By: M.R. Lalu
The crass cacophony in the parliament these days does not endorse the power and glow of India’s parliamentary traditions. Rahul Gandhi’s blitzkrieg on the Adani meltdown and his questions on the Prime Minister’s closeness with the business tycoon, have created some hair-raising moments. The Congress has taken this opportunity to project the reinvigorated leader in Rahul Gandhi, who has returned from his lengthy stride across the country. The Bharat Jodo Yatra had increased his responsibility as a leader. Away from power, every political party becomes paranoiac and a composite feeling of hopelessness hover over its imaginations. India’s principal opposition the Congress has also been going through such a mental agony. Whatever the ruling dispensation does is taken as immature, illegitimate and anaesthetized by the Congress. The pandemonium in the parliament was a blindfolding exercise. Scripting his own stories of development, the Modi magic has risen beyond the vituperation his opponents could frame for him.
Not only in the parliament has the Congress triggered its guns against the Prime Minister; it has grabbed chances all over the country. Sonia Gandhi’s ‘A silent strike on the poor’ in the Indian Express on 6 February was one of those attempts, an article exposing the paranoia her party and family have been susceptible to. She pretends to have known the real trauma of the Indian polity after receiving inputs from her son who had returned from his revival yatra. Every field of social wellbeing of the society, according to her, is trampled and the Modi government has a mottled view on the actual requirement of the country. The budget session of the parliament was sunk in violent, uproarious and profane epithets and the country witnessed chicanery of the opposition during the Prime Minister’s speech. Throughout her article she accuses Modi for fraternizing with Adani and throws stones at him for being anti-poor. But what was more unconvincing about her article was, when she said “The promise of independence was of a good life for every Indian, not only to satisfy their basic needs but to have equal opportunities to empower themselves socially, economically and politically.”
An ideal assessment on the performance of the Congress regime in post-independent India gives us glimpses of its pickpocket administration with hundreds of scams derailing India’s reputation. During the long period of the Congress Raj, three members of her family directly ruled the country for about three decades. India witnessed its most disastrous days of political anarchy when the country was under the direct control of her family. It also witnessed the largest bloodbath singlehandedly perpetrated by her party when Indira Gandhi was shot dead. The anti-Sikh riots followed by the assassination of Indira Gandhi killed thousands of Sikhs. India’s UPA regime was known for its scams and scandals and corruptions. Sonia Gandhi had conveniently forgotten her party’s failure to satisfy the dream of ‘good life’ of Indians , as what she claims was the goal of independence.
Modi’s premiership in 2014 began with his regime determinedly addressing the basic necessities of the country. Modi’s image as the Prime Minister was put to scrutiny when he spoke from the ramparts of Red Fort about women empowerment and his government’s initiative in providing sanitary napkins at 1 rupee. Breaking the taboo, he became evocative on the health hazards of poor women during their menstruation period. The country heard him preach his MPs to use their funds to build toilets for girls separately. His call for separate toilets for girls had saved millions of girls from being dropped from schools. He became the first Prime Minister to stir up issues that his predecessors preferred to brush under the carpet with condescension. He became a trend setting Prime Minister who addresses issues that remained abandoned for decades. The acceptance Modi enjoys in India and abroad has been the result of his honest interventions to fulfil the requirements of the normal citizens. A chain of welfare projects such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Jan Dhan Yojana, PM Ujjwala Yojana, Shramew Jataye Yojana and many more in the line have tremendously impacted the lives of millions of people.
Most economists are of the opinion that the Finance Minister has delivered a balanced budget with a long term vision. But throughout the budget session the country witnessed deliberate chaos shattering the constitutional stature of the parliamentary proceedings. Decades of Congress rule failed to do anything to improve the living conditions of Indians but the efforts for nearly a decade by the Modi government not only improved the socio-economic conditions but also India as a nation could reinvent its strength with its ancient cultural values gaining international recognition. The damage that the Congress regime caused on Indian society was so deep that a regime with an honest approach and vision would at least take 20 years to rectify them. Modi could successfully connect his mind with most of the ordinary Indians and could do more to satisfy their needs. No initiatives in the direction of changing the fortunes of the people will be completely perfect but Modi’s success is his consistent effort to bring about the change.
I have vivid memories of my childhood being spent fetching drinking water from distant places. The government those days quenched the thirst of the villagers with mobile water tanks. High altitude areas of Kerala never imagined that uninterrupted water connectivity to houses was possible. But today, this has become a reality. Same is the case with electricity. The Modi government could actualize this and beyond for the common man. In her article, Sonia Gandhi bemoaned about the plight of the poor in the country. The government’s war footing initiatives could successfully arrest the Covid 19 pandemic in India vaccinating almost everybody in the country. Records say that India had distributed over 94 million doses of Covid vaccines to almost 94 countries. This has been a phenomenal achievement for a developing country. India’s compassionate humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan and the latest in Turkey shows its decision making capacity at a faster pace well before the international community responded. The trigger-or the pretext behind the outrageous hullabaloo in the parliament and elsewhere is the outcome of an utter helplessness of parties that failed to strengthen their roots. It is of vital importance for the parties to maintain decorum in their political behaviour. For the ruling and the opposition, interactions to convince each other are must. Plagued by beleaguered propositions and warmongering, parliament sessions are a huge waste of time and money.
(The author is a Freelance Journalist/Author of “India @ 75- A Contemporary Approach”)
Failing Narratives and Deplorable Stalemates
By: M.R. Lalu