Opinion | What Makes Narendra Modi People’s Choice as Prime Minister of India – News18

Written By: Arjun Singh Kadian
Last Updated: February 26, 2024, 13:33 IST
New Delhi, India
Recent news suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is confident of a third term and has asked the cabinet to come out with a plan for 100 days. (PTI)
Recent news suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is confident of a third term and has asked the cabinet to come out with a plan for 100 days. This is a happy development. Considering that PM Modi’s assessment of the Indian political system surpasses any known living person. If he is confident, there are ample reasons to be.
But, one wonders, is there any reason to doubt otherwise? Over the last ten years, India has seen remarkable changes in perhaps, all sectors. In fact, one can pick a sector of their choice and find positive developments and honest efforts towards a planned direction. I was listening to Nripendra Mishra, former Principal Secretary to PM Modi (2014-19) and currently Chairman, Executive Council, Prime Minister’s Museum & Library, Delhi. Mishra spoke about how there may be things said about demonetisation and black money today. But, it needs to be seen from a lens that black money and corruption is a ‘million-mammoths’ matter. It has become ingrained in the Indian system of things and is so deeply rooted that to uproot it one might have to really uproot some things. Shaking alone won’t do! Case in point-demonetisation.
Mishra, thence, added an important point which makes the central node of the working thought process. He meant to say that one could question what we accomplished to curb the demon of black money but it’s clear that the intention was honest and so were the efforts made in that direction. It is, perhaps, these efforts that make Prime Minister Modi the only choice for Bharat in the upcoming general elections.
The second part of the news item pertained to the plan for 100 days. As a political observer, it takes me back 10 years when I had begun researching and writing about civilisational and political issues. India had just voted PM Modi to power. It was a Tsunami when most had anticipated a wave! And much like the charged speeches Modi made, the difference in governance was visible from the first week. It is said that during the election campaign, Modi met people belonging to different sections of Indian society. This included corporate leaders and businessmen. Modi’s organisational skills were on display when leaders of the party under his direction would explain and spread his plan for business and commerce. India, then, was plagued by red-tapism, corruption, bureaucratic hurdles etc. It is inspiring and laudable that he had a clear understanding of what issues hindered the Indian growth story. Even more, he had a plan ready.
Much like the plan, soon after he took office in 2014, PM Modi took a proactive approach to governance. He told his cabinet in June that year to focus on ‘efficient governance, delivery and implementation of projects and to work closely with states to ensure the collective progress of the country’. He also asked his ministers to set a plan for the first 100 days, listing priorities.
Another early stage development was asking ministers and bureaucrats to move towards a six-day workweek model. This has been said by many ministers until recently, that PM Modi is a tough taskmaster. But, it’s no new thing. As its clear that from the first week in office; he has been on mission mode for India’s development. For instance, in those early few days, he made it clear to senior bureaucrats that he was not keen on theories but wanted practical doable policies. One has to be thoroughly prepared for meetings, make bullet point presentations and be ready for follow-up meetings. India, in 2014, began moving from general theories to actionable points.
The functioning of the government also changed from Sarkari setups to corporate boardroom-style meetings. Even ministers of the council who, in a pre-Modi era, would have had a comparatively easy life and wherein the functioning of the ministry was left in the hands of the top bureaucrats, were in for a surprise. Ministers were asked to be in their offices by 9 AM and meetings with senior bureaucrats began at 9:30 AM. This was a significant departure. And, arguably, it is the consequence of this working style that our country has shown progress by leaps and bounds. Argued with a friend last year that PM Modi’s working style is the pillar of the 4M Mantra i.e. Mindset change, Mission approach, Monitoring and Mass participation. While I have seen it in action over the decade, planning for it started even before he took office.
Therefore, we see the deliverables and precisely, this is why India is growing at such rapid a pace. While every now and then there is some political opposition, which turns out to be a negotiation tactic used by his opponents, PM Modi is set on a path to see India as a developed nation by 2047. To that end, he is pulling out all the stops. And the electorate sees it. This is why he will be returning with more power in his third term.
Arjun Singh Kadian is an academic and policy professional based out of offices in Haryana and Delhi. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect News18’s views.


Leave a Comment