I saw Piku, Tanu weds Manu Returns and Dil Dhadakne Do in the three consecutive weeks preceding this article. All three have done brisk business. And all three have an uncanny resemblance to Modi’s one year of governance.
But there’s a disclaimer: Whatever be the report card, one year is too premature to judge a government.
I will continue, like all the three films above are runaway hits, Mod was also a runaway hit getting an absolute majority after a few decades. As in Piku, the NDA government went through periods of constipation while getting the Land Bill through in Parliament and that still continues. A united opposition forces the constipation to continue with the government trying to find the way out (pun intended) through laxatives like ordinance and negotiations.
As in Tanu weds Manu Returns, there was a near divorce with Mamata Banerjee and TMC but the end was happy in Tanu weds Manu Returns, so also with the Modi visit to Kolkata and the Bangladesh visit, where things seem to be going right between our Tanu (Mamata Banerjee) and Manu (Modiji) and all’s well that ends well.
In the third release this weekend Dil Dhadakne Do, the emphasis is on the fake and real face of people outside and inside. While there is a lot of enthusiasm during the cruise party of the Mehras in DDD, similarly there was a lot of buzz about the coalition in Jammu and Kashmir. It seems that the BJP has met its match in the Mufti government and looks helpless. So everything from Pak talks and Article 370 seems far from real in Kashmir with the dissident groups regularly swirling Pak flags. I only hope that all these innuendos are cleared and the Modi Government means business in the valley and there is a happy ending as in DDD.
Let’s move ahead. The economy seems to be moving ahead cautiously but steadily with the PM and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley doing very well in tandem. The industry seems positive, FIIs seem enthusiastic and the world over and the rating agencies seem to be bullish over India. Make In India seems to have at least theoretically struck the chord. One more year of steady reforms will be needed to consolidate the initial gains. Expecting outcomes in one year seems ambitious but we seem to be on the right path. The HRD ministry headed by Smriti Irani has done dismally in the past year.
This was a key area in the Modi Agenda but there is too much posturing to make the PM happy but nothing on ground. The much awaited Education Policy reforms have been stalled many times from January 26 onwards, the German language fiasco from Kendriya Vidyalayas had to beat a hasty retreat due to public pressure. The higher education credit system is half baked and all universities still have not gone ahead making it a confusing state of affairs in the domain.
The IIT issue too could have been handled better. If anybody speaks against Modi in the public domain you can’t gag them. This is similar to the cartoon gag in the previous government. This is one ministry where a good performance could have done a world of good for the nation as well as the credibility of the government.
The skills ministry is rolling out schemes which will have an impact in future but Rajiv Pratap Rudy seems to be sincerely looking at Skills University as an innovation for the regular ones and pursuing it with devotion.
Ministry of External Affairs under PM Modi or is it Sushma Swaraj, seems to be doing a commendable job in diplomacy with the world and this is the most aggressive MEA in independent India which has won the accolades from across the world. The Yemen intervention was case in point. The UN and the world community applauded our efforts. The Nepal Earthquake assistance by India put its stamp as the elder brother of the region. All in all this seems to be the pick of the lot.
I feel that it’s a fairly good performance by the Modi Government but there is a dearth of “Crying out Loud” of their achievements. So even if the Land Bill would have been beneficial to farmers, the Congress made a hue and cry that the current perception is that it is Kisan Virodhi and the government has not been able to educate the masses systematically. Arvind Kejriwal also dumps his lack of governance on Modi Government and these doubts have not been dispelled. The need is of a well oiled public information system through the rank and file to educate the masses on the pros and cons of the new actions. A lethargy seems to have crept into the rank and file.
*Dr. Jawahar Surisetti is well know Educationist & Motivator