Two years of Modi government: The ups and downs

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Narendra Modi took oath as the 15th prime minister of India on May 26, 2014, following a massive victory in the Lok Sabha election that year.

It's been two years since then and although 24 months are enough to give birth to an anti-incumbency, nothing of that sort has been seen in case of the second BJP prime minister of the country. A recent survey has shown that an overwhelming 74 per cent people still prefers Modi while the graph of the main Opposition party---the Congress---continued to go down.

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It is important hence to analyse Modi's two-year tenure at the helm so far. The results in the states that went to the election in April and May have shown that the BJP has made significant gains in corners of the country where it was considered a non-entity.

No corruption charges 

One of the highest point of the Modi government is its clean record so far. Unlike the UPA II government which was shaken by endless charges of corruption from the second year, the time of the current NDA government has not seen any of its members getting tainted by any graft charge.

The Opposition although tried to project the exit of Vijay Mallya to the UK as a failure of the Modi government but it did not succeed. Issues like Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh also happened during this time but it has not been linked to the Modi goevrnment's performance.

Foreign policy orientation

If the clean image of the Modi government is its high point in internal politics, its performance in the foreign policy domain is the best in the external affairs. It is true that the NDA government erred in issues concerning Nepal, but that is more an exception. PM Modi's politics of mobilisation in the external affairs has helped India gain a global stature. [Hits & misses of Modi govt in internal security]

The degree of conviction may vary but there is no denying that Modi has taken India to the farthest corners besides reaching out to big powers like the US, Russia and China. [India needs Iran to tackle China-Pakistan's encirclement strategy]

Multi initiatives for social and economic uplift

The third major success of the Modi government has been its multi initiatives in issues related to entrepreunership, clean environment, social security and others. Many of these initiatives are actually missions aimed at nurturing a skilled and enterprising work force.

Even if many of these initiatives have been criticised as ineffective but one can't deny the fact that the government of Modi has made an inclusive policy-making a popular means of governance, something not many governments since Jawaharlal Nehru's premiership have done.

Continuing with previous govt's initiatives

The NDA government has also done a smart thinking in not scrapping whatever was started by the previous Congress-led governments. The Aadhar has been maintained as is the MGNREGA scheme. This ploy of adopting has helped the Modi government gain both economically and politically.

Focus on tackling subsidies

The Modi government's stress on curbing subsidies and improving agriculture also deserves appreciation. The results might not have materialised but the projection of a universal gain by giving up sibsidies is a realistic one.

PM's banking on social media and radio to reach out to people

Another significant aspect of the Modi government is the PM's use of the social media and radio to reach out to the people. Modi, for known reasons, did not have a natural alliance with the mainstream media and he made up for it by banking on traditional communication system like radio as well as the new media.

Regular use of the social media and events like Mann Ki Baat on the radio have ensured that PM Modi's communication policy, which sees a blending of the old and new, has struck the chords of both the urban and rural people.

On the flip side, the govt is mostly about Modi

Now, speaking about the negative side---the biggest drawback of the Modi government is that it has been defined by the functioning of one or two individuals. Besides Modi who has been the main face of the government along with a couple of ministers who have guided their respective ministries well (Sushma Swaraj, Piyush Goyal to name a few), this government has to offer little.

Finance ministry hasn't met expectations

The key ministry of finance has not delivered as per the expectations. Issues like imposing tax on PPF have generated more controversy than giving any direction. Investors are yet to show confidence in the economy, thanks to the flip-flops.

Failure to bridge build with Opposition in Parliament

Close to this comes the inability to take the Opposition into confidence. Before the beginning of each parliamentary session, the government and Opposition find their horns locked over something or the other as a result of which---the entire session gets ruined, damaging the prospects for economic reforms [read GST Bill]. The second half of the Budget session, however, saw the government getting its act together---something which might indicate at a better future.

Lot of opportunists are using the govt for their own benefit

Another low point of the Modi era is that a lot of people and quarters are taking advantage of Modi's popularity to serve their own selfish interests or intervene in matters pertaining to education and culture.

We are seeing businessmen or personalities from the entertainment industry aligning themselves with the BJP and RSS ideology to serve their own plans. Even a lot of godman are benefiting by using the government to their own favour.

RSS has got freedom to intervene in various issues

The RSS has also found itself at an advantage of using the days of saffron rule to propagate its own thinking and way of life all across. This tendency towards achieving a homogenous system is not healthy.

PM Modi's selective speaking has not gone down well

PM Modi's choice of speech on issues is another drawback of his rule. The PM did not speak on the Dadri lynching issue and expressed his thoughts only ahead of the Bihar election while canvassing support for the BJP. It was desired that he would have appealed to the people to maintain harmony as the prime minister of the entire nation and not just the saffron constituencies.

Overall, Modi's record after two years is on the better side. It will be interesting to see how he goes from here for the remaining three years.

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