May 18, 2014

Hopes for India : 'Modi'fied

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This is an unbelievable and super-decisive victory for Modi-led BJP! In my previous post I had wished for stable government, and look how decisively Indian electorate has voted! :)

This only shows how frustrated Indian electorate had been with so many years of dilly-dallying coalition politics, with minority governments running with 'outside support'. No wonder a meagre number of bills were passed, crores looted while the Prime Minister who was supposed to be the Leader of the Government, sat silent singing shayaris that tsunamis would come if he spoke! And look what his 'Khamoshi' brought about- a 'Tsu-Namo' that's swept India in saffron!


Source

Modi in his electrifying Ahmedabad speech after victory, said 'Modi is a jaadugar'. Yes true- it's the magic of his speeches, his plank of development and progress, his dreams for India which he effectively marketed through his campaign. A major part of the credit must go to his IIT/IIM graduates team who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes- making Modi visible everywhere with 'Mission 272+'. He himself has worked tirelessly sleeping less than 3 hours a day, as disclosed in one of his interviews! So what all helped this happen? A few pointers:

  • Outright use of ads- print, tv, social media, radio + making abundant use of 2C's rocking India, in those- Cricket & Corruption [Congress was attacked through his speeches & some tweets though!]
  • Meticulous planning so that his (a) campaigns (b) party press conferences and manifesto releases (c) interviews with every possible news channel (d) full-page ads (e) nomination filings coincided with voting phases, 
  • Choice of Varanasi was symbolic- oldest city in the world, Hindi heartland, 'Maa Ganga has called me' campaign & 'V' for victory!
  • Tsunami like flush of big corporate money 
  • A study of rules so that he spoke 100 metres away from polling booth and gave out personalised video-message through internet even on last voting day, even while it was protested against for violation of Model Code:: all these have catapulted him so far ahead that no other party or leader could even come close.
  • Clever use of media as in my previous article. 24*7 news reporting age was used to the hilt.

From this, only one thing is clear- no Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is helping curb new-age campaigning. MCC is silent about new age media like social media. Also, innovative ways to tide over 48-hour deadline before polling were used. Truly, in the age of internet and 24*7 media, MCC was almost made to look redundant. Modi-led BJP has set the benchmark now.

In 2019 most other parties will catch up or probably surpass tactics originated now- meaning the Election Commission must work to change rules and fast. And guess whose help it needs- the thumping majority-winning Modi-led BJP government!

Surely, biggest 'good governance' is needed in field of electoral reforms. Hope Modi is listening. Coz if in next 5 years he truly delivers the development he has promised, he won't need this tsunami of funds for campaign. He is in the best position to bring about change in elections itself, and entire generations of honest Indians will be forever grateful to him, for not further vitiating Indian democracy and rather, making Indian politics cleaner. Some urgent pointers:

  • Legitimise raising of money by parties. Put a small tax say even 1% and use the proceeds to build 'National Election Fund'. Now party funding is a huge black hole. None knows how much is the true value spent. 'Star campaigners' do not have to disclose how much was spent and a party can have upto 40 star campaigners! Wow! It's an open field for black money use! In a country where millions go without food, such blatant money and muscle power is a shame. Moreover, poor yet educated/efficient person can never think of competing with these moneyed bigwigs! Even if he does, he'll lose his deposit!
  • Similarly do away with the ridiculous few Lakhs limit on MP & MLA contestants. Everyone knows candidates spend minimum of many crores for campaign! 
  • State-funding of elections is a must. At least some limit must be decided (X Crores, linked to inflation). Let a single stage be made on large grounds. Let voters gather. Let campaigners from each interested party speak one-by-one. Electorate has a better way to decide the best candidates through this. Let policies, vision be the plank than vitriolic personal attacks for each party.
Modi style campaigning has almost made Indian election a Presidential style of Elections. It seemed like- one versus All. Coz all parties launched combined attack on him, while he had to take on all through his speeches. Even the hoardings, print ads had only Modi- no other face from BJP. 

It's time to introspect- is Indian junta matured beyond our Constitution-makers' consensus that India was only to be a Parliamentary System?! Yet now, we are in a unique situation- while the media (bringing in Modi-Rahul-Kejriwal debate) and party campaigns made it seem Presidential, still they need to work in a Parliamentary set-up. This may very well be the norm for the future. 

To pass Constitutional Amendments requiring special majority only, will the soon-to-be-formed government need to take help of other parties. Still mind you, only one large party's help would be enough (like AIADMK)! 

Though Modi has done his best in convincing people through his victory speeches, that everyone would be taken together, only the upcoming years of India will unfurl the dynamic fabric of Indian politics. What role will our Watchdogs play? What will media's role be, which now cannot stop re-playing Modi life-story and 'Modi! Modi!' chants? And will Courts still more frequently have to come to the rescue to uphold Indian democracy and Constitution? 

Exciting times are ahead. Fraught with 1.25 billion possibilities/hopes/steps and 1.25 billion fears too.

Now I only have the following hopes for our Mother India's best possible socio-economic-political progress:
  • Hope the best laws for the best of India are passed.
  • More stress on implementing the laws- efficiently and fast.
  • Performance management of ministers+bureaucracy. Fix responsibility, accountability. 
  • Accounting for government not based on 'spending' but on outcomes.
  • Police & judicial reforms is a crying need. All those vacancies need to be filled, most redundant colonial era laws need to be chucked.
  • Balanced regional development is badly required. DMIC is set to catapult already developed states much farther ahead. Yet, the divide has to be bridged by implementing a robust Industrial Corridor covering the East and North-East parts of India.
  • Infrastructure and industries is what has been promised. Hope this is achieved.
  • India at any cost, CANNOT afford mindless industrialisation like China. Even in afternoon, parts of China are engulfed in red smoke making even few feet of visibility impossible. We need to have SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT with equal stress on environmental protection as on expanding industries. Else, there is no meaning of development.


I wish all the best to the soon-to-be-formed government. I hope we make rapid strides towards fulfilling Bharat Mata's dream of inclusive and sustainable development! Jai Hind!




14 comments:

  1. Great analysis and points, Amrita. Very well-presented.
    Do hope Modiji's efficient team reads this Post and acts upon everything you have mentioned...
    India really needs the best development and salubrious growth for itself and her 1.25 billion populace.

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    1. Thanks a lot Anita! :) Yes I hope Modi's Team goes through this...they would b keeping a track of what's being written abt him for sure! :)

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  2. It is a great challenge for the man, given the kind of controversies that surround him and also because of the aura he has created round him.

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    1. Yes I agree with you! Hope the next years go smoothly, for he's got the ideal majority he's wanted...now Parliament shd b conducted smoothly so that Opposition voices are also heard equally loudly while debating bills... :)

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  3. Very well presented post Amrita. Let's hope that #ModiSarkar next five years will be a golden period for us!

    Someone is Special

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  4. A nice balanced account of the present & focus required for the future

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    1. Thanks a lot Rajeev. Yes- all 1.25 billion ppl shd nt b swept by the wave...some balancing needs 2 b done too by each of us! :)

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  5. Truly India is Modified now :) Ache din Ane Wale hai, nahi Ache Din aa Gaye Hai :)

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    1. :D...Aapke muh mein ghee shakkar Alok Ji! Hoping for the best! :)

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  6. Wow Amrita, that was a well thought out post. I just wish people dont expect him to deliver in a matter days. We need to give him time to perform. And lets just hope he does a great job with our country :)

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    1. Thanks Jyotsna! Yes U r right- he needs time aftr a fairy tale win! :) Hope things change in coming months with his dynamic leadership & smooth functning of Parliament! :)

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  7. Very well written Amrita. Like Jyotsna I also hope we Indians recognize and realize that it will take any new government, any new PM a long time to fix some of the entrenched problems we have. And not to forget, we Indians have to do our part too, if we want to see change. The decisive change in the election results is only the start...hoping and praying for India's new future! If you are interested, take a look at what I posted after the election results...http://letbeautybeyourconstantideal.blogspot.in/2014/05/telling-it-like-it-is.html

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    1. Thanks so much Beloo! Definitely, it's our duty too...like Modi said "My job is to make each person a sipahi for India's development"! :) Lets all work hard...then there's fll chance of India changing for the best! :D

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