India’s thinking brains are now discussing “What should be Modi government’s priority?”
While there are several problems that India faces, it’s always good to have top ‘n’ priorities listed (where n is easily countable) to establish a government’s targets and later, evaluate them.
India is not at a stage where we need to focus on just the materialistic growth (combating poverty, infrastructure, economy, healthcare). The country is still maturing on as a society and I believe we also need to equally (if not more) measure Modi’s performance on that scale.
At this level of maturity, social progression is extremely necessary to help the quantifiable growth.
- Ending symbolism and taking pride in identity
Many Indians (living in India and also outside India) suffer from identity inferiority – not feeling worthy enough to express themselves or to cherish their roots or to celebrate their background. I wonder if centuries of colonization are responsible for this behavior.
(I have already written about this observation during the elections) Modi is fast destroying the stigma related to inferiority with speaking Indian languages, he’s making a very strong statement that you can speak in Hindi and still be counted as intellectual/progressive.
Very openly, he’s comfortable being who he is, comfortable with his own identity. He does not try to hide the fact that he’s a Hindu.
Modi has made conscious efforts to end symbolism in politics (and further in the Indian society). The Indian public has comprehensively voted in agreement to this point of view.
The great modern civilizations in the world (Germany, Japan, the US) have evolved through the individual pride that the majority have taken in themselves. It’s extremely important for national growth that the majority does not feel inferior to express. In India’s case that’s Hindus and the Hindi-speaking people.
One more significant thing to notice is that Modi has not promised to create a law to end corruption (although his government might end up creating one). Rather than promising to create laws, legislations (which is again symbolic) – implementation is Modi’s forte. From what I know: Modi might tackle the corruption by taking measures to eliminate root causes of corruption.
- Indian History and inspiring people to believe that India can be a force
Several congress led governments have brainwashed Indians for decades now. For us, Indian history starts in 1857 and ends in 1947 – we have been made to conveniently forget about India before and after that period range!
India’s inspiration sources have been restricted. Some Mughal kings, Gandhis and Nehrus are portrayed to be the only heroes India has had.
Modi essentially wants India to remember/cherish its history from many of the previous centuries and derive confidence from the fact that India used to be a superpower. That confidence could definitely help the depressed country that aspires to be a superpower in this era.
- The power of starting small
Any reasonable and sensible person would accept that India is a chaotic and a dirty country: mess, garbage, indiscipline in every corner of the country. It will require a major societal upheaval both on the government’s part and on the people’s part to conquer this challenge.
People tend to expect the government to do everything for them Inviting public participation in government is a good sign. Modi incites feelings like patriotism, reverence and then links them to easily doable and small societal responsibilities. In my opinion, that’s groundbreaking.
Appealing to the people to show love for Ganga by not spitting and not littering on the Ganga ghats, then asking them to be responsible Indians by following traffic rules, respecting fellow travelers is never-seen-before leadership in India.
- Encouraging true democracy
India has failed to be a true bottom-up democracy – dynasty, monopoly rules in every sphere. Largest political party of India (Congress), the most popular game in India (N Srinivasan), film industry (ruled by Khans, Kapoors, Chopras, Bachchans), business conglomerates (Reliance, Wadia, Wipro) are controlled by either a dynasty or by a few influential groups with their monopolies.
With BJP (the party that won Indian elections recently) implementing democracy to select the PM candidate well in advance, it is rubbing off across political circles. Congress and even media’s favorite child, AAP are now starting to clamor for internal democracy.
This surge for democracy has caused the democratization of media (which has been a silent revolution so far).
Social media with independent, individual and more importantly, disinterested opinions has revolutionized how the news is delivered and consumed in India. In process, social media has destroyed the business interests of the famous India paid media.
Media biggies like NDTV, CNN-IBN, Times group are now yearning for credibility.
Narendra Modi thanking the social media to bring out the lies and delivering his first message as a PM on Twitter is unprecedented. His messages like “kuch banane ka nahin, kuch karne ka sapna dekho” (Aspire to accomplish something rather than become someone) will be absorbed by the Indian youth slowly but surely.
The message that goes out when a tea-seller becomes a PM is much more effective to boost collective confidence than a har haath tarakki commercial running on TV.
In the end, how far does this social revolution takes India is discussion for the future but there’s a definite change to be seen if you’re aware.