What has the government achieved?
In the last couple of days, this raging question rattled the Indian television screens, as various opposing panellists – on television news channels – were either trying to prove, or disprove, one-another.
It is two years since Narendra Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy.
And when you take stock of a government’s performance, in a country like India, statistics and facts, along with opinions and counter-opinions, can become a deadly concoction.
Despite his opposition’s denials, I am confident that Modi’s government’s achievements are very significant, and warrant deep appreciation.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign), Digital India, Rural Electrification, and Startup India, are but very few of the numerous projects the government has taken up.
In fact, keen readers of DT News would have observed that our newspaper’s lead cover story yesterday was on Bahrain wanting India to mentor its fintech, gaming startups. Along with Bahrain’s other connections of its startups with those in London and Hong Kong.
True to the promises Modi’s party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) had made in their manifesto, for Indian Parliamentary elections, which BJP-and-its-alliance won with an unprecedented majority, they have been going onward, undaunted.
On Saturday, 28 May, at a gala celebration titled ‘Ek Nayi Subah’ ( A New Dawn), at India Gate, in New Delhi, the BJP-led NDA government highlighted the achievements of this new government.
LPG Cooking Gas connections were given to millions of families, which brightened up many kitchens. LED lighting was implemented in many towns and cities which saved electricity costs, to homes and to the state. Supply of food grains through ration-shops, which was being diverted by corrupt officials for personal benefits, was effectively controlled. Kerosene oil, which still forms a huge part of Indian rural kitchen requirement, was also being diverted, but now controlled by this government.
All these are but a few of the many achievements that his party says it has met.
But Congress Party, which is the main opposition to BJP and its alliance, is calling Modi a ‘sapno ka saudagar’ (merchant of dreams) for not keeping the promises he made during the Lok Sabha polls.
However, an article published in ‘Wall Street Journal’ three days ago, titled, “Modi’s First Two Years: Economic Report Card” says this: “A look at 12 key indicators shows that Asia’s third-largest economy is now on much better footing than it was under the last government led by the Congress party and headed by Manmohan Singh”.
The reason for this great interest and excitement on the analysis of Modi’s performance in the last two years is simple. India is a huge country. It is democratic. And citizens want to evaluate the leader they selected.
To give the readers a perspective, here is an explanation of the electorate that says they have a right to know how their leader fared.
When India went to polls in 2014, with a 100 million new-registered voters, its electorate was five times bigger than the 146 million people who were registered to vote in the 2012 elections in the USA – the world’s second largest democracy.
It is not easy to please a country of this size, where controls cannot be effectively implemented.
However, since it took over in May 2014, the government has not faced corruption charges. In fact, it has brought in one of the toughest legislation in the world to deal with the black money menace.
I believe that that is one of this government’s biggest achievements. To stay untainted. At least, so far.
Modi’s travels to numerous countries helped restore India’s pride and brought in huge foreign direct investments.
It is clear that if Modi’s government continues onward without getting adversely affected by the criticism of opposition, and sticks to its promises, those ‘acche din’ (good days) which his election campaign promised, are not far. They are closer than what was earlier thought.