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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Responsibilities

The entire political establishment in India is nonplussed at the outcome of India Election 2014. The Congress Party is trying to find the reasons for its rout, but the BJP is no less confounded. Others like the SP, BSP, JD (U), CPM, CPI and others are simply benumbed. But it is so because the politicians erred in thinking themselves wiser than the people. The politician is the elite, English speaking and financially rich class and the masses are poor.  Tradition has drilled into their heads a silly idea of superiority. The Constitution came into force from 26 January 1950. Sixty four years is no small time. The Constitution introduced the ideal of “equality” which politicians have not accepted in practice so far. They thought they have the divine right to rule the people of India by issuing manifestos at election time, make tempting promises during elections, launch some so called welfare scheme, distribute freebies during campaigning and garner votes to rule in oppression over these fools for another term. Successes in elections had made them so arrogant that they started boldly terming the Comptroller & Auditor General of India reports of losses to the exchequer to the tune of 176000 crores or 186000 crores and 76000 crores as “zero loss”. They had no sense of regret in allowing illegal transfer of capital from the country to foreign banks. They refused to proceed against the culprits even when their details were made available by the foreign governments like Germany. They increased their commission in defence deals which ran into billions of US Dollars. They refused to govern and sub-contracted governance to an unconstitutional apparatus called the NAC (National Advisory Council). They tormented the masses with spiraling prices, corruption and economic stagnation indicative of the dark clouds of dangers to the very survival of the country. The masses expressed their strong resentment, which the ruling class ignored with the contempt it never deserved. No better allegory of such a state of affairs can be provided other than the gang rape, murder and hanging of two poor minor girls in Uttar Pradesh (UP) two days ago and the statement  of the Chief of the ruling Samajwadi Party/Socialist Party (SP) during the recent elections to the Lok Sabha that boys do make such mistakes but we can’t hang them for such crimes and if elected to power we will change the recent amendments to the rape law enacted post Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case of Delhi. His son, who is the incumbent Chief Minister of UP, displayed greater insensitivity when a journalist asked him a question about it by saying “Aren’t you safe?” The political class forgot that the masses have a limit to tolerance of such lawlessness and drift, even though Mahatma Gandhi had inspired them to show maximum tolerance. The masses had long concluded that it was time to end this notorious and oppressive system.

The people were only looking for a man who could convince them of being worthy of their trust. We must rewind the chronicle. The strongest expression of people’s anger came when Anna Hazare came forward to change this system. Anna, however, presented no political alternative. Baba Ramdev, the Yoga Guru, offered to put up candidates in large numbers to replace the government by honest people. His Ram Lila ground fiasco, however, robbed him of the sheen. Moreover he did not succeed in endearing himself politically across sections. Arvind Kejriwal created a political formation that was supported by the knowledgeable in the country, who had lent support to Anna Hazare in his campaign. The AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) floated by Arvind Kejriwal, was chosen as an alternative to the existing political establishment on trial basis in Delhi. Its performance in just 49 days of government in Delhi made the people regret and they were considered unfit and immature for government responsibility in Delhi or at the centre. The party lost on all the 7 seats in Delhi, routed in India, with the only exception of  4 seats from Punjab. These developments strengthened the people’s resolve to vote a strong and stable government under a trustworthy leader. Narendra Modi entered the arena at that crucial juncture. He had the right credentials: a successful Chief Minister who won public faith on the plank of development and growth for all; independent of mind; clear headed but strong leader; a leader unafraid of the seniors in the party; devoted and dedicated; honest to the marrow. People decided to vote for Narendra Modi by voting whole sale for any candidate put up by him. The results are before all of us: BJP 282 and NDA 336. These figures have drawn OOHs and OUCHs from all political parties including the BJP, whose leaders have said it several times that they had not even dreamt of such a wonderful majority. The issue here is not the figures but the error in figuring out the reasons. And this is the greatest problem before the new Prime Minister. It is singularly because of the error of judgment that the BJP ranks and leaders are deluding themselves by thinking that it was the victory of the BJP or the people have suddenly turned BJP loving or still worse that the BJP has got a huge following. None of this. If they continue for a few more weeks and repeat the mistakes they have already made in less than 48 hours of the swearing in of Narendra Modi Prime Minister, the people will not hesitate to reduce them to the pathetic sight to which they have reduced the Congress Party to a mere 44 seats.

What is it that draws such comments from the hopefuls? The delusion induced clamour for raking up issued that have been kept on the back burner by wiser leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee. They are not merely sensitive. They are complex. It is my firm view that noise makers have no idea of the complexity involved. Take Kashmir. Unless one understands why it is that the moment the word Kashmir is uttered every superpower jumps into the fray even before any statement is issued from the Ministry of External Affairs in India! Let me put it bluntly: we have no strategic plans to end the debate about Kashmir excepting saying to ourselves that Kashmir is an integral part of India. We take “moral” stand only where strategy is required. Talking Article 370 in less than 48 hours of the government being in office is not only impetuous but highly indiscreet. It is certainly not for a minister of state to make public his personal views as government views, unless the matter has been considered by the Cabinet. The Cabinet had not considered the matter before the minister shot his mouth. Such impetuosity, born of a misconception of the victory being that of the BJP, is bound to cut short the Narendra Modi government’s tenure, which will be a tragedy of grave consequences. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must step in to stem the rot before the development spins out of control. He has to display the same promptness and firmness and unambiguity that he showed on the decision to introduce his biography in school curricula in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. It was a sign of the surreptitious attempts to play with education in the country. There is no need to imitate the Congress Party in playing with history, sociology, literature and other academic subjects. We are living in the age of the internet. People are watching the administration of the ministry of Human Resources Development under the charge of Ms Smriti Irani. Careful supervision and superintendence of the prime minister himself will be needed because even one mistake due to unwanted zeal (as about Art 370) could prove costly. The Prime Minister is on Agni Pariksha. He is more than aware of it. But he has to remember that he is in Delhi, not in Gandhi Nagar.  People like me have to constantly remind him of that fact. All complex issues must be handled with the aid, advice and approval of Narendra Modi, the man entrusted by the people of India the responsibilities of the Prime Minister after the success of the Second Freedom Movement of India.

China has to be seen through the lens of strategic interests. Sentimentality is to be avoided. This mistake had been made by the then Prime Minister Nehru, who displayed sentiments more than strategy in exchange with the Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai in Delhi. Such visits are not meant to allow your children or grand children to frolic around, but for hard negotiations in our national interests.  Unprepared, the government launched the forward policy but the nation paid the price. Diplomacy is never reduced to insignificant words or expressions in such strategic matters. Do we have a strategic paper on China ready even now? Even Pakistan has stolen a march over us in “tackling” China. We are still referring to the visit of Hsuan Tsang and Fa Hsien more than 1300 years ago. Are we suggesting to the Chinese that once upon a time India was greater than China? Should we not be asking ourselves: have we reciprocated the visit by such a wonderful Chinese scholar and chronicler? Why is it that we never returned such visits in similar manner? Or did we also send our scholars who did not write their memoirs of China? We are proud of Buddhist monks spreading the message of peace and non-violence in the region, which we have long forgotten to practice in Bodh Gaya in Bihar or other places in the country. Are we really proud of having reduced Buddhism to the religion of only the depressed classes? Why is it that our academic studies do not include anything about what exactly Hsuan Tsang had written about India or what Confucius had written? What are we being taught in school or college about China? Anger at the Chinese aggression of 1962 or misconceptions about Maoism? Are the reasons not the same even today? Isn’t India the host to the Tibetan government in Exile? Can such gaps in understanding our neighbours be considered as pardonable?  The very unfortunate reality is that we have never attached much importance as a nation to understanding our own people residing in the north eastern part of the country. We have compounded this mistake by remaining ignorant about countries like Myanmar, Korea, Japan (Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s association and Maruti Udyog excluded). Is this in India’s geo-political interests? Do we guard our sovereignty without knowing our neighbourhood under the influence of powers like China, USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya and others? Is it enough for India that we remain Mandarin challenged or other languages of the region challenged? Can we go slow like we have done so far? The second freedom movement is a mandate to Narendra Modi to move away from the dynasty and create a new India that can respond to each and every issue highlighted in the foregoing. It should be the end to any reference to the scions of the dynasty: their forefathers had made their valuable contributions at historic moments as Narendra Modi has to seize of the historic moment that has propelled him to the top. A new India has to be created. An India of the dreams of the people, not of the parties. The people have given their verdict. It is no time for sentiments.

A good leader is one who learns from everybody, including his rivals and enemies. Silence is such a virtue that all good leaders must practice. Their inexperience should not be betrayed in their zealous statements on Art 370 or China. The responsibility to ensure that rests squarely on the Prime Ministers Narendra Modi.

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