Two years ago the Modi let BJP Government came with a major win in the General Election conducted in India. The reason that the BJP won the elections with a whooping margin was that they had a strong leader as their Prime Ministerial candidate whose image in the Indian mindset is that of a man with a ‘vision of development’. The BJP also promised several issues to be strictly looked upon in their Manifesto. Such issues were, inflation, corruption (in light of the 2G, Commonwealth Games, Coal-block allocation Scam which were very much highlighted during the UPA II regime), or the issue of black money and women safety.
Undoubtedly, the Modi Government has an image amongst majority of Indians of being a ‘messiah’ government which has promised its fellow citizens to reform the nation. The Modi government has also brought some highlighted reforms in the name of schemes such as ‘make in India’, ‘Swachch Bharat Abhyan’, ‘Digital India’. These catchy schemes by the government has brought the attention of the public that yes, ‘things are working now’. People are well relieved that they are no more getting the news of ‘Corruption’, ‘’Black Money’ and ‘Scams’ on the their TV screen headlines or the radio. Yet, whether the Modi Government has been a good or bad government will be only confirmed once they have their term completed (remember, that during the regime of the UPA-I there were no such issues of the corruption or black money or scams as the headlines). But whether the present Government is actually performing is the issue that will be discussed in the present article.
The present government has sought to bring several reforms in the educational sector via its HRD ministry. After the completion of its two year regime, the Minister of HRD, Smriti Irani, has a lot to say about the Government’s plan. But what it seems is that the minister is doing only one thing, i.e., harping what the UPA government couldn’t do. Our top institutions do not feature in the world’s top universities, may be due to lack of holistic learning. But the HRD minister had no such explanations for the same, the good part of the Government is GIAN (Global Initiative of Academic Network), which the prime minister has envisaged himself, where academicians will come and teach in the Institutions in India. The Minister has been and still silent over the major issues that took place recently, such as the issue of Rohith Vemula suicide case at Hyderabad Central University, Mumbai or the JNU controversy. She wants to keep mum at the moment, and even sees the people at JNU as being ‘anti-nationals’ (the ones who were involved in the controversy). Overall, in education sector a lot still needs to be done. And the biggest thing that must be assured is that, the work done by the government must be commendable and not just better when compared to the earlier government.
Further issues that needs to be looked upon are issues related to the drought management, rural development, defense etc. In the defense sector, Manohar Parrikar who heads the Ministry of Defense, has contributed towards the defense sector. Firstly, the slow procurement of weapons and ammunitions has been channelized and made into a system where the defense deals can easily take place without hampering the procedures (as happened in the Agusta Westland deal), also the defense minister has to say that ‘we are improving everyday’, our troops are battle ready all the time (he said that in reference to what George Fernandes, the then minister if defense, said after the 2001 Parliament attacks). He further added that all PSUs and ordnance factories have shown a increase in turnover from around Rs 43,000 crore to Rs 51,000 crore, which means that they have shown a growth of 20 percent. Overall, the defense sector has shown good signs under Manohar Parrikar’s work in the past two years.
The government is yet to do a lot over issues like drought management, as the recent water crisis has hit the states badly. The BJP is still to found a way to manage the crisis rather than deploying the responsibility on the states. Also there have been instances earlier where a fund released by the center to ease the state’s drought condition has been misused by other regions too (take for example, the fund released by the UPA-II government to ease the situation in Bundelkhand was utilized more by the State of Madhya Pradesh than by the state of Uttar Pradesh). The drought management, which is the most crucial issue as of now for the nation, must be taken care off.
The Modi government has some very good initiatives in order to boost the growth of the nation. Such initiatives includes the scheme of UDAY which has been initiated to ensure and manage energy security in India. The Government is doing hard on infrastructural development and needs of electricity and roads. As it believes that these features can change ways of working and transform a million lives. The government’s efforts to operationalize GST would be another success under the Government’s belt.
But this does not end here, there are certain realities that the government needs to work upon. Surely the Swachch Bharat Abhyan has built toilets and added to the cleanliness and better sanitary conditions. But there have been several reports that the toilets lack proper water supply and people who are used to open air defecation needs awareness about the advantages of a proper toilet. The government still has to perform a lot in this particular sector and this can only be achieved once there are proper implementations and awareness programs.
Overall, the Modi government has been successful in displaying a fair picture. The victory of the BJP government across several States in India shows the fervor that the Modi government still has in India. But it has been felt at various incidences that the Government is projecting only the good it has been able to perform. The silence of the government over the issues such as the suicide of Rohith Vemula and the JNU issue (which has also displayed an example of poor media trials) has been something which people needs to ponder upon. The nationalist thread that BJP always bring in almost all their arguments and further suppress free speech (take for example the controversy surrounding the movie ‘Udta Punjab’) has always been a negative part of the present Government. An RTI filed by an advocate practicing in Pune shows that the expenditure of the Government on advertisements has been above 843 Crore in the past two years. This is not a contestable thing as the government is required to advertise about its schemes for proper awareness but at the same time it is also important to note that the fervor that the Modi government has created (remember, people chanting Har Har Modi) has somewhere led to a situation where they are yet not ready to hear a word against their leader i.e., Modi. But at the same time one must never forget that for a better government for the nation, free speech and criticism (rather constructive criticism and not the one done by political parties for their gains) must be allowed.