Modi: Fabricated Fame, Flawed Governance
By Suhail Qasim Mir *
With the completion of 200 days in office on 14th Dec, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has been able to send swivels across the spines of people. The Modi wave is on. He has been able to win himself a very prestigious position in the hearts of people. But the overwhelming response of people towards Modi regime is deeply flawed. The fame and fondness which Modi has earned is purely on basis of an image which he is selling for himself. This image describes him as an able, progressive, competent and forward looking leader. However, on ground he is far off from the attributes he likes to adorn himself with. He has prudently found out the ways to conquer the psyche of people.
The star campaigns launched by the Prime Minister include the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Make in India and Digital India Campaign. All these campaigns have different objectives yet they have something in common. Guess what? All of them are good enough to contain people psychologically and induce a mass mobilization. A lot of publicity has been done to bring these endeavours into limelight which has helped Modi to create a grandeur image of himself in the public space. There is nothing new about these campaigns; in fact they have been in place already. Congress had initiated Nirmal Bharat Campaign in 2000 to end the menace of open defecation in country which now Swachh Bharat is going to address. Similarly, Jan Dhan Yojna isn’t something very novel but there are already many financial inclusion initiatives in place to bring more people into financial arena. Same goes with Make in India and Digital India Campaign. All Narendra Modi has done is renamed the endeavours and re-launched them in his own name.
Narendra Modi may not have been a student of Marketing Management but he seems to be quite aware about the‘Positioning’ strategy, whereby marketers attempt to occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer. Modi has been quite successful in creating a favourable image for himself which has made him everyone’s beloved. On ground, however, Modi represents another tale of a failed leader in bringing out any real change in India. From lending a shoulder to nourish capitalism in the country by overlooking the poor to suspending bilateral talks with Pakistan and now slashing the healthcare budget for 2014-2015 by nearly 20%, Modi has depicted a profound political immaturity.
Among other appallingthings done, the BJP government has been handy in creating a pervasive communal frenzy atmosphere in the country. From Love Jihad drama to the recent Conversions, Muslims in the country have been worst victims of BJP’s Hindu Nationalist ideology. The awful communal statements of the Saffron Party leaders will go a long way to distort the image of India globally. The foreign investors would refrain from investing in a communally upset country and that would be a major setback to Modi’s Makein India Campaign.
The premier manifesto of BJP during the parliamentary elections was to bring back the black money stashed abroad, but that still continues to be a promise only. In fact the party backtracked from its statement by saying "We are not so immature to say we will bring back entire black money in 100 days”. That speaks volumes about the accountability and transparency of Modi government.
Namo has been travelling ever since he came to the office, has been making speeches on international platforms. But what good are his speeches when the condition of women in India continues to be pathetic. Each single day there unfold horrendous stories of rape and persecution. As per National Crime Records Bureau a woman is raped in Indiaafter every 20 minutes. How far has been Modi government able to contain this menace?
India is infested with a plethora of problems. We rank 142 worldwide in per capita GDP, 135 in Human Development Index, 94 in Global Corruption Perception Index, 71 in World Competitive Index and so forth. We have the highest percentage of people who defecate in the open. I do not know where we rank in the killing of female foetuses. Whatever measure one chooses to look at, India’s condition is miserable.
It is essential for the Prime Minister to move beyond the speeches and photo-ops and do some real work for the country. Being on Television all the time may have helped him to be a popular figure but that is not going to solve the problems of country. For the dream of Prosperous India to come true, it is important for our PM to stop being a poster boy and act categorically. Let his actions create him the Brand-Modi, rather than he attempting to create one for himself in media.
* Suhail Qasim Mir, MBA graduate from CMS, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.