The much touted slogan of “acche din aane wale hain” continues to elude the Narendra Modi government on completing three years in office on Friday, May 26, 2017. The focus on development through “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” has been poor. It has also been found lacking on the human development front.
The Centre has geared up for a fortnight long publicity blitzkrieg with ministers and BJP leaders travelling all over the country outlining the policy successes and vision in the run up to the next general elections in 2019.
Modi himself will set the ball rolling from Guwahati in Assam far away from the national capital where it is in power for the first time. Needless to say all the encomiums will be for Modi and Modi alone.
The BJP led NDA has struggled to achieve success on crucial development spheres like farmer incomes and job creation. Modi has demonetised high currency notes in an effort to clean the system. Economists are divided on its merit besides the confusion and suffering it caused to the poor.
A confident Modi laid the opposition low and rode to power in 2014 on the theme of development for all. For the first time the Lotus party formed in 1980 secured a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha. In the last three decades no single party crossed the magic figure of 272 for a simple majority in the 543-member House of the people.
Modi’s decisiveness is not in doubt though he cannot be singled out as the only Head of Government having that quality. Initially, the catchy slogan of “aache din aane wale hain” caught the imagination of the people but after a year-and-a-half it started irritating the people as none of the multitude of promises made during the 2014 election campaign was nowhere near fruition.
The BJP is on a high after its stunning victory in the recent assembly elections in crucial Uttar Pradesh.
The Prime Minister’s dream of transforming India as the ‘skills capital of the world’ Â generating adequate jobs in the process Â seems to have run out of steam. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in its report expressed serious concern about the huge shortage of “qualified trainers”. It recommended reorientation of the programme to “concentrate on quality of training” and focus on the twin objectives of meeting skills required by industry and employment of the youth. Other reports suggest that less than 12% of those trained under Skill India programme got jobs.
This shows that the promise of massive job creation has been largely belied. Modi has had to undertake a delicate balancing act with the RSS which as BJP’s mentor wants to establish a Hindu Rastra. This is irrespective of what the Constitution might say.
On his part Modi has assured going strictly by the provisions of the Constitution in ensuring the rights of every citizen.
The increasing incidents of intolerance in various parts of the country is a matter of serious concern. Wanton lynching of people to death by alleged gau rakshaks in different parts of the country including the crucial state of UP where the BJP won a stunning victory recently, is causing palpable fear and insecurity not only among the minority Muslims but the Dalits as well.
Taking strong exception to rising intolerance in the country, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Lawlessness aided and abetted by the state has become the new India of today.
There is intolerance galore which has become the new normal with innocents being targeted, he added.
Last Sunday the national capital witnessed a gathering of the apolitical Dalit force under the umbrella of the Bhim Army led by a young lawyer Chandrasekhar which has disowned Mayawati and her BSP.
They were protesting the excesses against them by the upper castes which was on the rise in Uttar Pradesh after Yogi Adityanath became the chief minister. Saharanpur had witnessed the third eruption of Dalit rage amid an open pursuit of majoritarian politics.
Apart from the Muslims the Dalits are seeking the cooperation of the Yadavs, Valmikis and other OBCs as they see a common adversary in the upper caste led BJP.
Consequently, BJP ruled states are becoming unsafe to live following cow vigilante groups attacking people mercilessly for transporting cows and buffaloes even with valid papers. The law and order machinery is vary of coming down hard against these so called vigilantes.
The discriminating believe the RSS might be living in a different world altogether. It wants to implement its three point agenda of building a Ram temple, having a uniform civil code and abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution according special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Being from the RSS stock, can Modi side step the mentor as evidenced during his chief ministership of Gujarat. That might be a difficult proposition as RSS activists have been made chief ministers in the states where the BJP has won assembly elections since it regained power at the Centre three years back.
This is being viewed as outflanking the Prime Minister by hardliners along with the RSS keeping a close watch on Modi. It assumes significance with the BJP strong man keen on making a determined bid for a second consecutive term as Prime Minister.
Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee remained free from the RSS calling the shots.
This was because the 26-party disparate coalition of the NDA with the BJP in the vanguard from 1999-2004 had adopted an agenda of governance which scrupulously steered clear of the RSS agenda.
( T R Ramachandran is senior journalist and commentator. The views are personal.)