Media Watch-Narad: Restoring Trust
Intro:One medicne for all the problems of the nation is development.
After having been critical of Narendra Modi for a long time, the media seems to be having second thoughts. The Hindustan Times said the BJP is now in a commanding position and needs no one to prop it up. Calling the elections “the mother of all” the paper said “the quantum of victory means that the NDA will face no real opposition for a very long time”. As the paper saw it, “it goes to the party’s credit that once having chosen Mr Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate, it gave him a free hand to fashion the campaign as he wanted.” The paper said that “for the Congress this election has probably been one of the rudest wake-up calls it has got in a very long time” considering that “it has to get away from the old style of politics, of citing the families sacrifices, of dining out on past glories”. “India” said the paper, “has changed but clearly the Congress has not”.
As for Modi, it said: “The challenge before Mr Modi now is to live up to the huge expectations of him. He will need the finest financial brains available to bring the economy back on track. If he does that “then half the battle will have been won.”
The Telegraph (May 17) said the BJP victory is “without doubt of Mr Modi’s own making”. That means, the paper said “Mr Modi is free of possible pressures… to make policy without fear or prejudice (and) will have no alibis for future.” The paper noted that “it is obvious that the governance of the country is in a mess and the popular verdict rejecting the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance only underlines this.”
Continuing it said: “The rusted iron of inactivity and procrastination has pierced the soul of governance in India. Mr Modi’s past ideological baggage will pull him towards temples whereas the times require that he goes towards what India’s first Prime Minister referred to as “the temples of modern India”. “Mr Modi must liberate private entrepreneurship, not religious faith but the faith that govern the act of investment.” Pointing out that the election result is “an act of extreme trust” the paper said “India expects Mr Modi to honour this trust”. It added: “The time for words is over; now deeds must match the rhetoric.”
Business Line (May 19 ) quoted Narendra Modi as saying that “there is one medicine for all the problems of the nation and that medicine is development.” The paper said that “the first priority for Modi’s government should be governance itself”. That, it said, “would need not only clear policy vision, but also the empowering of all arms of the government, expecially the bureaucracy.” It added: “An agreement on the Goods and Services Tax is almost there, the first industrial corridor is ‘shovel ready’ and the framework of a New Direct Tax Code has already been worked out. What is needed is quick implementation on these fronts, as well as decisive action to undo some mistakes of the past.” The paper said tough decisions on subsidies and energy prices will also have to be taken and the markets already think that Modi will deliver on these fronts. It is time, the paper said “to live up to these expectations.”
The Asian Age (May17) said “powered by a well-oiled RSS organisational network in key states and Modi’s own dynamic campaign the BJP has swept to an unprecedented victory…. beating its own expectations and creating a history first for itself.”
It said: “This expectation can be met if his political social and economic policies are even-handed and the cultural orientation of his government not tilted against the minority communities.” The paper concluded by saying that “the RSS factor is also likely to weigh on the incoming Modi Government” and in the circumstances he should “stand up to extra-constitutional demands” like building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.”
DNA (May 17) said the verdict of this election should also bring to an end Modi demonology on the one hand and Modi eulogies on the other. Noting that the new Prime Minister “ is neither an angel nor a demon” the paper said “the need is to judge him as an elected politician for his acts of commission and omission, give praise where it is due and unsparing criticism where it is necessary.” He should not remain the focus any more and it is time to go back to work and keep the country going, it said in the end.
Gopalakrishna Gandhi writing in Hindustan Times (May 17) said Narendra Modi is the statue of victory. He said: “Modi was not just the face of the 2014 elections, it was the only face, full, up-front. All others were profiles. Narendra Modi will be the government, the government will be Narendra Modi.”
(The writer is senior columnist and former editor of Illustrated Weekly)