Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden speech in Parliament (“PM strikes conciliatory note,” June 12) is heartening on many counts. Many predicted that he would turn aggressive and arrogant in the face of the good majority the BJP enjoys in the Lok Sabha. That prediction appears to be wrong now as one sees a Modi more mellowed than ever before. What is most remarkable is his expression of a belief in cooperative federalism.
Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu
The speech exudes a certain confidence and hope that even Mr. Modi’s most bitter opponents can’t deny. His repeated appeals to the Opposition to extend its cooperation despite the BJP’s overwhelming mandate shows his earnestness in developing the nation.
His concrete proposals for the alleviation of poverty and making the nation a developed country in every sense are practical ones. After a long time, one feels happy about what is happening and is being discussed in Parliament.
The speech is an example of marvellous oratory; it had facts, fiction, black humour and mild sarcasm. One couldn’t help contrasting Mr. Modi with Dr. Manmohan Singh, whose stoic silence ended up damaging the Congress very badly. Here is a Prime Minister who speaks so eloquently about India’s woes. Of course the Opposition has lost no time in finding fault with his omission of the contributions of Jawaharlal Nehru while profusely quoting from Mahatma Gandhi (June 12). However, will Mr. Modi’s Utopian ideas of development work?
No one can come close to beating the oratorical skills of Mr. Modi, as ably demonstrated in his maiden speech. But good governance by any government is all about fulfilling the aspirations of the people and not just about making good speeches. Mr. Modi’s conciliatory tone appears to be a clever ploy — fast-track the economic reforms agenda aimed at giving a further fillip to crony capitalism in the initial four years. Even though Mr. Modi has made it clear that the last year is sufficient to indulge in politics, it is a move to placate his hard-core supporters in the RSS and other Hindu religious outfits that if need be, contentious issues will be brought centre stage to reap a political harvest.