CHENNAI, India, 11 April 2019
Several pre-poll surveys before the 2019 election in India have indicated that Prime Minister Modi remains as the most popular political leader in the country today. The majority of the people want him to become Prime Minister again inspite of several problems faced by the people.
Of course, pre-poll surveys are unreliable to a large extent, as the survey size is small in a highly-populated and large-sized country like India. Also the conclusions of the survey could be unduly influenced by the personal opinion and prejudice of the survey team. However, the fact that almost all pre-poll surveys conducted by various groups and media confirm Mr Modi’s popularity make one think that the results of the survey could be nearer to the ground reality. It is obvious that in the prevailing situation in India today, there are enough reasons why Prime Minister Modi deserves a second term based on taking a holistic view of the situation.
Analysis of SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) regarding the performance of the Modi government during the last five years would provide clarity and clear understanding of the overall scenario.
- Modi’s government has been free of corruption and nepotism, at the ministerial level. This is much in contrast from the conditions during the earlier governments.
- Mr Modi has launched highly relevant and meaningful programmes and schemes, such as the Clean India campaign, free construction of thousands of toilets for poor households, opening of zero-balance bank account for millions of poor Indians, health insurance for poor people, crop insurance scheme, direct transfer of welfare funds to the poor people, promotion of yoga culture, and so on. All these schemes have tremendous and positive impact on the lives of poor people, and have given them confidence and sense of dignity to some extent.
- Mr Modi has brought new respect for India among the countries of the world, and has boosted the confidence of the world community in the future of India, bringing millions of dollars of overseas investment to the country.
- Mr Modi introduced the Make in India scheme, Start up India scheme, and the Skill India programme to promote the employment and investment climate in the country, particularly among youth in the lower and middle income groups.
- To remove corruption, Mr Modi announced demonetization of high value currency, a uniform tax structure in the country with the Goods and Services Tax (GST), bankruptcy law, digitalization scheme, etc., which reflect his long-term vision and courage of conviction.
- While Mr Modi has been conducting himself with a high level of dignity and a fair outlook, this cannot be said about all his party men. A number of members of his party have been using vituperative language and even spreading hatred about other communities on issues like cow slaughter etc. and Mr Modi is criticized for not controlling such elements in his party effectively.
- While the schemes such as demonetization and GST will bring a lot of benefits for India in the short and the long run, Mr Modi’s party has not been able to present the advantages of the schemes adequately and convincingly well to the people, particularly in the context of the opposition parties criticizing the schemes heavily. This has created some misconception about these schemes among the people.
- Having successfully laid the basic conditions to achieve a big leap forward by India, here is an opportunity for Mr Modi to carry forward his constructive schemes to bring long-term benefits for India in the coming years.
- In the last five years, Mr Modi has not only strived hard to build material affluence in India, but also bring to about a positive change in the mindset and confidence level among the people towards a better value system. While he may not have entirely succeeded in this difficult task, he has certainly made a positive beginning. Such a trend should be continued.
- It is evident that there are pledged critics of Mr Modi, who seem to believe that Mr Modi’s fair image can be destroyed by repeatedly using abusive language against him personally. In the independent India in the past, no other Prime Minister has been abused and criticized in such derogatory terms.
- Mr Modi faces the risk of his fair name getting tarnished because of the Goebbels tactics adopted by some opposition leaders by repeatedly calling him liar etc.
- Many believe that there are foreign forces interested in defeating Mr Modi in 2019 election, and such forces could be funding and counseling the forces of disruption in India.
- There may be forces inside Mr Modi’s party who do not like the moderate approach of Mr Modi in solving various complex issues in the country and want him to adopt aggressive postures on certain issues.
Why does Mr Modi deserve a second term?
India has been facing complex problems on multiple issues for the last several decades. While several governments in the past have taken measures to improve the situation, no government in the past in the last decade or so has taken such strong measures with great speed and sense of urgency to get meaningful solutions, as the Modi government has done.
Given the stature of the leaders of opposition parties, and the fact that the opposition parties could not even announce a Prime Ministerial candidate, the country would be exposed to unstable government and chaotic governance in the event of formation of an unprincipled coalition government by different political parties in the event of Mr Modi not getting a second term. This is a situation that India cannot afford.
Strongly, positively, and uncompromisingly committed leadership is the prerequisite for India’s big leap forward in the coming years. With his past five-year record, Mr Modi has shown that he is the man for the job.
About the author
NS Venkataraman is a chemical engineer as well as a social activist in Chennai, India. He is the founder trustee of Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a Chennai-based not-for-profit organisation serving the cause of the deprived and down-trodden, and working for probity in public life.
More articles by NS Venkataraman on Tibet Sun.