The Nation Wants Your Best, Just Do ItTwo years of Modi government have brought in exciting new possibilities on the one hand and depressing damage to the social fabric of India on the other. For me, the biggest positive has been the perceptible change in the level of corruption in the country and the biggest negative has been the stand-off with the opposition.
By Sunil Garodia
The government has worked to put in place several things that have laid the platform for structural reforms. The Bankruptcy Code and the Commercial Courts Act are things in the right direction and will help in ease of doing business. Bringing transparency in government decisions has been another, with e-tenders being made the norm for most departments. Fiscal prudence and leash over inflation have been other positives. The plugging of loopholes in doles, with Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts backed by Aadhar, have meant immense savings for the exchequer and a smart kick on the butt for crony capitalists who thrived on siphoning off funds meant for the poor. If only the GST and the Land Bills had been done with, the picture would have been much rosier.
If the government has failed to do so, it is its confrontationist attitude vis-Ã -vis the opposition that is to blame. The opposition will be intransigent â it is its business to be so. It will always see red when the government sees blue, especially when its leading lights are lampooned and called names day in and day out. The government has to leave its own opposition mode and campaign flavour behind and reach out and work with the opposition. To be fair, the Congress has not helped with its holier-than-thou stance. Using its majority in the Rajya Sabha, Congress has blocked several important legislations, some of which were conceived by them only and are supported by many states. This is wrong and against national interest. There has to be a spirit of give and take if the nation is to progress.
Although things have now been brought under control, immense damage was done to the social fabric of the country by the Hindutva forces when places of worship, and members, of minorities were attacked all over India. Statement by BJP and RSS motor-mouths made a large percentage of Indians feel unwelcome in their own country. Personal choices and rights were sought to be suppressed in the name of nationalism. For a while, it seemed things will go out of hand. But better sense seems to have prevailed and an uneasy calm has been restored. The government has to ensure that what happened is not repeated, even as it goes about healing the wounds.
Also not to be repeated is the kind of misadventure undertaken in Uttarakhand. Even if the Congress has not been able to keep its house in order in both Arunachal and Uttarakhand (which led to the crisis in the first place), the government should know better than fish in troubled waters. Good work and better organization will bring in the states â like it happened in Assam. There is no need to go the undemocratic way.
Two different opinion polls have shown that the NDA has not lost its popularity despite high octane campaign by the Congress and several controversies. The TOI survey showed more than 62% approved of the government while the ABP News survey clearly showed that if elections were held now, the NDA will return with an increased majority. If people still have faith in it, the government should back itself and put its head down to implement and achieve what it had set out to.