By Tanvi Sharma
Edited by Namitha Sadanand, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
A politically strategic decision was taken with the historic result of the general elections of the largest democracy in the world. The elections demonstrated the most important message of aspiration. A tea vendor has risen to the powers and authority of a prime minister. This is indeed an inspiration for the young and aspirational lot.
Our Prime Minister is an energetic, decisive and action oriented man, given that his government is working at a thrashing pace. Our PM intends to push through many of the reforms that are desperately needed. He has gone out of his way to show the world that his methodology of governance will be a secular and pluralistic one. The decision of appointing a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for probing black money on the very first day of office shows Mr Modi’s zero tolerance towards corruption. Our PM has been consistently making efforts to project India far more proactively on the global stage. The mantra of “maximum governance, minimum government” surely seems to be taking off in the right direction.
However, a performance centric approach towards the bureaucrats and government as a whole is one thing whereas a massive transformation in polity away from memories of conflict is another. It is true that the mandate of the general elections of 2014 was as much a product of aspirations as of expectations. Different classes, castes, genders and races of the electorate came together and delivered a strong mandate to the Bhartiya Janata Party and to Mr Modi to form a new government which is not based on caste, class and religious prejudices but instead focuses on development and governance based on delivering and not just planning. The electorate wants the country to steer clear of the politics of conflict and regionalism.
But, alas, despite a dynamic and aggressive leader at the helm of affairs; certain right wing groups are misinterpreting the 2014 mandate. The blatant, chilling murder of 28 year old Mohsin Sadiq Sheikh in Pune allegedly by the Hindu Rashtra Sena is a clear cut incident of communal hatred. Mob justice should not be rendered to those who have nothing to do with the incident or violence, whatsoever. The detaining of naval engineer Devu Chodankar for a Facebook post and Dinanath Batra’s campaign against a scholarly book on Hinduism are actually deriding the government’s push for a peaceful country away from conflict. Attacks on minorities and on free speech by certain right wing extremists are totally damaging the agenda of the Modi government.
Mr Modi understands that such an enormous mandate was given out of an incessant hope to see India growing and shining. He himself has bowed his head to the temple of democracy and is bold enough to signal Indo-Pak peace, Indo-China economic development and the Indo-US relationship. However, his government needs to crack the whip on those people who are jeering at the very foundations of our Constitution. This includes some political worthies who are insensitive to the plight of women who have been subjected to sexual violence. Mr Babulal Gaur, who is the Home Minister in BJP run Madhya Pradesh said, “Rape is sometimes right, sometimes, it is wrong.” He was actually defending the attitude of Mr Akhilesh Yadav who has commented equally unabashedly on the incidents of rape in his state. He and his father garner a long list of highly offensive remarks about rapes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi must make his anger known to such leaders.
So far, Mr Modi’s government is working exceptionally well. However, we are waiting for a political revolution and some courageous attempts at peace!
Tanvi firmly believes in the power of words over weapons. She is here to change the way people look at things. An avid reader, a closet singer and an inveterate foodie who can live her entire life on the Internet.