Job creation, people-centric transparent governance, an effective Lokpal system and a thorough clean-up campaign for India were the election planks of the BJP. But after over three years in power, has the Modi government delivered on its promises? Is the ‘new India’, as envisioned by the Prime Minister, one that’s safe and inclusive, with equal opportunities for all sections of society?
To be fair, there have been some positives. The surgical strikes across the border last year (arguably India’s first-ever retaliatory military operation) were one. The attempted crack-down on black money (demonetisation) was perhaps another, as is the ongoing ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign, which has witnessed overwhelming support from almost everybody in the public eye who doesn’t belong to an opposition party.
The landmark GST bill – despite the early pains in its implementation – has to be a big positive too.
But there have also been serious letdowns. The failure to create “1 crore jobs annually” (as promised pre-election) in a country with a predominantly younger population is the most severe of these. The inability to set up a fair and effective Lokapal system is another.
Then there is the deepening sense of insecurity among the minority communities, coupled with rising incidents of cow vigilantism as well as communal and caste-based violence. Has the BJP, as it had sworn three years ago, managed to “ensure a peaceful and secure environment, where there is no place for either the perpetrators or exploiters of fear”.
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