An India amidst glorious transition albeit hit by many evils
India finds itself at an interest stage in the 21st century. There are parallel worlds running adjacently to each other interacting about both great accomplishments in a diverse range of affairs associated with day to day life, be it- economic, social, educational, scientific, entrepreneurial and cultural and major blips which the country would do well to avoid. While there are amazing positives to note about our great democracy, one which allows a secularist and unbiased view about multiple religious beliefs that run unbiased in our veins, there are societal evils in aplenty, which continue to tarnish the grand idea associated with the great motherland.
But a thing can be said for certain. Despite the bludgeoning problems that continue to run down our nation’s image, rupturing it both internally and hampering its conception globally, such as pollution, the level of crime, our horrendous treatment meted out to our women and girls and the continuously harming social stigmas that seem hell-bent in paving a route plan for India’s decadence, the common man continues to dream and dream big. Why shouldn’t he, one asks? There is an endless surge, one that is simple in its objective and pious in its purview of finding a heroic figure that can be looked up to and perhaps idolized if not worshipped so as to attach a positive the one needs to, with the beloved country.
Who are our idols?
Cricketers, there are many, actors and actresses increasing like our birth rate and importantly, there are also activists, Human Rights Lawyers, Singers, Dancers, Scholars and economists along with the glowing cavalcade of high ranking achievers who have carved a successful legacy for themselves, inspiring millions from around India with their deeds. But, when we hear the name of a Political figure, a largely less understood and highly debated and wryly opined strata of an Indian identity- especially in the context of being someone who can be looked up to, it is bound to create waves and make heads turn.
How on earth can an Indian political figure, one that is mostly reduced in its eminence as being this entity of immoral nature, non sanctimonious value and perhaps a self vested image bordering on criminality and lack of any mindful application in the wake of working toward India’s progress be ever considered hero-like. Yes, there has been a Nehru’s, the intellectually sublime Sardar Patel, the dutiful Ambedkar and in the most recent past- a certain A.B. Vajpayee and the late legend APJ Kalam. But, who on earth fits the bill of possessing astute value systems and qualities that make him worthy of being looked upto?
India has been struggling in finding its political light
We don’t wish to incite controversy or plan to deceive our great readers with contrived opinions that speak nothing but of lofty praise, but in the most recent times, when one looks across the bloodied newspapers – one can only find that they stink of scams, are lit with news coverage about ill conceived criminal minds who pose as these shadowy political figures and political leaders who hide many snakes under their sleeves.
There are also those draconian ministers of states who have either been involved in crimes that seem as whimsical in nature as is the idea of seeing a ghost in broad daylight. Amidst such mindlessness that seems to have surrounded the average Indian psyche in last one and a half decades, where a single day hasn’t gone unnoticed by news snippets that speak of yet another misdeed committed by a political figure, there is a name that breaks the cacophony or very nearly so, surrounding the poor image and reflection that political figures have come to command in an India that bleeds for positivity.
The rise of Narendra Modi
Who would have thought that a figure as controversial as it is popular, as parochial in its perception among its fellow Indians as it is keenly followed would actually one day progress to head Indian democracy’s most privileged, challenging and albeit, most supreme seat of command? Narendra Modi, commonly addressed as Modi Ji who will turn 65 on September 17 is a name that sends shockwaves to his political adversaries and yet, at the same time inspires awe.
A man highly berated for his often radical and impulsive dealing of issues that many think should otherwise be handled with customary politically motivated dictum and one who is loved by at least some part of our youth who see in him this mesmeric figure leading India to progress and change has captured popular imagination like a storm.
Once the 14th Chief Minister of a developed, industrialized, culturally vibrant and magnanimous in its churning of world-wide success stories, Vadnagar born Modi has managed to largely carry a political image that doesn’t seem to carry torrid reflections like that of his contemporaries.
While the debate here isn’t so much about measuring which party truly deserves to govern and administer an India on the cusp of multiple challenges and opportunities, the idea is to identify and hail a person for his achievements that may seem hollow to some blasphemous critics who can very well see a negative in even a positive but are actually decisive in re-shaping a poorly received India’s image in the wider world. Modi’s rise hasn’t been sudden, nor has it been planned, rather his is a journey that has walked many milestones in its arduous stint whose ultimate purpose, at least at the moment doesn’t seem to be toward resting on the seat of significant prominence, rather one which wishes to narrow the negative perception of India by showering the positives that many who came and held the seat failed to deliver.
And, in his passionate stance of “bettering and improving” rather than “up-scaling or solidifying” the image of an impoverished India which is continuously mocked for its societal ills and political structure, its corruption and failure to rescue the poor from the shackles of humiliation and economic bickering, Modi at least seems to be on a clear cut path rather than reserving his energies for useless diatribes.
Is he over-promising and is there a clear agenda?
Prime Minister Modi, perhaps the most progress-oriented grand leader of a tumultuous India that often finds itself in the midst of several social and economic upheavals and remains stirred by caste based issues which at most times are unavoidable given the magnitude of our diversity, is walking the path less treaded in uniting the belief of the country toward the cause of progress and development. While, this ‘pious in its spirit’ idea cannot be defeated in its composition, it still remains miles from the actual D-Day where Modi Government will deliver on its promised goals.
It is a painful misconception that the mere idea of “Achche Din” should rest solely at the hands of a single political figure, one who is entrusted with the huge task of running perhaps the most loving, overtly sensitive and at times, volatile country one that remains resistant to change and mocks transformations- and that the responsibility of a seismic shift shouldn’t rest with the nation’s citizens, who themselves have elected the man from Gujarat to top of the ranks.
He is perhaps the most frequently traveling leader, the head of the state of world’s largest democracy who on his own is belching out the ills associated with a rather slow rate of economic resurgence about a country that many silently mock and smilingly chide whilst showing full white toothed smile. From Japan to USA, Australia to the United Nations, it is the Modi wave that has caught the attention of the world toward “Making” in India. And, not just their dreams of exchanging currencies over explicitly large sums of trade and commerce but technology transfers and other inter-changeable and exchangeable ideas and practices.
The ills, positives and challenges of being Narendra Damodardas Modi
Modi would have wanted to correct the ills that took place under his own nose way back in Gujarat during the most tectonic period of this amazing state, in 2002. The riots shouldn’t have been allowed to happen in the first place but aren’t we a country which expresses first and explains later, the course and results of its actions? After all, freedom of speech, still a misinterpreted and perhaps the most underutilized tool, if deployed wisely still exists in a free India.
Modi clearly failed to deliver then. Even his idea of projecting over the image and construct of India the development model of Gujarat seems to many as an unappealing and poorly conceived narrative wherin the star cast for their creative, intellectual and emotional differences may never manage to sing in unison the colors of one India. Many have come to also chide Modi for the string of verbal diarrhea that often leaves us Indians with hopes of seeing the transformation which are promised but not fully delivered.
But, we must also give credit to one of the most misunderstood and least hurting figures in an entire political system that seems to have resulted in giving India sham doers whose numbers run in hundreds and who promise development and offer heinous lies and crimes at the cost of accounting for none.
Modi understands the need to invest in Healthcare and Education, clearly the path-breaking pivots that can account for the change we so crave for. Under his tutelage and ideation are we seeing more IIT’s and perhaps, IIM’s to come about in cities we never expected to see such sterling institutions. Passionate toward eliminating the prejudices associated with India’s Foreign Policy that though mostly prudent but often lacking in dynamism has now spruced up in action given Modi’s worldwide travel, whose agenda is to involve far off countries to engage in meaningful trade in India.
Also, what face are we to show to the West and to our neighbors, if despite being a youth dominated country where the emphasis of scoring cent percent grades runs madly in every educated household over that of the idea of forming a career, where civil infrastructure is poorly developed if at all in place in most cities and towns? Also, a country that runs poorly given its hygiene and cleanliness standards is now being lead to a colossal change, thanks to Modi’s rather encouraging but positive “Clean India” campaign.
Should we be doing the right thing by turning a blind eye on these positives for which this 65 year old man, one who is anything but a youth is running pillar to post in bringing about a change that he wishes to see just as much as you and me? Chances are, if we still resort to biases and ridicule these rare figures who at least, at the surface of it seem to be pro-development, we would be living in oblivion!