Modi government does not believe in sops, it delivers on schemes
Indeed, good days happened for the poor, women and people in villages, who benefitted the most during the last term of the Modi government.
Naysayers about the Indian growth story have something to ponder about now that the Indian Prime Minister's election campaign slogan from 2014 is actually working on the ground and making a difference to ordinary Indians and the poor. The slogan went like this: Achhe din aane vale hain, which meant the future is bright.
Indeed, good days happened for the poor, women and people in villages, who benefitted the most during the last term of the Modi government. Schemes actually reached them, unlike during past governments led by the Congress.
Achhe din (good days)...was not just a slogan, it was about government in action. People who were left out of the country's progress during the last 70 years responded to the schemes initiated by Narendra Modi and his team and ensured the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance returned to power with a thumping majority. Much has been written about it and critics have struggled to negate the people's mandate for the PM but to no avail. What they didn't understand was the churning at the grassroots for change. Here was an ordinary man who rose to great heights without the backing of dynasty but through hard work and discipline.
I can tell you from my close association with various departments of the Indian government that it has hit the ground running 12 weeks into its second term. It has been nothing less than extraordinary as far as work is concerned. The PM and his team have pushed through labour reforms, brought in strong laws against financial fraud, death penalty for child sexual assault, and incentives for farmers.
Personally, efforts to ensure electricity and cooking gas connections to every house in the country swung the tide in favour of the BJP during the elections. If you ask me why Modi has such an impact on the masses, I would say because he has taken care of farmers and the downtrodden. He understands them better because he has come up the ranks and has worked amongst them.
The government has ensured farmers are empowered. It does not see them as a voting bloc and simply hands them sops. The relief and aid provided to the agriculture sector in case of crop failure have expanded manifold. The increased accessibility of fertilisers along with affordable credit lines have boosted crop production.
The government has also made efforts to educate farmers and make them tech-savvy. Pension schemes for farmers, small traders, and unorganised workers have been meticulously implemented and don't just remain schemes for public consumption like in the past.
It has helped that Brand India is big hit abroad in countries in the Middle East and the West with the Indian PM's visits.
The abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir brings back the spirit of "One Nation, One Constitution". Science and technology are booming with India's first indigenous human space flight by 2022. The mission to the moon, Chandrayaan 2, is all set for its final landing.
There are major plans for infrastructure development as the country seeks to become a $5-trillion economy in the next five years. These are ambitious plans that will drive growth, but as I said before, India hasn't forgotten its farmers and its rural economy. It hasn't forgotten health schemes either and wants to deliver them to those who cannot afford it.
Then there are schemes mentioned earlier that are making a difference to small farmers, traders, and people eking out a livelihood away from the limelight. They are the base of the country and it's back to basic governance that has made a difference. India still lives in its villages that need power, water, and dynamic policy to drive the engines of growth. The good days are not just coming, they are here. There is still a lot of work to be done and the momentum will take the good work forward in Modi 2.0.
-Ekta Bhaskar is Consultant, Communications, Government of India