Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanirbhavati Bharata I
Abhyutthanamdharmasya Tadatmanam Srjamyaham II IV / 7 II
(O Bharata! Whenever there is a decline in righteous moral order, rise of unrighteousness and immorality, I embody Myself.)
So the phenomenon of Narendra Modi was expected rather desperately/petulantly desired by all in the country. What really was unexpected, it happened so soon after, not even one step behind.
Manmohan Singh was a tragi-comedy of governance (2004-2014) that should never have happened to such a vast nation like Bharatvarsa. He should have been experimented in a tiny, faraway island country like Fiji, Mauritius etc. Being a world renowned economist, nation deserved a much better economy from him as an aftermath of his rule instead of continuation of largest poverty multiplication programme in recorded history. Complete failure to undertake tax-reforms, rise in inflation close to double-digit, burgeoning budgetary deficit, uncontrolled rise in NPAs as a reward of corruption and a comatose economy, declining GDP every quarter, declining punch of security forces, declining exports, volatile currency, rising arms imports, multi-fold rise in high-ticket corruption instead of high-ticket reforms, foreign policy in utter chaos so much so that even tiny countries pushed Bharata around, bullying a country like Bhutan that loved us hitherto, hostile conduct with a pro-Bharata regime in Bangladesh, compelling Sri Lanka to invite China for aid and assistance, voting against Sri Lanka in UN, similar hostile neglect of other countries in our neighbourhood, rise in border violations and infiltrations, rise in terror attacks, Maoists brutally slaughtering securitymen…nation was in such a pathetic state of dis-array by the time ManMohan Singh demitted Office that it reminded of days of a rejoicing Nero in Rome blazing in infernal fire. One of the worst crimes of his Government had been utter neglect of Army, Navy and Air Force. Soldiers defending borders had to ask for permission from New Delhi whether to fire back. Country became desparate for change of Government by the day and everyday till elections appearing like one year of the Criminal-Governance.
As Sonia Gandhi had been pulling all strings of governance right behind him fortified in 10 Janpath with no accountability through an unconstitutional advisory body packed with anti-nationals and plunderers, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became a butt of derisive jokes and sarcastic comments all over the world. It appeared, he would soon replace one of the twosome of Santa/Banta jokes. And the man was completely devoid of dignity and self-respect as he responded so audaciously, “Proof of the pudding is in the eating. I have not done anything to deserve such epithets. I should be judged not by what Advani says but by what I do.” in response to LK Advani calling him “the weakest PM I have seen so far”. And nation was desperately waiting for the day to obliterate him completely from public memory. I marvel at the divine game-plan as Narendra Modi was planted much before i.e. 2002 than Manmohan Singh in 2004 just as Sri Krishna pre-existed Sisupala and Jarasandha. It appears that eternality and invincibility of Dharma are ensured first before Adharma is allowed to take roots superficially.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had been intensely engaged with the nitty-gritty of ‘Skill India of Good Governance’, had his trial by infernal fire in 2002 itself as if Isvara was in a bit of hurry to groom him for greater responsibilities. Quite uncannily, he had an inspiring Guru too, in the Democrat Presidential candidate in Barack Obama with his war-cry “Yes, we can!” CM Narendra Modi carefully read ‘Barack Obama: The New Face Of American Politics’ in one breath in the backyard of his official residence in Gandhinagar unaware of his laptop, pen-drives strewn around and a few beautiful ducks prancing around him, that laid concrete foundation of his electoral plans and strategies in years to come. His credentials as an outstanding performer who delivers were established when he transformed Gujarat into one of the most talked about/admired ‘nations’ in the world in every discipline of governance. Nation’s politics had never before witnessed such an intensive, rigorous, threadbare analysis of performance of a politician with innumerable magnifying glasses by ‘blood-thirsty/famished for a kill’ journalists and Judiciary. As Narendra Modi was a 24-Carat pure bullion, he turned out brighter after every trial by blazing fire. In fact, he thoroughly enjoyed every trial by blazing fire and proved to be more productive for the State thereafter than before.
Historic events that were scheduled and destined in Bharata culminating into installation of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, were quite mystically rehearsed in faraway Turkey, a small country on a smaller scale that witnessed rise to power of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, founder of Justice And Development Party (AKP). His personal life and political travails had been quite similar to that of Narendra Modi. Erdogan rose as a religious demographic majority leader, campaigned on economy and development, promising to wipe out corruption to rapid economic growth, born in outskirts of Istambul to poor immigrant parents, sold lemonade/pastries in his early teens in streets of Istanbul to revel in poverty. If Erdogan was able to win support of various bodies raised by a religious figure Fethullah Gulen, Narendra Modi successfully enlisted support of RSS, number of Guru-s who took to public prominence in order to save the country from marauders on prowl, Hindu intellectuals and tech-activists. Not belonging to a dynasty opened up the possibility of unmitigated dynamism of governance with both personalities. Tayyip Erdogan too, had his own share of being preceded and presaged twice by two Atal Bihari Vajpayees in President Turgut Ozal and Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. President Erdogan rose to power in 2003 on the tide of 32.26% votes translating into 363 out of 550 seats in Turkish Parliament. Narendra Modi was no better in 2014 with 32% vote-share and 336 seats out of 543 up for grab. Uncanny similarities between the two appeared to be systemic and not merely a bouquet of blooming, multi-hued co-incidents. Rise of both to power riding waves of economic neo-liberalism packaged in religious assertions, symbols and gestures is a powerful centripetal democratic force indeed.
When in Jan. 2012 Barack Obama launched Organising For America Fund wherein he asked for donation from his supporters, Narendra Modi appealed to all for funds for ‘Dhan Sangraha’ campaign. When Obama grabbed his nation’s attention in a Google Plus hangout Interaction “Ask Me Anything” with 2,00,000 logged in, heralding a new political culture of blending politics and internet, Narendra Modi did that with 20,000 logged in and 4,00,000 having visited the site thereafter. Coming soon after his name being withdrawn as a Speaker at the Wharton India Economic Forum, the highly successful Hangout proved to be a concrete rebuff to all those nefarious lobbyists who had succeeded in delisting Narendra Modi from the Forum as a Speaker.
When Jeremy Bird introduced ‘Barack Obama Dashboard’, an online platform to rank volunteers/active supporters by assigning them points, organizing events and grabbing members from swinging States with the winner invited to interact with Obama personally, Narendra Modi launched ‘India 272+ Initiative’ with the same design and architecture of Barack Obama Dashboard. And narrative of the Initiative ran a real-life success story. When Obama employed Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes to manage his FB page who propped up ‘MyBo : Keep it real and keep it local’ branding of several merchandise items launched in market, Narendra Modi structured a cyber-army of supporters ‘NaMo League’ with 3,40,000 likes and NaMo Smartphones, NaMo Tea Stalls, NaMo Apparel etc. followed by a biopic too.
When Obama raised a team of young coders with their HQ called CAVE who re-defined how individuals can participate in political processes through digital means, Narendra Modi roped in digital posters like Rajesh Jain and BG Mahesh to steer his social media campaign with members dispersed across the country and the overseas diaspora. When Joel Benenson and Carol Davidsen carefully crafted Obama’s image as one of the ‘Fighting middle class’ on social media, Narendra Modi projected himself as a ‘tea seller’ and declared, he wished to realise dreams of ‘Aam Aadmi’ while living / working like an ‘Aam Aadmi’ himself. And the message hit desired audience like a thunderbolt. When managers of Obama campaign created separate Twitter accounts for all States to address their voters at regional / local levels with what exactly to say and where, Narendra Modi opened Twitter accounts in Assamese, Kannada, Manipuri, Telugu, Malayalam, Odiya, Marathi and other dialects, he used catchphrases specific to rally locations endearing himself to non-Hindi regions with popularity/enthusiasm of Swami Vivekananda. It was remarkably summed up in a cartoon wherein Barack Obama responded, “Yes, we can !” when Narendra Modi asked him, “May I carry you and all that on my back to India ?”
Finally, rather ad hoc finality, journey of a thousand miles started with a single step in the afternoon of May 26, 2014 from the courtyard of Rashtrapati Bhavan witnessed by Heads of SAARC States and those ambitious ones who missed the grand opportunity by a whisker (in their own palatable calculations !!). First step itself was a giant step indeed as the Oath Ceremony itself turned out to be an intense, direct engagement with nations in neighbourhood, neglected / browbeaten / bullied / tormented hitherto by the cursed UPA regime, prodding them to invite our arch adversary China right onto our doorsteps. Secondly, Prime Minister’s Office was now manned by Prime Minister himself finally. Institutional indecisiveness, policy paralysis were now destined to be relegated into backyards of history. Sooner than later, Smart & Good Governance gained momentum right in first year of Office. Scams and scandals were stopped completely, all touts/middlemen disappeared from Delhi. By constituting SIT on money stashed abroad right on the first day, loud and explicit message was transmitted across the world, this Government means business. With Prime Minister’s integrity unimpeachable, every activity of governance is now focused, harmonized and synchronized in just one direction – India, A Developed Nation.
Direct Benefit Transfer is a piece of governance that has been inconceivable for even the greatest visionaries so far. It is a giant leap into future while Narendra Modi could not afford to ignore agonies of past too. That he proved by launching PM Jan Dhan Yojana to conclude unfinished agenda of Bank Nationalisation-1969 by PM Indira Gandhi as a measure of political acrobatics to deflect public attention from her sinister act of destruction of her own Party. Diametric turnaround over internal corruption has been so loud that entire nation stood stunned. From Zero Gain to Govt./Zero Loss in coal mine allocations to online auctions leading to commitment of Rs. 3 Lakh Crores was a loud testimony of unstinted integrity of the Government and their strategy of governance. Thrust on infrastructure has been another area of massive expansion. Target for solar energy rose from 20,000 MW to 1,00,000 MWs, Rs. 6,00,000 crore investment for Railways, national highways booming from 2 Kms. a day to 18 Kms…Modi Government is determined to raise the nation to the level of ‘Bullet Growth Rate’. He has empowered bureaucracy, rather turned them ‘Bureaucrat-Entrepreneurs’, starkly different from ‘Chalta Hai’ culture of the era bygone.
On the front of foreign policy, turnaround has been stupendous. With an exhaustive schedule involving back to back meetings as he does in Prime Minister’s Office and sleeping during flights, he took the world by storm. Popularity can be gauged by the fact that a selfie with Chinese Premier had over 30 million hits from all over the world. FDI inflow rose by 39% in first year itself as he marketed country’s vast potential aggressively. Today, Bharata is the most open economy in the world for Foreign Direct Investment. Greatest tribute come from IMF which declared Bharata as the most promising economy with steadily rising GDP with the entire world seeped in recession. When 177 countries in the world supported June 21 to be declared International Yoga Day, a giant stride towards declaration of Bharata as Visva-Guru once again was undertaken with robust confidence. Having visited Mongolia, first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to that country, Narendra Modi addressed US Congress amidst repeated applause and standing ovations, mobilized active support for Bharata’s joining NSG and MTCR as well as NATO Ally status. These are nothing short of epochal achievements for the new Government. It was for the first time, US President visited as a State Guest for the Republic Day Parade, BRICS Bank was constituted and India was accorded high priority in G-20 Summit in Turkey and Paris Climate Summit.
‘Spiritual-Diplomacy’ is altogether a new discipline developed and perfected by the Prime Minister himself. And with this has come into being ‘Spiritual neighbourhood’. Buddhism travelled from Nalanda to the Roof of World, and then to Mongolia and China which Narendra Modi leveraged to create ‘Track II’ diplomacy of spiritual variety. And he acknowledged that while addressing the Hural, Mongolian Parliament. Bharata alone is the country that can resort to Spiritual-Diplomacy notwithstanding rigorous efforts by China in this regard to appropriate the initiative for themselves. With Sri Lanka in south too as another spiritual neighbour, Narendra Modi stretched it to boundaries of Japan. His Holiness Dalai Lama too, assisted Narendra Modi by declaring, all Buddhists are followers of the same Buddha. His Navaratri-Fast during his first visit to the White House brought to the forefront, Navaratri festivities to a much larger audience than what Ekta Kapoor serials could attain for Karwa Cauth.
When it came to rescue and relief operations, Narendra Modi has inaugurated astounding benchmarks. Safe rescue of Bharatiya nurses from beastly ISIS, thousands from Ukraine/Iraq/Libya, Christian priest from Taliban, 6,000 stranded Bharatiya-s in Yemen in addition to 2000 from 48 countries created an absolutely resplendent bright new image for the country in the world, from Help-Seeker to Help-Provider. The climax arrived when Prime Minister of Nepal was informed by Narendra Modi, his country Nepal was ravaged by a devastating earthquake.
Ideological migration in Bharata is profoundly a difficult proposition as we have a cultural heritage marked by asceticism and renunciation. In spite of these foundations, all revisionists and right-wingers from various walks of life, congregated to render the apparently impossible, possible by injecting a heavy dose of growth, consumerism and generation of wealth. Ideological migration from subsidy culture to ‘renounce subsidy’ on the basis of just one appeal by him as witnessed in the case of LPG subsidy is yet another enigmatic dimension to that. More is expected in the form of Railway Passenger Subsidy or may be, Reservation Subsidy too !! When he is accused of being a polarizing figure, that speaks volumes of eulogy as he has been successfully knifing out surgically the decrepit Nehruvian ideological core from nation’s psyche and substituting that with a new, radically refreshing dimensions of Ekatma Manavavada enunciated by Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya manifesting in growing GDP, FDI, consumerism and growth for all, to the last person in queue. Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, naysayers have been outnumbered by those desirous of redefining the ‘Idea of Bharata’ and the grand, historic caravan of growth has attained an irreversible momentum. When ISRO launched 20 satellites on June 22, 2016 in just one rocket operation, it marked Multi-Disciplinary Multiple Achievements of 2-year long Narendra Modi regime quite eloquently.
Still, he has bitter critiques. When a young Cossack realized his dream of having the best steed by having one in a nearby village fair, with a flowing mane, flaring nostrils, rippling muscles and a glistening white fleece, everybody gathered around and gasped in wonder. Then came a village curmudgeon, a designated Cossack intellectual cynic, lifted his tail, sniffed and declared in a stentorian voice like a local judge, “But the horse stinks.” As he could cognise nothing positive about the stallion over whom all others swooned but for him, ultimate test was whether his rear orifice stank. Narendra Modi critiques belong to that class of village curmudgeons incapable of seeing the good and the positive about a world statesman who is now a celebrity.