Team India is at work

From foreign policy to the economy, urban development to people’s empowerment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept the faith all of India reposed in him two years ago

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:34 pm IST

Published - May 26, 2016 01:13 am IST

OUTREACH: “Empowerment of individuals is a running theme of the last two years.” Picture shows the Prime Minister at a mass yoga programme on International Yoga Day, in New Delhi in 2015. — PHOTO: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

OUTREACH: “Empowerment of individuals is a running theme of the last two years.” Picture shows the Prime Minister at a mass yoga programme on International Yoga Day, in New Delhi in 2015. — PHOTO: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

The sheer force of the aspirations of >Young India led Narendra Modi from Gandhinagar to Delhi in May 2014. India, in its hour of deep crisis, found its man of the moment in Mr. Modi. After two years of that historic verdict, the pertinent question to ask is if the Modi-led government is walking the talk.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s strong foray into the Northeast by >winning Assam is a part of the narrative that had begun to unfold in 2014. It is a reassertion of the confidence of aspiring India in Prime Minister Modi. Bihar and Delhi were the exceptions to this general rule.

Many a milestone The major outcome of the last two years has been that India has begun to regroup with a new sense of purpose and a programme of action breaking away from a sense of despair.

The aspirations of individual citizens and of India as a collective are closely intertwined in the globalised world. To help people fulfil their aspirations, India needs to be pushed to newer horizons in the intricate global order by playing to its strengths. This is where Mr. Modi has done a great deal. The world now takes India more seriously than ever before. While the leading economic powers look at India’s market potential, Mr. Modi is clever enough to turn it to our advantage. >‘Make in India’ is one such example.

M. Venkaiah Naidu

According highest priority to restoring India’s image internationally, the Prime Minister struck a personal equation with U.S. President Barack Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders, while his >unscheduled stopover at Lahore to greet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday clearly showed his innovative approach on the foreign policy front.

A few other milestones relating to foreign policy include the successful evacuation of more than 18,000 people, mostly Indians, from crisis-hit countries like Iraq and Yemen, the declaration of >International Yoga Day by the UN and the landmark India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement for exchange of 162 adversely-held enclaves. On formulation and implementation of foreign policy, everyone admits that Mr. Modi has scored high.

The aim of the Prime Minister is to make India a developed nation while bringing about a complete transformation in the lives of the people through good governance, development and pro-poor, pro-farmer and pro-women policies. While Mr. Modi came out with many trendsetting schemes, one of the most revolutionary welfare measures has been the flagship > Jan-Dhan Yojana , which seeks to achieve financial inclusion.

Unleashing India’s potential Empowerment of individuals is a running theme of the last two years. Skill India, promotion of entrepreneurship through MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) Bank and >Startup India bear this out. The results of this approach will be more in evidence soon. Several other pioneering initiatives like Make in India, Skill India and Digital India are set to boost the manufacturing and entrepreneurial talent in the country and transform the country into a nation of job creators as envisaged by the Prime Minister.

Even as developed economies have strong social security networks, more needy Indians do not have them. Mr. Modi is keen to address this gap by creating a secured and pensioned society, the need of the hour. Several schemes have been rolled out which have met with considerable success already. Financial inclusion through Jan-Dhan and >Aadhaar-linked subsidy payments are meant to benefit more and more poor.

It is a settled issue by now that increased opportunities for the aspiring come only through rapid economic growth. Despite adverse global economic conditions, India is being held as the ray of hope. This has been made possible through effective macroeconomic and >inflation management . Foreign direct investment is on a steady rise, manufacturing and core industrial production are showing positive signs. Specific attention is being paid to critical social sectors, infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, food processing, etc. This is a part of multi-pronged and balanced strategy for overall development.

Above all, corruption rollback is the most spectacular accomplishment under Mr. Modi’s leadership. Delhi’s power corridors are surprised as to how this is possible so quickly. It is the Prime Minister’s way of keeping his promise to the people in 2014. The buzzing traffic of brokers, dealmakers and middlemen in sarkari buildings is now a thing of the past.

Politics is integral to democracy. But negative politics with the sole aim of derailing the government’s agenda has been attempted. Campaigns of so-called growing intolerance, polarisation, etc., could only find some media space before petering out. After bouts of obstruction, Parliament has now come to find a new equilibrium. So-called contentious issues are being raised with force that the Opposition could muster, but bills are being passed. >The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill was finally passed unanimously under public pressure. Something similar will happen with the Goods and Services Tax Bill too. After all, Mr. Modi represents the will of the people, and he has their mandate.

For India’s transformation, urban transformation is the key as more and more people migrate to cities and towns, which drive the economy. Under the Prime Minister’s leadership, a quiet transformation is taking place at the level of urban local bodies and States for scripting a new urban India. Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, >Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) have been launched as vehicles of inclusive, integrated and holistic urban development. A new sense of vigour and enthusiasm is now being shown at the level of municipalities with a sense of competition to do better than the others.

Team India is at work. States now have greater say in addressing larger issues and implementation of policies and programmes. They now feel like real partners in working the federal system that our country is.

Two years is a short time but enough to prove the point that Mr. Modi has been walking his talk and will pick up even more speed in the days to come. The Prime Minister is empowering the people and transforming their lives for a better tomorrow. He has proved to be reformer, performer and transformer par excellence and is being hailed the world over for his visionary ideas.

As the BJP expands it footprint from Kerala to Assam and becomes a truly pan-India party, it is time for the Congress to give up its obstructionist politics and cooperate with the National Democratic Alliance government in turning India into global capital for knowledge, manufacturing and investments.

M. Venkaiah Naidu is Minister of Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India.

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