Year 2014 started with a rising hope and political renaissance when most of the people of the country shed their indifferent attitude of non participation in affairs of the country and criticizing the system without even taking the responsibility of casting their votes in polls. The whole nation participated in the general elections with hope and aspirations and first year of the government was given the grace period and did not come under intense public scrutiny and year 2015 was welcomed with much eagerness and hope to see India running fast on new path with new direction, new vision and new energy.
At the end of year 2015 when I sat to review the fast ending year I find it very difficult to chose any indicator of new direction, new vision . It may be possible and should always be there that few people not agree with my opinion but definitely they can also do it only on technical ground with help of statistics and boring data which cannot change the ground reality which is fast slipping into the status quo and regressive way rather than progressive and forward way.
When I have decided to review the passing year of 2015 I have picked three important aspects of aspirations of the people of the country and three important dimensions of the polices which political leadership in general and government in particular have been failed to deliver.
In 2014 when the new government took over with absolute majority after three decades it was not only an election victory for a political party or political leadership but was the manifestation of the will of the people to take a break from the status quo not only with policy matters but in the vision to take country forward in consonance to the new aspiring world and century. In run up to the general elections in 2013 I wrtoe “Two major issues have shaped the country in last more than six decades after the independence the poverty eradication and communal harmony. Most of the problems which country is facing are somehow related with these two issues. In the name of poverty eradication our policy makers and political parties conveniently adopted the path of “Socialism” and in the name of communal harmony the concept of “Secularism” to divide majority and minority rather than unite them was continued even after the independence.
Today country is stuck in a situation which is the result of these two policies. The growth story of country has again reverted to square one and country has reached to the situation where it was in early 90’s. In the name of Socialism and poverty eradication we have been failed to break the stagnation in village economy and due to this failure villages lag behind in development and deep divide between urban and village economy became the story of country. One other failure has been the inability to develop the women entrepreneurship and due to this inability a large section of people of our population never become part of growth story.
Both of these symptoms have pushed us to a situation Where we have come to a stage again where economic growth has lowered to such extent where it touch around the figure of Nehruvian growth rate of 4-5 percent and political leaders from socialist background who took progressive and pro growth path has revert to their old slogan of “ Backwardness” .
In contemporary political scenario two political personalities manifest the two opposite streams which are trying to dominate. Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi manifest the stream of aspiration for change in country not only the change in political guard but change in our outlook on the other chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar who took the path of progress and change for few years has returned to the socialist path which is more afraid of change and with the slogan of Backwardness want to sustain the backwardness. The fight or tussle between Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar is merely not the result of ego clash but both of them represent their ideologies.”
When I review the year 2015 in background of this analysis the present situation disappoints me. The verdict of Delhi assembly in early 2015 and verdict of Bihar in later 2015 narrates the story how the wheel has taken the whole circle and today we have again reached to that spot from where we have started.
The continued disruption of parliament and blockage in every efforts of reform from economy to social sector indicates that government has not been able to read the mandate and did not do any serious efforts to educate people and build its own political constituency with a vision of “New India”.
It demands some new efforts and revolutionary steps to illuminate people with glimpse of future vision and how India will look in its new shape.
The most disappointing features of 2015 had been the confusion, lack of originality and will power to build on the massive mandate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself invested too much in two assembly elections and put most of his decisions on hold depending on the outcome of the elections and both the verdicts not only put him in awkward situation but he equally lost the temperament to take risk to change the “ Nehruvian socialist , secular model “ with some more new vision and model . After the defeat in Delhi and Bihar he chose to easily follow the beaten path of previous governments on the issue of economy, secularism and foreign policy.
The big failures of Modi in 2015-
Narendra Modi has been unable to reach out to masses and farmers to explain his position on some key reforms as “Land Acquisition”. The biggest land holder first family and political party won the war of perception with Modi and stuck him in the image of “Suit Boot”.
Narendra Modi has been unable to deliver on his promise on agriculture front which he promised during his campaign as prime Minister aspirant that problem with our agriculture sector is “ The technology and innovations of Lab is not translated on the Land. He has not been to demonstrate anything concrete which could give the confidence to the farmers of the country as India is ready to follow the path of Israel in Agriculture revolution. Narendra Modi cannot ignore the fact that without the adequate growth in agriculture sector neither economy can sustain nor rural distress and problem of unemployment can be addressed. The boost in food processing, animal husbandry and dairy products and connecting it with markets is the long term solution to the rural unemployment and stop the migration to big cities.
The over emphasis on “Make In India” and visiting foreign countries in search of FDI gives insight into his thought process that he still lives in “Gujarat Model’ and he needs to come out of that era and formulate policies for the whole country which is massively populated from rural people who still mostly dependent of agriculture and their unemployment cannot be eradicated with making them busy with temporary arrangements of construction business or some big industrial zones.
Another big disappointment in 2015 had been the inability of Narendra Modi to disconnect him from the temptations of politics of polarization in state elections. Narendra Modi needs to understand in unequivocal terms that his mandate was based on the trust of the people of the country that he is the neutral and unapologetic figure on the issue of “Secularism” and he will rectify the anomalies in the doctrine of “Seculrism” and make sure it will be followed in just and unbiased manner. But the so called hot heads in “ Hindutva” brigade who does not understand the real essence of “ Hinduism” and blindly follows the methods of “ Communism” and “ Islamism” (in their opinion the struggle to defend Hindu culture, ethos) to give the shame to right wing in India and portray the right wingers as stupid and idiots more parallel to Taliban’s . Particularly in their silly deeds of opposing the movies and targeting the bollywood stars becuasue of their identities.
Another disappointment from Narendra Modi were his steps on Kashmir and Pakistan. Like his predecessors he fallen to the temptations of being generous and working on the personal chemistry with leaders from Pakistan to narrow down the differences the policy which have been failed so many times as I wonder how any leader can risk his credibility to pursue the same failed efforts again and again.
During the campaign trail Narendra Modi repeated it so many times that he would be the first Prime Minister who have born in the independent India and it gave hope to the people and analysts to put their money on his Pakistan policy and all of them where hoping that Modi would not follow the failed the attempts of Atal Bihari Vajpaee and Dr ManMohan Singh but he did it.
Like most of the politicians and leaders in India who hold the emotional views for Pakistan rather than pragmatic views either this way or that way, Modi too believes that Pakistan is very much part of Indian psyche and it cannot be separated from our family and this emotion was overflowing when a BJP leader told Al Zajeera that he still believes that one day India. Pakistan and Bangladesh will reunite with consent of the people of these countries.
Modi has not been able to give any new deal to Pakistan and it was successful to bring Modi on negotiating table on the issue of Kashmir without conceding its ground on Indian demand on Dawood Ibrhaim, Hafiz Saeed, Rahman Lakhwi.