Indian democracy since the day of independence has been dominated by one political party, namely the Indian National Congress. In the absence of any viable alternative, the people of the country put their faith in the party, hoping the party would deliver the promises made at the time of independence and India would be able to reclaim its lost glory.
But alas, the hopes were dashed. Instead, the blunt arrogance of subsequent leaders of INC, chiefly Indira Gandhi, heaped upon the citizenry; the poverty of misconceived socialism and the ignominy of Emergency. Rajiv Gandhi proved ineffective as well and got embroiled in the Bofors scandal wherein he was alleged to have received kickbacks in the gun deal, which brought down his government in 1989. He was assassinated while contesting for re-election, and subsequently, the Babri Masjid was demolished by Kar Sevaks in the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation.
Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao liberalized the economy as a countermeasure to tide over the balance of payment crisis that hit India. In these circumstances, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), based on Hindutva ideology, rose on the country’s political horizon as a viable alternative to the INC and formed a coalition government with the acronym NDA comprising of 23 parties. The political field of India was experiencing a flux, and it was in such a tumultuous phase of Indian politics, a former RSS pracharak by the name of Narendra Modi took charge as Gujarat Chief Minister in the year 2001.
Modi’s ascension as Chief Minister was marked by one of the most dreadful communal conflagrations between Hindus and Muslims this country has ever witnessed. On February 27, 2002, a train full of karsevaks returning from Ayodhya was burnt down at Godhra near Ahmedabad, killing 58 passengers. Following the news that a Muslim mob carried out the burning, there was widespread anti-Muslim violence, and the most heinous crimes were committed in the name of religion—estimates of the death toll range from 900 to 2000.
The Modi government was accused of being complicit in the violence involving gross human rights violations. This unfortunate incident catapulted Mr. Narendra Modi to national ignominy, and he was branded as the Hitler of India. Things came to such a stand that the United States government denied him visa for his alleged role in the pogrom.
To absolve himself of this notoriety, Mr. Narendra Modi focused on the economic development of Gujarat, and in a very short span of five years, Gujarat was being talked about as a model of economic growth that should be emulated in the rest of the country. This resulted in his winning the subsequent state elections of 2007 as well as 2012 with an overwhelming majority.
This was a time when the nation led by the UPA government and headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh was mired in corruption, and scams of all sorts were tumbling out of the closet left, right and center. The people felt a political vacuum along with a governance deficit due to policy paralysis.
It was then that Mr. Narendra Modi was projected as a leader by the BJP who could fill this void at the center. Having made his contribution to the development of Gujarat as a true son of the soil, Mr. Modi answered the call of the motherland. He plunged into national politics, making a whirlwind campaign across the country to appeal to the people to vote for him as the next prime minister.
After a hard-fought election victory, Modi Ji was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India on May 26 2014. His political journey is truly inspiring, starting from a humble beginning as a tea vendor and reaching the country’s highest office. His life is marked by a dedication to the cause of the motherland, unflinching commitment to his ideology, sincerity of purpose, honesty of intention, and a burning desire to serve the motherland.
His humble upbringing made him acutely aware of the problems faced by the people of the lower strata of society. With a missionary zeal, he started addressing those issues. Starting with Jan Dhan Yojana, an unparalleled effort in financial inclusion anywhere in the world with 35 crores bank accounts in one year. Poor people who never had a bank account started receiving their subsidy directly, thus heralding a new era in hassle-free welfare delivery.
Next, focusing on cleanliness, he was aware of the lack of sanitation facilities in the village of India, and it was a matter of shame for us that we could not provide our women the privacy of a toilet to answer the call of nature. Millions of toilets were built through the length and breadth of the country, addressing one of the basic needs of dignified living, which previous governments had completely ignored.
Women in rural India had to undergo a lot of stress while cooking food for the family in the traditional way as they had to look for wood and coal too that was used in the chullahs. So, Mr. Modi started a scheme to provide them with subsidized gas to cook food without succumbing to health hazards that affected them while using chullahs. Now, millions of households in rural India use gas daily to cook their food.
Because of indecision and clarity of vision, the country’s security architecture had been severely damaged. We as a nation had become vulnerable to terrorist attacks, and the armed forces were suffering an acute shortage of arms and ammunition. Accordingly, a CDS was appointed, and many new weapons platforms like Rafale fighter jet and Apache helicopters were purchased and provided to the armed forces who now feel confident to take on any adversary.
Mr. Modi sanctioned the Uri surgical strike and the Balakot air strike, sending a strong signal to Pakistan and the international community that the days of India taking things lying down is over and we will give it back as good as we get when it came to security of the people and defense of the country. Under his leadership, the armed forces have valiantly stood against the Chinese onslaught in Doklam and now in Galwan.