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Minimum govt, maximum governance

These two dates - May 26 and 27, 2014 will go down in history as “good days are coming” coined by our new Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi. The success story of this tea-seller-RSS-pracharak-politician-chief-minister-prime-minister without any political godfather and dynasty to back him will now be taught in management and other academic institutions and rightly so. Modi’s communication strategy to reach the masses of the country using technology as a tool is perhaps not used to its optimum level by any of his ilk. Even Harvard graduate P Chidambaram and other Congressmen who made a mockery of Modi during the elections could not guide their own party in terms of communication strategy – which it reasons being the main reason for the their end. Modi on the other hand taught in Indian education, a great admirer of social media and staunch follower of Swami Vivekananda reached the pinnacle with pure determination overcoming all obstacles. His success story is a living example of Vivekananda’s Practical Vedanta putting into practice. What started with NaMo, Modi-wave and Tsu-NaMo is today Modi Sarkar.

After the electoral battle and swearing-in ceremony, all eyes are on the 15th Prime Minister to deliver. His ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ will now come into play. His intentions are clear, as he wanted a compact team to deliver instead of a mammoth one, that is, liable to succumb. Of course he has the blessing of a full majority. He needs a visionary team to deliver good governance because his is a government which has not come to ‘rule’ the country but to ‘serve’. Most importantly his team has more women representation, unlike the past governments. This representation of women is expected to grow further when the cabinet expands sometime in July. This is a good reply to those cynics who questioned his relationship with his wife. What his critics failed to understand is that he was married off at a tender age and was totally against the institution of child marriage. And so he stayed away from his wife but that did not cut-off the relationship between the two families. Staying apart does not mean only desertion and the critics must take a walk into Indian tradition and culture, which lays a strong bond between couples, unlike what is seen today where husband and wife separates over silly matters, before arriving at any conclusion.

Modi has set the tone practically for his “minimum government, maximum governance” with his ten-point agendas for 100 days for the government which will enable him to assess the performance of the ministries assigned by him and enable him to continuously gauge and reinforce the machinery by way of inductions and deletions. He has actually shown the way that it is a compact team that a country of 100 billion people can feel in governance instead of a labyrinthine one. It is also a lesson for chief-minister-centric Congress politicians of Meghalaya – where as per the words of former governor MM Jacob, “In Meghalaya, every MLA wants to become minister and every minister wants to become chief minister”. The Prestone Tynsong led Congress dissident leaders from Meghalaya who are camping in the national capital must learn a lesson or two that to govern the people you don’t need to harp for the CM’s chair, always. This has been the history of this state which has been more or less ruled by Congress than any other party since its statehood. The self-centered politician here has only managed to brighten their own fortune at the cost of the state and its people. The usual running to the national capital at the drop of a hat is otherwise not seen in case of other northeastern states. Such is the brazenness of these Congress legislators that this is used as a new taunt by mainlanders against northeasterners, now. We have recently heard someone commenting a tribesman in a Southern Indian state whether this dissidence in Meghalaya is a ‘heritage of the tribesmen’. Are not our political leaders with their silly kid like power clamour earning laughing stock and the rest of it for its own citizens elsewhere in the country? Now with the power change in the national capital and a likely change in Meghalaya governor, perhaps Meghalaya is eyeing another President’s rule – given the growing dissidence in Congress and the immediate past such rule.

All discussions are now on Modi cabinet and why has he chosen leaders like Arun Jaitely and Smriti Irani despite their losses in the general election. Is there a dearth of talent pool in the BJP today? Are there not enough capable leaders? Well certainly the BJP has more capable leaders than Congress for the last few decades now. The idea to include Arun Jaitely in the cabinet must have been due to his capacity to take responsibilities in the past. He has on his own taken many responsibilities of the party and is one of the most capable senior BJP leaders today whose expertise and knowledge is required. And he can still be included in the cabinet despite the loss because he is a Rajya Sabha member. Like him Smriti Irani too is a Rajya Sabha member and is a young dynamic leader, known for her administrative capacities, who can reach out to the youths who form more than half of the country’s population. She was given the important HRD Ministry, which has been appreciated by many because the country today need someone who can understand the aspirations of the youths, their education and also to curb the brain drain that is going on in the country both in terms of higher education and jobs to foreign destinations. Today there are universities in Australia, USA, UK and other European countries which have sizeable Indian students studying there by either selling or mortgaging their lands and other properties back home. In fact many such universities are thriving because of Indian students. Why can’t this talent pool be honed in India? What is wrong with the education system? Irani being a young leader is expected to address these issues besides developing the country’s premier technical, management, medical and other institutions. I would like to see her deliver than her predecessor who, despite being more qualified than her, never moved from his chair and not even know how many institutions the country has in each streams. Do we need such ‘qualified’ armchair ministers?  

 

The clubbing of ministries falls in line of the vision of maximum governance by Modi. Gen (Retd.) VK Singh who took oath as MoS DONER, External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, this clubbing does make sense. The new government in fact has got it right by not allotting the Defence Ministry to Singh, as speculated earlier, which could have resulted in unwanted confrontation because of the row centered on him in the past. Singh has earlier served in the northeastern region and his expertise here will come handy besides feeding critical matters to the External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry to be headed by Sushma Swaraj. In fact, this is an indication about BJP’s strong vision on NE playing a pivotal role in the greater South East Asian region, be it, trade, commerce, education, culture, infrastructure and most importantly China. The Look East Policy coined by Pranab Mukherjee may, ironically for Congress, be shaping up to its fullest potentiality at the hands of BJP. Singh knows the influence of the Chinese in this region. For the first time, a union government is giving so much importance to this volatile region in terms of ‘development’ instead of ‘containment’. The negligence by Congress governments in the past has done enormous amount of damage treating it always as a disturbed region. But they have never realized the fact that if Punjab can become a peaceful state today from its days of militancy and terrorism, why can’t the NE. It can be analyzed that the Congress has willfully treated this region ‘disturbed’ despite its numerous potentialities. But the people of this region too have a greater role to play. They have to come out of the phobia against outsiders – who will take away their land and women.

Likewise the clubbing of Telecom and Law Ministry also sounds logical because of the amount of telecom scandals we are witness to in the past. This is a significant clubbing because the 2G, spectrum scams et al related to telecommunication, that the Congress led UPA government have given the country in the name of telecommunication, now rightly needs to be under the umbrella of law ministry. We have had enough of looting and there has to be some amount of consolidation and accountability, now. The Modi cabinet has also ideally clubbed the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with Ministry of External Affairs. There is no need to have two identical ministries when one can do the job well. Likewise the Food Processing Ministry should have been clubbed with Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution instead of two now. We do not need a separate Steel Minister and the present government has correctly clubbed it with Mines and Steel, Labour and Employment. After all when it comes to union government departments, establishments, PSUs, enterprises and all the rest of it, the Congress led UPA government had stopped all recruitments and made one people do the work of five or more. They have done this, many say, deliberately so that ‘separate ministries’ could be raised for coalition partners to keep them happy at the cost of rendering the eligible youths of the country unemployed. The predecessor government had 77 ministers to take the country to hell in its rank misrule.

But Modi has made it clear that he mean business as the Prime Minister. The decision to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to unearth black money stashed abroad is the fulfillment of a promise that he made to the countrymen during the elections. This is surely going to give sleepless nights to the Gandhi dynasty, as senior politician and eminent lawyer, Ram Jethmalani recently wrote in the print media, “… What emerges crystal clear is the desperation that even as their party was being pulverized at the polls, the infamous looter trio of Sonia, Rahul and Chidambaram were trying their utmost to stall the Supreme Court directions… Incidentally, I have repeatedly stated in public and to the press that Sonia and her family are the chief beneficiaries of the plunder of US $1,500 billion, equivalent to Rs 90 lakh crore.” But there are some myopic lots who cannot see the noble intention of this government. These, surprisingly most of them are from the teaching fraternity in reputed universities in the national capital, so called “indigenous” tribesmen of northeastern region whose surnames reminds one about “stan-guns”, “war-lords” et al, can’t see the transition that was needed and has taken place in the country. They fear that the divestment and privatization by the new government will rob people of benefits. It is indeed unimaginable that these literate lots who are shaping up the lives of students cultivate such mindset. Where on earth can they see that a government of the day is expanding its hand instead of cutting cost? Are these brands of professors living in a ‘frog in the well’ world even today where they have not come across terms like globalization? Actually the fault is equally theirs and all the erstwhile Congress and Congress led governments who have indulged in crony capitalism and dished out alms to these northeastern states making them state dependent. And that is what is seen in case of these so called indigenous professors who thinks that governance means everything that is government owned and it is solely responsible. For these breeds there is only one saying by English poet William Blake that fits them well, “The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.” Actually, states like Meghalaya in this region cannot see anything beyond Congress – which has been the real godfather of it since statehood. As renowned columnist Vinod Saighal has commented recently, “Muslims will soon realize that Imam Bukhari of Jama Masjid and Sonia Gandhi have done the greatest disservice to them.” Can the indigenous citizens of Meghalaya, except its band of Congress netas and babus, deny the disservice by Congress? But thankfully such professorial mindset ‘scholars’ are numbered because the majority of the people can still see the real side of the coin.

Beyond these scholars lies USA. Now, there are many in America who has written abhorring the rise of Modi linking him mostly to Hindutva and evaluating him queerly on the basis of the Gujarat riot. As if the 13,000 odd riots that took place under Congress, as pointed out by British Economist and Labour Politician Lord Meghnad Desai, since independence is deleted from history. These commentators from the soil of America remarked about violation of Human Rights and the rest of it. They have miserably failed to see the human right violation that took the lives of women and smaller children inside the train compartments in Godhra when it was burnt by some zealots, whose religious denomination is always identified and pointed to terrorism. Had this incident not taken place would Godhra carnage happened is anybody’s guess? What is America talking about here? What right do they have to comment on another country when their own human rights records is blotted only with blood? What about the drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries killing thousands of innocent citizens in the name of global peace? They should look into the mirror first before commenting on other countries. What does USA known about the Gujarat riot? Do they know that Modi in the aftermath took strong stand to control the riot according to his secular vision of India which does not accept leveling of people by the name of religion, declaring some as majority, some as minority and thereby creating a communal divide in our political culture?

Actually, USA sees a bleak future of their corporations under a BJP regime. There is no Sonia Gandhi around who can overlook and sell India’s interests to benefit American MNCs. Where else on earth can one find such a Congress government dedicated to the cause of USA? Looking at the Congress party’s diminishing trend, a smart America should look forward to do business with the new regime and change its bashful stand. More than anybody else, America knows well the markets in India.

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Rajiv Roy's picture

Shillong

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