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Narendra Modi: Leader of 56 inches and silence?

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Be it farmer crisis, petrol price hike or degrading economy, 2014 Modi had touched every issue and now he chooses to ignore them. He rose as a strong leader in 2014 and the whole country has put its trust in him. People saw him as a revolutionary leader who will bring a great change in this country. But as we can see most of the promises are now falling apart.

When PM Narendra Modi won the election for the second consecutive time, expectations became even higher. Here we are saying Narendra Modi not BJP because 2019 elections were all around “Modi Ji” not BJP. With a very weak opposition, people put their whole trust in PM Modi. He was the only strong option. After 6 years, here is the report card of the Modi government.

From Demonetization, GST, Teen Talaq, Surgical Strike, Abolition of Article 370 to CAA-NRC, COVID-19, the downfall of the economy and the pathetic condition of migrant workers; we can see all the work done by the Modi government in the past 6 years. We will leave that to you whether you are satisfied with the work done by him or not.

We are here to state some facts about Modi as a global leader. Is there any leadership left?

In a democracy, accountability and transparency are crucial. PM Modi in his 6 years of governance hasn’t done one single press conference.
He has never faced the questions by himself. No one can directly ask him any open question. He usually addresses the people either by doing ‘Mann Ki Baat’ or giving video messages or speaking in the political rallies. So if someone raises any question on the credibility of the government then either BJP’s spokesperson gives the answer or any other cabinet minister including our Home Minister.

His idea behind demonetisation was very good and even did its work to some extent. But that decision was not taken thinking of the long term. Many people faced various problems due to this and many died standing in ques. Several people faced severe loss in their businesses. And the economy also saw a great downfall.

Abolition of Article 370 was a strong and good step by him. It had a positive outcome just like the surgical strikes. He answered the enemy voices in the correct form.

In Modi’s second term, have we seen any growth?

The economy is facing a downfall day after day. The strong foreign policy of India is now becoming weak. A country like Nepal who is mostly dependent on India for its economy and a friendly neighbouring country passed legislation to alter it’s map and include Indian claimed territory into its own.  Recent statements and growing Anti-Indianism in Nepal is a sign of our diminished power and diplomatic hubris.

We all know what is going on the LAC. China is being China and wants to take control of the Indian territory. The rift with China shows the difference between Narendra Modi and his ideal Atal Vihari Vajpayee as a Prime Minister. It was during Vajpayee’s tenure that Kargil happened, he very competently informed the state about the situation at the war ground. Unlike Vajpayee, Modi chose to remain silent.

The past three weeks have been shameful, from TV anchors challenging china to surrender to what not. Sheer buffoonery! 

What is the strategy to contain COVID-19?

Now let’s talk about the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown imposed by the government in the early stage was an applaudable step. But since the lockdown has been eased, we can see a tremendous rise in the corona positive cases. India has not reached its peak yet but still facing so many issues. There are no beds, no ventilators for the patients. The treatment of corona is so expensive. The towns and villages which were free from COVID are now seeing a rising number of cases. Even the government doesn’t have any answers.

PM addresses the nation for 4th time in 4 Weeks in India's fight ...

The pathetic condition of migrant workers is not hidden from anyone. No one has ever wondered that the labour class of India will ever face these kinds of conditions. Many of them are stuck. Hundreds of them have lost their lives. During the lockdown, all their savings were finished and they didn’t have money even for food. There was no one to help. We agree this can’t be foreseen but now the situation can be handled. Still, the government is not taking this problem seriously. What will it take to improve the condition of the people on whom the whole industry is dependent? Piyush Goyal (railway minister) has shamefully celebrated his incompetence during this whole migrant exodus/crisis. He failed the migrants. We see a similar pattern for our dying economy, Sitharaman is incapable of her position does nothing but snobbishly reply to the questions she finds easier to answer.

“The Republic of India is facing a leadership crisis. The economic hardship faced by millions of Indians is severe. Hard-won gains in poverty reduction are at risk. The COVID pandemic has not peaked. If the evidence of the last few weeks is anything to go by, we are nowhere near the state of readiness which was within our capacity to achieve. The capacities of our health care system are going to be severely tested now. The immediate military environment is turning adverse. No one is quite sure where the Chinese logic of showing India its true place will end. They are testing India’s resolve, and at the moment, the total of our objective is to avoid a domestic public embarrassment. Nepal’s ability to dare India is a sign of our diminished power and diplomatic hubris. China may be losing international credibility very fast. But India is also, in its way, becoming a less attractive power because its growth story is stalling and its democracy is becoming less exemplary.”
Academician Pratap Bhanu Mehta mentioned in his column in The Indian Express

While in opposition, around 2013-2014 Modi used to criticize the UPA-2 government on the same issues, his government has been facing lately. How will this be controlled? How will our ‘Pradhan Sewak’ manage all this? When will we get over the issues of communalism, diversion, repression? When will start addressing the real issues?

Academician Pratap Bhanu Mehta continues in his column in The Indian Express “You cannot help wondering how much the culture of leadership has been transformed to the point where the old-fashioned expectations of leadership have disappeared. What has the prime minister reduced leadership to? Instead of confronting reality, deny it; instead of encouraging criticism, suppress it; instead of socially mediating differences, exacerbate them; instead of taking responsibility, take the credit and pawn the blame; instead of appropriate empathy, revel in a kind of cruelty; and instead of preparing the nation for challenges, constantly trap it in diversions”.

The prime minister evokes a deep adulation in his supporters. But it should be clear by now that whatever that adulation is, it is not on account of his leadership. His leadership has been missing. What has been put in its place is a politics of illusion we have all too easily internalised. India is heading into uncharted waters with no leadership at the helm, just the simulacra of one.

Whenever asked about the government’s failure, BJP’s spokesperson and leaders have only one answer that Congress did this during their government and now they have to face its consequences. In the end, the issue is being turned into a joke with ‘Rahul baba’ being the centre of attraction.

Let’s do deep thinking on these questions. Can BJP always hide behind Modi? Is 2020 Modi government as powerful as 2014-19  Modi Government? Are we still the ‘big brother’ of South East Asia and dominate in politics? Shouldn’t we get over Hindu – Muslim and work on the real issues?

Written By Radhika Bansal, She is doing her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida. She is interested in covering political and humanitarian issues.

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