oppn parties A Pragmatic Speech Some Found Boring

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
A Pragmatic Speech Some Found Boring

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
When Narendra Modi stood on the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August, 2014, he was there fresh from a massive electoral victory (just three months ago) that had propelled him from being the CM of Gujarat to being the Prime Minister of India. While to some he seemed to be still in the campaign mode, he had then brought to the microphone the aspirations of the voters and he let them hear what they wanted to. He announced new initiatives and spelled out his vision. As he repeatedly said, he was an outsider in Delhi. That, then, was his strong point. He could say anything without fear.

Now, one year down the line, Narendra Modi has seen how being an outsider has its share of advantages and disadvantages. He has seen how his initiatives to reform the economy have been stalled due to his alliance’s lack of numbers in Rajya Sabha. He has seen how the opposition cares a hoot about what seems urgent to him. He has seen how they are bent on showing him his place â€" that is outside Delhi.

So this year’s speech was like the middle overs in a limited overs cricket match. He knew the fielding restrictions are off, so there are lesser chances of big hitting. Hence, there were no new schemes announced. He knows it is a time of consolidation. So he told the audience that the Jan Dhan Yojana is a success, delivering banking to so many citizens. He told the people that more than 20 lakh have given up gas subsidy. He sought to assure the nation that despite the lull, things were moving in the right direction. He wanted to tell them that things take time to be implemented, but the process was on.

Basically, the Prime Minister wants us to know that the current difficulties are a passing phase and the government will find a way out of the impasse and implement its policies. For the sake of the nation, one hopes that this happens. Like a seasoned campaigner, Modi eschewed bravado and touched on only those things he thought would go down well with the people. And suddenly, he became boring to most people. Perhaps he should have announced several new schemes that would not have been implemented just to keep people happy. But then, that is not the way Modi operates. Even his detractors know that.