N.S. Venkataraman for BeyondHeadlines
Today, India appears to be weighed down by its problems, with corruption in administration and nepotism in politics retarding the growth of the country. However, there are many good things happening in India and creditable achievements are being recorded in various spheres, but they seem to be not given the due recognition in view of the overwhelming acts of nepotism and dishonest dealings in governance.
There appear to be widespread view that the country needs strong leadership committed to the cause of probity and governance that would be free of corruption, that can facilitate rapid economic and social developments in healthy directions. Obviously, Manmohan Singh during the last eight years of his stewardship has failed to ensure such conditions and in the process tarring the reputation of India as well as his own personal reputation. Many people wonder today as to why Manmohan Singh is like this, putting up with all the corrupt dealings in his administration that have been well exposed. Many now even suspect that Manmohan Singh does not care anymore except for staying on in the position of Prime Minister. Otherwise, it is difficult to understand as to why he remains so soft to all corrupt happenings of massive proportions such as the case of Commonwealth Games, Coal Scam, 2G scam etc. The country’s cry for strong and honest leadership is now loud and clear.
In the national sphere, the only political leader today who meets such expectations of the people by and large is Narendra Modi, though there are many adversaries critical of him. But the facts and figures clearly point to Narendra Modi as the man for the job.
In the 2012 Gujarat election, the performance of Narendra Modi during his last 10 years of rule have been analysed threadbare. Perhaps, no other chief minister’s performance has been subjected to such detailed analysis and discussions in the post independent India. This goes to the credit of Narendra Modi that he has brought the economic and social agenda to the forefront and has given enough reasons for people to discuss about his socio-economic and administrative achievements.
One thing conspicuous about Narendra Modi in Gujarat is that there has been no reference to any dealings of corruption which is something unique. No one has doubted his personal commitment to the cause of social and economic development. He has not been accused of any lethargic attitude to the issues facing Gujarat. It is widely recognised that he has brought great energy in his administration which has ensured that the projects are well thought out and planned and executed with care.
Gujarat is the one state in the country where there is no power shortage now. Again, this is the only state where prohibition is in force that was dear to Mahatma Gandhi.
His critics have often argued that the economic and social progress of Gujarat should be attributed to the native entrepreneurship qualities of citizens of Gujarat and Narendra Modi has only joined the bandwagon. This can be said as an uncharitable view.
The one issue that has been kept alive by his critics for the last 10 years is the Godra riots, where innocent lives on all sides have been lost in communal clashes. Modi has repeatedly denied the involvement of his administration in the riots and has faced every enquiry committee boldly in a straightforward manner. He has never evaded the enquiry committees and several judiciary commissions have not held him responsible for what happened, but his critics continue to keep the torch of accusation against him burning by their relentless efforts. Narendra Modi even said that he should be hanged if he would be found guilty.
It can be said in short that no other chief minister in post independence India has matched the performance of Narendra Modi in administrative standards and consistent economic growth that he could achieve in his state. This should be kept in mind that he has done this for 10 long years and still has enough ideas and vision to carry on. If performance should be the criteria for handing over the national leadership, in today’s juncture in India, Narendra Modi will win hands down.
Based on his proven performance and the energy that he can bring to the mainstream of national life, Narendra Modi should be given a chance and a position at the helm of affairs in the country after the 2014 Parliamentary poll.
One only hopes that Narendra Modi, will put forth determined efforts and start an all India campaign immediately after Gujarat polls to give a choice to countrymen and choose him for the job of Prime Minister.
(N.S.Venkataraman is a Chemical Engineer from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu and Director of Nandini Consultancy Centre. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)