Four years ago, the Modi wave took the nation by storm and gave every Indian a shared dream of achieving digital India. On May 26, 2014, BJP came to power with a promise of ‘Ache Din’. The slew of promises included a corruption-free regime, ten million new jobs, doubling farm income by 2022, among many others. Now, Modi’s term is almost over, and the country is gearing for another Lok Sabha election. And, once again, India is in dilemma to choose the best man for the nation.
According to the Times opinion poll, BJP is expected to win around 227 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. A loss of 55 seats, compared to 2014 tally, is in itself a matter of concern for the ruling party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is confident BJP will return with the thumping majority in 2019 elections. However, the recent developments raise a question: Is India still moving with the Modi Wave?
Modi government’s term is about to conclude. The past four years of the BJP government has been a mixed bag of successes and failures. The government has both staunch critics and dedicated followers. At this juncture, it is important for us to evaluate Modi government’s accomplishments, failures, and opportunities that can be still achieved(if given another chance).
• Strong Global Position: Under Modi’s regime, India has undoubtedly acquired a strong global position. In the past four years, PM has made around 35 trips and visited approximately 53 countries. Moving head to head with nearly all the top leaders around the globe have successfully left a strong and powerful impression on the countries, which were earlier at loggerheads with India. Now, India is in a diplomatic channel of communication with the different countries, has empowered the old ties and has also built several new and strong relationships. During a book release event, a US diplomat said, “more than at any time over the past quarter century, the country is well on its way to global power.” These words are enough to support the argument of India being a global power.
• Demonetisation and GST: On the midnight of November 8, 2016, the country abruptly demonetised Rs 500 and rs 1,000 currency notes. This has been proclaimed as the smartest move taken by Indian Government till date. The immediate implementation was done to confiscate the tons of black money kept by politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, and frauds disguised as the icons of India. In addition to demonetisation, GST was introduced to put a stop to the plethora of indirect taxes. Under GST, the efficacy of input tax credit has increased and added transparency between the taxpayer and the entire system. The country should take pride in the implementation of GST in the country as rolling out an action on such a large scale is a daunting task and requires a lot of proficiency.
Answering the question, ‘How demonetisation and GST will bring the black money?’, Venkaiah Naidu said: “Any tough reform will face teething problems in the initial stages and the same was the case with both demonetisation and GST. However, the long-term advantages will definitely outweigh the short-term hiccups, which caused a bit of economic slowdown. The period is over now, and the economy is on track to achieve a higher growth”.
• Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: The BJP government should definitely pat their back for implementing the masterstroke of Insolvency and Bankruptcy code in India. The act was implemented in 2016 and has helped India in achieving the historic 30-spot jump in the ease of doing business rankings.
• The Surgical Strike: After the eleven days of Uri attack, PM Modi planned and executed another counterattack on Pakistan. The master plan and excellent execution of surgical strike under the Modi government gives a plus point to their tenure. The success of surgical strike was a significant failure for the Pakistan armed forces. During the surgical strike, seven terror launch pads were destroyed, 38 terrorists and two Pakistani soldiers were killed. There wasn’t any casualty on the Indian side, which makes the operation even more applaudable.
• Make in India: No country can become rich without having a robust manufacturing industry. To increase the country’s manufacturing capacities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched ‘Make in India’ with a big fanfare. To make India a startup capital just like Israel, the government provided vocational programs and launched a ‘Startup India’ programme to make India. But all these initiatives didn’t reap desired results. According to a report by Startup India, only 74 startups have been identified to receive tax benefits as of January first week. In the 2014 election campaigns, ‘Make in India’ was the most hyped scheme. When BJP came into action, every Indian eye was on ‘Make in India’. But the ‘Make in India’ scheme didn’t go far and turned out to be a flop show.
• Agriculture: In India, a large section of the country depends upon agriculture. The promise of Modi government of doubling the farm income by 2022 also failed to produce any result on the ground. The reports of National Crime Records Bureau shows the farmer suicides have grown 41.7% since the formation of the Modi government. What PM Modi has to say on this record? The long list of devastated families of farmers and their increasing rate of suicides are very heartbreaking. The present government is facing severe criticism on increasing farmers suicides, and the PM has to come up with an answer to maintain the dignity of the position that he holds.
• Failed to Tackle Pakistan: Despite the strong statements of PM Modi against Pakistan, India has failed to tackle the Pakistan challenge. There hasn’t been any significant drop in the terror attacks, and we continue to lose our soilders. In fact, intrusions have increased in the past couple of years. Before the 2014 elections, it was propagated that Modi is the only leader who can tackle Pakistan with an iron fist. However, nothing has happened in the past four years. Still, we are facing bloodsheds on the borders.
PM Modi and his team are looking forward to bring Direct Tax code to simplify the direct tax laws in India. If implemented successfully, then it will be another major tax reform by Modi Government.
In September 2017, PM Modi laid the foundation of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. The deadline for the project is 2022. Modi government has been strongly criticised for funding Rs 1.1 trillion for the Bullet train project and prioritising it over other development projects. The accomplishment of the Bullet train will uplift the infrastructure and will change the face of India over the world.
The promise of introducing ten million jobs has completely failed.
However, by introducing the National employment policy, the government hopes to accomplish this target. The government is focusing on employment-intensive sectors, especially in the small and medium enterprises.
India is a country where emotions overpower minds. Maybe in future, another ‘chai wala’ come or another leader rises with different sets of heart-winning manifestoes. India should vote for the person who sticks to his words. The BJP government is at the last year of its tenure if they succeed in playing their opportunity cards well then they might sweep the Lok Sabha Election 2019. But, if these opportunities remain only on papers, then nobody will feel shame in saying that the past years of Modi government were not at all progressive for India!