Prime Minister Narendra Modi completes 3 years in office this May 26, 2017. Three years or 36 months. In politics, it is too long a time for reputations to survive the venomous attacks 24×7 from political rivals, media moguls and party teasers. Modi has not only maintained his clean image but embellished it greatly- so much so that on a scale of 1 to 9 he is at 7+ leaving all his rivals at 3. The gap between Modi and his rivals will be of immense relevance in the remaining 2 years, as efforts are afoot to forge a coalition to challenge his leadership in the parliamentary elections in 2019, which is just about 18 months away considering that the last 6 months will be taken away by preparations and high pitch electioneering in 2019. The reason is that India has changed and political parties and their leaders have lagged behind: most of them suffer a tainted image.
There is a flurry of write ups on success and failure of Modi in the print and electronic media, some perceived but most motivated. Modi’s success story is evident from the victory of his party in the Assembly elections of UP (Uttar Pradesh) two months ago where the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) of Modi won a huge mandate surprising everybody. This vote in the third year of Modi government is proof of the maturity of the Indian voter, who has refused to be trapped by caste, community, religion, ideology or other such illusions. This enhanced consciousness of the masses is going to turn the tables on the forces of corruption and poor governance, which is what was prevalent till Modi brought about a complete change in the way the government should be run.
I don’t intend to quote statistics like distribution of free LPG or cooking gas connections to more than 20 million poor families or facilitating hitherto uncovered more than 350 million people under the banking system or destroying the power of black economy by demonetizing the high value currency notes of Rupees 500/1000 denomination etc. I am on an entirely different issue here.
What did the people of India expect of Narendra Modi? They expected the end of corrupt governance and beginning of transparent and honest governance simultaneously.
Did Narendra Modi prove himself worthy of that trust of the people? Yes, he did, indeed.
But for a judicious appreciation of that commendable achievement, I crave the indulgence of the readers to employ the touchstone of Indian tradition of thought, logic and justice. It is contained in this aphorism: “Kadamb Korak Nyaya”.
Kadamb is the name of a tree, which grows tall and strong and nyaya means justice and korak is the bud. The buds of a Kadamb tree bloom as they appear as compared with other varieties which take time to bloom. Its fragrance is unique and soothing to the nerves. Lord Krishna and His Consort Radha would joyously swing under the Kadam tree. In Hindi it is called “Jhoolaa”/ Jhoolaa jhoolanaa and is a celebration of monsoon after hot summers in India. These swings can take a flight of more than 30 foot. Narendra Modi fulfilled the expectations of the people immediately as he took oath of office as he bloomed like the Kadamba bud.
As stated earlier, there has been not a single instance of corruption in the Government of India since 26th May 2014. No minister or bureaucrat has so far been charged with any misdemeanor or delinquency. Modi’s team of ministers deserves applause for their valuable contribution to the success of Modi in making transparent and honest government real, which was a distant dream till May 15, 2014, the day before the public mandate for Modi announced the change brought about by the people of India.
A leader is no leader if he is unable to show instant results in cleaning the system of corruption and introducing a clean governance system in its place. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Minister has won all round appreciation from right thinking people of India for which the leadership was provided by Modi.
It will be useful to make a note of other meanings of the word nyaya . Nyaya also means good governance; universal law; a branch of philosophy called the “tark shashtra” or Logic. It is necessary to include these meanings to show that Modi would have failed had he not been logical, rational, law abiding, fair & just. As stated earlier, had the Prime Minister erred on any of these counts, he would have come under fire from the opposition by now. The fact is that the opposition ranks are in such a disarray that they have started efforts to manufacture a coalition of all disparate elements, corrupt and convicted politicians to dislodge Modi in 2019. They have no chance.
Why do the opposition ranks don’t stand a chance in 2019? The reason is they don’t have a leader to match the stature of Modi. Modi is a Sadhak, a Tapasvi, a Yogi, a Rajarishi and a public servant. He is not after power to misuse it for personal benefit. He is a clean person. He is not constrained by narrow ideological moorings. He thinks for India whereas his political opponents have wasted decades in narrow pursuits of communal, religious, caste, region, language and left-right-middle ideology. They are like a fish out of water if they have to move beyond these puddles. None of them has totally surrendered all personal interests for public service.
Indians by nature don’t attach much significance to rulers, so long as s/he serves them in a fair & just manner. At a deeper level, it would be found that Indians are thoroughly indifferent to politics and rulers, something akin to communist thinking of society without government.
Every one of these leaders thinks herself/ himself as the only deserving person for the position of the Prime Minister. None of them, however, has given a good account of good governance without pandering to vested interests at public cost. And they can’t develop a leader in such a short time of 18 months! So, Modi is safe for the time being.
I expect the Modi government to take new initiatives and measures in the next one year which will establish more firmly his promise of sabkaa saath, sabkaa vikaas. One area could be rewarding researchers lucratively to give a fillip to self-reliance in critical areas of defence and health care. Shouldn’t a researcher, who finds an effective treatment for Chikungunya & dengue, be not rewarded 10 crore rupees, so that he gets paid for his labour at international prices? Military hardware and software takes away our money and also jobs. Our efforts towards faster self-reliance will yield better results if we free research from the constraints of pay scales- I mean a young person under age 25 is entitled to get paid handsome reward for his research and contribution to national development without the top bureaucracy or judiciary or executive feeling jealous and raising objections to stall such radical change over to growth.
There is too much developmental work to be done. This is just about preparing the groundwork and creating the right climate. The damage and disruption inflicted on the country in just 70 years or so is greater in the quantity of devastation than that caused in centuries. It will take decades before we regain the glory that India was and is bound to achieve.