Narendra Modi: More Hype than Performance
In 2014, the nation was in a state of despair. The Congress party which had ruled for 10 years was guilty of many acts of misdemeanor and corruption had taken the drivers seat, with an ineffectual prime minister in ManMohan Singh who turned out to be a yes man of the Gandhi-Nehru family. Worse Indian prestige was rock bottom in the world as India followed a policy of just reaction and proactive initiative was not visible.
In such a situation many like me voted for change and a promise of a better life with the catchy phrase launched by Narendra Modi " Ache din". Unfortunately 18 months down the line the nation is bewildered at the approach of the government that had promised " Ache din". No " Ache din" ( good days) have appeared and the country has sunk into an morass and one wonders what will happen next. It shows that greatness that one associates with a leader is not for Narendra Modi.
The one visible aspect of the Indian Prime Minister is his frequent foreign jaunts and misplaced priorities. This has not borne fruit and some of his policies are definitely questionable, like giving one billion dollars to Mongolia, when there is rampant poverty in India and over 4000 farmers have committed suicide. What was the justification for it ? His initiative in Nepal has come a cropper and Nepal is more hostile now and turning more and more to China. Lanka cocks a snook at India and routinely arrests Indian fishermen. Can any one arrest even one American ? This is because Modi has negelcted the one reason that the world listens to a nation and that is military power.
Modi like Nehru has failed to realise the importance of the military. He is also not aware of the bond between serving and retired soldiers. He has opened a hornets nest by his backtracking on his promise of OROP; the announcement for which he had made from rooftops. Yet 18 months down the line the demand is not addressed and new factors have been brought in that negate the approval of parliament and the Koshyari commission which had clearly spelt out what OROP is. With his infantile approach he has at one stroke demoralised the armed forces and the only persons who will be happy are China and Pakistan.One hopes India does not have to fight a war now as that may bring a very different result. Another thing that has intrigued me is that when President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameroon can ceremonially recieve coffins of soldiers killed in action, why could not Modi recieve at least one coffin of an Indian soldier killed by Muslim insurgents? His taking a guard of nonor in chappals is also an insult to a soldier.
It is not only on the question of OROP, but despite his frequent foreign jaunts the situation is a live wire in India's proximity. China has amassed 30 divisions in Tibet and Pakistan remains an intractable foe. What does Modi plan to do here. Even Nepal is gravitating closer to China and Sri Lanka feels its a David vs Goliath. Kashmir remains a bone of contention and the valley is simmering with pro Pakistan sentiments. Something is definitely wrong some where. How can Pakistan which i/5th the size of India claim military and political parity with India. Who is responsible? One expected Modi to turn the tide but it has not happened.
There is lot of talk of FDI flowing in. One must remember that FDI does come only with strings and in any case FDi alone will not solve the economic ills. Prices of food stuffs have shot through the sky and dal the staple diet of Indians for protein( as Indian can't afford meat which is exorbitant in cost) is selling at astronomical prices. One wonders whether the BJP and Modi realise that the common man is more interested in the price of dal and other foodstuffs than in rhetoric on cow protection and cow slaughter. Modi has thus let the nation down. The honeymoon is over and now we have come face to face with the real Modi. He certainly is not the great man India expected to lead, but a small time man who in some ways does behave as a RSS pacharak.
One could see his discomfiture at the press conference in London , when he was asked questions on intolerence. He fumbled and side stepped some answers, before saying that India was the land of Gandhi and Buddha and thus there would be equality for all. Why couldn't this man make the same statement in India ? Why he had to make a statement only in London after months of the pot simmering at home.?
Modi is a perhaps not a great man. His actions look like he is a narcissist, intent only on his own image, other things be dammed. This is dangerous for India and with Pakistn and China challenging India and food stuff prices rising and poor not having enough to eat and farmers committing suicide, Modi better do something before he goes into the dustbin of history
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