As school kids, everyone was told that patience is a virtue and impatience was symptomatic of anxiety, which would lead to frustration and trouble. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has other ideas. He thinks that the age-old sayings like "Sabra Ka phal meetha hota hai¦..daal roti khao prabhu ke goon gao" will not make new India achieve what and where it wants to be, in the league of superpowers and most advanced nations.
For him, impatience, "ye dil mange more" should be the mantra for India's future growth story. Rising aspirations make people more demanding and drive individuals, institutions and the government to perform. Modi takes that as a positive thing to have happened to India, for it leads to an optimism and embracing a work hard philosophy in all spheres of life including faster and greater delivery of infrastructure projects.
Responding to a question at Bharat Ki Baat Sabke Saath at Westminster in London on bebas versus besabra (helpless versus impatient) India, Modi said, "Kal tak (Bharat) bebas tha, aaj tej badlav ke liye besabra hai." The change and growth story has to be accompanied by self-belief and self-confidence on standing on its own and the ability to take action against an enemy nation which commits cowardly act of terrorism.
The surgical strike against Pakistan in response to terror attacks in Uri fits into that context in terms of a changed regime at the Centre, changed belief and changed aspiration.
The message for Pakistan was louder and clearer than ever: Toh ye Modi hai, who ussi bhasa me jawab dena janta hai¦.terror export karne wale ko pata hona chahiye ki aab Hindustan badal chukka hai. The prime minister went at length to explain how and why he decided to have a surgical strike and how he waited to inform Pakistan first through official channels before letting the people within and outside India know about the surgical strike.
By asserting aggressively about future consequences with an actual military operation across the Line of Control, Modi distinguished himself from his own party predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee who in the aftermath of 13 December 2001 terror attack on Parliament had thundered aar-paar ki ladai against Pakistan, even ordering Operation Parakram, a full-scale military mobilisation on the borders. Vajpayee then changed his stance adding the word "agar" (if) in his statement claiming that he had actually said agar ladai hogi toh aar-paar ki ladai hogi. In the aftermath of 26 November 2008 Mumbai terror attack, the Manmohan Singh government vacillated between saying "all options open" to decrying war.
By referring to his standalone visit to Israel and de-hyphenate Israel and Palestine, Modi sought to convey that he was strong in his intent and purposes and that he had the guts to follow an independent path which his predecessors at the prime minister's office didn't tread. "In the last 70 years, no Indian prime minister went to Israel, who was stopping you? If an Indian prime minister has to go to Israel, he will go to Isreal, if he has to go to Palestine he makes a separate visit to Palestine." It was interesting that he referred to all the Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE while talking about foreign policy and his visit to Israel.
Four years in the government and only a year to go before he goes to the people seeking a fresh mandate, more so with elections in five important states to be held this year, Modi didn't seem to be afraid of the burden of expectations that weighed on him and his government. He didn't mind admitting that there are massive expectations from him and in the same vein he talked about his constant endeavours to improve and deliver. That again was linked to his Besabra Bharat theme.
"Even if three sons are there in a family, people would ask for delivery from the son who they think can deliver. Jo karega ussi se toh kahegaand therefore people expect so much from me. They think I can deliver. There was a time when people would be happy with a small incremental change but now their expectations and aspirations have changed," Modi said.
Though he listed several of his achievements in the last four years through an audio-visual presentation, the prime minister reminded his audience including those who watched him live on television that he is a normal human being and vulnerable to mistakes like anyone else. Modi sought to clarify that the mistakes if any won't emanate out of any malintent.
From the one-and-half hour Bharat Ki Baat Sabke Saath session that Modi had in London it can be safely assumed that the prime minister knew his limitations and that he might not have delivered up to the level expectations that people had from him. This knowledge prepares him to decide as to how he is going to pitch himself and his party for the 2019 elections. He knows that delivery from the government could be limited and in four years he couldn't possibly have transformed the country as some people thought he would. The prime minister thus has opted the path of participatory democracy so that the people at large and the government work hand in hand to realise the new India dream. Modi also gave an impression that in the next election the poorer section of society will be by his side. Patience would be needed here for impatient India to know if that would turn out to be be the biggest political story in 2019.