Sunday, September 07, 2014

PM Modi's speeches from eyes of an ordinary citizen

Going beyond the eyes of TRP hungry news traders and always opposing political parties who try to portray every act of Narendra Modi as either or all of political, RSS driven or communal i am trying analyze the big theme he is following. I see a clear theme in all of Modi's speeches since May 16th victory. The theme is broadly based upon 3 key points

Hope: The key theme of Modi's election campaign was hope. The slogan 'Acche din aane waale hain' emphasized upon that. That theme has continued even after the election. Promises of housing, electricity, water, schools, toilets for all. More measures towards transparency and accountability in government are also to help people have more trust in the government. All in all the aim is to get people shed their negative mindset about country's situation and make them believe that things can change for the better. This part has mostly been achieved. Most people (except Modi-haters) believe that things will change for the better. People believe Modi has the right intentions and is non corrupt. They believe he is working very hard and making his ministers and bureaucrats work hard too. Things have started moving in positive direction. Economic conditions and investors sentiments are improving. His own journey from the son of ordinary tea seller to the most important person in the country through sheer hard work, performance and dedication is one of the biggest example of hope in itself. Just the belief in all sections that things are/will get better is battle half won.

Pride: This is another key theme. Modi is trying to bring a sense of nationalist pride in the people. Be it from seemingly small things like ending speeches with chants of 'Vande Mataram' or 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' to bigger things like slogan of 'Make in India' or a strong stance on Pakistan (cancelling talks after Pak govt had talks with separatists). Modi is quite clear India isn't going to bow down to anyone, at the same time India won't portray herself as 'big brother' to smaller nations as he made it clear in Nepal. The way ahead for foreign policy clearly is to treat each other as equals. India won't go out of the way to seek good relations with not-so-friendly nations. India will try to have better relations with natural allies like Japan. Emphasizing on creating a brand India in manufacturing with focus on high quality (unlike the reputation of Chinese manufacturing) is another important step. Even his staunchest critics say he is good at marketing so i believe he will do well here. His emphasis on people doing even small things which will help the country like saving electricity, water are also along these lines. People have clearly started taking more and more interest in day to day happenings in the country. Hopefully sooner than later the lost nationalist pride starts coming back too. I believe with things getting better and with more and more connect with people Modi will be successful in this goal.

Responsibility: This is the most important theme i believe. It takes a courageous politician ; very assured of himself to say in his first speech in Varanasi after election win that i want you all to keep your surroundings clean, help keep the city clean. Since elections in almost every speech be it in Varanasi, or from Red Fort on August 15th, or in Japan to NRIs, or to children on Teacher's day he has urged people to keep their houses/schools/surroundings clean. He has also talked about saving electricity, water, asking parents to question their sons instead of daughters to help stop rapes, female fetecide, leaving aside communal and naxal violence and work towards ending poverty. The theme is clear he wants to make people aware of their responsibilities as an Indian citizen. He is clearly moving 'beyond' politics here. He is ready to talk about 'uncomfortable' things to people, asking them to do more for the country. As he says this 'chalta hai' and 'mera kya' attitude can't go on. Everyone needs to start doing their bit for the country. You can't just blame that the system is at fault and keep doing things yourself which don't help the country; be it keeping cities dirty or electricity/water theft/wastage. We as citizens need to start taking pride in our country and take active part in making it better and not just crib from the sidelines. This is something which is going to take a long time. People will appreciate that he said the right things, but will then go on to do exactly the same old things which he has asked not to do. Biggest example was the image after the Red Fort ceremony when attendants left lot of trash behind after appreciating PM's call for keeping things clean! That's why his Teacher's day address to children is important, if children learn good habits from the early age they are more likely to become good citizens. I think he will keep on harping on all these social responsibilities in every speech (barring maybe election campaign speeches) of his. As that's probably the only way people will eventually start taking their responsibilities as a citizen seriously. Once this happens i think India will change a lot for the good.

All in all i think things have moved in the right direction in last 100 days. Finally we have a PM who connects with the people or rather after 10 years we finally have a PM. A Prime Minister who is ready to make India stand tall and respected in the world. A PM who is ready to make his ministers, bureaucrats and citizens do their bit to help the country. Here's to hoping for a much better India in the next 60 months.

Jai Hind!