Development and its false notions.

We as the citizens of this country has been aspiring for development, Everybody wants to see our country’s progress because right for a decent living with minimum amenities in place to satisfy our needs is democratic rights of each and every citizen of this country. We vote candidates from different political parties based on plank called “Development”. Have these representatives of the people do justice to their promise to the people, I think this question lingers large on everybody’s mind. The most recent stampede in Mumbai on the railway overbridge proves a point beyond doubt that Govt priorities changes once they are elected to power, they consciously forget their responsibilities towards common people of this country because either they have an agenda to pursue which has been far away from the realities on the ground or a misplaced notion for development . However, they pursue policies to favour the rich and corporates, help them gain maximum profits for the corporates out of it. In today’s environment, it has been increasingly evident that the Govt policy measures are not in sync with the reality, But politicians have consciously tried to pass the message to the larger audience that they are trying to build a new India. what is this new India means to common people, Is new India, govt talking about leave farmers to die because of not able to pay their debts, or children die out for not receiving the oxygen on time , or scores of people are left to die while standing in the queue to withdraw their savings from the bank,But frankly speaking all these campaigns by those in power is nothing but an effort to keep us living in fool’s paradise with hope that sometime someday something better would happen . Now, let’s take the incident happened in Mumbai around 25 valuable lives had been lost in the stampede, it is well known and many times it has been brought to their notice that the railway overbridge is 120 years old with the narrow passage which inadequate to handle the volume of passengers who commutes daily. But on the other hand, we have seen PM launching a bullet train project from Surat to Mumbai with a project cost 10,000 crores. But left to lurch in perennial neglect Do you think it is because of the misplaced priorities and opportunity for photo shots to be in the realm of public life as” Vikash purush “. I think beyond that govt’s has scant regard for the valuable lives of the common people. So it is quite natural to think that launching a bullet train project attracts more eyeballs, improve the optics than the repairing, improving the existing infrastructure of the railways. The major source of income to govt comes from the taxpayers money through direct and indirect taxes, Out of that major source of revenue comes from the indirect tax sources which you and I pay while purchasing our grocery or filling petrol in our vehicles , but the moot question is where do they spend the money collected from us ? Had they been spending the resources wisely frequent occurrence of rail accidents could have been avoided.

Misplaced priorities.

In the last several decades and increasingly so in the last three years, the optics of development for this govt has been through series of announcements of schemes, But very little budget or money has been allocated to improve the situation. Take in the case of rural distress and farmers problem, in the last three years we have not seen any concrete or well thought out plans to address the problem faced by the farmers, Now we have started debating whether the demonetization has delivered its objective , still many argue that the long-term benefits would overweigh the short-term problems. How is it possible when Govt allowed the daily wage workers, farmers to starve and die of poverty. When you have global oil prices at all time low, how can they still allow it to be costlier in India without passing the benefits to the common people? These issues need immediate address rather than ministers after minister trying to justify the move by showing very less importance to issues affecting the common man on the streets.

Optics matter more than the reality.

A responsible government and its administration should be spending the time to address the issues faced by the masses and how they could solve the issues faced by the public at large. In the case of demonisation as the biggest administrative act by the govt has failed miserably, because the reports are out in the open which states more than 90% of the money in circulation came back to the banks. So the purpose of the demo has failed completely. One shock after the other flawed implementation of GST has destroyed the backbone of the economy further, So serious of shocks had already put the ailing patient in ICU, which takes for the patient to come out of the danger. But the optics created by Modi government being that they are sincere in their efforts to attack the black money and GST has been hailed as the biggest reform since independence. If Govt has had any seriousness in curtailing the black money in circulation they should have acted with resilience in bringing the black money stashed abroad, And also should have imposed more taxes on the elites, If they had done any of these it would have signalled some credence to their sincerity in curbing the black money. . Job losses have hit economy badly which really pulled GDP growth down, overall distress in rural economy has taken the situation to such a low, perhaps it takes time to recover.

Inclusive development

You cannot have changed priorities once you get into power Because elected representatives carry the hopes of millions of people who daily fight to survive, lead a life of dignity. So any development for that matter should be inclusive in nature which takes care of the basic needs of the common masses. Take for instances the agriculture’s contribution towards GDP has been declining steadily for couple of decades , Govt, after govt promised to take care of the concerns faced by the farmers, But little has been done to improve the situation, like this many sectors be it education or healthcare which needs a lot of attention and care to improve it. So a real development is nothing but taking everyone together, For the last 3years we have seen hue and cry happening over cow vigilantism and nationalism, Do such priorities of the Govt do any good for the
80% of the population?

Cost of Bullet train

The project cost is expected to be Rs.110,000 crore ie is which works out to be Rs.217crore per km. In 2016 Indian railways reported 186 deaths which go up to 325 deaths, why Modi goes for this expensive project when the entire railway infrastructure meddles with problems of long-term neglect. so it has been the classic case of misplaced priority.

Source:  Frontline October 13, 2017.


Advani a Guru who got sidelined


The expectations on nominating MR  Lal Krishna Advani as the 14th president of India were doing the rounds when BJP came to power in 2014 under the leadership of  Mr. Narendra Modi. But on 19th June when BjP announced the Name of Mr. Ram Nath kovind as their presidential nominee has left many of the party supporters like me surprised and shocked , Certainly the move has created enough rifts in the opposition camps and would continue to happen in the coming days. The Congress the major opposition party has been harboring the hopes to make the presidential election a close contest through the support garnered from like-minded parties. But Modi and Amith Shah combine left everyone awestruck by choosing a not so familiar personality like Ram nath kovind .  The move to pick a  Dalit face is certainly aimed at sending a larger political message that, BJP as a national party cares for the interest of Dalit community.

But as a citizen of India and  BJP supporter, I had been admiring the leadership qualities of Advani well before the Modi’s rise to prominence. Mr. Advani worked strenuously to convert the  BJP from its incubation stage to a party of national stature, also successfully ruled the nation under the leadership of Mr. Vajpayee. As a leader, Advani played the second fiddle role, complemented well with  Vajpayee, also was successful in keeping the  NDA constituents together for 5 years.   If we take any high-profile leader now in the present cabinet, all of them grew under the wings of Mr. Advani , The Advani has developed and nurtured the second rung leadership in BJP when he was controlling or calling the shots in the party. So certainly as a token of dakishna to his Mentor  MR Modi should have shown the courtesy to return it back by supporting the candidature of Mr. Advani as a Guru Dakishna. It is well-known fact that after the Gujarat riots in 2008, Vajpayee had insisted  Modi to resign from CM post by following Raj Dharm, It was Mr. Advani who supported Modi to continue as CM. In the Book, “My country and My life” authored by LK Advani, the strong character and commitment to our Bharath was evident when he stood rock solid without moving an inch by not allowing the Agra summit to go through when Musharaf visited  India in July 2001. He is also one among the earlier RSS pracharak to travel across the length and breadth of this nation to strengthen the party to its present form.

 Advani is man of principles who is equally against promoting dynasty politics, He could have easily pursued her Son and daughter to join politics and later either of them could become a minister in Modi’s cabinet. When one of the reporters asked this question to  Advani why did your son or daughter become a politician? he strongly replied that he is against dynasty politics. Advani as a leader have passed his prime , he nurtured the dreams to become PM of India , hard luck when BJP lost to congress in 2009  and later  in 2014 when RSS was trying to project Modi as PM candidate Advani in very clear terms opposed  him  ,But ultimately RSS diktat finally came a cropper .

The change in Advani to project himself from a hardline hindutva leader to soft irked the RSS and the only mistake Mr Advani had committed in his long and successful political career was  his words of praise on Jinnah in Pakistan , which has really held Advani as a bad guy in the books of RSS, their after RSS had sidelined Advani to such an extent that he lost his say and prominence in the party. Once Advani was considered as the ultimate Voice in the party , Now things have come full circle that his blue-eyed disciple  Mr Modi has used everything under his command to side line his own guru who taught the tricks of the trade and party’s ideological moorings.  But as an individual, my  affinity  towards BJP and its ideology took birth when I found a bold and principled leader  like Advani . One thing is sure you cannot always reign like  a king , But Presidential post would have been the best gift Modi could have offered  to Advani when he is on the last leg of his political journey.

Is Modi invincible?

Image source :Economic timesSince 2014 Everything is going right in favor of Modi his rise to the top at 7 race course road in new Delhi is marked with shrewd political acumen and whipping the air with changes and ideas. Many detractors of Modi were hoping that 2017 assembly elections in UP would put a stop to Modi’s winning streak, but eventually when results have announced the magnitude of his victory is more than the party has hoped for. All the anti-Modi factions including the congress cannot even put up any show of resistance to Modi’s popularity The only debacle Modi faced was in Bihar after swiftly formed Maha GadaBandhan played the spoilsport in Modi’s victory ambition, Now in recently concluded  MCD elections in Delhi, they have defeated Kejriwal by hands down. The success of BJP in making huge inroads in northeastern states where the party had no roots or presence, The clout, aura Modi commands among the public is a testament to his victories one after the another. If we closely analyze the success of BJP, it is purely on account of his personality and mass appeal due to his clarion call for a New India.

What is going right for Modi?

Since Independence no political leader other than  Indira Gandhi commanded such a mass appeal like Modi, He clearly shows that he is in control of the ship and like the true dictator he commands absolute control over the party affairs and his cabinet.

The Modi truly likes to speak in large gatherings, and proven many times he is versatile orator , knows what to speak and how to speak , He perfectly uses newly coined terms like Digital India, start up India , sabkha saath sab ka Vikas, he always speaks positively about change he wish to make for India . He is equally adept at taking the mass crowd along with him even while taking potshots against the opposition he uses his skills to the best effect.

The reasons are many but let me put across certain positive factors   largely in favor of  Modi

  1. Modi always speak about dreams  and ideas to change India, and he is able to connect his dreams to common people’s  sentiment effectively
  2.  People of this nation were fed up with kind of politics which is been played by the opposition in the last two decades, so everyone is hoping for change and people really started to believe that changes they expected are slowly started to fructify.
  3. Modi effort to demonetise the currencies went largely in favor to him which in fact helped him to consider by the people as a decisive strong leader, who would root out corruption.
  4. In the last three years, the role of the opposition is been limited, Modi is, in fact, successful in keeping the opposition as divided house, even when cow vigilantes running amok, no party in the opposition could raise it as an issue.
  5. The charisma modi commands is the major xfactor which other leaders in the opposition cannot match up, or no body could be seen on the horizon to challenge his popular image.
  6.  Modi likes attending public rallies and most of the time he uses rallies as a platform for making new announcements or taking the opposition down.
  7.  His attire, style and energy also earned him as hardworking PM who works 24×7 with unmatched energy and enthusiasm.
  8.  Inspite of RSS and other fringe elements running freely by making controversial statements , people are not bothered much about  beef ban , cow vigilantism or Anti Romeo squad , people’s belief on Modi is strong with a lot of positivity.
  9.  Even though in last three years this govt has messed up a lot of things , but the narrative popularized by Modi is widely accepted by the masses.

So I think at present Modi is invisible and opposition has run out of Ideas to pose as countervailing force to his popularity. So in 2019 elections to counter Modi the usual secular approach, minority appeasement will not find any favor, the more they point Modi stronger he becomes, So only hope to counter Modi is building up an alternative narrative.


Modi chariot’s galloping run


narendra-modi in a chariotModi steered his chariot’s to an unimaginable  victory, with no ominous sign of any major opposition to its dream run. As everyone termed the assembly elections in the largest state of UP as the biggest of all elections, where BJP has clearly emerged victorious with no contenders to challenge the thier  supremacy. Now with this Victory under its belt,  BJP as a party has successfully established its prominence in the Hindi heartland after a long period, the verdict clearly shows that 2019 national elections would become an easy cake walk for Narendra Modi. At least many of them expected that the triangular fight between BJP, SP-Cong, and BSP would be a close contest because UP as a state is known for its cast combinations and with significant Dalit and Muslim populations. But the final result clearly blown away all such assumptions, voters exhibited a greater confidence in the leadership of Modi.

Ever since after the Modi’s biggest and unexpected demonetization drive on November 8th, elections in UP was considered as the biggest referendum on the Demo, But Namo with his magic has  proved that everything is wrong, Still he enjoys a very popular support in the minds of the Voters, They still believed  had  faith in Modi’s leadership  even  though  people were put under  several hardships due to demonization.  Opposition parties were given an opportunity to rally the voters in UP against BJP, but the result has shown that BJP’s thumping victory is nothing but the lesser impact of demonetization on people’s verdict in favor of BJP.

Several exit polls and the pre-poll survey has shown that BJP was going to emerge as the single largest party in UP, But the final result proved everyone wrong, clearly the Modi’s charisma and personality has turned the tide into a larger tsunami in favor of  Lotus. Time and again Modi is been proving that  he is the poster Boy of  BJP, even after being in power at center for more than 2 &half years with no major achievements to be proud of , But  voters preferred  Modi, because it   is largely attributed to his unchallenging supremacy as a mass leader and no major opponents  at this moment  to dethrone his  popularity . Clearly, the victory shows that BJP would be the undisputable party while going to polls in 2019. It is going to take a lot of sweat on the opposition parties like congress and others to challenge Modi’s dream run.  Currently, no opposition parties both national, as well as regional parties, has the ammunition to challenge the larger development-oriented agenda put forwarded by Modi,

But the reality is that economically demonization drive had already done enough damage to the rural and small scale industries, but turning it politically against Modi didn’t find any favor among the masses. People still believe that the decision by Modi epitomizes the characteristics of a  strong and decisive leader,  which was a right move to arrest the flow of black money.

The biggest irony is that as an age-old party congress is down and out in the electoral landscape of Indian politics, Rahul Gandhi as a  leader is proving no match to his rival Modi’s popularity, to counter his growing popularity it takes congress and other opposition parties a hell  lot of hard work to be  done,  if they want to be  in the reckoning  at least in the 2024 Loka sabha elections.

The people of this country wants change, development, Modi as a leader has everything going in his favor to sell exactly the right flavor the way people expects. The alternate narrative of a strong and decisive leader in Modi is what people expects, Modi had proven to them that he is the most bankable leader who is ruling the nation at present, continues to do so in the coming years.

I think the trend of vote bank politics in India is fading away, people of this nation needs change, tinkering with minority vote bank politics is no more going to be the rule but an exception. The aspirations are slowing growing among the common people, so any leader who can match those expectations is the real favorite, Modi is really successful in catapulting himself into that league steadily, The real success of the BJP is the Modi’s  command and control mode of functioning.