Dear Mr. Prime Minister, we are neither amused nor convinced that foreign tours should be given precedence over the internal issues that are burning.

It is definitely an exaggeration of truth that we’re now blessed with a Visiting Prime Minister, both in internal and external terms. But there is no doubt that we have a Prime Minister who loves to trot this globe; he enjoys convincing the world that it is now a new India, a bold India and an aspiring India. Gone are the days when we would appeal for a permanent seat in Security Council. It is, by now, has become our right.

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 From 16 th of June 2014 till his return to his native land on 16 the April 2015, our honorable PM had spent 50 days abroad visiting  Paro, Thimpu in Bhutan; Fortaleza, Brasilia in Brazil; Kathmandu in Nepal; Kyoto, Tokyo in Japan; New York, Washington in America; Nayapyidaw in Myanmar; Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia; Suva in Fiji, and again Kathmandu in Nepal; Victoria in Seychelles; Port Louis in Mauritius; Colombo in Jaffna and Singapore.

Then the national compulsions persuaded him to visit Paris and Toulouse in France; Berlin, Hanover in Germany and finally he graced the towns of Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada on his last leg. He had been a busy man attending summits, participating in UN General Assembly meeting and State Funeral.

He was busy selling the idea of ‘Make in India’ and also criticizing previous governments on foreign soil – all for the bright future of our motherland. We have to kick over the traces to change the course of the nation, even if the global diplomacy doesn’t favor the criticism of previous governments as protocol’s tacit understanding. They say, “You will never hear US President Obama attacking his predecessor, George W Bush’s policies outside America.”

But we’re Indians and very recently we have developed a confidence to lead the world with our ethos and not just to toe the lines of past which were not so bright after all. It is no more the “scam India” as the new regime under his able leadership is removing the dirt accumulated by previous regimes. Let the world also be aware that the previous regime had “freely distributed coal mines like handkerchiefs”. Never mind the skewed claims of the enemies or opponent of NDA government that the BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh had also independently given away coal mines worth over Rs 1 lakh crores to the private sector companies which were also declared illegal and cancelled by the Supreme Court.

 The opposition parties are prone to exaggerate the small matters. We will look into the discrepancy if any does really exist, in due course of time and the correction would be made. But mind it Mr Indian, it’s a very non-descriptive matter.  The Indian public is cognizant of the fact that during the UPA regime, the CAG did not have enough time or resources to assess the losses that had occurred in the case of coal mines given away by state governments directly through their public sector mining companies. Let the matter there.

And now, the world in general and Indians in particular, must be enlightened with the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government had done in 11 months what the previous regimes could not do in decades. Those who blame us for switching from ‘Make In India’ to ‘Make In France’ when we did strike a deal to buy 36 Rafale aircraft as part of a government-to-government deal, are literally unaware of the urgency of the situation.

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The ongoing package deal that was already in the works to first buy 18 Rafale jets and additionally make 108 aircrafts in the government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) facility as part of Modi’s “Make in India” strategy was going too slow to meet the situation. We did desperately need to expedite the plane delivery. Please don’t doubt our intention or wisdom. We know our job. As per our relations with France are concerned, these are going to flourish in future. The idea of transfer of technology and absorption to enable HAL to become self-reliant would automatically come in practice. Miracle does happen. Are not you a spiritual Indian?

Right now, there was absolutely no rush to make a dent in our reputation internationally as the biggest importer of defense equipment in the world. The Great wind blows in higher hills. Wise decisions are not made to convince the gullible masses or fulfill the rhetorical electoral promises. For the moment, let us welcome the 36 Rafale aircraft. Defense is and should always be our priority. We are going to show the nation a new political craftsmanship even if it would require the subsequent cancellation of an indigenous production of Rafale with HAL, as stated by the Defence Minister of India.

Who doesn’t know that the French company making ‘Rafale’ was on the verge of closing down for want of a new market for their products. Being Indian, we must have an attitude of helping others. Do our Indian values not teach us to help those who’re in need. What’s wrong if in the process we provide OXYGEN to a morbid our fit? Life is worth living only if we do care for others also.

But we the Indians live in harsh realities and no one can hoodwink them with promises and mirages. We have the party that had once got freedom for us. Wishful thinking, more often than not, buys time but fails the test of time. No country would easily hand down the secret of trade and tricks of their own survival!

Connecting the far pavilions of the Jan Dhan Yojna at the home turfs, a much hyped and trumpeted scheme has some bitter realities hidden under the carpet. The Indian banks have been pushed, as it is generally revealed by the press, to create 14.7 crore accounts as of 31 March 2015. The real story is out of these 14.7 crore accounts 8.5 crore accounts have had zero balances. According to banking experts, it is not practical to maintain zero balance accounts as it costs Rs 125 per account to the bank to just maintain an unused account.

We could dream the fanciest situations but to move forward, we have to be practical and  realistic also. The farm economy is under severe strain. The farmers are dying or committing suicide. There is no respite on crime front and security of women is showing no improvement. Many of the RSS / BJP stalwarts are concentrating on parochial cultural agendas like ‘Ghar Vapsi’ and ‘Educational and Historical redress’ that are extremely divisive and highly threatening to minorities. Kashmir situation is thoroughly mishandled and deteriorating with every passing minute.

Let the Prime Minister show the courage to beard the lion in its den. The state of fear created by RSS bandwagon must disappear. The normalcy should return. There is no harm in civilized and sensible discussion and debate on any relevant topic under the sun. However, the language of intimidation must vacate the civilized premises.

And for that, the PM must have to spend more time inside the country. Visits around the globe could wait but the very serious problems of country won’t. We are neither amused nor convinced that foreign tours should be given precedence over the internal issues that are burning.  It is immaterial whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi  prefers to pack more than one destination in his overseas trips because he wants to get more done abroad. 

“I’m from Ahmedabad where we have a saying, ‘single-fare, double journey. I usually try to visit two to four nations.” Now you are more from the whole of the nation and not only from Ahmedabad, we need you more here Mr Prime Minister!

By: Naim Naqvi

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