The other day , while I was standing in a queue outside an ATM, an intense discussion began to take shape. The queue was though not very long , yet people decided to make the best use of the time by having a political review of the country, and this seemed to be best place where one was forced to analyze the political situation of the country. Someone raised the issue of national anthem, while a gentleman from UP seemed to be intoxicated about the upcoming elections in his state. The person standing in front of me was very sympathetic about L k Advani, and he totally wanted to be with the BJP patriarch to share his pain and anguish over the disruption of the houses in the winter session. At this very moment, a housewife informed the group that the ATM machine was dispensing 500 rupee notes and was quite ecstatic about it. People suddenly forgot all other subjects, and the wind at once moved towards currency notes and demonetization. We all joined in the discussion as if a popular song had been played by the DJ and everyone seemed to know the perfect dance steps of the hit number. Comments began to pour in and by and large people said that the things had improved considerably than what they were in the beginning of the demonetization process. I incited the participants by telling,” But the opposition doesn’t seem to be comfortable with all this?”
An elderly gentleman, who held a large bag full of potatoes and vegetables said,” When the elephant walks, the street dogs bark, but no one dares to challenge it.” I got the analogy, but it was made clear when a gentleman said,” It’s Modi versus the rest. And Modi doesn’t give a damn to these yellings. The Badshah does what he likes!”
The house wife added,” No body has any problem, except for the people who have crores in their houses. They are the ones who seem to be the most upset.”
A sales executive who had come straight from his office, spit out the load of gutkha in his mouth and said,” This all is a drama from the opposition. Rahul Gandhi comes in a car and then joins with the people in a queue outside ATMs to express his sympathies. He is a real pappu who doesn’t know what else to do”
The conversation went one till my turn came , but the discussion was quite lively and it reflected the feelings of the common man. One thing seemed to be very clear, that the common man was quite comfortable contrary to what the media and the channels showed. Secondly, people had their trust, confidence and faith intact over their prime minister Shri Narendra Modi, which ought to be because demonetization has been one of the boldest decisions taken by any government so far. Regarding Narendra Modi one can say that, today the situation is surely like him against the all in Indian Political scenario. It’s like one Tendulkar and the all bowlers in the world; or Big B towering over all actors during his legendary days, or the Mighty Arjuna versus the rest in the Mahabharata war. But let us take a pause, let us for a while keep aside the analogies and logically understand the situation. It is beyond doubt that our prime minister is one of the best orators in the world today who can silence the best of the demagogues. He knows how to present his facts systematically, with all the gift of the gab. He is one of the rare who can make a connect with the man in the street in a very simple language without being jargonic. His rhetorics seem to please everyone which includes even his staunch critics, and the most important thing is that he is a man who has got all the facts and figures on his finger tips. And yes, he has action plans ready without being theoretical unlike most of the politicians, and this is what the country needs today, that is , execution and implementation without being preachy and didactic. He sounds very practical in whatever urges he makes to his people. The 21st century India needs a man who is tech savvy, digitally upgraded equipped with the know how about the best use of technology and science, and truly all these make up our prime minister, and these qualities have been with him since the days he had been the CM of Gujarat. He knows what he preaches, he has already tried his hands on whatever he suggests and is well informed and versed with the latest updates of the technology world.
I do want to stress upon the importance of a constructive opposition, which unfortunately though is absent today. The role of the opposition lies in maintaining a balance between the ‘should’ and the ‘should nots’ of the ruling party, to work upon the limitations of the government and also to see whether the right policies are framed as per the needs of the citizens. The current opposition , first of all, is not united; and in every eventful situation we can see different factions of the opposition. But the most important issue is the absence of an outstanding personality of caliber , a leader who can hold the opposition together; someone who is a great speaker and win the debates in the houses or silence the ruling party. Needless too say, this kind of persona or skills is absent in RaGa, or Didi, and for that matter any other leader in the opposition. An imaginative situation can be talked here to understand this . For that matter, if this demonetization had been introduced by any other party or government, Modi would have ripped apart the government by his rhetorics and debating abilities, and the ruling party would have been forced to withdraw this programme.
This I do not state to undermine the importance of the demonetization programme. This is surely a revolutionary step towards the cleansing of the things, and at least some benefits are bound to happen in the long term on account of this. At this point of time, things are a bit hazy. It’s like the dust hanging in the air due to a strong storm and the picture would be clear only once the dust settles down. Believe this or not, the problems on account of demonetization are not in that proportion as they are exaggerated by the opposition and the media. And even if they are, things are improving day by day; and surely in the days to come, things would be better. The Modi government’s performance and grip over political reality are debatable matters. But those worried about Indian democracy should worry about the fact that the credibility of all alternative poles of opposition is plummeting even faster. The BJP may be trapped by its inflated claims and ideological leanings. But the sheer self-destructive pettiness and parochialism of the other parties is making it likely that the BJP’s failings will not be challenged by a credible Opposition, but by an outbreak of infantilism, where each alternative leader seems to get smaller by the day.
Ever since the Narendra Modi government came to power, the cabal of Mainstream media and Opposition parties led by Congress backed by the Anti-Modi lobby has consistently tried to paint everything done in India black. Every achievement has been run down. Every initiative undertaken ridiculed. The main aim of the government is not to be there and run up the bills on the money of the tax payers – but to govern! And the best governance is when there is minimal government but efficient in its work. And that is a major metric by which any government should be evaluated. How many Ministers are used and what output they give for their effort?
Let us look at this metric. Modi government has 65 Ministers compared to Dr. Manmohan Singh’s 2nd Ministry with 80. That’s 20% less. The work obviously has been more – which we shall see later. But here is a visual of the Minimum government and Maximum governance.
This has the obvious cost savings.
The difference of 25 ministers would immediately relieve at least 375 government officials, employed as personal staff of these ministers.
The estimated amount of money saved by each minister would be around Rs one crore every year and thus 25 ministers would save Rs 25 crore every year compounding to Rs125 crore in five years. The breakdown of the annual Rs one crore saving would be more than Rs 65 lakh withdrawn as salary of 15 employees, Rs six lakh allowances minister gets from the government under different clauses. And around Rs 25 lakhs he would get as part of the salaries and other benefits. Rest of the amount for his miscellaneous expenses.
This piece in any way is not to endorse and promote any political party or a particular leader, but to state the state of things; the way they are and to logically analyze the situation, which by any standards would be the same if done in a pragmatic and lawful manner.