Yes, I didn’t vote for Modi in 2014 but want Modi back in 2019. Here’s why?
Born, raised and brought up in a middle class progressive cosmopolitan family, I saw various affiliations since childhood. While few attended Shakha, few attended union meetings. I waited the whole year to get hold of Eidi from Ansari Uncle & relish my ever favourite Sewai. I eagerly awaited Durga Puja, Diwali & so I did get my share of yummy plum cake at Mr Shave’s house who dwelled behind. As I grew, plurality seemed gorgeous & Communism the aptest, rational and vogue. French Revolution seemed legit while Arthashashtra was crap. As I entered an architecture school, FoE and liberalism became the mantra for survival. Arch school only taught progress beyond progress. It taught us the great architecture of Islam for a semester, Romans, Greeks each for one but failed to zoom on the details of temples.A Communism inspired kid who further only read glorification of the west in UG, but could only get authentication of ‘Red’ is right. I couldn’t stop but to read Mao, Lenin and Marx. Indian society seemed no different than West and Marxism the way ahead. I turned into a student leader and became part of agitations against management and university. I wrote two books ‘Restart-An Architect’s Journey to the Parliament House’ and ‘Crossing the Line’. While first spoke of student’s role in politics, second was about a politician’s quest to revive the education system. I won’t shy off to say that yes, both were Left inspired. Godhra incidence wasn’t even a decade old when the above events were transpiring in my life. Cut off from the modern political reading I too knew only a thing of Modi, that is: ‘NaMo is a mass assassin and BJP a hate propagator’.
UPA was caught up in corruption charges and Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement had found good presence. Burning ‘Red’ rebellion within me became part of the movement and more than Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal seemed the only legit leader to me. I could compare him with the protagonist of my book ‘Crossing the Line’. I became a volunteer of Aam Aadmi Party and also donated whatever I could consider my job as a fresh architect. Then came 2014 and I awaited how AK would defeat NaMo in Varanasi. Though my friend Vaidha Kaushal (@vaibhavkaushal_) always reminded me of the bigger monster AK actually is. But red rebel wasn’t ready to listen & ‘Saffron’ terror’s failure was my sole desire.
‘The universe was conspiring big’
Meanwhile, I was on a study tour to Ajanta, Ellora caves. I was amazed by the magnificent scale of architecture and dedicated skills that had gone into making the of the two sets of Caves. Enigma and only Enigma stuck my mind. I started reading about the history of caves, but only started connecting various dots. While I learnt opulence of the wisdom bank of Indian history, fake tales of Asiatic Society, Jones & Mullers, et. El, the larger western conspiracy became clearer to me. I could understand the vested interest of Missionaries, the phenomenon of dividing the Indian States, etc.
Max Muller’s Aryan Invasion Theory which was globally accepted as myth was being propagated by Indian Left as Fact by the likes of Romila Thapar. The question was why a globally rejected theory was being propagated by a political wing that portrays itself to be most rational. The answer was quite clear. The idea was being used only to Balkanise India by inciting Dalits against Upper Caste, South Indians against North Indians (Dravida parties emerged out of that idea). While Brits reinforced their claim of being the right ruler by propagating that Aryans were outsiders from West and it was just invasion no.2, the Indian Left cunningly batted for so-called non-Aryans crafting a larger divide. They crafted the idea of ‘Mul Niwasi’.My studies of ancient India only proved the hypocrisy of left. A rationalist never bats for a lie, but their foundation itself seemed living a parasites life over the palate of lies.
Then came the incidents like Mani Shankar Iyer appealing Pakistan to help remove NaMo from the post of PM while the neighbour was engaged in showering fire on LoC. This was a trigger point to think why the most corrupt is appealing our enemy to help in removing our PM. Moreover, the truth of Ayodhya’s disputed site was clear to me. I had realised the worth of Rama Janmabhoomi Temple and the fault lines of those batting for Babri. It would have been biggest sin for a rationalist like me to walk by the side of false narrative makers. My readings about Ambedkar and his complex relationship with both INC and Left further weakened my affinity for left and centre. Neither of the two ever owned him or his ideas. Supporting those who were anti-Ambedkar would have been disrespecting the Constitution of India. Ambedkar became the face of Left only post Mandal commission. The history of Indian left and Centre only emboldened their nature to milk any for political or rather power gains. Narendra Modi was proven not guilty by the court for his involvement in the Gujarat Riots of 2002. Hence for me to show audacity to question his non-involvement would have been contempt of court. Failing to accept the words of Court or Constitution meant a sin to me. For me, BJP’s stand on Ram Mandir looked rational and logical for the facts unearthed by ASI. I was ready to be called right and not left if my rational stands makes me ‘SanghaPhilic’. It’s always better to be Rational Right than the foolish left. (Papers were written by K Muhammad of ASI provides enough evidence on this).
While BJP’s stand and the image was clean and apt for me. AB Vajpayee’s tenure had given India much-needed power, be it Operation Vijaya or Nuclear empowerment while Congress had given us a Flawed Economic policy, Emergency & Corruption. Arvind Kejriwal had already shown his power-centric agenda when he decided to form government with Congress against whom he once protested alongside Anna Hazare. By mid-2014I had realised Indian Polity needed a serious leader, not a joker who mocks public support.
The NaMo Years
Fifty-five months NaMo government has extensively worked at grassroots to strengthen the life of every common man. Only naive will question NaMo’s dedication and results. Modi's swearing-in ceremony featured nearly all the SAARC leaders including Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif. Modi’s act had established Indian openness to engage in dialogues with Pak which further concretised when PM Modi visited during N Sharif’s daughter’s marriage. These gestures lead to an eased isolation of Pakistan later leading to global boycott at various platforms including SAARC summit 2016 since Pakistan never stopped the proxy war with India. Such isolation was faced earlier only by South Africa in regards to the issue of Apartheid. Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation was a great achievement of NDA government and Modi himself.
Post-Uri attack by JeM, the government decided to go for a Surgical Strike, and our brave army hit the terror camps tough and strong on September 29,2016. Pakistan was given a befitting reply. While the whole world acknowledged and appreciated the valour of army and Modi government’s step, only two critics wept their life out: Pakistan and Indian Opposition. They were not ready to accept the truth of strike. It further concretised my faith in NaMo and dislike for all those against.
The Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj concluded the deal after convincing Saudi Arabia not to charge ‘On-Time Delivery Premium charges’ on Crude Oil. This saved the country thousands of crores. India built 3 Hydroelectric power stations and Dams of about 1416 MW in Bhutan only to get it’s the lion's share in Green energy. 3/4th of the power is exported to India. In 2016, the bilateral trade stood at Rs 8,723 crore, with imports pegged at Rs 5,528.5 crore (82 per cent of Bhutan's total imports) and exports at Rs 3,205.2 crore, including electricity (90 per cent of Bhutan's total exports). India succeeded in getting the international project of building the Biggest ever dam in Nepal due to which India will fetch 83% Green Energy produced from the biggest hydro-power station for free. China had tried hard to get the project but in vain. Modi succeeded in convincing Japan to invest $ 30Billion in Delhi –Mumbai Investment Corridor (DMIC) which is an exclusive rail line project for fast transportation.
Modi government has developed a strategic relationship with Vietnam against all the odds which has now agreed to facilitate Oil exploration to ONGC-Videsh dispelling the Congress party’s fears of a backlash from China. Modi could increase Oil Imports from Iran despite the ban by the USA besides getting a go-ahead to build ‘Chabahar Port’ in Iran encircling Pakistan. India can now have exclusive access to our Naval ships in this port. With this, India can checkmate Pak moves. India could get additional supplies of Uranium from Australia for its energy production.
Modi government’s crucial achievement was to make Sri Lanka back out from Chinese contract of developing ‘Hambantota Port’. China could get the contract during the UPA regime. A recent CIA report mentions the major role played by RAW in displacing President Rajapakse in elections in Srilanka.
Modi could also make China invest heavily in India to bring down the trade deficit with China which has committed an investment of $20 billion in India. That’s nearly Rs.140,000 crores in Indian currency.
Modi accorded top priority to country’s security with tie-ups with US, Israel and Japan. They were invited to participate in the Malabar exercise to checkmate Pakistan. He also succeeded in concluding the import of high-end military drones from Israel to use in surgical strikes along the border.
Swachha Bharat Mission (SBM)
The core programme of SBM is to ensure usage of toilets in all homes through behaviour change, and, thereby, eliminate open defecation. Since October 2014, when the programme was launched, SBM has equipped 75 million households with toilets. At the time of its launch, fewer than 40% of households had toilets at home. Today that figure is up to over 85%.
The number of open defecation-free villages has gone up from 47,000 to 384,000 and over the same period, about 65% of all villages in the country are ODF. 17 states and Union UTs are now ODF. Of the remaining 16, another three are almost ODF (>90%) and six are more than 85% ODF. A survey of over 92K households across the country, guided by a group of international experts and representatives of UNICEF and World Bank have verified that 96% of the villages declared ODF were indeed ODF & 77% of the households surveyed had toilets (official estimate of 76% during the survey). Of the people who had access to toilets, 93% were found to use them regularly, which is very close to an even higher estimate of 95% which was revealed by a separate survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office. None of any earlier governments were able to bring in neither the resource in place nor bring the behaviour change. I see this as one big achievement of the NaMo government and a compelling reason to get him back again in 2019.
To generate employment in the rural areas, 86 BPOs have been established across 27 states having individual capacity of 53,300 seats. More than 12,500 people have been deployed from small towns like Imphal, Kohima, Srinagar, Unnao, Guntur, Muzaffarpur, etc. The Government has also launched e-marketplace portal for procurement by government departments and agencies. More than 22,000 companies have placed orders worth over Rs 7,000 crore through this portal. To give a boost to the electronic manufacturing, 20 greenfield manufacturing clusters and three common facility centres in brownfield clusters across 15 states have been approved by the Government. Two mobile manufacturing units are already operational since 2014, and 120 units are making mobile handsets and components now.
The value of digital payments through IMPS have grown 81.90 per cent to Rs. 1,02,240 crore in April 2018 from Rs. 56,205 crore in April 2017. Digital India has led to employment opportunities and promotion of entrepreneurship. More than 2,74,246 km of optic fibre connecting 1.15 lakh gram panchayats under Bharat Net, have already been laid. The number of Common Services Centres (CSCs) has increased to 2.91 lakh with the presence in 1.83 lakh gram panchayats leading to digital delivery of services ranging from banking to insurance to pension to land records to Bharat bill payments, etc.
This was a great initiative with the idea to encourage entrepreneurship. The action plan of this initiative, is based on the following 3 pillars:
1. Simplification and Handholding.
2. Funding Support and Incentives.
3. Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation.
An additional area of focus relating to this initiative is to discard restrictive States Government policies within this domain, such as License Raj, Land Permissions, Foreign Investment Proposals, and Environmental Clearances. Under this initiative, the gov has already launched the I-MADE program, to help Indian entrepreneurs build 1 million mobile app start-ups and the MUDRAscheme, an initiative that aims to provide micro-finance, low-interest rate loans to entrepreneurs from low-income backgrounds.
Other Modi govt. initiatives that influenced me:
The amendment of bankruptcy laws were necessary when bankers were grappling with use rise in non-performing assets, where the govt’s eye was on bringing more entrepreneurs!
Introduction of RERA and Housing for All Schemes made the industry common populace friendly. RERA’s stringent preventive & punitive provisions, put an end to exploitation by unscrupulous developers by making transactions fair, transparent and secure.
Mann Ki Baat
It is a great initiative which connected common people with the PM. An action that never occurred in the past. Something which has left journalists cribbing about. The PM took the call to talk with people than with Darbaris of past.
Yemen Evacuation - Contribution to peace
This is one of the biggest evacuations headed by Sushma Swaraj, who earned laurels for succeeding the operation by rescuing Kerala nurses and bringing back differently abled Geeta from Pakistan.
Jan Dhan Yojana
India also holds Guinness records for opening a lot of bank accounts in a short period of time. Don't you find an extraordinary sequence? A good strategy. Everyone was made to have a Bank Account. Aadhar card was made Compulsory Then demonetization, a daring move. Everyone is safe, if he has money in his bank account and made easy to digitise.
LPG Subsidy reforms
GST A revolutionary Transparent Taxation system, making every tax into one single Tax. A lot of chaos and corruption are reduced. The chaos in taxation is reduced in a drastic way, which also reduced the accumulation of taxes (Cumulative taxes).
Under this scheme, more than 10 cr LPG connections were given against 13 cr for past decades.
One Rank One Pension
Modi government resolved the problem of One Rank One Pension something for which veterans were waiting for four decades.
Apart from the above, welfare schemes to benefit farmers, a slew of insurance schemes like crop insurance, Atal Pension Yojana for the unorganized sector, affordable health insurance coverage, Jan Aushadhi Yojana for retail sales of generic drugs, introduction of Kisan Vikas Patra, Introduction of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, a PPF-equivalent for the girl child, are some of the other landmark schemes that are changing the lives of common people in the country.
Likewise, there are more things which compels me to vote for Narendra Modi and BJP in 2019. He did multiple things that no government even gave a thought about during the past decades. He has set a platform, and if we are unable to bring him back in 2019, that shall be the worst luck for India.