People might be divided right across the middle when it comes to some ideologies of BJP and Modi. But what the entire country agrees unanimously is that Modi is one of the best orators India has had in recent times. His speeches have always inspired people and such skills are very rare in today’s time.
Modi’s Independence Day speech, as usual, was very inspiring and he pressed all the right buttons, appeasing the liberals, far right and even the left. In fact, his vision for the future is spot on- the complete overhaul of the Indian education system was long overdue. His tax reforms to make tax paying seamless, painless and faceless and the launch of the Transparent Taxation Platform.
And we of course have a new catch phrase today – Atmanirbhar Bharat. While it pulls the cords of patriotism and promotes Nationalism, it is actually ‘Make in India’ packaged in a new format. The Ladakh standoff with China brough forth this new coinage, leading to banning apps and imposing prohibitive import duties, giving the much needed protection to the domestic industry.
All these are simply great visions for the future. It makes one want to believe that we will move ahead into a new India. But then comes the big question mark – great thoughts but will they get implemented?
We have enough such coinages – Swachch Bharat, Smart City, the Toilet saga and so many more. They all begin with great fanfare and everyone is so motivated. But soon with lack of support from the Govt – state and central, getting stuck in the usual red tape, it tapers off. And then they remain just that – catch phrases.
Land reforms are yet to take off and we are looking at setting up the manufacturing hub for the world here in India. Yes, there is news of Govt planning to offer land near its ports to companies for building solar equipment factories, as it seeks to attain self-reliance and challenge the dominance of China in one of the world’s largest green energy market.
We are not doing a “report card” kind of thing here of the BJP’s talks vis-à-vis the achievements. We are merely hoping that things will change now – the Govt will be able to walk the talk. There are many who say that Modi’s idea are simply let down by the bureaucracy. But if this is a problem area, or rather, has been a problem area, just as all other issues are being thought of, why not this too? Every new policy or idea that is being mooted needs to be well scripted, right from the laying of the foundation to the inauguration. If every single idea and policy comes to a naught on account of poor implementation, what’s the point of a great speech – people will start losing faith in these talks too.
Lets hope that Modi is able to motivate his own and that of other states to take India to the next level. Yes, we have catch phrase for that too – Minimum government, maximum governance. But this too, like the rest of the slogans needs to get translated into reality – what we still have is the exact opposite – maximum governance and minimum governance.
Reforms agenda is great but we need to act faster and take decisions with speed so that the slogans to become substantive and radical enough to achieve the goal of maximum governance. Bureaucrats absenteeism might be resolved but the challenge which was there even six years ago of empowering them with tools to get the jobs done with least Government interference is yet to be achieved.
So, yeah the speech like always was great, extremely inspiring but we want to see all this getting done and not merely being a feather in the wind.