India’s history on track
The turnaround happened thanks to honest, hard-working and strong leadership
Eight years ago, India’s history seemed on the verge of being forgotten. Large-scale corruption, frequent terrorist attacks and a fragile economy have clouded the future of a billion people. India’s world ranking was in freefall. It was a time when Indian citizens were losing faith in government and institutions.
At this critical moment, Narendra Modi took the reins and revived the collective spirit of the nation. Since then, India has gone through unprecedented challenges and each time it has risen above them, setting new golden standards of good governance for the world to follow. Whether it is managing a global pandemic, fighting terrorism or rescuing citizens from the most hostile situations on foreign soil, the Modi government has taken the lead.
In fact, an overview of the past eight years would tell us how nimble and responsive the government has been to the people, especially in times of crisis. During the global pandemic, when multiple lockdowns disrupted people’s lives, especially the poor, the Modi government ensured that no one went hungry.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, announced in March 2020, more than 80 million people received 5 kilograms of food grain free of charge per month. The extra free grain exceeds the National Food Security Act (NFSA) quota at a heavily subsidized rate of Rs 2-3 per kg. According to an IMF working paper, the PMGKAY was found to have helped keep the percentage of extreme poverty at the lowest level, i.e. less than 1%, during the pandemic year. 2020-21. Even though the pandemic was sudden, the government’s response was anything but arbitrary. At all levels, the Modi government was picking up the groundwork it had already done in the years before the pandemic. For example, the digital push provided by JAM Trinity has proven to be a powerful tool in delivering human services to
the last mile.
The vaccination campaign in India was systematic, transparent and rapid. Within months, the entire adult population received a double dose of Covid vaccines, free of charge, accelerating the pace of establishment of normality. Its resounding success can be attributed to the technology-driven governance that has been the mainstay of the Modi era.
Just as the pandemic waned, the world was faced with the Russian-Ukrainian war. Thousands of Indian students found themselves stuck in the middle of a war situation. The Modi government, without delay, mobilized all resources and leveraged India’s relations with Russia and Ukraine to carry out one of the most delicate and important rescue operations. Prime Minister Modi sent central government ministers to Ukraine’s borders to ensure the rescue operation is expedited, as the war sought to escalate.
It was thanks to the government’s swift response that 22,500 Indian students were able to return safely and reunite with their families. Over the past 8 years, several large scale evacuations including Vande Bharat Mission, Operation Rahat have taken place and each time the Government of India has stood alongside its citizens like a rock no matter no matter how serious the circumstances. Despite consecutive disruptions, first caused by the pandemic and then by the Russian-Ukrainian war, India has maintained its position as the most attractive investment destination. In 2021-2022, foreign direct investment inflows reached a record high of $83.57 billion, with the manufacturing sector recording the highest foreign capital inflows. There is a 23% growth in FDI inflows post Covid, showing increased global confidence in India’s growth story. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, India continues to be the fastest growing economy in the world.
The turnaround from being among the fragile five to being among the most attractive investment destinations, over the past eight years, has come about through honest, hard-working and grounded leadership that has worked with the motto of “Nation first of all”. It is a sentiment that is also reflected in Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy. India under him is increasingly seen as a voice of reason, stability and strength that has always stood for the global good, without compromising the welfare of its people.
From Jan Dhan to Ayushman Bharat, from Prime Minister Kisan to Prime Minister Awas, from Swachh Bharat to Jal Jeevan, the philosophy of “Sabka Saath, Sabha Vikas, Sabka Prayaas” as proposed by Prime Minister Modi remains the underlying force of India’s transformation. If there’s one emotion that could sum up the last eight years of Modi’s rule, it would be the ‘spirit of seva’, or complete devotion to the welfare of the people. More importantly, it is the restoration of the trust that people now have in the government and the power of Indian democracy that has been the biggest victory since 2014.
(The author is MP and former Chairman of BJP, Delhi. Statements are personal)