The evocative title of the editorial avers the fact that the PM Modi is in a determined mode so as to put the country on a rapid growth path. Demonetisation, GST, pursuit of digitisation and fight against terror are fetching bonanzas for his government. The sizable section of the people is not sceptical about the plethora of promises the ruling party spreads. Elimination of corruption and ensuring transparency are on horizon. Implementation of “One Nation, One Tax (GST)” has made the entire world to look at us with awestruck eyes. Another feather in PM Modi’s cap is the fact that the tax filling has more than doubled from April 1 to August 5. And all these issues have been substantiated when he thundered during his speech on 71st Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort that we must leave this ‘Chalta Hai’ nature. We have to now think of ‘Badal Sakta Hai’–it will help us progress as a nation ; that GST is a great success; that the world is in awe seeing how we implemented the new tax system in such a short notice; that this year 56 lakh people paid taxes; that 3 lakh shell companies have been found of which licenses of 1.75 companies have been cancelled; that black money woth Rs 1.25 lakh crore has been recovered in three years; that in future digital currency will take the place of paper notes, and hence, we are determined to carry on with less cash economy; that we have asked terrorists to join the mainstream but there will be no leniency towards terrorism–Development of J&K is the responsibility of both the state and Centre–Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Kashmir problem cannot be resolved by either bullets or by abuses. It can be resolved by embracing all Kashmiris). Therefore, it is misplaced on the part of ‘secular brigade’ that the PM of the country did not provide the road map for his vision of the future India in an Independent Day address. He did give enough points–how corruption and black money are being and would be addressed and how the Kashmir problem will be solved. So also the role of women and youth in new India was stated by him. His targeting 2022 is based on current political scenario where the Opposition is in doldrums, more busy in protecting their dynasty and illegal assets, camouflaged by obsolete slogans like secularism and inclusivity than in championing an alternative narrative to the vision of Modi’s government, thereby giving a feeling that people of India would definitely give him a second chance in 2019 to implement his vision.
Here it is worth mentioning that this year, while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Rad Fort, Prime Minister Modi concluded his speech in just 56 minutes, which was Modi’s shortest speech from the Red Fort. He, notably, emphasised the need to feel the “minutest contribution” to realise the dream of a “New India” by 2022, based on peace, security and prosperity. He talked about enormous thrust for infrastructure development, railway reforms, cooperative federalism, development of the Northeast, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, rural electrification, subsidy rationalisation, financial inclusion, solar power generation, banking reforms, building entrepreneurship, digital growth, demonetisation, insurance for the poor and gender justice, as some of the examples of his model of governance. Here it is noteworthy that PM Modi, in his last address in “Mann ki Baat” made it clear that his this Independence Day speech, will be a shortened one. In 2014, his address was for 65 minutes, in 2015, it was for 86 minutes and in 2016 he spoke for 96 minutes. But having said that I would like to mention about the issue of 35 A, which, now-a-days, is gathering a lot of mileage in the media. And against this backdrop, I totally concur with what our senior writer Anil Anand has said in this week’s cover story. He said that the most obnoxious aspect of the Article 35A or the manner in which it has been defined or “misinterpreted” by powers that be from time to time is the discrimination that has been meted out to girl/women permanent state subject holders, vis-a-vis the male counterparts. Under the rules, the Permanent Residents Certificate (PRC) issued to girls was stamped as “valid till marriage”. An express connotation of this stamping was that the PRC holder, if married to a non-state subject, would lose the right to be a bona fide resident of the state and ones who get married to men holding state subjects, would have to apply for a fresh PRC in order to get that stamp erased. This is not so, if a man married a non-state subject woman, which many experts describe as a violation of the fundamental rights. In this perspective, I think the Modi government has to tread the path very cautiously so as to bring the Kashmiris with the mainstream.