Modi's India - Where now?
It has been a landslide victory for Narendra Modi. His supporters and the majority of India who voted for him are ecstatic. India is finding a positive and confident identity – it is no longer as shackled by its colonial past. On the other hand, the critics argue that this has come at a price with the subjugation of the minorities and the poorer classes who still have not seen any piece of the silver.
"We all want a new India. I want to bow down my head and say thank you," he said in his victory address to the party faithful and all of India.
India is a country who has the largest democracy and has the astonishing systems in place to organise an election with 900 million eligible votes. The country’s mandate has to make sure that no one has to travel more than 2km to vote and in one region a voting booth was set up for just one prospective voter. The country uses electronic voting pads and mixes the traditional with the modern to run the biggest and complex election in the world. Yet listening to foreign reports, many see the country as a third world nation. This hypocrisy is partly due to the media brainwashing and unbalanced reporting of the country.
Modi himself has made numerous pledges and whilst the targets have not been fully met, he has campaigned to clean up India, both ecologically and political/economic corruption. No political leader has made inroads that easily in a country like India which is so diverse and complex. And if he was so bad (according to western media reports) why did he have a landslide victory?
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it is wrong to make out that the majority are wrong when they vote for him. Of course, there are challenges to be made with Modi’s government and the BJP. There are many things wrong which need fixing. But to write off the victory as a tragedy by some of the leftist media outlets is in itself a tragedy. Why cannot we have balanced reporting?
With so much going for the country, the west still sees him as a threat and the left wing make him out as a divider of a secular nation, in particular, the suppression of the large Muslim minority. Yet this is the same person who helped empower Muslim women by getting rid of the instant talaq divorce law where men could utter divorce three times to get their wishes granted. Modi and the BJP need to do more to remove their anti-minority tag.
In the foray of this mass news and fake news with everyone involved in their own agenda, let us look at 10 key trends for PM Modi and his government.
- Demonetization did cause so much inconvenience for the masses. But many still believe that if that is what it takes to fight corruption, we will put up with it.
- The continuation of the digital economy with millions now having bank accounts and being able to participate in the official economy.
- The Aadhaar ID card and the ability to help citizens to have access to so many services.
- The use of digital media in India has increased rapidly with one of the highest rises, only second to Indonesia.
- The digital economy brings other pressures including the big worry of security.
- The country is making huge breakthroughs in space research huge in low budget space work with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) breaking records regularly. Critics argue that the money could be spent to fight poverty.
- More jobs for the masses with subsidies, especially in the agriculture sector. This is one area where the government has lost its way and it could be its downfall in the future.
- With the rapid rise in ID cards and digital economy, there are issues, of certain communities being isolated and not being allowed to be India citizens. There may be many illegals, but there needs to be a humane way of dealing with this human rights issue.
- Kashmir – it still brings the worst press for India and whether we like it or not, India needs to be in dialogue with Pakistan and find a solution. With the Pakistan economy so weak and isolated, it can no longer continue to be a haven for terrorism and India has more leverage to find a permanent solution. It happened in Northern Ireland. \
- Cleaning of the Ganges – the river is a symbolism of India and its spiritualism. It will also define India’s standing the environmental agenda.