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    Published On : Fri, Oct 16th, 2015
    Opinion of the Day | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    ‘Modi Sarkar’ v/s ‘Sonia ki Sarkar’ – It’s just same an year and a half later!


    More than a year and half after “Modi Sarkar” came to power at the Centre, we can make out that by and large we have the same outcome as what was back then, in the times of “Sonia (some say it was Manmohan) ki Sarkar”

    The BJP under PM Modi came to power in the Lok Sabha election in 2014 with great fanfare. A year and half into this government, all that India is left with is a bunch of slogans and the same hype and hoopla that helped the BJP come to power played out on a series of carefully stage-managed foreign tours of the PM. Capturing the headlines with slogans seems to be the primary objective of this government. The well-intentioned Swach Bharat initiative has turned into a mere marketing exercise with little impact on the ground. Despite the government’s promise that “red tape will be replaced by red carpet,” India finds itself towards the bottom of the list on ease of doing business.

    India’s relationship with Pakistan has not improved since the days of UPA-II. If anything, it has deteriorated due to lack of a coherent strategy and frequent, needless muscle-flexing on India’s part. The rupee is on a free fall and at 66+ to the dollar, it has surpassed UPA levels. The BJP came to power decrying scam India. A year and a half into its rule, it is simply more of the same – Lalit Modi gate and the Vyapam scams being just two of many.

    Modi came to power claiming strong administrative credentials and touting the famed Gujarat model. But thus far, this administrative experience hasn’t really translated to transforming lives. The sudden rise of Hardik Patel and Gujarat’s history of anti-Muslim riots is a clear sign that the famed model is deeply flawed when it comes protecting minorities and making social justice a priority. The Modi government’s much-touted co-operative federalism turned out to be nothing more than blatant meddling in non-BJP states, Delhi being a prime example.

    Clearly, Modi revels in pitching India’s message on the global stage. Nevertheless, for all of Modi’s supposed bonhomie with the Americans, there is no sign whatsoever of India being closer to its UN ambitions. Perhaps it is time to critically analyze what India has got anew from its so-called improved ties with the US, barring a few headlines. Even the oft-criticized UPA had the US-India nuclear deal to speak off.

    Several Sahitya academy awardees have returned their awards because of the increasing communal violence against intellectuals and alarming signs of religious intolerance in the country. In the midst of these developments, the PM who ridiculed his predecessor for remaining silent seems to do the same when it comes to even the most pressing issues of the time like the Dadri incident.

    Congress chief Sonia Gandhi recently referred to the Modi government as mere Hawabaazi. When the tainted and dysfunctional UPA begins to sound right, it is frightening to think where the country might be headed.

    The Aam Aadmi Party came to power in Delhi with a bang earlier this year trouncing both the BJP and the Congress in one swoop. There were concerns about lack of administrative experience among other criticisms of the Kejriwal government even before it came to power. In less than six months, it has become evident that the AAP government has made impressive strides on many fronts. Its budget was hailed by all and sundry including the smattering of BJP MLAs. The increased focus on education was commended by none other than the widely respected last President APJ Abdul Kalam.

    Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who holds the education ministry, has made frequently surprise visits to educational institutions keeping the teachers and administrators on their toes. The Education ministry has taken a comprehensive look at education and introduced noteworthy changes to revamp and improve the overall quality of public schools. The Delhi government’s educational loan guarantee scheme will go a long way in assisting kids of the aam aadmi get a good education.

    On the healthcare front, the AAP government’s innovative Mohalla clinics have been a noteworthy success. Health Minister Satyendra Jain, in addition to making surprise visits hospitals in Delhi, was leading the battle against dengue from the front as the AAP government confronted the menace on a war footing. In addition, an army of AAP volunteers fanned out across Delhi to assist in tackling this menace.

    The AAP government has also rolled out an impressive solar policy which the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has suggested be adopted across the country. The party is also in the process of unveiling a Jan Lokayukta bill and has sought feedback on a draft of the Women’s rights bill that incorporates recommendations made by the Justice J S Verma committee.

    Lastly, the AAP government has cracked the whip on corruption despite blatant interference from the center in the anti-corruption bureau (ACB). For the first time in Indian politics, a CM fired one of his ministers on corruption charges. The follow-up event of meeting the MLAs and their families was a novel approach to instilling honesty and integrity among the party cadre and highlighting the importance of probity in public life. The CM has also carried this message of zero tolerance for corruption to all departmental heads of government.

    Perhaps, the most heartening aspect of the AAP government in Delhi is the co-operative and consultative approach to governance made possible through a one-of-its-kind organization like the Delhi Dialog Commission (DDC) and concerted, direct, outreach to the aam aadmi. Most importantly, the AAP government in Delhi has served as a unifying force bringing people together rather than dividing them.

    The stark contrast between the two governments could not be more telling.

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