Prime minister’s address from red fort on the eve of Independence Day always holds more water then expectation. Beside an address to the nation it is a sound message to entire world about passion, purpose, power and politeness which India perceive.
Like every year this year also PM after hosting flag greet nation and recall the sacrifice of nation makers in his own words as per the ritual and custom, which always seems heart touching doesn’t matter whosoever is the prime minister. Without questioning this moment is filled with pride and honor.
Outside the parliament this occasion is of prime importance for any PM to deliver his thought, policy, achievement and governments standing at different front. PM’s speech on this occasion keep the eyes of entire nation open and ears at standing mode, both position and opposition keep themselves ready to evaluate PM’s speech at their best. And this time it happens too.
As an individual Prime Minister Narendra Modi is well known for witty oration unlike his predecessor. His all time pleasing speech forced not only his supporters but also the opponents to praise him though differing in policy. He is competent enough to compel anyone to be his follower by his well narrated words. But this time we find that the witty Modi was missing in some aspect. First time it seems that his entire speech not justified his own image.
His speech can be categorically seen into many parts but from over all view I see it in two parts
- A report card of his government and governance
- A message to neighbor on terrorism
Here I deal with first one only as second one is to be evaluated from tit for tat view I think.
By the time Modi came to power, expectation from him is much higher than any of his predecessor in last few decade. Beside a democratic representative he is a populist choice. In his last two addresses from Red fort Modi infuse the value and spark of hope in the mind and heart of common masses especially the youth, he announced several policy and ignite the minds to be innovative and recognize ones potential in order to achieve something big and different. He left no page unturned to touch the heart of common masses and recognize him as global addresser. But this time what we find that he spend most of his time in discussing his achievement and comparing it with previous government. Sometimes he scales his achievement much more than incremental success.
Comparison is good but instead of over exaggerating it PM should have to add few more points in his speech which he left out. Some bureaucratic data which he used to decorate his speech seems much fabricated, like sugar cane farmers payment, Fertilizer issue and seeds quality problem which still persist almost as it used to be. Though he must not be blamed for his agriculture policy in last two years as drought and under-performed monsoon was the main cause. Coming from a farmer family I can easily understand it.
He repeatedly used words like accountability, transparency, responsibility, transform, reform and so on in order to define swaraj and su-raj, broadly speaking, he talks of good governance with its certain catchy word and while defining it he gave an account of his success till date categorically. He only repeated his previous programmes’ success. No emphasis was given on employment generation, except few previous policies. He should have to talk about judiciary-legislative relation, which continuously question government intention. He should have to quote president’s message on the eve of Independence Day in order to strengthen social harmony, which the society is in dire need.
Despite making comparison, Modi should have to make his own scale. With the change in political awareness and increasing curiosity in last few years it has been acknowledged that prime minister has crafted long lasting impact on common masses and they in return too want prime minister to address issues covering wider section of society and in lucid as well comprehensive manner. The issue of delivery to last men of society which PM talks about need to be seen at the ground level which even today is not seen. State has changed its nature from welfare to service state but its bureaucracy is still apathetic of it. An attitudinal change in constitutional institution still needed that they the office bearer are supreme and all mighty. PM talks about delivery to last but did not give any heed towards smoothening the functioning of government machinery.
Hope newly announced policies bear fruit very soon. Finally I would like say that this government should not compare his tenure to previous one as it always give him acknowledgement that they are comparatively doing well but the citizen is not getting things as per expectation. That’s the reason I assert too little from too much.
By Diwakar Jha