Government reaches out to weakest sections through inclusive policies

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Bhupender Yadav

The Union Government, under the leadership of the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has completed four years of its term. The government is at the centre of widespread attention for a variety of reasons; the most important one being the fact that it has been elected by the people of this country with an overwhelming majority, with a party, and in this case the BJP, emerging as the single largest party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, thereby forming a government with absolute majority at the Centre after a gap of thirty years. The projection of Narendra Modi as the face of the 2014 elections is another important factor that played a major role in providing unparallel support from all the sections of society for forming this government. His presence as an effective communicator, efficient decision-maker and a strong leader with a highly popular support base was felt across the country. In this sense, the 2014 election was unprecedented as it created a significant change in the way political dialogue takes place in India. A system of frequent and effective dialogue between the country’s leader, its government and its people has been established under Modi government. This dialogue has led to social issues gaining prominence and priority in the national policy-making circles. It has immensely benefitted the inclusive spirit of the country as no civil society can progress equitably without a comprehensive awareness of its core issues and aims such as Clean and Smart Cities, Health for All, Economic Empowerment, Dignified Life for All and creating an society driven by Aspiration. In this context, the growing sense of awareness on political and social issues has contributed towards enhancing the self-esteem of the people and restored their faith in the Indian political system.

Over the last four years; while on one hand, the expectations of the people from this government and its leader has risen, on the other hand, the involvement and engagement of the people has also simultaneously increased. One of the biggest achievements of the Modi government is its success in reaching out to all sections of the society across the country by forging a comprehensive political dialogue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, through his inclusive policies and schemes, reached out to the weakest sections of Indian society. By launching and implementing schemes like Jan-Dhan, Ujjwala and Ujaala, the government has established itself as a pro-poor government, committed towards making concerted efforts to integrate and include marginalized communities into the mainstream and to uplift their social and economic status in the long run by encouraging financial inclusion and entrepreneurship spirit among the weakest sections of our society. Moreover, the active involvement of the citizenry in government campaigns like Yoga Day and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan demonstrates the widespread support and popularity for the policies implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. At the same time, by addressing the issue of increasing participation of women in the Armed Forces, a favourable atmosphere has been created for prioritizing and empowering women by making them active players in the public decision-making processes. The democratic spirit of India has been further entrenched through this enhanced, comprehensive participation of common people across different strata. The ‘Mann Ki Baat’ initiative by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he frequently discusses his views and suggestions on a wide variety of issues; ranging from career advice to the youth, rural development, farmers, school students facing exam stress, women’s safety and mental health issues; has played an instrumental role in strengthening the channels of effective communication and dialogue in contemporary Indian politics. The manner in which Indian languages have been effectively used by the PM on various occasions at the global level has served to enhanced the self-confidence of the country’s rural youth residing in remote, far-away areas.

Concisely examining the milestones achieved by Modi government, it is clear that firstly, the public participation in political and social matters has been comprehensively expanded to include all the sections of society. Secondly, the government has implemented its decisions and schemes in a time-bound manner and completed the targets of its schemes within their stipulated time. Some of its decisions were quite bold, especially the economic ones, thereby sometimes making them unpopular too, but with the passage of time, many reputed national and international analysts have come to agree that those very decisions have considerably strengthened and stabilized the Indian economy. The fact that the government has managed to build consensus on major reforms like the GST and the Bankruptcy Law demonstrates its commitment to bring economic empowerment and reduce economic disparity among different sections of the society. Thirdly, ending the longstanding policy paralysis within the bureaucratic and executive departments of policymakers is another significant achievement by this government that will immensely benefit the country in the long-run by inculcating transparent, efficient and accountable practices to ensure fast and effective policies. The government’s success in putting good governance at the centre of the country’s political discussions is a another major milestone.

The Union government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in equitable empowerment and so a string of policies, decisions and schemes of this government have been launched with the primary aim of socially and economically uplifting the minorities and the marginalised sections of our society. By granting constitutional status to the OBC Commission, bringing out laws against Triple Talaq for the protection of rights of Muslim women, establishing a National Irrigation Fund for farmers, strengthening the SC/ST Act through amendments, raising the paid maternity leave duration for working women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks and ensuring legal delivery of services to the poor through Aadhaar, this government has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to tackle the widespread social and economic disparity in India through good governance, social and financial inclusion and public participation based on democratic principles. Unfortunately, the Opposition parties have targeted the Central government and its policies during every state Assembly election, but ironically they lost every time because the people of the country have quite well understood the Congress’ politics of convenience and manipulation.
On the foreign policy front, India’s credibility and position within the international community has significantly increased under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. By inviting the Heads of States of the SAARC countries to his swearing-in ceremony as the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi explicitly demonstrated his intention of following favourable bilateral relations within his broader foreign policy approach. It also led to sending out the message of a strong leadership in Asia by a resurging India. This message is now expanding out of Asia and reaching out to the whole world and it has become explicitly visible on several global platforms that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is now emerging as a strong country. The inaugural speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January this year from the World Economic Forum summit in Davos in the presence of the heads of States of several prominent countries reflects the acceptance of India’s existing leadership at the global level by the international community. The clear perspective that emerged from Prime Minister Modi’s speech on an issue of international significance like Climate Change, explicitly demonstrated to the international community that India is fully competent to lead the world on any global issue. Furthermore, India currently maintains favourable relations with nearly all the countries of the world. With respect to Asia, inviting the ASEAN leaders to the Republic Day celebrations of this year, Prime Minister Modi asserted India’s position as a leader in Asia. The BRICS Summit also further embedded India’s renewed global influence in the world. Thus, it would be apt to say that Indian Foreign Policy under the leadership of PM Modi is gaining new heights with Modi emerging as an influential player in world politics.

(The writer is BJP National General Secretary and MP)