Fact Sheet of Modi Govt 2.0 (Pt-1 of 3)
Recently Modi Govt has completed 2 yrs of the present governance and was trying to self-evaluate. Most of the union ministers were busy generating own report card. There is hardly any doubt that it is a good approach in a democratic set-up. But the approach to such exercise must also be evaluated.
Coming to the present exercise, the govt was possibly not sure of the achievement of the two years of the present govt. Hence, they chose to speak of the total 7 yrs of NDA, not of the 2 yrs of Modi 2.0. There is hardly any doubt on the performance of Modi 1.0 that brought them back with even greater majority in May 2019. It was a perfect reflection of their 5 yrs of work…on almost all fronts. Readers may be perplexed with the word “ALMOST” and there is a very good reason behind it. An uncalled for dent in Modi’s image caused by “Pappu Lies” which trend in 2018 ‘State Elections’ as #PappuLies. Mr Rahul Gandhi was unstoppable…in denting PM Modi’s image…through his fabricated lies almost on daily basis. The actual works done by Modi 1.0 were the answers to the most such lies of Rahul Gandhi. There is a saying that lies can never win…BUT… Rahul Gandhi fabricated one more lie that worked wonders for him and his lifeless Congress party in 2018 State Elections for which BJP totally failed in countering and that lie was “चौकीदार चोर है …” If a similar allegation in the electoral campaign was made against Congress, its party president Rahul Gandhi or Mrs Sonia Gandhi (all on judicial bails), the learned Congress lawyers in Kapil Sibbal, Sex-CD case hero Mr Abhisek Singhvi and 100s of others having allegiance to Congress would have filled 1000s of cases in 1000s of courts all over India to make BJP’s life miserable to say the least. However, the one lie of Rahul Gandhi had totally stumped Modi 2018 state election campaign. The docile lawyers of BJP headed by Mr Ravishankar Prasad had absolutely no clue how to combat. They remained perplexed and this single strategic Lie of Rahul Gandhi combined with his false promises won him 2018 State Elections. It was a huge dent to Modi 1.0 who had all their calculations of beating Congress hands down was thrown to the winds. Thanks to the “Rafale Procurement case in Supreme court” that brought solace to Modi govt…BUT…by that time, the 3 BJP-ruled States had fallen victim.
There is a saying…repeated success of a thieve finally brings him to justice and precisely the same happened to Rahul Gandhi and his Congress. Bolstered by the electoral victory based on #PappuLies, Congress approached Supreme Court through a series of Writ-petition to put a hold on Rafale procurement, its pricing and the selection of Indian Offset Partner so as to defame Modi 1.0 to an extent that they lose May 2019 Parliamentary election too. But that did not happen. Congress Pleas were rejected to clear the govt of any misdeed. This became a big slap on the face of Congress and Rahul Gandhi stood fully exposed as a liar-in-chief. Hereafter there was no stopping of Modi in 2019 election. Congress was decimated.
Modi 2.0 came with a big bang with the numbers of the elected MPs even higher than Modi 1.0. BJP majority in the parliament made it easier to implement their party manifesto. No Indian could have ever imagined that ‘Muslim appeasement’ and many other wrong-doings of the over six decades of Congress could be ever reversed but that did start happening. First, the ‘Triple Talaq’ act was implemented followed closely by the abrogation of article 370, re-appropriation of Jammu & Kashmir state to bifurcate in 2 UTs and then the passage of the CAA 2019. It could be said with fair confidence that it was an unprecedented achievement to have abrogated the so-called temporary provision of J&K article 370. The nation will always remain obliged to Amit Shah and PM Modi for this brave act. However, the passing of the CAA-bill could have been done in a better way by keeping the Assam-BJP and other allies of the North-East region better informed before the Bill was introduced in the parliament. The protesters coming on the roads against the CAA-bill in the NE-states provided a fodder for a larger trouble for the Modi Govt that subsequently manifested in the many Shaheenbaghs with all radical Muslims of India uniting together, at times frightening the Hindu in Muslim dominated belts. Radical Muslims and the Congress-Communist party of India clearly demonstrated that they are least bothered for the welfare of the persecuted religious minorities of Pak/Afgh/Bangladesh whom Gandhi & Nehru had earlier assured the citizenship. Today their communal face stands naked before the nation…that they stand for the illegal Muslim migrants from Bangladesh and Rohingyas. These are the people who are afraid of the NRC. Clearly, Sonia, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhis instilled unfounded fear in the minds of the Muslims to protest against the CAA immediately after passage of the bills and the result is before us…the numerous Shaheenbaghs. It was however, unfortunate that the opposition govts allowed the Shaheenbaghs to linger, beat anti-national passions in their states esp Delhi, Kerala and West Bengal. Although such protests were against the national interest, the Modi govt should be complimented to be tolerant to the prolonged protests esp when it raised anti-national narratives repeatedly. Thanks to Corona that the Shaheenbagh camps were finally closed.
Union govts’ handling of post abrogation of article 370 was good. The govt gradually eased out the various restriction in the newly formed UT. However, govt’s apprehensions were correct. No sooner the internet was restored and the opposition leaders released from house arrest, the violence re-started at a lower level though. Now the road to development for J&K is ready. The leaders must cooperate. It is hoped that the recently called all-party meet on J&K will help. There are the private companies who want to start-up the business provided the jihadi-violence is stopped.
Modi 2.0 wanted to bring a revolutionary step for the farmers through Farm reform bills. The intent was noble but the inaction of the bill was horrible. It is known that the Modi govt has been trying to remove the middlemen from sucking the citizen’s blood. However, the number of such middlemen in the Agri-sector especially in Punjab and Haryana is too large to ignore. The agriculture minister should have foreseen it and made some provisions in the bill to soften the impact. The manner in which this bill was passed in the din of the RS, was highly undesirable. Minister of Agriculture as well as Parliamentary affairs should have been sensitive to the opposition voices. The result is before us. The protests by the middlemen in the name of farmers were sure to take place and it started in Punjab…initially by small groups, blockages of the railway tracks and so on. However, soon the vested interests joined them. Pakistani ISI supported Khalistani groups from Pak, Canada, Britain and some other places found support in this protest. After the protesters marched for Delhi, the approach roads have been blocked for 7 months now. Their march to Delhi on the republic day bears a black patch for India when our tri-colour was desecrated by some. It has been fully exploited by the opposition politicians…be it Congress, Communists, AAP, SP and so on. It was expected that PM Modi will intervene to replace the incompetent ministers and resolve the issue amicably but that did not happen. BJP lost its ally in Akali Dal owing to its reservation on this bill. After a long, BJP drew a blank in the Panchayat polls in Punjab. Reversals are also evident in UP Panchayat polls where SP’s association with farmers’ middleman Tikait has awarded them with fortunes. Modi govt’s handling of the protests have been far from being satisfactory.
Handling of Covid19. While most of the govts all over the world have found themselves lagging behind on their handling of the Covid Pandemic, Modi Govt had done reasonably well, managing Covid19 till the 2nd wave came in March 2021. They could have taken other political parties in confidence to request the CEC to postpone the elections. This wave caught all state Govts unprepared essentially because Maharashtra Govt suppressed the facts of the high virulence, Oxygen depletion and complications caused by B.1.617.2 variant after it originated and started causing devastation in Aurangabad, Nasik, Jalgaon belt. Till now, none in the union govt has questioned the Maharashtra Govt for their huge culpability as explained in the article shown (“The Culpability for Covid19 second wave: The Counterviews, Issue 3:06, pp-6).
Health being under State jurisdiction, they did not take timely steps as they were not aware of the devastating effects of the new variant. What came out from Maharashtra Govt was that the new variant was highly infectious but mortality was less thus hiding the facts. Here, the union govt should have stepped in. A stern warning should have been issued to all states in the 3rd week of March 21 when oxygen depletion, higher complications were faced but not revealed. After it was evident that Delhi was facing immense problems of Oxygen management & drug shortages, immediate assistance should have been extended in the 1st / 2nd week of April itself. Surely Kejriwal govt failed to meet the emergency, trying to pass the buck to the union govt. The woes of the Delhiites should have been the cause for worry and not the inefficient Delhi Govt. The same was the situation in Gujarat, Kerala, Tamilnadu, UP and Bihar. Of course, Modi govt did wonders in getting the assistance / provisioning from all sources incl international community; but the effort came only after the situation had worsened to desperation. At the hind sight, the souls of all those dead…over 2 lakh Indians…will surely question why we failed collectively in protecting them…Udhav Thakre Govt in hiding the facts about the new variant of virus…all State govts being slow to respond to the acute emergencies…the union govt failing to warn or over-ride the lethargic state govts (“The Culpability for Covid19 second wave: The Counterviews, Issue 3:06, pp-6). If one has to decide on culpability, it will be prudent to say that Udhav Thakre has 20% culpability, the State Govts 60% and the Union Govt 20%.
Modi 2.0 is different in many aspects
Modi Govt 2.0 is different in many aspects. First of all, the formation of the ministries itself was anti-climax. Many of the ministers who had performed exceptionally well in Modi 1.0, could not find a berth in the present one. There must have been reasons for it including that Modiji wanted to give opportunities to the others too. However, many of these new ministers have not performed to the expectations. Modiji has started numerous good programs for the nation but some ministers are unable to take it forward. Kisan or more appropriately, middlemen’s protests going on for the last 7 months is one of the examples of incompetent ministers. The unemployment among the youth, struggling ‘all-round development’ is something worry some. Some of the ministries are doing fine but many others are lack-lustre, lagging far behind. It is unfortunate that periodic auditing by PM is either not taking place or has been given-up. It is baffling why Modiji is not shaking up or changing the non-performing ministries.
PMO has been exceptional in being proactive on all fronts. Dealing with the Covid19 has been exemplary with visionary formation of task force…for Clinical & Science groups…to comprehensively deal with bringing up the health facilities, R&D of all items incl Test-Kits, Drugs, Ventilators, Vaccines and so on. His interaction with all CMs and DMs on Covid is praiseworthy. His dealings with the world leaders and international forum has been exceptional. On the matters pertaining to China, he could have done better. His statement on Indian territories under Chinese occupation has been criticised. He has not yet named China for 16 Jun 20 violence.
Some of the ministries in Modi 2.0 have performed reasonably well in the two years however, many other have remained obscured. It seems that the periodic auditing of the performance of both major and minor ministries in the present govt is not being monitored effectively. Some ministers are below average. The overall performance can be termed average at the best.
the Indian approach to foreign policies lack direction that needs to be shown by the PM. SARRC in limbo, RIC, BRICS & SCO in doldrums; LAC remaining un-demarcated; Quads not shaping with firm security policies. Although US has to be a major power, India may have to drive the initiative with an ambivalent approach of Japan. Actually, on the majority of international fora, Indian stands are contradictory.
Ministry of External Affairs. MEA achievements have been Average in the Modi 2.0. Although India won praise by the international communities for its stand against the Chinese, the expansionists forces are still sitting on our land at some places. India’s move on ‘Quad partnership’ has been positive otherwise, there is an apparent lack of vision. It is a catch 22 situation to say whether PM’s unclear stance is the result of the mess in the MEA…or whether the mess in the MEA has made our PM’s stand extremely shaky. It was evident recently at the UN…in that India does not support the Extremists & terrorists…yet, in the Israel-Palestine war started by Hamas & Islamic Jihad Council, both being terrorist organisations, India abstained from voting against the terrorists. India knows very much that when it will be a question on Kashmir, Palestine will not side for us. Yet, we continue with the Nehruvian folly of supporting the Muslim nations to keep his ‘vote-bank’ happy.
Relations with China has taken a huge nose-dive in the last 18 months. China has named and shamed India at all platforms saying it was India which is at fault. However, there is not a single instance of rebuttal by MEA. They have been reluctant to even name china for the conflagration. China keeps flaunting Indian sensitivity in J&K and Arunachal however, not once have the MEA shown its intent to reviewing ‘one china policy’ of the Nehru period. It is beyond logic why Taiwan is not provided diplomatic access in India. It is beyond comprehension why Indian member at the UNSC cannot placate China on its Human Rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong while China leaves no opportunity to drag India to the UNSC.be it Kashmir, constitution amendment, CAA or NRC. Actually, there seems to be a lack of policy to ward off the Chinese diplomatic offensives. India needs to form an understanding with all nations sharing boundary with China to jointly ward-off any threat and must take initiative in this regard to address the Chinese threats.
MEA has failed miserably against Nepal which unilaterally altered the international border with India at the behest of their master, China. Today, Nepal is administered by Ms Hui, the Chinese ambassador for whatever reason that be. Of course, the Nepalese shift of policies towards China had started mostly in 2008 but a change in course has to be by our MEA as to how to deal with them. Indian support to Bhutan is also being questioned. A few months back, China has claimed the Bhutanese National Park adjoining China as a disputed area, putting its claim over it and India has remained mum. The Indian approach to Myanmar has been ambivalent and confused while China has furthered its grip.
Indian approach towards USA and Europe has been largely satisfactory but lacks vision. The present Indian policy towards them is very confusing whether it wants to go with them or the RIC/BRICS/SCO. The balancing act is lacking and India stands isolated at these fora. If our planners are convinced that China cannot be a trustworthy partner, we must move out from them for a new partnership with the Western powers. Whatever be the case, we must safeguard our interest which is lacking at present.
PM Modi’s initiative in Africa of his initial years seems to have subdued. While a 40-member world team has openly called for action against the Jihadi outfits in Africa at their meeting in Italy, India had no voice. India’s policies in Afghanistan also heading to rough weather wherein the lives of the 4000-odd Indians there will be in danger under the Taliban regime. They will be left at the mercy of the Jihadists, Pakistan and China dictating terms.
There is a saying, ’Diplomats think and plan for Decades together’ but it seems Indian diplomacy lacks that vision. Modiji has been known to break the tradition. It is time for him to shake-up the MEA and bring some tough, tactful, straight-spined, competent diplomats who could frame a just policy for India in the changing world-order to fructify the Modi mantra of “India First”. It can’t be a piecemeal effort.
Ministry of Defence. Defence Minister has done reasonably well. The long-awaited self-reliance towards defence equipment has finally taken a start. It was unfortunate though that the day PM had announced his govt’s intention, within days Chinese forces amassed on the LAC. Galwan incident took place and deployment of forces undertaken. As if it appeared like a conspiracy against self-reliance, India had to resort to billions of emergency defence hardware purchases from the international market. A new assault rifle came for Army. The front-line roads and other infrastructure that were given the highest priority became extremely handy. The lightweight howitzers & armoured vehicle became a strength. Army’s visionary plan of Mountain Strike Force (MSF) duly implemented by the Modi Govt became a huge asset here. India had finally moved out from the Nehruvian forwardness when it came to taking on the apparently high-capability forces of China. Induction of Apache assault Hptr, Chinook heavy-lift aircraft, Heavy left Super Hercules and Globe master aircraft and the new Rafale aircraft came as very well-timed actions otherwise, the Chinese could have repeated their Akshai-Chin take-over of the 1960s to completely overrun eastern Ladakh…their long-drawn aspirations and vision. The morale of the Indian forces was sky-high. The Indian forces were made all available comfort-gears essential for sustaining in the extremely harsh cold & high altitude conditions of the eastern Ladakh. India showed its resolve to both China and their puppet Pakistan that it can defend its frontiers whether against one or both hostile neighbours.
Reforms in Armed Forces has become handy. The Establishment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a long awaited requirement, was effected by the present govt well in time. The inter-services coordination has improved. There are talks of setting up joint services command theatre for both strategic and tactical operations to be optimally coordinated. It was Modi Govt which had decided to induct LCA aircraft in to IAF overcoming the hurdles of developmental hiccups something that UPA had thought of shelving the project. Two Squadron worth of Tejas are already in operation and more will be inducted in the coming years. The Ordnance Factory Boards (OFB) have been revamped for its corporatisation in order to meet the requirements of the modern defence forces. DRDO has done wonders in upgrading and innovating its combat fire-powers…the missiles. A long list of such missiles has been tested and inducted in a short time frame. After a long, a new assault rifle is entering indigenous production. Efficient, state-of-art indigenous Air Defence as well as anti-Tank Systems have been designed & Developed by DRDO which is entering production. In a relatively short time IAF and the Indian navy have acquired many of the assets…hitherto neglected.
Atmnirbhar Bharat is undoubtedly a good long-term initiative that may not materialise in the short time frame though. All the same, a beginning had been made. Defence Forces are both on modernisation and self-reliance path. Modi 2.0 scores full marks on it.