Friday, May 23, 2014

What Narendra Modi for India means to me

In the recently concluded Indian elections, historically the largest democratic exercise ever, Narendra Modi led BJP to a historic landslide win. The least you have to say about the man is he is a very intelligent strategist. Converting just 30% of vote share to 52% of seats in the lower house is no small feat, giving India the most stable government in the past 3 decades. Ever since the exit polls have indicated a win for NaMo, the sensex has been rallying upwards reaching a new all time high each day, and then breaking all the records, climbing up 1400 points on the day of results. Even after massive profit booking, it has still maintained its strong position and is at an all time high (closing). The value of Rupee wrt USD has appreciated tremendously and is at an 11 month high. All these are nothing but immense hopes of economic development that now lies on the shoulder of Narendra Modi, following the lines of the "Gujarat Model". And I think that's the best way to look at him, as a pro development leader who believes in inclusive growth and who can convert his visions into actions rather than a communal Hindu extremist, the way a lot of people have portrayed him. With all due respect to the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, that riots past will keep haunting him, but hopefully such a gory situation will never ever arise again.

Coming back to the Gujarat Model, I have had infinite arguments about this with lots of people who think Gujarat Model is a sham and that people of Gujarat were always prosperous and hard working. Agreed! Even if they were always prosperous and hard working, the least Narendra Modi's government has done is to bring in transparency, thus reducing bureaucracy, cutting down on red tape and keeping corruption largely under check. Hence creating an environment conducive for growth. If this is all there is to the Gujarat Model, it's still good enough for me. If he can implement just this Gujarat Model, it will lead to a very nurturing environment for entrepreneurship and development in general. I am sure there is enough untapped potential in India that's languishing under the ire of excessive bureaucracy and red tape. 

Narendra Modi is not one of your typical old fashioned politician. He is a very very tech savvy person, a trait I guess that appealed the most to the young generation. He led a US Presidential style election which employed big data analytics to effectively target audience, deliver holographic speeches and the episodes of Chai pe Charcha broadcasted live via YouTube. He is also the one who understood the potential of social media to the fullest. His fb page is only second to Barrack Obama and is the 6th most popular political figure on twitter. His tweeplomacy is well known and is very active on twitter, thus giving a feeling that he is very approachable, just a tweet away! His tweets are most of the time informative and speak about actions he has taken. For example the events that unfurled today in Afganistan, where the Indian embassy was attacked by 4 terrorists, only to be completely thwarted by Indian and Afgan army. Hamid Karzai called up Narendra Modi assuring steps to prevent any further attacks and Narendra Modi applauding the help of Afgan army, an information that would have come from the media hours later, was tweeted by Narendra Modi. It just assures you that you are being headed by a leader who cares and believes in transparency and keeps everyone informed.

After the results, the Prime Minister-designate has made all the right noises. He is meaning business right from day -6, looking at downsizing the number of cabinet ministries into half, for improved efficiency and coordination. Forming a task force to look into black money stashed away abroad. Taking along all the senior leaders of BJP, portraying an absolute united front, quashing all reports of rifts in BJP cadres. And the boldest move of them all, inviting SAARC leaders specifically Nawaz Sharif for the oath ceremony. And interestingly all the 8 countries have accepted the invitation. After all diplomacy with your neighbors is what matters the most. David Cameron understood his potential earlier and breached differences, Barrack Obama waited till date. I hope ego does not come into play in the ties of the two largest democracies. Never the less, the least I can tell is that exciting things are about to happen in the next few years. And who knows, if everything goes well, we might have a bullet train corridor by the end of 5 years as per BJP's manifesto :-)

Another very interesting fact to note would be that the calenders of 1947 and 2014 are exactly the same! Does this have any significance? Only time will tell...

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