NaMo still the man for India:Why despite Covid,country under Modi is on the positive transformation
The second wave of the Covid pandemic has caused immense devastation. But from the peak to now, daily cases have already fallen by two-thirds, and soon death figures are likely to follow. Even after adjusting for reasonable estimates of under-reporting, India has not fared as badly as the much richer West.
Saying this may sound insensitive, but the only way to compare is to compare. At one point even the orderly Japanese warned about their systems, and even authoritarian China could not censor videos of people fighting for vaccines. But the Indian Union and state governments did make mistakes of omission and commission, and technicalities aside the buck stops with the PM.
By the same token though, we must also credit Narendra Modi for his leadership over the last seven years. If India was a giant but rusting spring in 2013, Modi decided to repair it instead of freeing it immediately.
In his second term, despite the pandemic the Indian spring is about to be released. My view is that the Modi government so far has mostly steered India towards growth, influence and harmony.
Yes, this contradicts the current narrative. So allow me to explain.
On economics, given that the elite tends to be influenced by Anglo-American narratives, many had forgotten about railroads, toilets, bank accounts, drinking water, telecom and electricity access. Perhaps because of his own underprivileged background, Modi is focusing on that and hence hundreds of millions are joining the economic mainstream.
Despite protests by vested interests, he also introduced difficult reforms the UPA didn’t – inflation targeting, GST, IBC, RERA, labour/ farm reforms. These have been followed up with a dovish macroeconomic policy, though we may need another stimulus because of the second wave. The government’s initiatives such as lateral entry into the bureaucracy also need to be doubled down on.
Despite American lobbying, the government is pushing ahead with UPI, data localisation and regulating tech giants, which are curtailing speech in the name of protecting it. Startups are booming as more and more Indians wish to solve big problems.
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