What Makes Modi so Special for India?
Hailing from a poor family, Indian PM Shri Narendra Modi is unarguably the most popular and efficient world leader over five years in a row now. When Modi came to the power, India had been struggling with poverty, lack of credibility, corruptions of highest orders and loss of face. India although partially came out of economic shackles in the 90s after Mr Narsimha Rao had made some sweeping changes in governance, there was no actual development. Indian GDP in 2014-15 was lingering at ~$1.8 trillion, at 12th position in the world. India had abysmal manufacturing capability and developmental activities were largely dependent on imports. High levels of corruptions in government prevented any major FDIs flow and none wished to risk lending high-tech goods. Life-standards were basic, rural India had no toilets, road connectivity or drinking water supplies. Over 18000 villages had no electricity, internet connectivity was a far-fetched dream and public health services had nearly collapsed. Public life and liberty were threatened by Islamic terrorism as well as Naxalite insurgencies. Security was bad. People were warned not to touch unknown objects as that could be bombs planted by the terrorists. Political parties indulged freely in ‘Muslim Vote Bank politics’ while Religious Demography of India continued changing quietly against the Hindus. Situations were bad yet people were at peace with their selves neither wanting nor expecting any major improvement.
Emergence of Modi on National Horizon
Mr Narendra Modi had been the Chief Minister of reasonably big State of Gujarat for almost 15 yrs in which lot many works had taken place, often reported as Modi model of Development. Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) made Modi the PM face in 2014 Lok Sabha elections when numerous failures and scams of the UPA govt made it easier for BJP to win with thumping majority. Modi’s ambition of making India a leading power was evident at his oath-taking ceremony itself when all neighbouring State Heads were invited and they attended too. His aim was to make India a leader in the region and the world. The challenges, some as mentioned below, were immense.
- The corruption of UPA-I & II had corroded the nation.
- The nation struggled credibility as fragile 5 economies in the world.
- There was policy paralysis in the govt
- The GDP was struggling at $ ~1.8 Trillion at no. 12 in the world.
- The UPA Govt was known to be running on remote controls.
- The Armed Forces had fallen back by ~15 yrs on lack of modernisation.
- A quiet change in Religious demography was going on against Hindus.
- A pseudo-secularism was being imposed on the nation.
- Public & private properties were covertly diverted to Waqf Board illegally.
- Black money had become a parallel economy with Pak FICN at the core.
- Security was compromised with Pak sponsored Terror Network within India.
- There were large Bangladeshi & Rohingya illegal migrants in India.
- Indian sovereignty was undermined under Chinese hegemony.
- Indian defences along LAC were ignored for a long.
- Infrastructure Development of the nation was at a snail's pace.
- Power generation lagged severely with industrial/domestic requirements.
- The electoral politics had succumbed to appeasement of ‘Muslim Vote-bank’.
- Poverty and unemployment were at their peak, mostly dependent on Govt jobs.
- A large number of women were unable to join the national development plan.
- Financial aid/easy loans for self-employment were non-existent.
- Nation lacked quality academic/vocational institutions for better professionals.
- Manufacturing hardly met 15% of requirements, rest were imported.
- J&K had become a breeding ground for Jihadists & terrorists.
- Development of North-East States had been ignored for very long.
- Rural India lacked basic facilities of road, electricity and drinking water.
- Poor healthcare facilities were unable to meet even basic needs of the poor.
- Farmers had problems of getting easier loans, fertilizers, irrigation and market.
- There was a lack of Food Processing Plants esp for perishable items.
- Workers in the unorganised sector lacked social security & pension scheme.
- Poor, destitute women seldom had any credible welfare schemes.
- Many corrupt practices had cropped in the rural MNREGA scheme.
- Millions of tons of food grains used to get rotten in FCI godowns.
- The nation needed FDI, ease of doing business.
- There was no vision to make India a self-reliant nation.
A Unique Approach of Modi
Modi Govt gave a new mantra of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas” by taking all along with minimum govt and maximum governance that was partly successful too. Actually, the numerous programs started by him needed a govt twice the size permitted but he tried to be miser on that. As a result, implementation and monitoring of many of his programs lacked the type of supervision that was required. In these 9 yrs, Indian govt did try to get rid of many of the nagging problems of the UPA days mentioned above. The new Modi govt started their works keeping the poor/under-privileged section in the focus. A clean & transparent approach, moving all resources to better train the youth through Skill India for a better job opportunity, moving the banking system to render security-free Mudra loans for self-employment and ending the 5 yr of policy paralysis, did the trick. His development plans were largely focused on Infrastructures, health, education, manufacturing and impetus to Start-ups. Under Modi, India has had incredible landmarks of achievements in both his tenures. He has been continuously trying to boost exports thru’ SAARC but Pakistan and its terror links became a major stumbling block. He mooted the neighbours through the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) but that too was not very successful. He did try to moot African nations for cooperation on trade with limited success. However, all these efforts did send a clear signal to the entire world that Modi meant business for India upfront.
A Pro-People, Pro-India Approach by Modi
The policy planners were taken by surprise when PM Modi made a start for new India with making of toilets for poor, connecting the poor with the national banking system through an aspirational program of Jan-Dhan zero balance bank accounts. He also took a challenging task of connecting the left-over 18000 villages with electrical grid and connecting the poor homes for free too. It has hard to believe that 70 yrs after independence, some part of the population reaped the fruits of independence and development for the first time. He also made his govt fully transparent with no room for corruption that holds good even today after 9 yrs. This was unimaginable for anyone as the earlier govts were known to be marred deep in corruptions.
People saw Modi govt honestly trying to work for their cause and thus connected themselves with mass movements with most of the govt programs...be it Jan-dhan account, Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan, Open defecation free (ODF) villages; or voluntarily giving up one of their multiple LPG connections for distribution to poor women under Ujjwala Scheme… and so on. He made wasting/rotting of millions of tons of food grains in the numerous FCI godowns unacceptable and rather be used for the poor and needy. The main successes of Modi’s schemes that had wide acceptability among citizens include the ones that make all Indian proud of (except of course, Modi’s opponents) as shown in the text boxes 1 & 2 below. The mainstay of all these novel schemes are the selfless, scam-free, pro-poor, pro-farmer, pro-Armed Forces, pro-development government working in the interest of the nation.
Numerous Feathers in Modi’s Cap
Of course, Modi govt has numerous feathers in his cap the prominent ones mentioned in the text boxes above/below. Schemes like premium-free Health Insurance PM Jan Arogya Yojna, (PMJAY) called ‘Ayushman Bharat’ for 10 Cr BPL families, providing free insurance of upto 5 lakh rupees. His govt introduced Rs 6000 annual allocations under ‘Kisan Samman’ to all farmers of the nation, a Pucca house under PM Awas Yojna (PMAY) for the poor, free provision distribution of grains & LPG to 80 Cr people under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY) etc have reached all poor/BPL/Covid-displaced/target households. He also tried to address the burning problem of unemployment among 360 million Youths & Women through an innovative security-free ‘Mudra loan’ for self-employment that has alleviated the livelihood of as many families. It is a fact that several crores of people were laid-off in the unorganized sectors during Covid19 but most of them have restarted/rejoined their works by now. The financial stability of the nation has been achieved through a sustained GDP growth and a reduced inflation. Its’ impact is clearly visible.
Unemployment in the country has eased out considerably with the self-employment schemes. The statistics of the unemployment in 2021 vis-à-vis 2011 in the text box clearly shows to have declined from 48.2% among the eligible population to 25.7%, nearly half. Surely political opponents are crying ‘unemployment’ and high inflation to hide their own failures (read ‘विपक्षी राज्य सरकारें निकम्मी हैं; मोदी सबको रोजगार दे’, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/incompetent-opposition-ruled-state-govt-modi-to-give-employment/).
There are however, major concerns in the job prospects of ‘Mudra-loan’ beneficiaries which is not attractive in the present shape. Most of these self-employment loan holders line up for any govt job. Modi govt has an excellent chance to make the self-employment schemes much more attractive and sought-out venture BUT the reluctance of his ministers in improving it are not understood (read “Employment for All Indians: A Possibility”, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/employment-for-all-indians-a-possibility/). Maybe he is keeping it under his sleeves for implementation in next term of 2024. At a glance, unemployment and inflation seem very much lower than in the UPA days yet the opposition has been trying to make loud narratives (false though) of rising unemployment.
Unprecedented Development Approach
The unprecedented Infrastructure Development of highways/Rail/Airports/Sea-ports in the nation is glaringly visible. Development of Border Roads connectivity long neglected by the Cong & UPA govts, has been one of the KRAs under Modi Govt since 2014. In addition, all ailing industries have been given a new lease of life by upgrading its outdated machines and bringing in newer technologies. Infrastructures for higher education in the form of numerous AIIMSs, IITs, IIMs, Engineering, Medical & Ayurvedic Colleges, Sports Universities etc are only a few enumerated here. Modernisation and reforms in the Indian Armed Forces neglected in the last 3 decades, got the biggest boost. With the induction of lethal weapons into the arsenals of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Strategic Forces, Indian Armed Forces is now a force to reckon with. Indian Armed Forces weapon acquisitions are no longer dependent on the costly imports (read “A Happier Indian Army Celebrating ‘75th Army Day’, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/a-happier-indian-army-celebrating-75th-army-day/; and ‘Neglected Indian Navy Regains Lost Pride’, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/neglected-indian-navy-regains-lost-pride/). The ailing, outdated and defunct Ordinance Factories have been reformed with corporatization and accountability. The best part of Modi govt has been its forward-looking policies of future needs, Economic might (by ambitious $5 trillion economy by 2024) and agendas of self-reliance (Atmnirbhar Bharat) that can make India a developed nation by 2047. It is true saying that the World Powers respect the mightier. Today’s India is fast progressing to possess all mights that are needed for recognition as a world power. Besides, Modi has special charms, charisma and ability to influence most world leaders through his personal chemistry too.
While the progress of Modi 1.0 from 2014-19 was phenomenal, there were many contentious issues as well that were part of his agenda but not implemented. These mostly pertained to the Ram Mandir issues and getting rid of article 370 that encouraged secession in J&K, preventing PoK migrants from citizenship rights and also obliterated the development of Ladakh region. Modi 1.0 was also firm in dealing with the terrorists when the Security Forces carried out a few Surgical Strikes within Pakistan incl Balakot. In fact, Modi govt took many decisions that strengthened the Armed Forces. These included the modernization, meeting their decades old demands of a National War Memorial and One-Rank-One-Pay (OROP) by the veterans. By now, Indian Armed Forces has enough teeth in their arsenals, very much on the way to being a credible regional force with Atmnirbhar push.
Modi govt 2.0 was confronted with several challenges that included Ram-Janmabhumi issue, removal of J&K’s special status, anarchy following CAA, Delhi Riot indulged by the radical Muslims, globally devastating Covid19 pandemic and the Chinese incursions in Galwan, Eastern Ladakh. First of all, came the Ram Mandir issue was handled very well thru’ a day-to-day hearing by the Supreme Court that enabled to deliver a clear verdict on 09 Nov 2019 and thus cleared a path to constructing Ram Mandir by formation of Ram Janmabhumi Nyas for which the opposition had often chided BJP with “मंदिर बनाएंगे लेकिन डेट नहीं बताएंगे”. Next came the abrogation of Article 370 & 35A on 06 Dec 2019 to remove the special status of J&K and bring it in the main stream of Indian politics and development…of ‘One India, One Constitution’. Home Minister Amit Shah however, couldn’t handle the aftermath of CAA when radical Muslims of the nation duly supported by the Congress and Communist parties played hell with the law & administration through various Shaheenbaghs and arsonist protests. They almost paralysed governance for months. Similarly, farmer unions of Punjab & Haryana supported by the middlemen, Congress, Communists and Khalistanis mounting many months of protests, blocking several roads to and from Delhi. They even desecrated the national flag at the Red Fort forcing the govt to roll-back the progressive Farmers’ Act (read “Farmers’ Protest: Where they stand?”, https://archive.thecounterviews.com/assets/pdfs/issue_03_05.pdf, pp-25).
Modi govt handled the Covid19 pandemics exceptionally well when the economic pundits around the world had predicted that India in the Covid19 will be decimated with complete economic & social meltdown but Modi govt proved them wrong. India could manage the world’s largest welfare schemes of providing free provisions to their 800 million citizen for almost 3 yrs facing hardship and could also protect them with made-in-India vaccination of >2500 million doses. The economic pain of importing equipment, Test-kits and drugs were converted to opportunity of exporting the same. The fruits of proactive measures adopted by the govt is before us in which despite facing hardships, India remains the fastest growing among the major economies of the world where other are struggling.
Reaching out to Nations in Crises and Nationals Abroad
Modi has been best of the friends for the immediate neighbors as well as for nations in the region needing relief. India was at Nepal’s help within hours of a devastating earthquake in 2015, floods & immigrant crises in Bangladesh, drinking water crisis in Maldives, severe hunger after Taliban take-over in Afghanistan, and severe flooding & economic melt-down in Sri Lanka. In the region, India was quick to come to the rescue of the Philippines after floods and within hours, reached for the assistance of Turkey after an intense earthquake. Besides, Modi govt will also be remembered for their intense actions in rescuing Indians in crisis aboard whether it was nurses in Jihadist captivity in Iraq, Indian in strife-torn Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Sudan or Covid19 infected China. There are several other examples when Expatriates and Indians abroad have expressed prides in Modi Govt for going out of the way for helping/assisting then in the hours of need.
India the Vibrant Democracy under Modi
Indian democracy is at its best now. Freedom of expression is at its best whether at the public gathering, media or abroad although some have been implicated by the courts of law for crossing the limits (read “Foot-in-Mouth disease of Rahul Gandhi”, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/rahul-gandhi-foot-in-mouth-disease/). Many of the politicians don’t hesitate in condemning (or even abusing) Modi on daily basis in public recourse, and TV debates while their own State Govts crush any voice spoken against their Chief Ministers whether in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgsrh, Maharashtra, Andhra, Tamilnadu or Kerala. No wonder Biden had to acknowledge it.
On the other hand, opposition political parties have made up their minds to stall any/all of the Modi Govt policies…be it Agnipath Schemes for Armed Forces recruitment, curbing on the antinational activities of PFI or building of new parliament. Political opponents of late, have paralysed the last 2 sessions of parliament for no fault of the government. They have learnt of uniting together to condemn and paralyse the govt. They have gone to the extent when any national achievements and praises are being decried. In the same way, any and all monuments of national pride (shown below) are chided upon.
Clearly, Modi 2.0 has not been able to take the opposition along; rather the opposition seems filled with hate against Modi/BJP govt. Now all Modi opponents (incl corrupt political parties) are trying to set up false narratives and propagandas to malign his govt. They are near certain of the phenomenal successes of Modi govt in almost all fields that also makes him favorite to win 2024 election. That is why they are all trying to unite together to defeat him in 2024 (read ‘Chors & Thugs in Indian Polity”, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/chors-and-thugs-in-indian-polity/). The false propaganda and narratives largely being fabricated, are at their peak. Otherwise, India be placed lower than Afghanistan, Pakistan & Sri Lanka in the global “Hunger” and “Happiness” list (read “Is India Really Low on Global Hunger Index???”, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/india-low-on-global-hunger-index/)? It is the handiwork of the political opponents (esp the Communists & Congress) having their clouts among international NGOs colluding in defaming and embarrassing Indian Govt. It is also a failure of Modi ministers in not keeping an eye of supervision on the happenings. It is incredible in Indian politics that Modi govt is invariably implicated by the opposition for the State Govt’s failures in Law & Order, Health, Agriculture, employments and so on. They lump all their failures to the Union Govt.
Failures of Modi Govt
The author will be failing in his duty not to mention some of Modi’s failures too. These failures are both at national and international levels through acts of both omissions and commissions. At the national level, there are failures in completing some of the projects as well as his general approach in political dealings and administration as mentioned in the text box below. There is no doubt that he is the most popular leader in the world today however, it is also a fact that he (or his ministers to be more precise), has become more of enemies rather than an adversary for the opposition parties.
One may listen to the words uttered by opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Tejaswi & Akhilesh Yadavs, spokespersons of CPI, AAP and some others as well, filled with hate against Modi. Clearly, Modi has not been able to take them together in his journey to new India. There are reasons too in this as most of the opposition parties are tainted with corruption, scams, and frauds charges hence, incompatible for a respect by Modi. This is the main reason why these opposition leaders are joining hands in showing down all achievements of Modi Govt. In a democratic set-up, citizens having party affiliations with those scamsters do join in their chorus wrongly though, giving a false appreciation of louder voice. Modi must do some course corrections in this regard so as to pass the acid-test in 2024.
Today all pseudo-secularists in the nation take pride in tainting Modi govt as Right-wing Hindu party although most of his good-works are for all. Today most Hindus look at Modi Govt in reversing the alteration in the religious demography of India but his ministers are unable to introduce the population control bill. India is the sole major economy without an NRC listing, with about 50-60 million illegal Bangladeshi/Rohingya population living without any record. They are threats to both our economy and security. Waqf Board of India has looted maximum public and private properties but Modi govt has been unable to bring any legislation whatsoever to liberate it (read "Waqf Acts of 'Loot-India', https://thecounterviews.com/articles/waqf-acts-of-loot-india/). Similarly, there are many overdue pending actions of decades where parliament is required to enact laws but hardly any action of Modi govt is visible (read "Urgent Issues Being Ignored in Our Parliament:, https://thecounterviews.com/articles/urgent-issues-being-ignored-parliament/).
At the international levels too, Modi and his govt has had failures of a different kinds. It mostly pertains to his inability to get the works done both in Indian and international interest. The first of all comes his inability to set in motion the UNSC reforms. India having approx 1/5th of the world population and having done enough for the UNSC cannot be denied a permanent seat. It is more of his indifference at the UN in not projecting the World Islamic terrorism, genocides of Hindus, Sikhs & Christians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Middle East. Modi with his large clout on the international platforms could have pushed the Human Rights groups to investigate and implicate the numerous radical groups BUT he did not. Some experts also criticize him for not being tough on Nepal racking up the border rows. In the Russia-Ukraine war, he could have taken the initiative to mediate but he seemed reluctant. Some experts in Defence also claim that he failed to energize the RIC platform where India & Russia together could have prevailed on China to refrain from expansionism towards Indian territories in their larger global economic and strategic interests. Modi also failed emphasizing induction of ‘Security Element’ in the QUAD, or make Malabar exercises a formidable Military block to counter future Chinese threat in Indian Ocean. On Defence though, Modi’s gains far outweigh losses, if any.
Criticism apart, Modi govt has performed exceptionally well on all fronts. He is regarded as an avatar of God by the poor sections of Indians. It may not be an overstatement to claim that Modi in his 9 yrs has done as much or even more than all other govts of the past could do collectively in their 60 yrs. The statement may be unpleasant and unpalatable to the opponents of Modi but the fact cannot be overlooked, denied or brushed under carpet. The good works done by 9 yrs of Modi govt are before all eyes, for all to see, feel and enjoy. Under Modi India is marching ahead with big strides. These are the reasons why Modi is so special to India and Indians.