Modi started with a bang ! No, I don’t mean here BJP’s and NDA,s spectacular performance in 2014 elections under his leadership, but the way Government started functioning under his leadership. A few of his initiatives I readily recall are
(1) He made it clear to all the ministries that he would be periodically reviewing their performance and that the concerned minister would be expected to give a crisp power point presentation clearly highlighting pluses and minuses.
(2) Much before the formal launch of Swachch Bharat campaign, his sudden unannounced visits to Government hospitals created panic in the ranks and files of hospital administrations, leading to an immediate and unprecedented improvement in the hygiene conditions.
(3) Ditto his unannounced barging into Government offices and Ministries to check punctuality and cleanliness that shook a reclusive bureaucracy, galvanising it into action!
(4) His decision to personally review large, stuck up infrastructure projects provided a ray of hope to these mega projects in which billions of public fund was invested and whose going on stream would have provided much needed impetus to the country’s economy.
(5) He brought in fresh faces in Maharashtra , Haryana and Jharkhand and even UP and Uttarakhand. These choices were purely meritorious and above narrow political considerations of caste and creed.
(6) Of course, his social initiatives such as Swachch Bharat were like whiff of fresh air as hitherto no PM had talked about such basic stuff. His regular broadcast thru Mann Ki Baat and active use of social media, especially Twitter, connected him to citizenry like no one before him.
(7) His overseas visits received overwhelming response not only from governments of those countries but Indian diaspora settled there and India’s prestige seemed to have touched an unprecedented height.
In all, acche din promised by him appeared to be reality and then it all started – love jihad, beef ban, Demonetisation, GST ( it’s ill conceived implementation), fall out with allies (TDP and Shiv Sena in particular), Kashmir situation etc. and all those dreams started getting shattered. Ironically, he still seems the best bet and the General mood seems to be in favour of giving him a second term. But can he bring about the change that he promised and glimpses of which we saw early into his tenure? Can he practice Raj dharma of the highest order that is non-discriminatory and non divisive? And above all, can he get another chance? My view is that Indian electorate is now matured enough to decide whatever is best for them and their motherland and no politician should ever dare take them for granted!