Concentrated on issuing freebies in the name of uplifting the poor.

But will an emerging economy be able to afford such scheme that will unavoidably encourage unemployment and unproductivity? No, and this system is what Modi changed primarily.

What is it about Modi which makes him so loved and respected by common people!

Hindu identity, robust outlook

He is a PM who is happy to showcase Ganga aarti at Varanasi to visiting heads of states and take a holy dip in Kumbh, apart from making it a spectacle and wearing his Hindu identity with pride.

Hindu dharma or Hindus are not known to be aggressive but resilient. For a long time the world had misunderstood this to the idea of a submissive, obscure Hindus.

During 2014, Modi called himself a ‘Proud Hindu Nationalist’ and there people saw  a freshness in politics where a leader is unapologetic about his culture.

Slowly with Modi as prime minister times have changed. We have moved from Gandhian pacifism to robust demand for what is rightfully ours.

We now have a PM who is proud of his country, civilisation, history and is not afraid to negotiate.

Modi worked towards changing the global dynamics, in which India now has the opportunity to reclaim our rightful place under the sun.

Europe is in a weak shape, China-Russia have allied up and India-US-Japan are becoming allies. In this condition India was expected to move strategically in every field to not be offensive but decisive.

In Modi, India has found just the leadership that was needed for this job. We have a PM who took international politics very seriously. He was ready to step out of his comfort zone, interact with international leaders, take the line that no one had taken before and visit nations that no Indian PM had visited in decades.

Many back at home criticised his moves. How could Modi do what no one else had done? He had to be wrong for them to be right for the country.

Using media as a tool to connect

Every other Indian leader had used media for validation, but Modi used it to connect with the people. He took media back to the basics when he started his Mann Ki Baat radio programme.

In several successive moves he used media to reach out to people and build a one-to-one relationship with the people instead of allowing journalists of the mainstream to ‘decode’ a leader for the citizens.

In doing so, he highlighted a major flaw in the mainstream media – that it had allowed itself to be used as a middleman and in effect created a gap between the ruler and the citizen.

It was no surprise that PM Modi faces his harshest criticism from mainstream media. The criticised him to be a master marketing mind. But the fact is people want to hear him, see him, read about him and thus media was forced to talk about him.

A great strategist yet an Outsider

Modi’s political grooming had been long one, grounded, painstaking. He is able to turn the tables on his opponents with ease, doesn’t get distracted by criticism and doesn’t give in to lobbying.

He had analysed well before the 2019 elections how weak his opponents were likely to look without a strong leader.

He hence he put himself in the centre of the campaign.

The critics used this to point out how Modi wanted everything to be focused on him but they failed to see that it was a conscious, political choice – not made out of whims and fancies but out of the existing political scenario. It was a well-designed strategy.

Modi was an outsider. As he himself had said not belonging to Lutyens’ Delhi is what troubled his detractors.

With his coming to power a whole eco system which thrived in Lutyen’s Delhi was rendered useless.

This system that ran through power corridors connecting media houses, influential people, had no access to the new centre of power.

So Modi was criticized to be dictatorial and works behind an iron-veil. This hides their own dismay at the fact that their lobbying activities had been neutralised overnight.

It also hides the fact that the Modi-Shah duo has been living by a strict discipline and order that does not pander to the will of Lutyens’ Delhi.

Dynamism

Modi has brought a sense of dynamism, mobility to governance. Most of his steps carry a new flavour, his schemes are visionary and not aimed at short-term benefits.

Some of his ideas have fetched great results,

  • Government E-Marketplace (GEM) –  a public procurement portal for all government bodies/ municipalities that aggregates demand and reduces corruption in purchasing. GeM has seen steady rise in overall sales through its platform since its launch in 2016, touching an all time high figure of over Rs 17,000 crore in the last fiscal.
  • Goods & Services Tax (GST), a huge disruption, is clearly a work in progress.  The results have been encouraging and people have started adapting.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is one of the biggest successes of the government. Recovering Rs 3 lakh crore so far from the companies which were declared as NPAs (Non performing assets) or bankrupt is a huge achievement.
  • Using inland waterways as a mode of travel and cargo management
  • UDAN scheme that focuses on opening up of new airports and connecting small towns across India to mainstream aviation network is increasing tourism and business opportunities in many remote places.

A recent news about government appointing nine new joint secretaries was a fresh idea. This was the first time that non IAS professionals were getting an opportunity to become a part of the government.

Antyodaya

Antyodaya, which means impacting last mile citizen, has been one of the highlights of Modi government’s work.

Many schemes were brought in to implement this idea:

  • Jan Dhan Yojana – 30 crore bank accounts,
  • Ujjwala Yojana – 7crore gas cylinders,
  • Saubhagya – Power to every home (2.5 crores),
  • Ayushman Bharat – Health cover of up to 5 lakhs, approximately 3crore E-cards issued and 20 lakh beneficiaries so far.
  • Neem coating of Urea, LED bulb distribution, construction of toilets.

These schemes are impacting the rural population in a big way.

Opposition leaders may argue on all these points but a villager who sees a bulb being lit up in his house for the first time or a cylinder being used to cook food feels grateful towards PM.

Narendra Modi’s name has become synonymous with nationalism. Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram are now unifying nation like olden days. The fact is PM Modi is someone, who can talk PUBG with students, can ask youngsters ‘How’s the Josh?’, can lend shoulder to console ISRO chief. He is one of a kind and India more than ever needs PM Modi now….

Dr Sindhu Prashanth

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