Thursday, September 29th, 2022 22:48:01

Some Thoughts For Consideration Of Narendra Modi

Updated: January 18, 2014 10:17 am

Dear Mr. Modi,

Permit Me To Address Some Of My Thoughts On The Prevailing Political Configuration In The Country Along With Some Policy Suggestions. I Fully Realise That It Is Presumptuous Of Me To Offer My Reaching Of The Present Political Situation Because You Have No Doubt Analysed It In Greater Depth Than I Could Possibly Reach. But Here Are Thoughts For Whatever They Are Worth.

First, You Have Largely Won The Recent Run Up To The 2014 General Election. But The Full Implications Of The Aam Admi Party (Aap) Spectacular Performance In The Delhi Elections Must Be Understood To Devise A Comprehensive Bjp Policy For 2014.

The Aap Understood Very Well The Urges, Aspirations And Frustrations Of The People Of Delhi. The Aap’s Election Platform Appealed To The Youth, The Professionals, The Bureaucrats, And The Opinion Makers. In Essence, The Party And Its Charismatic Head, Kejriwal, Presented Themselves As The Font Of Public Propriety. Their Attacks On Public Corruption, Government’s Incompetence, The State Of Public Services (Water, Garbage, Water Pollution, Etc.) Resonated Well With Delhites.

The Youth Under Thirty, Which Is Greatly Impressed By Governance And Development Of Gujarat Under Your Leadership, Was Also Impressed By Kejariwal’s Leadership Of Aap.

So,Here Is A New Kind Of Politics. Public Decency, Participatory Involvement, Governmental Transparency And Accountability, Are The Elements In This New Politics. This Kind Of Politics And The New Leadership, That Goes With It, Will Appear Between Now And The Election Time. Bjp Must Anticipate This Development And Lay Great Stress On These Issues.

Elsewhere You Have Won. The Modi Factor Was Decisive In Determining The Outcome In Rajasthan And Chhattishgarh, But Less So In Madhya Pradesh, Because Here Shivraj Singh Chouhan Has Done A Good Work And People Applauded It At The Polls. Chouhan, Raman Singh, Scindia And Panikar Of Goa Are Bjp’s Assets And They Are Invaluable Colleagues.

Now The Time Has Come For You, To Present To The People Your Vision Of India. Since You Stepped On The National Scene, After Your Resounding Victory In The December 2012 Election, You Have Done An Admirable Job Of Exposing The Failures Of The Manmohan Singh Government And Ills Of The Dynasty.

All This Is Fine. You Have Greatly Succeeded In Discerning Sonia Gandhi And Her Son Rahul. In Delhi, The Dynasty Failed; So Much So That In Some Constituencies Of Delhi, People Turned Away From Rahul’s Meetings. Again, The Dynasty Failed In Rajasthan, Where The Incumbent Government Of Ashok Gehlot Had Performed Reasonably Well; But He Could Not Withstand Your Popularity.

But, Time Has Now Came For You,To Stop Sonia-Rahul-Bashing And Speak As Pm Hopeful, Which Means That You Address Yourself To Principal Issues That Will Figure In The 2014 Election. Now Is The Time To Sketch Your Vision Of India. It Is One Thing To Tell People That This Or That Is Wrong. What People Want To Hear Is Your Idea Of What Is Right, What Is Just.

If I May, I Will Give Here The Example Of Barack Obama. In His Second Term,He Presented Himself To The American People, Not As An Opponent Of The Republican Candidate, Mitt Romney, But As The President. Of Course, He Was The Us President When Contesting For The Second Term In 2008, But He Spoke At The Election Rallies As If He Had Been Elected As The President.

You Should Now Present Yourself To The People Of India As If You Are Chosen By Them As The Country’s Pm. There Are Three Issues Which I Think Will Figure Dominantly In The 2014 Election. (1) Secularism (2) Development And Governance (3) Foreign Relations.

You Have Been Reviled, Understandably By Your Congress Opponents And Also By Many In The Media And Academia As Rabid Communalist. Your Opponents, Manish Tewari (Minister Of Information & Broadcating) And Jairam Ramesh (Minister For Rural Development) Have Compared You To Adolf Hitler. The Comparison Is Too Absurd To Deserve A Rebuttal. But What Is Now Needed Is A Coherent Statement By You On Secularism.

You Once Said, “Toilets Before Temples”. What Is Now Needed Is An Elaboration Of That Remark. In The Context Of Your Party’s Overall Posture On Secularism, What Is Now Required Is An Exhaustive Statement By You On The Place Of Toilets And Temples In Bjp’s Development Policy.

Today, The Times Calls For Development,In Which All Religious Communities Have A Place. Who Gets What And How Much Would Depend Not On One’s Religion But On One’s Needs And Capabilities. What’s Most Needed Is The Record Of Your State Government On The Economic Development Of The Muslims In Gujarat. Ample Statics Are Available, To Show That The Muslims Of Gujarat Have Prospered In The Phenomenal Economic Growth, That Has Taken In The State Under Your Stewardship. Same Is True Of The Bjp-Ruled States Of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh And Goa. There Have Been No Instance Of Communal Clashes In These States: Compare This To The Congress-Ruled State Of Maharashtra Or The Sp-Ruled State Of Up.

Development Is The Other Issue, On Which A Major Statement By You, Is Needed. Often You Have Said, That The Government’s Business Is Governance And Not Economy. This Squarely Puts You On The Side Of Those Who Want Development Through A Free Play Of The Market And Not Through State Directed Economic Policy.

In Other Words, Centre-Right Economic Policy Should Be Central Plank Of Your Party’s Economic Policies. In Numerous Statements And Propsals On The Gujarat Development Policy, You Have Articulated A Centre Right Economic Platform. What Is Needed Is A Coherent Statement By You On Your Economic Policy. This Could Be Sharply Contrasted With The Congress’ Economic Policy Of Freeholder, Particularly On The Eve Of An Election.

However, In Advocating A Centre-Right Economic Policy, You Must Not Ignore, The Distributive Side And The Environmental Side, Of This Economic Stance. You Have The Example Of Gujarat’s Success With The Development Of Solar Energy.

In The Area Of Foreign Policy, You Face The Biggest Challenge In Restoring India’s Credibility In Our Immediate Neighborhood. The Disastrous Foreign Policy Of The Upa Government Has Landed Us In Such A Situation That Let Alone Pakistan, Even Bhutan, The Maldives And Nepal Do Not Take Us Seriously. Sri Lanka Now Regards Us As An Enemy. Besides, India’s Relations With Important Global Players Such As The U.S. And Russia Have Become Quite Problematic, Of Late. You Must Chalk Out A Framework And Let The Whole World Realise That India Matters.

Your Vision Of India And How You Want To Go About Realising It Now Needs To Be Articulated.

By Bharat Wariavwalla

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