By NS Venkataraman : Several pre-poll surveys before the 2019 election in India have indicated that Prime Minister Modi remains as the most popular political leader in the country today and majority of people want him to become Prime Minister again in spite of several problems faced by the people. Analysis of SWOT (Strength, weakness opportunity and threat) regarding the performance of Modi government during the last five years would provide clarity and clear understanding of the overall scenario.
Modi’s government has been free of corruption and nepotism, at the ministerial level. This is much in contrast from the conditions during the earlier governments.
Mr. Modi has launched highly relevant and meaningful programmes and schemes such as clean India campaign, free construction of thousands of toilets for poor households, opening of zero balance bank account for millions of poor Indians, health insurance for poor people, crop insurance scheme, direct transfer of welfare funds to the poor people, promotion of yoga culture and so on. All these schemes have tremendous and positive impact on the life style of poor people and have given them confidence and sense of dignity to some extent.Mr. Modi has brought new respect for India amongst the world countries and have boosted the confidence of world community in the future of India, bringing millions of dollars of overseas investment in the country.
Mr. Modi introduced Make in India scheme, Start up India scheme, Skill India programme to promote the employment and investment climate in the country, particularly amongst youth in the lower and middle income group.
To remove corruption, Mr. Modi announced demonetization of high value currency, Goods and Services Tax (GST) resulting in uniform tax structure in the country, bankruptcy law, digitalization scheme etc. which reflect his longterm vision and courage of conviction.
· While Mr. Modi has been conducting himself with high level of dignity and fair outlook, this cannot be said about all his party men. A number of members of his party have been using vituperative language and even spreading hatred about other communities on issues like cow slaughter etc. and Mr. Modi is criticized for not controlling such elements in his party effectively.
· While the schemes like demonetization and GST will bring lot of benefits for India in the short and long run, Mr. Modi’s party has not been able to present the advantages of the schemes adequately and convincingly well to the people, particularly in the context of the opposition parties criticizing the schemes heavily. This has created some misconception about these schemes amongst the people.
· Having successfully laid the basic conditions to achieve big leap forward by India, here is an opportunity for Mr. Modi to carry forward his constructive schemes to the long term benefits for India in the coming years.
· In the last five years, Mr. Modi has not only strived hard to build material affluence in India but also bring about a positive change in the mindset and confidence level amongst the people towards better value system. While he may not have entirely succeeded in this difficult task, he has certainly made positive beginning. Such trend should be continued.
· It is evident that there are pledged critics of Mr. Modi, who seem to believe that Mr. Modi’s fair image can be destroyed by repeatedly using abusive language against him personally such as calling him thief etc. In the independent India in the past, no other Prime Minister has been abused and criticized in such derogatory terms.
· Mr. Modi faces the risk of his fair name getting tarnished because of the Goebbels tactics adopted by some opposition leaders by repeatedly calling him liar etc.
· Many believe that there are foreign forces interested in defeating Mr. Modi in 2019 election and such forces could be funding and counseling the forces of disruption in India.
· There may be forces inside Mr. Modi’s party who do not like the moderate approach of Mr. Modi in solving various complex issues in the country and want him to adopt aggressive postures on certain issues.
Why Mr. Modi deserves second term?:
India is facing complex problems on multiple issues for the last several decades. While several governments in the past have taken measures to improve the situation, no government in the past in the last decade or so, has taken such strong measures with great speed and sense of urgency to get meaningful solutions, as Modi government has done.
Given the stature of the leaders of opposition parties and the fact that the opposition parties could not even announce the Prime Ministerial candidate, the country would be exposed to unstable government and chaotic governance in the event of formation of unprincipled coalition government by different political parties in the event of Mr. Modi not getting a second term. This is a situation that India cannot afford. Strongly, positively and uncompromisingly committed leadership is the prerequisite for India’s big leap forward in the coming years. With his past record in five years, Mr. Modi has given an impression that he is the man for the job for the next five years.