Cries of change, demand for a leader to steer the nation, dissatisfaction with the previous ruling party, were amongst the few factors that led to Narendra Modi taking charge as India’s Prime Minister in a grand oath taking ceremony on the 26th of May 2014, after his party (Bharatiya Janata Party) emerged as the single largest party in the general elections of 2014. It’s been an interesting six months since.
There have been some obvious plusses. It’s good to see a Prime Minister so active and involved in the affairs of the country (almost makes for a refreshing change after the previous government). The Prime Minister has been busy, yes; he’s brought up issues that are often ignored-sanitation being the pet project here. The ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ is trying to bring in a sense of national conscientiousness about the lack of hygiene in the country. Bank accounts have been opened for the poor to assist them in managing their savings under the Jan Dhana Yojana.
The Budget went from big promises to actual deliverables this year. The economy is regaining shape slowly and steadily. Visits from various state heads, international visits and collaborations have also been a close part of the PM’s six months in office. Bureaucratic reshuffles and a new found discipline in bureaucracy has been credited to the change of leadership at the centre.
Obviously, the government has had its share of lows as well. Propagation of strong right wing ideologies without fear or fail by various leaders of the majority party often go unchecked (or ignored?) by senior leaders of the party. While Mr. Modi has been wise in his Cabinet choices, the appointment of Smriti Irani as HRD minister has been met with backlash. As HRD Minister, it seems that her actions may be guided by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha, in an attempt to saffronize (and ruin) education, not to forget the sudden roll back of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in Delhi University during her initial few weeks in office. The student wing of the BJP-Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, currently the controllers of power in Delhi University has been on a mission to ‘educate women about the ills of live-in relationships’.
Mr. Modi is not scared of taking risks for the sake of development, but the question that arises here is that is the rights of our women, children and minority communities being ignored a price we are willing to pay for growth?
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