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Modi : A Journey

Modi: A JourneyNarendra Modi a name that has become a brand of its own. Implying the same is the slogan of the BJP party for the 2024 elections- “Teesri baar Modi Sarkar, ab ki baar 400 paar”.The slogan clearly indicates the value the name holds. The journey of our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has truly been revolutionary. The journey had its share of highs and lows but it was not solely his journey. It is the 1.5 billion Indians who along with Modi faced the consequences. With elections being around the corner, it compels us to look at Modi’s lasting 9-year tenure as Prime Ministerial ship. Narendra Modi representing BJP sworn to be the prime minister of India for the first time on 26th May 2014. The date that marked the dawn of modern India. With him coming into power he pledged to heal India of its poverty, illiteracy, corruption, discrimination, and all the other prevailing issues then. Further, he had a vision to make India, stand strong and apart globally and be respected, and treated as equal to its international counterparts. With the onset of his tenure, he launched many schemes, and policies and made several promises: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (2015), Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (2015), Swacch Vidyalaya Abhiyan (2015), Give it up, Electricity to villages, Social Security, Rural India, demonetization, GST etc were some of the many promises made and initiatives taken by him. Promises Kept by the Modi Government:It signed an agreement with Japan (December 2015) for the manufacturing of the bullet train system in India, connecting Mumbai to Ahmedabad and now it runs successfully.2. Further to enhance the functioning of railways and upgrade them Modi led to merging of Railway budget into the Union Budget3. Modi envisioned making India the strongest economy and somewhere he achieved that. 10 years back India stood 11th economically, but today it has earned a fifth largest economy spot. Now Modi looks forward to making it the 3rd strongest economy.4. PM Modi always encouraged digitalization and post-COVID-19, things took a drastic turn, with even the classes being conducted online. That was the first time in Indian history that, the Modi government ensured that even amidst the global pandemic, education should not be affected, the trade must go on and that was made possible through various platforms like- Zoom, Google Meet, Google Pay, etc. He further had various medical e-platforms launched for the easy purchase of medicines, oxygen, and vaccines. One such app was Aarogyasetu. 5. The BJP government-supported research in various fields of science which led to the production of covid-19 vaccine in India, and not only that, India supplied it to other countries which was applauded by all. 6. During the Lockdown (2020-2021), India suffered a huge crunch in the economy, and loss of jobs but it was PM Modi who initiated “Atmanirbhar Bharat” a movement in support of small-scale and indigenous businesses. This helped in boosting the economy and making India a hub of manufacturing units, leading it to have a strong foothold globally. He further announced a budget of Rs 20 lac crore to compensate for all the economic damages made during the COVID-19 phase.7. PM Modi launched a Programme like Made in India to encourage business and mass production of goods in India itself, promoting both national and international brands, and strengthening ties with foreign economists and entrepreneurs. This further aimed at increasing the manufacturing sector’s growth rate to 12-14% per annum. To increase contribution to GDP.8. In 2015 Modi launched another programme- smart cities which intended to develop 100 developed cities which would benefit IT companies with a profit of Rs 20 billion.9. The Modi Government launched the Smart Villages Programme. He made sure that they went through a transformation and were facilitated with all the resources like electricity, schools, hi-tech hospitals, water, and proper sanitation resources. 10. The Give Up LPG campaign launched in 2015 intended for financially stronger people to give up their subsidies and purchase gas at market price so that the surrendered subsidies can be used to provide cooking gas in villages for free. This campaign made 1 crore people give up their subsidies voluntarily, this indicates how much of an impact Modi’s vision had on people.11. The government initiated several programs to upgrade roadways and waterways- allocated Rs 700 billion for the development of highways and increased connectivity. It also approved the National Waterways ACT 2016 which aimed at developing 111 National waterways.12. Further catered to the needs of the homeless by bringing into act the PM Awas Yojna, which focused on building houses for the poor. It included an investment of Rs 2LAC crore by the central government.13. The most celebrated win of Modi’s governance was the establishment of Ram Mandir. The conflicted land of Ayodhya finally witnessed resolution and peace between the two communities- Hindu and Muslim. It is under his direction the Supreme Court of India approved the creation of Ram Mandir in 2019 and, at the same time provided 5 acres of land for the mosque to be built upon. Finally, this year on January 22nd,2024 Ram Mandir was inaugurated and the day was marked with pompous celebration all over the world.14. The plight of women did not go unnoticed during BJP reign. It worked back and forth to bring equality in the dynamics. The government had the Supreme Court pass The Muslim Women Bill, 2017. The bill was against the tradition of Triple Talaaq practiced by Muslims. It made this practice null and void along with a punishment of 3 years in jail imposed on any husband who practiced instant triple talaq with his wife. Further to empower women the government encouraged women’s participation in defence (army, Airforce, navy). Modi was the one to bring the slogan “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”. 15. To make India heard and seen all over the world, Modi strengthened foreign policies. He took on a voyage to travel to almost all the neighbouring countries and beyond, extending terms of affinity and peace. He signed various agreements with the foreign bureaucrats and ministers and collaborated with various industrialists bringing forth an image of Advanced India. Further, under the Modi government’s leadership, India was able to organize the G-20 Summit for the first time ever. It was organized in Delhi in 2023.16. Modi as a leader has brought daunting changes to the Indian subcontinent. Like the enforcement of the CAA ACT which happened on 11th March 2024. The ACT which was originally presented in the year 2019 before the Supreme Court and was approved by a lower house of the parliament has now finally been implemented. This would enable the safe return of refugees of almost all religions except for Muslims. The people facing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh can now come to India and earn direct citizenship of India after submitting a few legal documents of their identities and producing proof of the atrocities met to them in the other nations.17. The other such steps of valor have been the Balakot airstrike by IAF in response to the Pulwama attack done by a terrorist group and the reopening of the Kartarpur corridor. 18. Modi’s next target was curbing prevailing corruption and destroying black money accumulated by some corrupted citizens of India. In regards to the same, he declared the demonetization process of all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on 8th November 2016. The government reissued Rs 500 new notes and introduced Rs2000 notes. This movement led to the extraction of black money in bulk, several people who regulated their business with that went bankrupt but this paved the way for an uncorrupted India.19. A year later, in 2017 Modi government levied Goods and Services Tax (GST) to curtail the accumulation of any further illegal money and its transactions.Just like everything has its pros and cons so does this government is no exception.The economy suffered badly and there was a prolonged shortage of cash in the market. 1.5 million jobs were lost and the GDP growth rate crashed down. GST and demonetization cost heavily on India’s economy and employability rate. This further led to inequality in income distribution. This all was further worsened by Covid-19. The lack of jobs has created a major issue for the Indian youth.On this, our reporter interviewed some citizens of India:A law student Lavish Bansal expressed his disappointment “I am not in support of the Modi government because there are so many issues that are not being taken care of. The inflation issue is the primary concern. Despite the surge in GDP economy is crashing. The inflation rate has increased in Modi’s tenure. The same is the condition of prices and taxes. I further believe Rahul Gandhi can be a better Prime Minister, he can well regulate the economy, just like during the reign of Dr. Manmohan Singh, the economy rate and GDP both were good. At the same time, Modi’s government couldn’t curb corruption to that extent as it was expected. Demonetization and the GST model proved to be ineffective, rather had more disadvantages. Another issue during the current government reigns is privatization. Poor people are suffering due to it. They can’t afford private products. Neither are they able to receive benefits of social welfare schemes and policies due to privatization.”Contrary to this when our reporter asked another citizen an entrepreneur Mr Gomit “I want to make a counter question that why should anybody be against Prime Minister Narendra Modi? He is doing all the things in favour of Indians. He is well focused on his targets and achieving them like article 370, which was the toughest, he brought it into the mandate, then the creation of Ram Mandir. He has no motto for working this hard except for the welfare of us the INDIANS. There is no second thought. Modiji will come into power for the third time.”2. This suggests the divided India- the bourgeois and proletariat we can say. Somewhere in recent times the economy has been greatly affected and the gap between the rich and poor has further increased. The rich have become richer and the poor continue to struggle. Unemployment is at its peak and the unequal distribution of wealth and power is leading to the exploitation of the youth. 3. The new labour reforms are such that it has made it easier for the employer to hire or fire the employees and even make them work at lower wages but it has become tough for the employees to form unions and put forward their demands.4. Looking at the economic dynamics- during the 1st year of Modi, the GDP grew at the rate of 7.5%, which made India the fastest-growing economy in the world. But by the third year, the rate stooped to 6.1%. This was believed to be the result of demonetization. The GDP kept fluctuating between 7-7.23% which was still higher than the GDP rate during the previous government reign, the rate being 6.39%. During 2018-19 GDP further fell flat to 6.1%.On this another citizen, a corporate employee Rajat Sharma commented “PM Narendra Modi has done a brilliant job, but there are certain things which are disheartening, when BJP came into power, they promised they will work on the inflation issue and reduce unemployment, also will regulate the rising petrol rates- all this they highlighted in 2014, but no work has been done in regards to these. They need to bring some changes and focus on their initial promises.”5. That is not it, another concept has come to the floor and is being tagged along with the period of Narendra Modi – AUTOCRACYIt has been noticed that India is gradually adopting an autocratic policy. By autocracy, we simply mean curtailing the democratic approach of the citizens and heading towards more of the dictatorial approach. Considering other nations like the USA a political leader can’t get re-elected as a prime minister for more than 2 terms, but here in India once again we have Narendra Modi as a prospective prime minister all geared up for his third tenure. This raises questions about the democracy of India. Autocracy usually is the result of combined attempts to frame a heroic image of a political leader and simultaneously suppress the voice of the opposition party. Other reasons could be economic inequality which very well can be observed in our country, besides that, culturally conservative reactions to societal changes, populist politics, and the liberal rights of freedom of speech, press, and association are curtailed which further prevents the voice of the opposition party be heard by the citizens, disabling the other party to challenge the ruling government, proposing an alternative regime. Democratic backsliding further can be the result of disempowering the legal entities and centralization of absolute power.The other way round to impose autocracy is by striking the weak points of the nation like over-emphasizing national security in reaction to acts of terrorism and presumed antagonists. This makes the citizens feel weak and dependent on one political leader as their ultimate protector and saviour.6. The other problems included the ones faced by the farmers; they are constantly disappointed. The BJP manifesto included a minimum of 50% profits over the cost of production for the farmers, but no such thing has happened. Farmer loans are still a major concern.Commenting on the all-over tenure of Narendra Modi and BJP, Professor Prateek Pandey stated “Talking about BJP it seems like this party is again going to come into power. The media reports suggest India is rising and if that is the scenario then as a citizen of India am happy with the BJP. Secondly, I heard about growth in GDP, it is somewhat flocking around 7.7% -8%. This seems to be positive but normally it happens whenever we are in an election mode. I am skeptical. Further voting depends upon the kind of election manifesto a party has. As per me, Rahul Gandhi can also be a prospective PM as a few days back, he was claiming to get 1-5 lacs of jobs for the youth, and whoever ensures jobs is an appropriate person at this junction, when unemployment is at its peak. The nation needs strong policies in terms of employment, though the foreign policies have been strengthened. So, I think the BJP should do something about it. Further concluding myself, I would say that under the BJP law and order have improved, and terrorist attacks have been minimized. In terms of economy and unemployment not very sure whether the party has fulfilled its promises. The increase in prices of daily commodities, they are not a good sign, but we can say his tenure was around 9 years and in between we had Corona, hopefully, the next 5 years can be more fulfilling and positive.”

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Khushi Jain

Reporter of True To Life

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