Eight years, eight big changes
In a 2012 essay written for Foreign Police, Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson have identified 10 reasons they believe countries fail and crumble. Read a decade later, it offers a stark reminder of when we were in India before 2014 and how many of these 10 reasons applied to India as well. Specifically, the role of a “weak central government” and how such governments have disastrous consequences.
On May 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi completes eight years in office. How to evaluate your file? Or to put it another way, what are the changes of the last eight years as a result of a strong central government led by Modi, which also provide a contrast to the pre-2014 period when we dangerously nearly failed and fell?
First, restore confidence in “constitutional democracy”. Think back to the days before 2014 when we abandoned central government. Violent crowds had become the site of policy formulation and the making of laws and regulations. One of Modi’s greatest contributions was to throw this phase away and restore people’s faith in elected governments.
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Second, to spread the “we can do it” spirit across the country. Whether it’s 42 unicorns in one year, vaccinating nearly a billion people in less than a year, or saving more than 22,000 people from an active war zone, nothing seems out of reach. of our people if we think about it.
Third, to encourage all regions of the country and all sections of society to contribute to our national cause. There is no more “tyranny of distance” for the Northeast. It now contributes equally to our economic growth. A state like Uttar Pradesh, smeared in an earlier era under the BIMARU group, now establishes national patterns of governance. From sports to technology, from creative fields to science, all layers of society are now regularly setting new benchmarks.
Fourth, restore a sense of security to our people. In 2008 alone, 308 Indians were brutally murdered by terrorists in every city across the country. Compare this with the period between 2016 and 22, when there were no deaths outside of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the North East. Naxal Terror has also been neutralized. On the external front, Pakistan has learned a lesson inside its own territory. And unlike 2013, when the then defense minister pleaded powerlessness against China, New India showed its resolve in both Doklam and Ladakh.
Fifth, creating a new brand image of India that is confident in its assertion of an India-first policy. From becoming a founding member of initiatives such as QUAD and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) to leading the global agenda on climate change, to asserting its own national priorities in the Ukraine war, to forging close ties with all countries in West Asia, India in 2022 is qualitatively different and in a better place than it has been since independence.
Sixth, the creation of a new Indian economic model which is part of the international consensus on free and open democracies but which is different from the Western consensus. Over the past eight years, Modi has been able to put in place a model that seamlessly merges free market dynamics with welfare delivery. The fact that this was done at over a billion scale and in a land of continental diversity makes it easily replicable. Compare that with India before 2014, when the country was among the “fragile five”.
Seventh, the infusion of self-confidence into our people as a society. We now affirm our unique cultural history or our policy of national interest first without preamble or apology. We are no longer swayed by character lectures from actors whose actions belie their preaching. From the badminton arena to political debates in think tanks, from signing trade deals to reclaiming our civilizational sites, we are now confident to just go out and do our thing without seeking approval from any authority. higher certification.
Eighth, and perhaps the most important change of the past eight years, has been the change in mindset of us Indians as a society. As Prime Minister Modi himself said, the attitude is now “chalta hai nahin, badal sakta hai”. It is this “badal sakta hai” thought that pervades the mindset of “how will this happen” in the face of any seemingly improbable task that PV Sindhu so evocatively describes in his recently published book chapter [email protected]: dreams meet delivery.
In a way, what Modi has been able to achieve in these last eight years is what he set himself in 2014 when he talked about goals to be achieved by 2022. We are now in the 75th year of our independence and as we step into Amrit Kaal and look ahead to the next 25 years, these eight years of Modi have set the stage to catapult India into the league of select nations that will lead the world in the 21st century.
The writer is CEO of Bluekraft Digital Foundation and was previously director (content) MyGov