Modi’s first year
While criss-crossing the country during the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Narendra Modi spread the message that Ram Rajya would be ushered in if his party, the BJP, got the mandate (Cover Story, June 12). It was a nicely packaged dream that was sold to a population yearning for a change after 10 years of the United Progressive Alliance government. Every promise Modi made was lapped up by adoring crowds.
But one year of Modi’s rule has brought disillusionment to the people. There is a wide gap between his promise and performance. Unfortunately, Modi and his colleagues still appear to be in election mode. The image one gets of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is that it is pro-rich and pro-industry and anti-farmer and anti-labour.
D.B.N. Murthy, Bangalore
Modi came to power because of the tall promises he made during his high-profile election campaign and he must have felt the weight of people’s expectations during his one year in office. Many of his promises are unfulfilled, and the euphoria has faded away. The chances of these promises coming to fruition in the next four years appear remote. Social security schemes launched under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Food Security Act are either being diluted or scuttled. Modi has not allayed the apprehensions of the minority communities too.
Modi has addressed foreign parliaments and only made fleeting appearances in India’s. He has shown a disregard for parliamentary procedures through bypassing standing committees on many occasions and taking the ordinance route for many important laws. It seems all the decisions are vested with PMO while the initiatives of individual Ministers are kept on the back burner. Despite the hype about enhanced diplomatic relations with many countries, there is no significant improvement in India’s relations with China and Pakistan.
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh has been systematically working for many years to bring a pracharak to the helm of affairs at the Centre. Modi’s anointment as Chief Minister of Gujarat was the first step. The Congress’ 10-year term was a real blessing for the RSS as it was able to bring Modi into the fray by sidelining old-time BJP leaders. The one-year appraisal in your magazine proved that point very well.
At the international level, Modi has achieved some success, but what about the problems of the common man in India? After one year in power, nothing has come of all the promises he made to the common man. The Modi government claims that inflation has been tamed, but the prices of all essential items are beyond the reach of the common man.
It is time to analyse where India stands on the global stage. To be honest, it has miles to go. Simultaneously, it is true that the country has huge potential in terms of natural resources. The big question is, what is preventing India from achieving milestones on all the major fronts? It is the government’s responsibility to deal with corruption, which has for a long time been halting progress in the country. Besides, what needs the immediate attention of the government is job creation and infusion of more resources into the agricultural and information technology sectors.
P. Senthil Saravana Durai
Vazhavallan, Tamil Nadu
Modi does not have a magic wand to wave and change the fortunes of the country in one go. He did literally promise voters the moon last year and that is why the expectation levels were high, but he launched social security schemes, reduced corruption and tried to put India on the global map. Although there are some issues that are yet to be addressed such as farmers’ concerns, especially those relating to the land acquisition Bill, one should not be overcritical of the government at this juncture.
Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Although Modi’s one year in office started off with big promises and only came up with modest accomplishments, it is heartening that there is no policy paralysis or scams that characterised the previous regime. One year is too short a period to judge the performance of a government.
There have been ups and downs in the first year, yet Modi has been working hard to ensure that only proven performers with integrity are appointed to key posts. One cannot brush under the carpet the Modi government’s major achievements in foreign policy matters, in defence modernisation and preparedness, in opening up various sectors for foreign direct investment and in getting a plethora of important Bills passed.
As brought out in the Cover Story article “Look West, Act East”, the NDA government has continued India’s pro-West tilt in foreign policy. Any statesman is in part a prisoner of necessity. He is faced with an environment he did not create. The U.S.’ superpower status has been rudely shaken by China and Russia. The balance of power is precarious. Viewed from this angle, the article evaluated Prime Minister Modi’s trip abroad correctly and underlined the fact that India’s immediate neighbourhood will be his priority. The land swap deal with Bangladesh is the Modi government’s great achievement. Modi’s ambitious “neoliberal dreams” will become reality, thanks to his support for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Second World War
The two World Wars resulted in the widespread destruction of lives and property (“Remembering a great war”, June 12). The complex economic conditions prevailing in the world today have made nations dependent on one another for their survival, and this is a deterrent to a third world war. Western leaders boycotted the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War held in Moscow on May 9. One wonders why these Western nations continue to remain with NATO as this alliance lost its importance after the break-up of the USSR. There were two superpowers during the Cold War, but now there is only one superpower, the U.S., which is also slowly losing its importance both militarily and economically. It is high time that NATO was disbanded and a combined military alliance of the E.U. is formed.
Deendayal M. Lulla
The article “Acting the age” (June 12) was thought-provoking. The time is ripe now for Rajinikanth to try his hand at politics in Tamil Nadu. He can put to good use the superstar image and charisma that he built up so assiduously and his band of admirers, which constitutes youths ready to do his bidding.
Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
It is regrettable that in acquitting Jayalalithaa, the Karnataka High Court judge delved into the technicalities of the issue rather than considering the overall corrosive impact on society of corruption involving those in public life (“The verdict in question” and “Faith at fever pitch”, June 12).
For a party supposedly rooted in rational thinking and stridently opposed to religious/superstitious practices, the sight of party leaders and cadres trying to outdo one another by organising religious rituals to thank the gods for the exoneration of their supremo was ridiculous and hypocritical and shows the nauseating depths to which sycophancy can go.
B. Suresh Kumar
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu