Reviewers of Narendra Modi’s rise to power would certainly highlight the single most valuable factor for his success: his successful domestic confidence building measures (CBMs) with the people of India. After 20 months of his being in office, these CBMs will again be evaluated and weighed against the forthcoming budget session of parliament.
Modi has achieved great success in his foreign policy and taken the country to a level where members in the comity of nations treat India with respect. He played his master stroke in foreign CBMs, significantly among others with Bangladesh and Pakistan. His visit to Pakistan foxed many from the elite community of media Moguls, journos, columnists, Captains of the so called secular forces, soft-liners & hard-liners alike, academicians, experts and foreign governments. The best part of his Pakistan visit was that it was welcomed by the people in both the countries.
How did it come through? It is because at people to people level, their emotional bonds remain sanguine. Only the terror groups and their mentors were upset, who lost no time in spoiling the atmosphere of goodwill created between the two countries and internationally too, by launching almost immediately the audacious terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force Base at Pathankot on the night of January 1 this year, that is within just 7 days of Modi’s visit to Pakistan on December 25, 2015. The Pathankot incident is one among many in the past carried out by terrorists (actually Pakistan ISI trained soldiers) running their training schools for terrorism. It has again dented the CBMs between India & Pakistan. But the success of the Modi government’s foreign policy has already been stamped.
Now is the time for paying greater attention to domestic CBMs, which have suffered no less from political terrorism of the opposition, even on an important area of public interest like the GST Bill; a hostile media which has always hated him and his supporters and have refused to acknowledge the change of government in India in 2014 after almost 67 years!
Modi had written a success story for his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and himself that went beyond the expectations of even the top leaders of the party and the organization. The recognized leaders of the party have not accepted the supremacy of Narendra Modi. They have gone on record expressing their disgruntlement. Narendra Modi faces regular sniping from his own party men, some honourable & intelligent, others outright boorish & foolish, and yet another lone wolf journalist kind seeking to further their own career by playing one against the other between these two groups (Modi & the dissidents). They are competing with the opposition in suppressing Modi’s achievements and finding faults with him or his government even where none exists.
Luckily for Modi, the people of India have not yet bought their propaganda. But there is no guarantee they would not. Modi has to attend to domestic affairs with greater commitment and care on a daily basis.
The people need the relief promised to them. They need roti, kapada, makaan, sadak, bijli, paani, school and health care facilities. They are not demanding world class services; rather they are simply asking for restoration of the facilities made available to them during Jawaharlal Nehru’s time but rendered dysfunctional after him by corrupt elements who ruined them to promote commercialization of education and health against the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India.
The country could never recover from that terrorism of the corrupt. In fact, the terrorist activities in India had also become a lucrative business for the corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, police, security forces and businessmen creating difficult internal security problems that continue to be worrisome even today.
The masses suffered so much that they had lost faith in democracy, government, political leaders, bureaucrats, institutions, professionals, businesses and industry until Narendra Modi succeeded winning their trust. They entrusted the responsibility of governance of India to him. It is for him to live up to that trust and prove himself worthy of it.
As the time to show results on the ground is not more than what has already elapsed since election 2014, Modi needs to monitor critical areas like price rise, employment, transparency, black money and general well being of the people of India.
Modi need not take unnecessary risks like in Delhi & Bihar elections, which have to be left to the local leadership. He can’t reduce himself to the level of a state politician by undertaking the whole responsibility of winning these elections on his own shoulders.
The issues involved and the language employed in state elections is different from the oratorical specialization of Naredra Modi. There are more pitfalls than high grounds in politics of elections in states. Modi has all the enthusiasm of a young ebullient dynamic politician that is germane to such personalities, but he is now a statesman of a very high stature, which his party has never had. He has to live upto that image and reality. Too much state electioneering has the ill effect of reducing that stature to an ordinary politician.
It is time for actualization of promises, showing results on ground and demonstrating the capability of a new India to run a government transparently as by law mandated.