From day one Mr Modi’s victory brought a new sense of optimism and pride amongst Indians. Their confidence touched new heights not seen in decades. Their morale and confidence was felt across the world especially amongst the huge Indian diaspora scattered in over 150 countries of the world…Dr Rami Ranger, Chairman of London-based Sun Mark Group, analyses the first year of Modi government for Asian Lite, Britain’s Best newspaper for British Asians
The last Indian election surprised everyone just as the recent one in Britain. No one could imagine in their wildest imagination that the BJP would be victorious let alone with an absolute majority like the Conservative win in the UK.
Both elections caught pollsters and pundits by surprise. They had predicted hung Parliaments in both the countries with no party enjoying an absolute majority. The electorate proved them wrong on both occasions. We can safely say that both victories are the result of the charismatic leadership of Mr Modi in India and Mr Cameron in the UK. It just goes to prove leadership can not only capture the imagination of the public but also galvanise voters to vote, especially those who are reluctant voters.
From day one Mr Modi’s victory brought a new sense of optimism and pride amongst Indians. Their confidence touched new heights not seen in decades. Their morale and confidence was felt across the world especially amongst the huge Indian diaspora scattered in over 150 countries of the world. Modi mania has created confidence, respectability and pride in Indians about their culture, civilization and capability. Indians all over the world feel that they are now second to none. Mr Modi is reaching out to the NRIs to develop the Indian economy as never before. This is a sign of a great pragmatic leader who understands that India’s strength lies in every Indian, everywhere in the world.
In the first year the Modi Govt. has demonstrated that it is an outward looking government wishing to play an important role on the global stage. Soon after taking office, Mr Modi visited numerous countries from tiny ones in the Indian ocean to giants like Canada, USA, Germany, China, Japan and so on to connect with the people and governments of those countries as well as to infuse pride in the Indian population settled there in numbers. The effect has proved electric.
The world is looking to India as a partner capable of playing an important role in global politics to bring economic stability and also growth. Mr Modi has already signed an agreement with China worth $22 billion. South Korea has pledged $10 billion for infrastructure projects in India. Japan will invest $35 billion over the period of five years.
On the defence and economic front, Mr Modi is getting 36 Rafael jet fighters from France, 3000 metric tons of uranium from Canada and 500 tons of uranium from Australia. Russia has agreed to build ten more nuclear reactors in India. America will supply India with an aircraft carrier equipped with the most modern state of the art missile guidance system. India and Israel in partnership will build the most advanced anti-warship missiles. As a result, soon India will be a great military giant in the world. India is already the biggest buyers of arms in the world. Mr Modi is particularly keen to bolster India’s defence with $8 billion set aside for construction of warships.
There will be six nuclear submarines for the Indian Navy to combat the influence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean. In view of the increased threat from Pakistan, a new naval base named after Sardar Patel near Porbandar in Gujarat has been planned to strengthen surveillance and security apparatus in the region. In addition to it, India is developing Agni 6 missile and ICBM guidance system like China against warships and submarines. BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles have been given to Indian army to counter the Chinese in the North and North East of India. These missiles have the capability to hit targets hidden behind mountains.
In addition to that India is developing two new Islands in the Indian Ocean from a military point of view. This demonstrates Mr Modi’s commitment to make India self-reliant in defence.
Mr Modi has also offered 115 million people to have bank accounts for the first time to give the poor of India the sense of pride and belonging to the financial systems of the wider world. Three Mega Life Insurance and Pension Projects have been set in motion to give the poor of India more financial security. In order to tackle corruption, a digital revolution is set to take place to make bureaucrats more transparent and accountable.
The “Make in India” campaign is aimed at making India a manufacturing hub, bring billions of dollars in investment and make India self-sufficient in the field of manufacturing. As a result, India’s economy is projected to grow at 7.6% this year and 7.7% in 2016 overtaking China. Indian foreign reserves now stand at over 330 billion dollars.
The Modi Government is building roads in the Himalayas and connecting the extreme ends of India. It has pledged to increase investment in the railways and air travel network. This is followed up with numerous infrastructure projects to build a sound foundation for the growth of the country for the longer term. Mr Modi has identified that for India to have a stable future it must have solid base for the increase in economic and industrial activity.
I hope the next year will be dedicated to empowering people in India by providing them with improved electricity, clean water and as Mr Modi has promised, toilets and improved sanitation facilities without which there will be a hampering of growth and it will be bound to become more strained with the growing economy. By reducing red tape, the Prime Minister will also reduce corruption which stems from having too much interference from the bureaucrats. Import-export rules must be made user friendly where people can build international trading businesses to create wealth and employment in India.
In the field of education, Indian universities should be encouraged to forge strategic alliances with similar institutions in developed countries to keep Indian students abreast of what is going on in the rest of the world. Further investment in the education structure will make more Indians literate and able to compete with the rest of the world.
Prime minister Modi has set ambitious objectives of vaccinating ever more children and adults against crippling diseases and has espoused the importance of prevention being better than cure. The task ahead is a huge one but I am optimistic that in Prime Minister Modi India has the right leader who will change it and the psyche of Indians for good.