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Narendra Modi's First 10 days in Office Analysis


Narendra Modi's First 10 days in Office Analysis


Last one week saw the new Prime Minister not only take oath in the new Lok Sabha along with other elected MPs but also saw him take gradual but firm control of the ministry and bureaucracy. Narendra Modi has set out his agenda of development along with the roadmap on which he wants his government to function. His other emphasis was on foreign affairs, especially related to SAARC countries, BRICS, along with some controversial international positions of India. He also emphasized on the issues related to states and met some of the Chief Ministers. However, there were some controversies regarding appointment of a minister, saffronization of education, and the issue of revoking Article 370.

Therefore our analysis will be based upon:

1.       New PM taking charge and making the ball roll

2.       Foreign Affairs

3.       Controversies

New PM taking Charge and Making the Ball Roll

Narendra Modi is slowly but steadily taking charge of the government by placing his key ministers in important ministries, rolling out the roadmap to the bureaucrats, taking stock from the secretaries, and ultimately trying to tame bureaucracy so that good governance can be offered to the citizens.

He also met Chief Ministers of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Odhisa to interact on several matters including state specific ones. The new government has announced to review around Rs 6.5 lakh crore projects that were cleared by the last government. In fact, infrastructural projects especially the highway projects are expected to get a push as PM has asked for a detailed list of those highway projects that are now stuck.

Narendra Modi is also reorganizing the bureaucracy in his own terms. He first laid out the agendas, especially the priorities, before the cabinet as well as bureaucracy. Most importantly, he gave a time limit for achieving the goals, unprecedented in the earlier governments. The basis of his reorganization can be understood from his call for good governance. Modi always emphasized on three main issues of good governance – Transparency, Accountability, and Implementation. To provide all these three things and that too in a time bound manner, the new PM needs to empower the state machinery first and streamline it in accordance with the set goals. This is what Narendra Modi has done in the last one week in the administrative side. To catapult our emerging economy to the position of a superpower what India needs now is to develop a strong infrastructure and to make the ball roll, Modi has emphasized upon the need of great roadways crisscrossing across the country.

Foreign Affairs

The new PM emphasized on reaching out to different foreign countries so that the country can be catapulted from a mere emerging country to a full blown superpower. One of the most talked about developments in the foreign affairs is the decision of Narendra Modi to visit the USA. Narendra Modi had strained relations with the US and the latter’s insistence of not providing visa to him. This new development is belied to bring in more FDI from the US to India. The corporates are specifically excited about the scheduled visit of Narendra Modi in the coming month of September as the meet is expected to usher in new vistas of economic reforms in India, making way to more foreign capital in the country from the US.

The new prime minister is also vouching for making India the head quarter for BRICS bank, which is surely a welcome development towards a multi-polar world with emerging economies becoming more dependent on one another especially regarding trade, money, and finance.

Modi is well aware of the fact that if he needs to increase GDP growth of the country and also expand scope of employment, the only way it can be done is through more liberalization and globalization. In fact, he has already stressed upon more bilateral trade among the SAARC countries. Currently, trade within SAARC countries is just 5% of the bloc’s worldwide trade. Narendra Modi also wants to get more leverage for the country by taking BRICS to the next level. In fact, that’s why he has proposed BRICS bank to be headquartered in India. Interestingly, he also asked for an Indian president for the proposed Bank that is going to be formally launched at BRICS Summit at Fortaleza in Brazil between July 15 to 17, 2014. 

Controversies

The last part involves controversies and within a week of being formed, the new government finds itself surrounded by quite a few of them

1.One of the most important strategic shifts is regarding the issue of J&K. The new government is all set to name PoK as PoJK. Moreover, the government was caught on the wrong foot, when Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the PMO, called for discussions on revoking Article 370 that provides special status to J&K. It led to a war of words between Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of J&K, and BJP. But later MoS pacified the situation by saying he was ‘misquoted’ regarding this. However, political analysts believe that by making Jitendra Singh utter Article 370 revoking issue, the new government only tested the water as revoking this controversial article is one of the core issues and beliefs of BJP.

2.The issue of saffronization of education also came to the fore when  Human Resources Development Minister, Smriti Irani, announced giving "Hindu perspective" to school curriculum. Though Irani has put forward the issue of preserving heritage and culture of India, it seems that she is only forwarding the RSS project of saffronizing education that includes emphasis on Hindu religion and the biased culture based upon that, which is believed by many will tear apart the basic fabric of India’s existence – ‘Unity in Diversity’. In fact, this kind of saffronization issue cropped up during the time of last NDA government too when the then HRD Minister, Murali Manohar Joshi, brought in pro-RSS historians for preparing heavily nationalistic teaching materials. Political analysts believe that this is only the beginning and only time will say how the new HRD minister manages the situation.

3.The political class was taken aback when one of the Muzaffarnagar riot accused, Sanjeev Baliyan, was made Minister of State with independent charge. However, BJP stood its ground by saying that Baliyan was framed politically in this case. Political commentators who are watching BJP’s rise in Uttar Pradesh say that it was indeed the Muzaffarnagar Nagar Riot that polarized voters in the state and ultimately helped BJP get votes of Hindus in a consolidated manner.  In fact, this is one of the main reasons that helped BJP bag 71 seats out of 80 seats and skeptics say that inclusion of Sanjeev Baliyan is the reward for the splendid show of BJP in U.P. Political analysts believe that Baliyan got this promotion because of his successful election engineering in Uttar Pradesh that included caste equations, Hindutva, air time politics, and mirage of development.

 

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Last Updated on June 7, 2014, 3:58 pm