PM Modi: Unifier-in-Chief of the world's most populous democracy

Last Updated: Mon, May 27, 2019 12:21 hrs
Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Unifier-in-Chief of the most populous nation in the world The Time Magazine had featured Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its May 2019 international editions with a controversial headline “India’s Divider in Chief”. By using a term like “Divider in Chief”, the western media mocked the democratically elected head of state of one of the world’s leading countries- whether in terms of population, economic growth or diversity (yes, India is and remains a culturally diverse country, largely because the bedrock of the country ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is all about acceptance and self-growth rather than outward expression of faith and religious expansion/conversion). Predictably, the term “Divider-in-Chief” found support among the so-called pseudo-secularists, the left leaning liberals and self-styled urban anarchists. PM Modi supporters had of course, not approved of the same.

But the most fitting and resounding response to this derisive title has been given by the electoral population of the country. As per data released, about 60 Cr Indians voted in the just concluded 2019 General Elections. This is approximately twice the entire population of the United States of America When 60 Cr voters exercise their franchise, it is safe to assume that their choice would be influenced by matters that are relevant to them. So, if a single party emerged a winner with decisive majority, it would be obvious that it could identify, understand and empathise with the core issues of most of these 60 Cr voters.

Narendra Modi led BJP has won a resounding victory with a staggering mandate in these elections. It is important to remember that this victory is not a function of any caste arithmetic, religious polarizations, or false promises. PM Modi is the first prime minister in nearly five decades to win a majority in back to back General Elections. This victory reflects the populace’s faith in a sitting government, an incumbent Prime Minister and his previous track record of leading the country from 2014-2019.

A brief snap-shot (only of some key indicators) of how his Government impacted the standard of living is given below -

PM Modi has truly walked the talk on ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’. All government schemes rolled out under his stewardship have been inclusive in the true sense of the word –

whether it was social campaigns like Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao or Ujjwala Yojana, or financial inclusion programs like Jan Dhan Yojana, Mudra Bank Yojana or Atal Pension Scheme. Programs like ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’ did not differentiate between people based on their region, religion or caste. His market reforms – the GST, reducing bad loans and red-tapism, improving start-up ecosystem and ease of doing business, affected everyone equally.

Moreover, going beyond all the tangible work PM Modi and his government did…there was something even bigger that he impacted. Modi unified us nobody else could. He made us look beyond our religion, caste and sub-castes, he made us aware of issues that affected us all – cleanliness of our nation, dignity of women, economic well-being. He made us think of ourselves as Índians first’. His vision for India includes ‘all Indians’ – irrespective of the religion they practise at home. Yes, he fasts on Navratri, but did he ever transform that into a political narrative? Yes, he worships in temples, but has he, ever, asked any priest or mahant or swami to issue political diktats, the way many other dispensations have done? No, he never used religion as a crutch or as a political vote-bank.

It is understandable that all the smaller parties would deride Modi and question his policies. But the surprised reactions of the ‘far removed from real India’ intellectuals on this historic win is amusing. However, there is a huge difference between the narrative that was shouted by the largely upper-crust, Lutyens’s Delhi loving, ruling class ‘elite’ and the on-ground reality about life in the heat and dust, hustle and bustle of middle- and lower-class India.

This difference is brought about very eloquently by Nidhi Arora, parent, citizen, social innovator and entrepreneur in her Facebook post ….

(The table below is from Nidhi Arora’s Facebook post)

Thankfully India’s electorate recognized the difference between on-ground performance and media generated noise. They rewarded the performance, rather than getting swayed by strident, demeaning and insulting narratives.

They are aligned with Modi’s vision for India – a strong, mature country that puts its interests first. Contrast this with the opposition – no clear vision for India, in-ability to form pre-poll alliances (what does that say about lack of stakeholder management?), long track records of poor governance, recurring scams running into hundreds of crores, handing out doles to non-Hindu communities to secure them as vote banks…who is the divisive politician here? When the smaller parties come together to combine Muslim-OBC votes, isn’t that politics of division? When the religious leaders use their prayer meetings to encourage voters to ‘defeat Modi because he is a Hindu’- isn’t that mixing politics with religion?

But the Indian electorate has matured and is now looking beyond jaded religion-caste formulae. The decimation of caste-based parties reflects the popular sentiment – nation first, India first, we are Indians first!

Unlike the earlier decades of fractured mandates and coalition governments, PM Modi has the clear mandate to govern a nation of 1.3 Billion People – why? Because he united us as nobody else could, because he is India’s Unifier-in-Chief!

Aditi Kumaria Hingu is a marketing graduate from IIM Calcutta. Currently she works in the corporate sector. She comes from an army background.

Note: The views expressed in the article are of the author's and not of Sify.com.

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