Dear Aakar Patel,
I am a Modi voter, and I will try and answer some of the questions you put to me yesterday (A few questions for the Modi voter).
First a little bit about myself, just to clear your apparent misconceptions about who I am. I am one of the 167.5 million Indians who voted for BJP / NDA, primarily to see Modi become the prime minister. Contrary to what you seem to believe, I am neither a half witted moron swayed by media hyped rhetoric, nor an ultra right wing zealot blinded by jingoism. I am a reasonably well educated, discerning, liberal moderate. My primary concern is neither supremacy of one religion over the other, nor the imposition of any particular ideology. What I want is a peaceful, prosperous future for myself, my family, and by extension, the country. You can read the logic of why I chose Modi over other choices here.
Your questions now. You claim to already know the answer to your own first question “how it is going?”, so I won’t labor on that for the time being. Though I hope you do modify your presumed answer by the time I finish. Your next questions are whether “I am happy”, and “is it better now”. You go ahead and assume that my answer is No, and even claim to know how I am feeling now. It’s a bit presumptuous, and frankly, a little irritating. It gets worse when you go on from being a mind reader to a seer, with an even more presumptuous forecast how things are going to pan out over the next five years. While I don’t have the gift of divining the future that you seem to possess, I would like to set you right about the first part of your presumptions. I AM happy, and things ARE better now.
Contrary to your assumption, I did not expect Modi to wave a magic wand and bring about utopia. What I did expect was for him to work earnestly and pragmatically towards taking us towards a better state of affairs. And in that I am not disappointed with what he has done in the past six months.
I agree with you when you say that our culture is responsible for our lot, though I disagree when you absolve the politicians of any responsibility. You may have heard – ‘Yatha raja, tatha praja’. The change in culture can be brought about with initiatives from the top.
You mock expectations of ending the culture of ‘entitlement’. As a commuter in Delhi’s maddening traffic, I am happy that an efforts are being made to ensure that VVIP movement does not add to our woes. It’s a refreshing change from the time when a poor commoner was booked for daring to overtake cavalcade of the then first son-in-law. Another indicator of the changing culture is that fewer ministers and more officials are being cleared for trips abroad. I see these instances as positive attempts to change the culture.
With regard to Swach Bharat you say it is not the government’s job to effect behavioural changes. I agree to some extent. It’s not their job, but if we want it done, someone has to do it. What’s wrong if they are trying. Besides, I see the government doing what IS it’s job – ensuring that the people responsible for cleaning up are made accountable for doing their job. Boards like the one in the image below being put up are a step in this direction. Now if I find my area dirty, I know whom I can call up. So I wouldn’t grudge Mr Modi or his people a few ‘photo ops’ as long as they are also accompanied by concrete actions, which they seem to be.
I am also happy that this government has started affecting a positive change in the working culture amongst the babus. I am delighted that not only has Modi ensured that babus come to office on time, but is also monitoring timely clearance of files through e-Samiksha.
We have seen governments in the past 67 years announce scheme after scheme, and we all know where we stand on implementation. So if this government can improve the record on implementation by ensuring accountability of babus, I’m sure the outcome wouldn’t be as dismal as you seem to think.
So I AM happy. I am happy that things finally seem to be moving in the right direction. And while there may not be an overnight magical transformation, I am hopeful that if the momentum is sustained for five years, we will certainly see our lots improve. Of course there would be hiccups and setbacks. Like the shenanigans of fringe elements that the media and opposition seem to be delighting in. If this report is to be believed, then such roadblocks will also be dealt with swiftly.
For my own sake, and of course for yours, I hope that I am proved right and you wrong. Else, we all stand to lose.