In January 2014, when Manmohan Singh addressed a press conference in New Delhi, he was asked how he thought history would judge him and he responded by saying that history will be kinder to him than media. After this press conference, there were lots of comments from different quarters indicating that Manmohan Singh’s term as a P.M. was full of failures, corruption and created ire in minds of people against the then government i.e. UPA-2.
Manmohan Singh was the whipping boy that everybody wanted to call by names on many social networking sites, especially “Twitter” and “Facebook”. For accidental P.M., it was probably the worst that he had seen, just opposite to what he experienced when he took over as the Finance Minister in 1991.
Came Lok Sabha election 2014 and UPA-2 was comprehensively defeated and a new government led by Modi took over. In May, 2014 Modi was man of the movement. Infallible, immaculate and visionary as a leader, something that India was desperately looking for. There was hope and optimism all around.
Media started eulogizing him for no reason at all and there was an attempt to create a larger than life image around Modi. Modi was a man who would never go wrong. “Achhe Din” was about to descend and India was about to be a paradise were poverty, unemployment and social miseries would be a thing of past.
Narendra Modi led BJP government is about to complete one year now. While the media is still judging Manmohan Singh as and when there is news related to decisions taken during his tenure, Modi is no more the Modi that he was one year back. The man, who supposedly transformed Gujarat is now under scrutiny.
There are waves of discomfort on social media. Corporate world has also started murmuring now and signs of discontent are emerging. Some with integrity and guts have also started speaking up. Deepak Parekh, one of the most admirable figures of industry, two months back said that , “I think there is still a lot of optimism among the people of the country and among the industrialists and entrepreneurs that the Modi government will be good for business, for progress, for reducing corruption. They think this government means business on all these fronts.
However, after nine months, there is a little bit of impatience creeping in as to why no changes are happening and why this is taking so long having effect on the ground
Is it unfair to judge Modi at this juncture when he has not completed even one year? Shouldn’t we give more time to Modi? There are many who are arguing that when we can give ten years to UPA, why not wait for some time more before we start judging Modi??
The answer is that Modi cannot be given more time for two reasons-1) One he came to power with the kind of expectation that no one had built before election and 2)- Considering that last on year has been full of failures of current government, by doing an analysis of Modi’s performance we will stop repeat of failures in next four years.
But is Modi government all about failures?
The answer is no. One of the most noticeable aspects of the current government is that no significant case of corruption has come to light till now. This is an area where we will have to wait more to pass a final judgment. But on other fronts a time line of one year is more than enough. Has Indian economy got any direction till now? Certainly no, as the government has focused on sloganeering alone.
“Make in India” started as a failure as it does not offer much to MSMEs to contribute. The focus of the plan has been to attract foreign investments while we have enough capability domestically to make this plan successful. Agriculture sector suffered a big setback due to unseasonal rain but the response post rains from the government has been pathetic. Farmer suicides are on the rise and the government has only defense to offer that farmers also died during UPA regime.
The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) has come down but food inflation is alarmingly high and GDP growth has shown upward trend only because of base year revision and change in method of calculation. Rupee has started weakening and stock market has started moving down after showing signs of euphoria during first few months of government formation. The biggest worry is reversal in the trend of crude price which is now moving northwards.
On social front things stand as good as they were during previous government or worsened in some aspects? Crime against women is on rise and attack on minorities is also rising.” Swacch Bharat” has proven out to be a “JUMLA”. All this has also got reflected in election results. BJP lost miserably in Delhi elections and Kolkata along with other parts of West Bengal was painted green in municipal elections. Modi government is busy in image making exercise. The frequent foreign tour of Modi is an example of this.
Success of Modi government has been very sporadic. This is something that can again be related to press conference of Manmohan Singh in which he had said that without discussing the merits of Narendra Modi, it will be disastrous for the country to have Shri Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister.
First one year has been a disaster for sure, but we have no option but to wait. People are judging Modi very minutely and he needs to deliver. BJP should now also start contemplating how history will judge Modi if current performance trend continues.
By: Vivek Sharma