A year, just a year is relatively a very small period in national life. Especially for a government that has pledged to reconstruct a nation on the edifice of cultural nationalism, symbolising ‘Change with Continuity’, one year is even a lesser time. But the results of 2014 general election and subsequent euphoria have been such that at the end of the year itself the government is scrutinised for the delivery parameters meant for five years.
The BJP gaining full majority in these elections was such a historic moment in post-independent India that, domestically and internationally, perceptions about ‘We, the people of India’, as a nation, have drastically transformed. The Guardian, a prominent British newspaper, declared in the May 18, 2014 edition that the Modi-led NDA government coming to power “may well go down in history as the day when Britain finally left India”.
Continuous assessment and scrutiny of the government is part and parcel of the democratic process. Therefore considering the nature of unprecedented expectations from the present government, the appraisal is bound to be on harsh parameters. Still, no emotive evaluation or biased judgement can give us the real picture of a yearlong performance of the momentous government formation.
Therefore, Organiser and Panchjanya conducted a nationwide survey to gauge the national mood. people who have voted the government are still upbeat about the turnarounds that are taking place in the national life, despite of enigmatic antagonism created by intellectual and political opposition.
These turnarounds can be broadly categorised at three levels. Firstly, on the economic front where the promises of high growth and reduced inflation that usually remained limited to poll speeches were actualised through certain structural reforms and decisive policy making. The controlled inflation of 4.8 per cent, down from 8.6 % in April 2014, transparent allocation of resources, raising the state share in financial allocation to actualise cooperative federalism, and high level investment in infrastructure and social security schemes are some of the indicators of economic recovery. Though people have more expectations from the government, despite opposition’s effort to corner the government on policy initiatives, the general public mood is of big relief on the economic front.
Secondly, people of India are visibly buoyant about the turnaround in the foreign policy and security issues. Internationally, India’s stature has significantly improved through realist yet peaceful policy initiatives. Strategically, people are feeling more secured with the critical defence preparedness back on track and disturbing incursions and violence getting pushed to the periphery. Terrorists or insurgents, neighbours or big powers, who had perceived India to be meek in recent years is thinking twice before snubbing India.
Thirdly and most importantly, the real turnaround is at the level of national psychology and ideology. A nation with thousands of years of legacy was transplanted with foreign conceptualisations and self-perceptions which had considerably eroded our self-belief. Restoring that belief through sense of past, ability to work hard in the present and glorious visualisation of future is the biggest turnaround of the year. The values of integrity and tranparancy in governance are visible right from top.
The path of ensuring complete agenda of five years is not smooth. Political management in Rajya Sabha, imbibing ethical work culture and changing the mindset of freebees will have to be addressed slowly but surely. Giving Indian face to development with the entrenched vested interests is a dounting task. The initiatives taken by the Modi government will take some time to percolate; there may be issues of perception management and bureaucratic hurdles; not only political, but stiff opposition by intellectuals who were at the centre of Delhi’s power corridor will continue with their methods of creating confusions. The task of filling up the holes and fulfilling public expectations remains gigantic, yet the people of India are confident about the ability and intent of the government. That is what is the verdict of the people about the first yearly performance of the transformative government.