It is a known fact that governments in India have gone to any length to seek votes – lengths that have even been detrimental to nation’s development and growth. Everyone knows the perennial harm that many ill thought out schemes and policies that have done to the nation for decades. Reservation policies have become like the proverbial Sword of Damocles for all political parties. Minority appeasement, mostly at the cost of majority, has been the bed rock of vote bank politics. States were divided and subdivided merely for perceived political advantage ignoring their viability to survive and prosper. Anti India Kashmiri leaders and their supporters were cultivated by giving them financial doles and unprecedented privileges instead of resolving the problem. Naxalites problem was allowed to continue with no solution in sight for decades. Business loans disbursed to connected and influential people run into lakhs of crores that are endangering the very survival of some public sector banks. Premier universities were allowed to function as crucibles to encourage dissent for the sake of dissent apart from encouraging anti national sentiments – all under the garb of freedom of speech and thought. NGO’s funded from abroad were allowed to grow despite the fact that they were putting road blocks in India’s march towards development at the behest of their foreign masters. Tax avoidance was more a norm than tax payment with successive governments turning a blind eye. Criminality in politics was encouraged by design and today the two are inseparable. The list is endless and one can go on and on. Successive governments failed to take any hard decisions to correct these maladies for fear of adverse political fallout and allowed the nation to suffer.
NaMo government has been in power for close to four years now after nearly 60 years of Congress led rule at the centre. It has more than its share of critics who pose as intellectuals, liberals and champions of human rights and cannot see anything right with the current government. When confronted they have only one response – if all this is true then why has NaMo not sorted these issues so far. In their zeal to show NaMo government in bad light they conveniently forget the divergence, size and complexities of governing India. For them nothing could be better than what was happening in the nation till NaMo came to the scene. They were used to ‘chalta hai’ attitude of Congress government where corruption was central to political and business culture, hangers on were rewarded with cushy positions apart from perks like bungalows in Lutyens zone where these people lived unhampered for generations. They became part of political coterie that wielded immense power with negligible accountability. Today most of these critics are fuming and frothing because they have lost their perks, privileges and power. NaMo does not cultivate them and that hurts their egos to no end. This was perhaps NaMo’s first hard decision that made him very unpopular with this community of hangers on who were preying on the nation as vultures.
Politically motivated decisions are part and parcel of a democracy and India is no exception. But what puts NaMo government apart is the fact that on most key issues the government has not shied away from taking hard decisions based on ‘nation first’ principle. Many of these had and still have the potential of harming his party’s interests at the hustings. Results of some by elections in different states prove this point. The list of hard decisions includes isolating terrorists and their supporters from mainstream in Kashmir, demonetisation, introduction of GST, expediting defence deals to make nation’s armed forces stronger, shifting to digitisation in different fields to ensure minimum human interface that is pivotal to reducing corruption, pursuing Aadhar enrolment despite opposition from vested interests, considering deportation of immigrants from Bangladesh and Burma, making foreign funding of NGO’s more transparent and accountable, cleaning Lutyens zone of hangers on and the recent one where special status was not granted to Andhra Pradesh to avoid additional financial burden on centre. All these decisions have been taken keeping national interests above political interests. Subjects like Common Civil Code, banning triple talaaq in Muslim community, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pundits in Kashmir are being discussed and sooner than later these too will be part of this list – political fallout notwithstanding.
This is more than a welcome shift from the approach of the past governments for seventy years. It also shows that as a leader NaMo puts nation first always. Without a doubt a lot more has to be done but it is encouraging to see that a strong beginning has been made. Critics, as is their want, deliberately fail to acknowledge this obvious truth. Instead they invariably come up with a list of decisions that NaMo government has still not taken or subjects that are yet to be addressed and thereby hope to prove their point. They have no answer when asked why they did not confront previous governments for decades to seek answers to the same questions. Instead they start ranting about perceived sufferings of the common man because of these decisions and try to paint NaMo government as anti poor or anti minority. If this too fails then they charge NaMo government of imposing a Hindutwa agenda on the nation. Of course none of this affects NaMo or his government and that further irks the critics – after all a critic is only worth as much as the effect of his criticism.
It is important to bring out what former President Pranab Mukherjee said about NaMo recently in an interview with NDTV – a known anti NaMo television channel. The anchor asked him about his opinion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with whom he had worked for a couple of years. Mr Mukherjee said that NaMo has a very clear vision for India, works extremely hard to achieve goals and has shown a remarkable transformation coming from state politics to centre where even the world acknowledges him above many other seasoned leaders across the globe. Coming from a hardcore Congress man this is indeed high praise. May be it is time all those liberals, intellectuals, social activists and others, who never have a kind word for NaMo, to look within and take a cue from the former President and drop their coloured glasses when they look at NaMo. It will surprise them to no end when they see him without those dark shades. Actually the joke is on this gang of NaMo critics. While NaMo can see through them as he does not wear any shades; it is they who have a blurred vision and therefore cannot see what NaMo really stands for. May be it is time for them to ditch the dark shades and instead look through rose coloured glasses!