Prime Minister Modi began as the Jim Gordon who took the mantle to rid a country of corrupt governing bodies who carry the blame for stonewalling progress, in the minds of the people.
Since, then one could argue that his credibility has been on a rippling downward spiral. He began with several good ideas such as Make In India and Swach Bharat and wowed scores of audiences with his speeches filled with tall promises both nationally and internationally.
Many believe that the essence of a democracy is a healthy opposition. This view comes from a good place, but since Modi’s reign took effect, his plans for certain development have been fettered by the opposition in the Parliament. For example, he has been trying to pass the land acquisition bill in the Parliament for quite some time now. If this bill was passed, he could acquire more ground to develop the country’s infrastructure.
In all his speeches, the common motif has been growth and advance. But so far, he hasn’t been able to deliver. Now, not a lot of people know or care about his situation in the Rajya Sabha. But this hardly even set the wheels in motion for such a monumental slide in his reputation. So what did?
Of late, Modi’s government has been accused of browbeat Hindutva. There was always a general feeling among the people, even before Modi came to the fore, that BJP is pro-Hindu. During Modi’s Prime Minister’s campaign only one incident stood out in favor of this theory — the Gujurat riots that saw the killing of droves of Muslims, while Modi was Chief Minister. There is still nothing to evidence Modi’s involvement, or the lack of it, depending on your perspective, but there was a whole lot to evidence his ability to spearhead progress in a governing head’s position.
Fast forward to today and his reputation has been marred by several such incidents — a killing because a person was carrying beef, forcible conversion of people of different religions to Hinduism by exploiting their circumstances. But what has really stoked the fire is that after more than a year of his governance, he doesn’t appear to the common public to have even made inroads towards delivering on all of his promises. Experts who follow his activities might have a case for him, but in a country of more than a billion people, expert opinion simply doesn’t count for a whole lot.
BJP having lost the election in Bihar, and Modi having failed to capitalize on his opportunity to significantly shrink the opposition, things are looking worse than they ever have for our country’s super hero. What is especially concerning is that BJP’s campaign in Bihar, despite there being another candidate, was riding solely on Modi’s reputation. Such a lopsided loss brings us to the inescapable conclusion that Modi’s credibility has been severely hit.
So, what’s next? There are still many prospects for development on all fronts. Plans to carry them out do not need to be routed through the parliament. Countless infrastructure projects are currently stalled. A lot of towns and districts still don’t have roads. There is still widespread unemployment and poverty in the country, and even though this might seem like a frivolous issue in comparison to those mentioned before it, I personally strongly feel that the education system needs to be revamped. It needs to facilitate innovation and promote research thinking. Research infrastructure and medical infrastructure in India could use some improvement. My point is that there are areas Modi can tap into to fix his credibility and restore his superhero status. Hopefully, his most recent setback will make him see the light.
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