Narendra Modi has the uncanny tendency to polarize opinion all over the country. It isn’t my blog’s intention to follow his example and so I’m not going to get into the debate of whether he is a good choice for Prime Minister or bad. I am neither a supporter of his various policies, nor am I against it. I am more or less politically neutral because honestly, I find all sides equally hopeless and pathetic. I just want to express my admiration for one good thing I have noticed Modi has done, and for the sake of our country’s future, I hope it becomes a trendsetter.
For too long elections in our country been won and lost on the basis of religion and caste. This is a very backward mindset that has set our country’s development back by years, maybe even decades. Our mostly illiterate electorate is made to focus on the wrong things to decide on who to vote for, leading to a misguided and partly dysfunctional democracy that has lopsided priorities. The electorate’s selfish nature is stoked by false hope/promises that if someone from their community comes to power, it will somehow be good for them. This is counter productive and a divide and rule (aka vote bank)policy at best. Sops like colour TVs, grinders, etc. are given by some governments to legally buy votes too. Its a very pathetic situation and it defies logic that religion, caste, sops, etc are even considered as criteria by people to select who to vote for. What is the practical relation between government and caste/religion, etc? The only obvious thing that should be the sole criterion is PERFORMANCE in GOVERNANCE! The ability to manage a country our size, with its million quirks and to ultimately deliver.
This is where Modi comes in. No, I’m not trying to say Modi can do these things or that he has done them in Gujarat. That is for others to decide. As I said, I’m politically neutral, but I want my country’s mindset to change towards some meaningful politics. Advani brought the same party, BJP to power through his Rath Yatras (read religion). Congress hangs on to it through secularism (which is also related to religion through the lack of it), sops and what not, but sure as hell not through its performance! All parties come to power through one shady trick or the other. Modi, by harping on and on about performance delivery is bringing performance into the picture as a major criterion. He too, like his opponents obviously has a bunch of shady tricks (including religious incitement) up his sleeve, but hey, things can’t change overnight! Now, whether his idea or style of governance is good or bad is not a part of my point at all. And no, I’m not here for a debate on the so called ‘Gujarat model of development’. His version of development may be pathetic, for all I know. That’s not my point. All I’m saying is that he is beginning a trend here. He is trying to change the center of gravity of politics, as we know it. Hopefully an era where governments and parties would be judged by their capacity to govern effectively and develop the nation rather than which religion/caste they support or how many sops they gave away.
Delivery of people’s aspirations irrespective of petty matters like caste and religion is where I hope the future of Indian Democracy lies. It is the hallmark of all industrialised/developed democracies. Perform or perish is the norm there. It is only here in India that this is not the case. Votes of the poor and illiterate are literally bought by adopting blatantly populist measures like Food Security Bill without giving a damn about it’s effects on the exchequer or economy. It jeopardizes our country’s future to say the least. This is the first general election where I’m seeing performance being given this much importance during campaigning. Modi also has the Congress to thank, for their pathetic management that has left the country in shambles in every sense. I hope this trend, now that it has begun, continues and attains more and more importance in future governments’ functioning and election campaigns and hopefully becomes the central agenda of all elections someday instead of rubbish issues like religion and caste, which are not remotely related to governance.
This would lead our country to make more progress in the right direction instead of wasting our time and energy on pointless and divisive issues. Give the people what they want. Give them service. Serve them, slog for them and they will elect you again and again no matter what religion or caste you belong to. This is what politicians need to understand here, and I hope this small step taken by Modi leads us to more meaningful campaigns and governments in the future where serving the nation would be top priority, like it should be. 63 years of dilly dallying is more than any country can handle without having dire consequences. It’s high time politicians got down to business, and Mr. Modi here has taken a step in the right direction by highlighting the issue of good governance repeatedly. On the day of its deliverance, whether by Modi in the next government (??) or by somebody else in a future one someday, we should give him credit for finally bringing this agenda to the center-stage of national politics. Where it rightly belongs.
- Why is 2014 all about NaMo? (shrutighoshal002.wordpress.com) ~ A bit too pro NaMo for my taste, but has a few valid points that are echoed here.
- The Cruelty of Food Security Bill (Rational Libertarian Corner) ~ An eye opener on the consequences of Food Security Bill.
- Rational and Irrational Discrimination in a Free Society (Rational Libertarian Corner) ~ An interesting take on discrimination. For further reading.