INDIA REPOSES FAITH ON ONE MAN WITH HUGE EXPECTATIONS
2019 Parliamentary election in India is unique ,since it has not been a contest between political parties but a contest between one man and several others who are pledged haters of the single man. People reposed faith on the one man and gave him a second term as Prime Minister of India.
It is now necessary to view this scenario in an objective and dispassionate manner, without becoming emotional or carrying the love or hate for the one man to unreasonable level.
During the last five years of Mr. Modi’s Prime Ministership, even his worst adversary was not daring enough to doubt or question his personal integrity and discipline and the capability to do hard work to fulfill his responsibility.Ofcoure, some attempted to do so during the election campaign, which boomeranged. This quality was that which impressed majority of the voters, who preferred him over anyone else.
While India has multiple problems faced by the people in economic and social sphere, the utmost desire of the people is to see a corruption free India.
Corruption has become so deep rooted in government machinery, public life , educational institutions , health sector and even in religious centres , apart from gradually creeping into the personal life of individuals. Certainly, corruption has become the order of the day. Widespread corruption is a vicious cycle and it appears that no one can escape from it. When things deteriorate to such an extent that no one can get anything done without paying bribe money, then it becomes necessary to earn bribe money to pay the bribe demand.
Even the poorest of the poor people often find that they have to pay bribe to change the residential address in the ration card or get “free treatment” provided in the government hospitals. They need money for all these unsavoury demands. This is, perhaps, why people take bribe money from political parties to vote for them or take money to attend meetings organized by political parties or other agencies. In these circumstances, who can blame whom for the corrupt conditions?
People are disgusted with the corrupt conditions in the society and want a Prime Minister who would eradicate corruption unmindful of the consequences. To meet such expectations of the people to root out corruption, the Prime Minister has to be a man with highest level of personal integrity and commitment to the cause of rooting out corruption.
In the five years of his Prime Ministership, Mr. Modi ensured that none of his ministers would indulge in corrupt practices. Mr. Modi clearly understood that to effectively root out the corruption, transparency in administration is vital and systemic changes are needed. There is no short cut.
With this sole objective, he initiated several proactive measures, to ensure that corruption would become a difficult and painful exercise. While Mr. Modi has not entirely succeeded, the majority of the people believe that he has made earnest attempts and his attempts are work in progress.
It is true that many known corrupt persons are roaming free in public life and Mr. Modi has not been able to punish them and put them in jail, as the judiciary proceedings are time consuming and part of investigating machinery itself are suspected to be having corrupt elements and there are doubts even about the integrity of a few judges, particularly at the lower level of judiciary.
How to fight corruption in such circumstances ? This is the challenge before Mr. Modi today and there are huge expectations from the people that he would do the needful, with high level of determination and by waging an unbending fight against the corrupt elements everywhere.
During election campaign, extremely abusive language was used by several opposition leaders against Mr. Modi and the media was not entirely neutral and objective in viewing the developments. Several unsubstantiated allegations were made in section of media to tarnish the image of Mr. Modi.
Opposition leaders understood that Mr. Modi’s highest strength is his personal integrity. Perhaps, they thought that without demolishing this image of Mr. Modi amongst the people, they cannot defeat Mr. Modi. This is why Mr. Modi was called a thief , which must have deeply hurt Mr. Modi in his mind.. Of course, Mr. Modi reacted with dignity, even though in the heat of the election campaign, he has to use strong language to rebuke the critical comments.
It is a great tribute to the maturity of Indian voters, 30% of whom belong to lower income group and do not have access to high quality education, that they could see the situation in the proper perspective and decide that corruption free India is the urgently needed and desirable goal for the country.
Mr. Modi would surely know this and he has to move on with great speed to meet the expectations of the people. Any strong anti corruption move by Mr. Modi will be resisted by vested interests and he should face and tackle such conditions by constantly interacting with the people and explaining his policies.
It is rumoured all over India that the second term as Prime Minister would be the final term for Mr. Modi and he would not seek reelection again. Those who understand the man think it would be so. Mr. Modi has nothing to lose by waging a strong anti corruption drive, where deep fear would be created in the mind of corrupt people that they cannot escape punishment for their misdeeds. The extent of success of Mr. Modi has to be reflected by the extent of fear created in the mind of the corrupt elements to whichever party or profession that they belong to.
People of India fervently hope and believe that Mr. Modi would rise upto the need and expectations of the country men to eradicate corruption and this hope is the root cause for his massive victory in the 2019 parliamentary election.
(N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the “Nandini Voice for the Deprived,” a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.)
(Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah greet supporters on arrival at the party headquarters in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 23, 2019. Modi’s Hindu nationalist party claimed it won reelection with a commanding lead in Thursday’s vote count, while the head of the main opposition party conceded a personal defeat that signaled the end of an era for modern India’s main political dynasty. Photo: Photo)