Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 in India : A Retrospect

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

2014 will be remembered as a year in which India reinvented itself. The year began under a spell of gloom as the Congress regime was floundering under charges of corruption, dynastic fascism and political instability. The involvement of Robert Vadra in a series of land scams in states such as Haryana and Rajasthan only showed that even the First Family of the Congress was deeply implicated in corruption. The Congress could not mount an effective answer to the charges and resorted to the usual game of promoting identity politics and raising the bogey of communalism, an undefined and inherently self contradictory concept. Rahul Gandhi tried to lead the Congress counter charge, but the people of India have moved well beyond the narrow limits of dynastic politics.

Enter Narendar Modi. As Chief MInister of Gujarat he performed well that he was repeatedly elected with higher margins than the the previous occasion. He personally led the NDA campaign in the Parliamentary Election of May 2014 and by addressing thousands of rallies all across the length and breadth of India he drove home the message that India can hope for a better and a more secure future provided it abjured dynastic rule and its inherent corruption. He got a  fantastic mandate from the country and formed the Government.

In the six months that Modi has been in power, there has not been any dramatic new development but incremental steps have been taken. His "Make in India" campaign has certainly stimulated investment in the industrial sector and though the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India,  publically criticized this policy, the fact is that industrial growth has picked up. The price rise has been checked and along with price rise we also find the Government addressing the issue of trimming the ever burgeoning subsidies that bedevil the social sector. The Direct Cash Transfer scheme brought in by the previous regime is being streamlined and strengthened. The various Rural Employment guarantee schemes have spawned monumental corruption and the Modi Government is taking steps to ensure that the 100 days employment goes only to the really poor and needy.

The mission to Mars has put India in the big league of Space powers and the successful launch of the GSLV rocket is a huge step in the direction of developing the indigenous cryogenic engine. Apart from these the interlinking of rivers will be another huge task along with the modernization of the Railways by the involvement of Chinese technology and capital. All in all there are positives all around.

The liberal press has been flagging the issue of the religious conversion of Home Coming, Ghar Vapsi as it is called. Narendar Modi has reined in the hot heads in his party and the issue has dies a natural death. He refused to issue a statement in Parliament on the issue, but quietly and effectively dealt with the  controversy. The people of India have begun to look to the future with hope and an aspirational India has pinned its faith in Narendar Modi. 

No comments: