Current Affairs

Narendra Modi: Three Years and Going Strong 

Yatindra Bhatnagar

There should be no denying the fact that in the last three years the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has managed to accomplish in all the fields of political, economic, scientific and social fields a lot more than what was done in the previous many decades of Congress and other coalition governments.

What Prime Minister Modi’s dynamic leadership has done in the country and in the wide world has been phenomenal. He has brought glory to India in his interaction with world leaders, enhanced India’s prestige and has himself emerged in just three years as the most popular Prime Minister of India.  

His party-men would naturally hail their leader but BJP President Amit Shah saying “PM Narendra Modi is the most popular leader of independent India” is absolutely accurate. Indeed, with Modi as the PM, the country’s prestige on the global map has soared high. In India his clean and efficient image is a breath of fresh air after decades of dirty and scandal-ridden political and economic life. His ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (development for all) slogan has inspired all. His ‘clean India’ and ‘Make in India’ campaigns have caught on.  

On the third anniversary of BJP rule, Shah also rightly said that:  “What could not be achieved in 70 years, the Modi government had done in three years. BJP's repeated victories in elections were testimony to the growing popularity of Modi and BJP. After the 2014 Lok Sabha win, BJP's popularity has grown as people have shown confidence in the current government, which delivered for the poor and displayed decisiveness,” Shad added. 

Despite the extremely unpopular decision of demonetization of high value currency in India a few months before the major elections in Uttar Pradesh and in a few other states, BJP gained. It captured UP in a landslide win, humiliated the ruling party and the other ‘claimants’ in the largest state of India. Modi’s party also  wrested  Uttarakhand (from Congress), besides forming governments in Manipur (first time) and Goa. The Modi wave was unstoppable and the BJP gave a fitting reply to the naysayers. Notebundi (demonetization) ultimately convinced the people of its good results (getting billions of ‘black money’ unearthed and massive gains for the government treasury) and that was converted into votes. 

[The only setback in those mini-elections was Punjab where BJP did badly. But it was definitely a massive defeat for the majority-partner, Shiromani Akali Dal that brought about the victory of Congress; it was not because of the BJP. Father-son-led Akali Dal had become so unpopular that it lost heavily and took BJP with it.

I am sure, if the BJP fights the next polls in Punjab on its own, it would do better.]  

Modi had also embarked on his war on corruption and no big shark was spared. That campaign is unending and the Income Tax Department is going after those suspected of hiding and hoarding ill-gotten wealth and indulging in illegal activities or buying-selling-and other scandals all over the country. 

Despite the Congress and a couple of other parties desperately trying to find holes in BJP rule and Modi’s actions, they have not succeeded in finding any scandal. There have been, and continue to be unearthed, dozens of scandals during the rule of Congress and other parties at the federal level and in states. Modi government is going after the suspects, be they common business people or prominent politicians. 

Modi has promised good governance and he is periodically assessing his own Ministers in the Central (federal) government by keeping a sharp eye on their activities and asking them to give periodic reports of their ministries. No other Prime Minister has ever done that. 

No wonder the BJP’s list of achievements is large and incontrovertible. To quote Amit Shah again:  “Among the NDA's achievements are constitutional status to the OBC (Other Backward Classes) Commission, implementation of OROP (One Rank, One Pension) for the armed forces, surgical strikes across the Line of Control against Pakistan’s nefarious activities, Enemy Property Act, demonetization, proposal to hold Lok Sabha and state polls together, passage of GST (General Services Tax) with consensus.

Goods and Services Tax is an indirect tax throughout India to replace taxes levied by the central and state governments. GST is expected to be applicable from 1 July this year. This is one of the most important tax- reforms in years.

Over two hundred thousand families now have free LPG connections and also electrification completed of 13,000 out of 18,000 villages deprived of electricity.

Among other actions by the government is banning beacons on cars to end VIP culture in the country, repealing more than 11,000 obsolete laws and Rs. 48,000 crore additional grants under MGNREGA, guaranteeing rural employment. The statute is hailed by the government as "the largest and most ambitious social security and public works program in the world." In its World Development Report the World Bank termed it a "stellar example of rural development." 

Modi has laid special emphasis on scientific progress and space research and goals. As recently as June 5, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched its most powerful and heaviest rocket yet and sent a communications satellite into orbit in a successful flight. The satellite weighs 705 tons (some 200 elephants or five Boeing Jumbo Jet planes) and is 141 feet tall. launch of 104 satellites in one go to make available the use of satellites to neighboring countries totally free of charge for their communication needs. A couple months before that India launched 104 satellites in one go to make available the use of satellites to neighboring countries totally free of charge for their communication needs. A great gesture! 

One of the most spectacular achievements of Modi in international arena was his first speech at the United Nation’s General Assembly in 2014 when he proposed, and the Assembly accepted, June 21, as International Yoga Day. What a sight it has been since then when over 150 countries in the world celebrate Yoga Day with millions of people joining in a public display of yogic exercises that India gave to the world for developing ‘a sane mind in a sane body.’ 

India’s new prime minister spoke about his vision of India he wants to build, a strong, ambitious, confident and impatient to forge ahead without slackness of any kind. He has more than proved himself in the last three years. He doesn’t seem to stop, only move forward on all fronts. 

That year, in his maiden speech, Prime Minister Modi reminded the world on India’s continued war on terror, and took a swipe at countries that give terror groups shelter and called for international cooperation to root out the scourge of terrorism. Ever since, India, under Modi, has waged a relentless psychological campaign against terror that has resulted in more pressure on Pakistan and other exporters of terror in the world. Short of declaring Pakistan a Terrorist State, the US has drastically curtailed its aid to Pakistan and has been putting pressure on Islamabad to behave. 

The fact that when India retaliated against Pakistan -sponsored terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir with its own ‘surgical strikes’ on Pakistani military posts and destroyed several, the US and some other countries supported and praised India. 

This is one of the several achievements on international arena under Modi. Wherever he goes, and he has been to a dozen countries making beneficial deals with them, Modi has been hailed and applauded by huge cheering crowds everywhere. The kind of reception he has received, and continues to receive, is unsurpassed; no other Prime Minister has been hailed like a celebrity and game changer. 

In his first speech he did not say anything about a decade-long visa ban on him by the US government that had prevented him from coming to the United States. It was left to the then President Obama to personally call and invite Modi to visit.

What a spectacular turn-around! All credit to Narendra Modi and the country he is leading successfully and dynamically.