MR. MODI NEEDS TO CONSOLIDATE THE GAINS IN 2018
Mr. Modi was voted to power as India’s Prime Minister with overwhelming majority three years back, primarily due to the faith that he successfully created amongst large section of country men that he would ensure probity in public life, root out black money and corruption and focus on development and growth. After seeing the dismal performance of Manmohan Singh government and several corrupt dealings under his “watchful eye”, people thought that the country desperately needed better governance. Mr. Modi met the mood of the people and got the mandate to govern the country for five years.
Now, with three years gone after becoming the Prime Minister, Mr. Modi seems to have not only many admirers but also many critics. While the admirers continue to favourably look at him , wish him well and are anxiously watching the progress in governance that he is making , the critics sound very bitter with some even are using abusive language in the garb of criticism and closely look at everyone of Mr. Modi’s actions to find pitfalls and to expose it.
All said and done, the fact is that inspite of all his efforts , Mr. Modi has not yet met the promise that he made to the people during the last parliament elections about rooting out corruption and ensuring economic growth to the satisfaction of the people. . While there have been significant progress in several directions, the status appears to be work in progress and people are impatient.
While there are many measures to improve governance that Mr. Modi has initiated, his bold demonetization decision , introduction of GST after winning the cooperation of the opposition parties, promotion of digital economy, aadhar scheme to promote transparency and accountability , bankruptcy law, benami law etc. are outstanding farsighted measures. A number of other significant measures such as opening of zero bank account for millions of poor people, great stress on clean India and construction of thousands of toilets for poor people, free LPG scheme for poor , promotion of yoga culture and now passing the bill in Lok Sabha to ban instant divorce ( triple talak) to benefit the muslim women etc. are bound to generate huge benefits for people in the long run.
Of course, some of the measures initiated like demonetization and GST are disruptive measures causing temporary problem for the people, which is inevitable when initiating such major reform measures. The fact is that people, by and large, put up with the problems hoping for better days to come. The critics and section of the media, inspite of their best efforts, could not succeed in the motivated campaign to disrupt Modi’s governance for taking such strong measures , which is almost unheard of by any Prime Minister in the just in three years period.
Today, Mr. Modi commands majority support with his own party in Lok Sabha and his party is in power in nineteen states. In the recent memory, no other Prime Minister has enjoyed such advantageous situation. Perhaps, Mr. Modi is in a position to implement any measure that he thinks would be necessary.
Given this scenario, it is necessary that Mr. Modi should consolidate the gains that he achieved during the last three years by implementing many strong and proactive measures. Obviously, he has to ensure that all the measures that he has taken so far are implemented adequately well, so that the people would see and feel the benefit accruing to them before long.
The challenge for Mr. Modi is that the corruption in India at all levels and in the government machinery are so high , that many observers think that it is due to the mindset of the people. Corruption has to be fought not only by several reform measures but also in the minds and hearts of the people.
The joblessness scenario is a much discussed subject today in India and Mr. Modi has to deal with this grim problem. Several measures initiated by him such as promotion of skill amongst people, make in India and start up India programmes etc. have not yet impacted the country to the level of expectations and need.
The issues faced by farming community is another subject that needs his urgent attention.
All said and done, in the last three years, Mr. Modi has laid the ground work for India to make big leap forward. Several of the steps that he has taken have long term implications and they need to be continued in a sustained manner. If Mr. Modi would be successful in implementing the programmes that he has already initiated at the requisite high standards , it would be a win win situation in 2018 , both for India and Mr. Modi.
The focus of 2018 should be on implementation of programmes already initiated with great dedication and commitment.
(N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the “Nandini Voice for the Deprived,” a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.)
Published Date: Friday, December 29th, 2017 | 11:33 PM