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Plus and minus of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

By N.S.Venkataraman
Mr.Modi certainly listens to others but ultimately others have to necessarily listen to him, in running the government. While some critics call Mr.Modi’s methods as dictatorial, many others believe that the will of the Prime Minister to impose discipline on his colleagues and administration is the need of the day.
NEW DELHI, INDIA – FEBRUARY 28: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at CSIR Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology 2016-18 ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan on February 28, 2019 in New Delhi, India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the Indian scientists for their innovations and said that India’s space programmes were examples of how the country has come up with innovations despite having limited resources. (Photo by Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

It is more than five years now, that Mr. Narendra Modi has been the Prime Minister of India and this is adequately long period to view the plus and minus of Mr. Modi and his governance.

While taking a view on the subject, the author of this article confesses that he has never met Mr. Modi personally and does not know Hindi in which language Mr. Modi speaks most of the time. However, the author has based his views on Mr. Modi’s performance , life style , facial expression seen in photographs and reports on his speeches and actions extensively published in print and visual media.

The views are highlighted below taking a holistic view and giving credit where it is due and criticism wherever it is warranted.

Blemishless personal life

Certainly, Mr. Modi has imposed very high level of discipline in his personal life, which is of admirable standards. However, Mr. Modi is not the only person in India to have imposed such “merciless discipline” on themselves and Mr.Modi joins this elite group, who constitute small number of people and he fits in perfectly well in this elite group of people with blemishless personal life.

Silence on marriage status

Mr.Modi, neither denied nor confirmed his marital status until the time of filing affidavit for the election and perhaps, giving an impression to the people earlier that Mr.Modi is a bachelor. Ever since then, there has been animated discussions whether Mr.Modi did the right thing by not confirming his marital status earlier.

Innovative and dynamic minister

As Chief Minister of Gujarat and as Prime Minister of India, Mr.Modi has thought about and introduced several innovative and original ideas and implemented the schemes with reasonable level of efficiency that have contributed to change for better in the fortunes of people, particularly among the people belonging to lower income group.

One man government ?

Mr.Modi certainly listens to others but ultimately others have to necessarily listen to him, in running the government. While some critics call Mr.Modi’s methods as dictatorial, many others believe that the will of the Prime Minister to impose discipline on his colleagues and administration is the need of the day.

Ambitious claims and promises

Many critics say that Mr.Modi often announces unrealistic targets, which everyone knows that it is almost impossible to reach. Probably, Mr.Modi announces such tall targets repeatedly, as he may think that announcement of such tall targets will motivate the people to improve their performance and strive more. Perhaps, he may even think that even if half of the target would be achieved, it would do enormous good for the country

Fight against corruption – Will it be endless ?

There is steadily growing view in the country that Mr.Modi is unable to eradicate corruption in the country with the speed that is desired, mainly due to the fact that corrupt persons are selectively punished and persons ,who may be corrupt and belonging to Mr. Modi’s party or that of allies are not investigated.

Demonstrative acts to improve people’s mindset

Mr. Modi has often involved himself in demonstrative acts in full public view ,possibly to improve the mindset of the people and Mr. Modi ensures that these acts would be widely publicized both in the print and visual media Why not recognize that such positive publicity campaign by setting up personal example are methods that have never been attempted by any earlier Prime Ministers of independent India ?

An event manager par excellence

Mr.Modi is competently combining the event management, personal dress to spread unique image about himself and at the same time making the country proud. The critics say that Mr.Modi has a craze for publicity. This appears to be true but what is wrong with this , if this would cause no harm to anyone else and give some sort of pleasant entertainment scene to everyone around. If Mr.Modi likes this, let it be.

Mr. Modi and motor mouths

Mr.Modi has repeatedly warned the people not to indulge in vituperative and motivated campaign. He has told several times to the motor mouths in his own party or in other parties or groups not to do anything that would promote disharmony of the society. But it appears that motor mouths are not listening.

How will Mr.Modi’s economic and social policies shape up in the next four years ?

The problems faced by Mr.Modi in boosting the industrial and economic growth of India is due to the extent of political and administrative corruption in the country and reluctance of the Indian investors to invest in new projects and the expansion of existing ones in spite of financial resources available, as well as lack of domestic technologies of global standards. , Mr.Modi has no alternative other than encouraging massive overseas investments in various activities in India and also liberalization of import of technologies from abroad. Necessary policy changes have to be made to create such climate that would be appropriate for overseas investments and technology inputs. One can be sure Mr.Modi is aware of these challenges and opportunities ahead of him and he is likely to run with double speed in several directions in the next four years.

How history will view Mr.Modi vis a vis other Prime Ministers ?

It is true that different Prime Ministers in India have assumed power in different circumstances and the challenges faced by them from time to time are different. However, there is no doubt Mr.Modi has brought unique style of his own to his national governance.

Why Mr.Modi retains his popularity ?

It is well known that Indian people mostly value the personal honesty of a political leader, as the most desirable and needed character of a politician in India. If the people were to be convinced that a political leader maintains discipline in personal life and observes honesty and probity in personal and public life as a matter of principle, then this political leader wins the day. This is what Mr. Modi is achieving. Mr.Modi may lose his position as most popular leader in India, only in case an opposition leader would emerge on the scene, with greater qualities of wisdom. But,where is such person ? No one seems to be there, as far as one can see.

Will Mr. Modi seek one more term as Prime Minister after 2024 ?

For the last two decades or so, Mr. Modi has been active in Indian politics and has experimented with various ideas in administration and on most occasions, he has been reasonably successful. Perhaps, expecting Mr. Modi to go away from politics is similar to the unreasonable expectation that fish will go out of water. Mr.Modi certaintly has sort of self esteem and one can even call it ego. He would be very uncomfortable in conditions that would not ensure this and when he would not be in a position to satisfy such mental need. Unless Mr. Modi’s health conditions would become a stumbling block , which is very much unlikely given his disciplined life and habits , Mr. Modi would certainly seek one more term after 2024.

(The above plus and minus factors of Mr. Modi have been discussed in more detail with facts and figures in the recently released book by Nandini Voice for the Deprived and authored by N.S.Venkataraman (nsvenkatchennai@gmail.com)

Published Date: Sunday, October 20th, 2019 | 08:22 AM

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