Where Are The Billions?
It has been a year since elected BJP government with an absolute majority, and made Narendra Modi the prime minister of India. The year has seen India and its public relations on an upswing, and Modi ass a leader with great public persona. Modi himself has always been a media and publicity savvy and he connects quite easily and well with global leaders and common man with ease. His personal equation with global leaders he has met is displayed with extraordinary ease to the tune of friendship. It is quite a site to see leaders of the world display such camaraderie with each other as if they have been friends for a long time. It is great to see Modi connect with the rest of the global leaders with such ease and simplicity, and it is quite extraordinary that all the global leaders develop such personal equation with a man who just shot into the international leadership such a short time ago. It’s all good for the Indian psychology to have its leader treated in such a welcoming way by the global leaders. The Indian diaspora across the world continues to give Modi a rock star welcome and there has never been such a spectacle of public display of support for Modi wherever he visited. The endearing thing about Modi is his interest in local culture and traditions and people, and his constant pitching to the audience almost bordering a great salesman. He continues to travel and receive the adulation from leaders and public from around the world, and also he continues to reach out the every person he comes in touch with.
In his year-long travels and visits Modi has raised pledges for tens of billions of dollars in commitments from just about every nation he has visited. These are pledges by governments to make investments into India. There are untold amounts of commitments by companies and NRI population to invest in India. The entire world has looked at Modi and his government with great expectations for good governance and improving the economic and living conditions for all Indians. The initiatives taken by the Modi government on clean India, river cleanup, make in India, sanitation and toilets, girl child support, infrastructure, smart cities and many other programs announced along with good governance, with focus on investment opportunities; all of which are good and very much needed development programs for India.
The fact is that the Indian population and the global audience continue to give positive response to Modi and his continued pitch for supporting India. For the past year most of my weekly columns have covered Modi and his government and governance. The issues that are focal point of Modi and his policy initiatives are well in line with what is needed by India.
With the end to the first year of office approaching, people want to grade Modi and his government. To a large degree it is difficult to measure the success of the government in what they have accomplished. Many initiatives Modi has announced are straight out of his party’s election manifesto. They are programs that sound great and have great general acceptance. But after a year in power, the country is looking for these programs to be executed, rather than constant barrage of promotions. Modi continues to travel and sign agreements for billion and billions, but what has happened to the billions already committed in the past year? What has happened to these massive commitments made to India? Where is this money, and when will it be invested and what is the status of these projects and plans?
One of the most interesting and intriguing plans was to build 100 smart cities. Not a single one has started in becoming a smart city at the end of the year.
The list of what happened is quite long. There is no doubt that Modi’s good governance is in full swing and we have yet to hear of another scam in India. Modi himself is hard working and definitely influences others to follow suit. Modi certainly logs in long hours and his staff and ministers are getting used to working long hours. But what has happened to the billions pledged into India and who is tracking them and their progress into the economy?
Modi is constantly updating his personal anecdotes on social media, and he is quite good in making statements on what he started. It might be best for him to also track the progress of each of these things he announces. He has the time to update the world on what he is doing and who he is meeting and how much pledges that he is getting, but a track on what is happening to these pledges and projects on a regular basis will help appreciate what is that we have really achieved? It is really time for this government to stop the campaign mode and start the implementation mode. It’s very simple to measure. Publish every project, commitments made, who made them, what has been done to those commitments and what has been executed that was initially publicized. Simple steps with; who, what, when, where and why? On every project that the government has announced. Modi and his government should make it a practice to update the nation on progress of all these commitments, along with his selfies and personal anecdotes. The nation deserves better and the government also deserves to do better.