What Do Indians Expect From Modi As He Enters Tenth Year As Prime Minister? – OpEd


Whatever the sworn critics of Mr. Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister, may say about his administration, the ground reality is  that the cross section of Indians living across the country and observers abroad are of the view that India has changed for the better in multiple directions during the last nine years since he took over as Prime Minister. Many international expert groups, as well as the UN have now applauded India for its strong economic growth trajectory, even as several countries in the world are facing recessionary trends .

Several opinion surveys carried out in recent time have clearly revealed that Mr. Modi is the most popular and charismatic leader in India and none of the leaders belonging to opposition political parties in India can match him with regard to his standing. Even some global agencies have hailed Mr. Modi as a very important and popular world leader. 

In such circumstances, the result of the recent election in Karnataka state in India where Mr. Modi’s party has not been able to retain its power and lost to the opposition party, has come as a bolt from the blue. 

There is now feverish debate across India as to why this has happened. While the sworn critics of Mr. Modi say that this Karnataka election verdict indicates the beginning of the end of his leadership, most discerning observers dismiss this view.  One credible view is that the BJP party, which was in power in Karnataka, has not given the quality of governance that is expected of it and perhaps, there have been several incidents of corruption in the government machinery, which has disappointed the people of Karnataka. People must have been particularly disappointed, since the ultimate leader of BJP is Mr. Modi.

When Mr. Modi was voted as Prime Minister of India nine years back, people recognised him as a strong and committed political leader with courage of conviction and high standard of personal integrity. Of course, people expected that Mr. Modi would launch and implement several development projects in Industrial, commercial and social sector and he has done this and people are satisfied about this. At the same time, people certainly expected that Mr. Modi would totally eradicate corruption in the country at every level.

The ground reality is that the expectation on rooting out corruption in the country has not been met adequately, inspite of Mr. Modi being the Prime Minister. Certainly, the central government under the direct administration of Mr. Modi remains  corruption free and transparent but this is not so in the case of the several state governments. Still, people think that it is Mr. Modi’s responsibility to eliminate corruption even on the state level, as he is a national leader with a strong mandate.

With just around 12 months before the next parliamentary election, Mr. Modi has little time to lose in meeting the expectations of the people about eradicating corruption. While development projects are moving on well and the climate of growth has been steadily built up in the country which is likely to be sustained, the one point agenda for Mr. Modi in the coming twelve months should be his determined crusade against corruption. Of course, the  anti-corruption steps will be resisted and motives will be attributed. But, Mr. Modi has to move on and catch and punish the corrupt forces in all possible ways, that would give confidence to the people that corruption would  be eliminated soon.

In the coming parliamentary election, Mr. Modi will be tested based on his success in the anti-corruption drive.

Many Indians seem to think that the root cause for political corruption and consequent administrative corruption in the country is that almost all political parties in India, other than BJP and the Communist / Marxist party, are family controlled and have vested interests. Such family control of political parties is viewed with disgust by the people. Perhaps, the precondition to eliminate corruption is that the family control of political parties and consequent development of vested interests should be wiped out.

As a part of Mr. Modi’s anti-corruption crusade, he should also launch a strong movement, criticising the dynasty politics in India. He needs to speak very strongly about this, which will be received well by the people and it would catch their imagination.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

One thought on “What Do Indians Expect From Modi As He Enters Tenth Year As Prime Minister? – OpEd

  • May 19, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    An article well written . BJP should also realize that in politics perceptions are as important if not more important than realities. The way the vast majority of people perceive, not just the BJP supporters, would determine if BJP comes back to power in 2024. Statistics, data, facts and figures both quantifiable, measurable and otherwise are one thing. Unfortunately bill of the people mainly in the lower rungs, vote by how they feel and not necessarily what they are if they could see at all


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