Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 05:07:45

Is Modi’s Master Stroke sure-footed?

Updated: December 29, 2016 4:45 pm

When any situation or scenario moves from the state of excitement to confidence and then to optimism, then it is a worrisome matter.  For, it only means that there has been a gradual loss of faith and it is only a matter of time for the situation to turn hostile. For nearly 40 days from November 8 – ever-since the biggest economic cleanliness drive taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – there is little doubt that the excitement with which the people welcomed this revolutionary and historic move has slowly but surely slipped into the state of confidence. The Centre sustained this mood for some time following the assurance given by Modi himself; that he will not let the people down and appealed to remain calm for 50 days to enable him to restore economic normalcy.

People have been waiting, albeit, with bated breath. But what has induced an element of eerie to this silence and enabled the situation to move from the state of confidence to optimism is the frequent change in the decisions of the RBI on the issue of depositing old currency notes in their respective accounts. This eeriness is frightful; it has potential to weaken the tensile strength of anything or anybody especially the society; the collective ability of the society to ward off crisis decreases; the tenacity to hold on to something becomes stressful.

The entire country is placed in this situation; bated breath; pressure on the tensile strength of the society; growing apprehension of a huge economic crisis looming large. Modi must be sure-footed when he appealed to the people to give him 50 days to bring the present situation easy by restoring normalcy; the people have given him the time he sought. That 50 day deadline is going to end on December 31, which is nine days from now, at the time of this editorial going to print.  Of course, it is not wise for any shrewd leader with keen political acumen to reveal his cards. Strategies, policy-making and decision-making are games of discreet politics. Being a discreet player who has seen the roughs and tumble of politics Modi knows this art very well and have emerged successful during his 12-year rule as chief minister of Gujarat. One Hundred and Twenty Five crore people have pinned their hopes on this one man; they believe that this messiah has something to bring back normalcy on the economic front and make their day to day life easier. It is this enormous faith that makes Modi’s responsibility a big burden, which, of course, he is aware of. What is at stake is his reputation as a leader who can pull the country out of its morass and bring it out of the moribund situation in which it finds itself placed due to host of factors in the last six decades. Modi can’t afford to commit a blunder that could cost him dearly.

More than anything else that may or may not happen to Modi, the hopes and aspirations of the 125-crore people in India and millions across the globe will collapse. That will be the biggest and heaviest fall, the country can ill-afford. It is against this fear of Modi’s failure that has made even his die-hard and ardent supporters to think whether Modi was right and wise in taking up this enormous economic challenge in his first term as Prime Minister.

Behind this worry of billions of people is the honest and sincere feeling that Modi should not lose the polls – anywhere and especially in 2019 – by default on account of this demonetisation. The people are aware of Modi’s ability but they are also afraid of the negative strength of the Opposition parties who are hell bent on spoiling country’s atmosphere to spoil the party by hook or crook. What would have happened if Modi had taken up this task in post 2019 period, is the question Modi’s die-hard supporters are asking among themselves.

The so-called ‘Earthquake’ promised by Congress vice president came as a dud and whimper is something not to be taken seriously. It was obvious. Even as the Opposition continues to make themselves a butt of ridicule, Modi, however, has to re-assure the people that he will deliver what he has promised – economic normalcy in the country after 50 days. It is dangerous to test the patience and tensile strength of the society, especially when the Opposition is delivering a sledge-hammer blow on Modi and BJP government on daily basis.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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