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Why Vision 2047 Truly Defines PM Modi’s Two Decades In Public Life

He made the BJP the pivot of national politics and redefined good governance with the last mile delivery of various government schemes bearing his signature stamp.

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On October 7, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed twenty years in office. After two decades in office, first as Gujarat Chief Minister, and then as the Prime Minister for the last seven years, PM Modi is easily the most popular, credible leader in the country. He made the BJP the pivot of national politics and redefined good governance with the last mile delivery of various government schemes bearing his signature stamp.

A lot has already been written about the PM’s two decades in office. The most comprehensive assessment of Modi’s public life was made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, first in an interview to Sansad TV, then in a conference titled “Delivering Democracy: Two Decades of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Head of Government”. In his talk, Shah said, the Modi Model of governance promoted “all-encompassing and all-inclusive development”. “The scope of development should be such that it is all-encompassing, and the reach of development should be such that it is all-inclusive,” the Union Home Affairs, and Cooperation Minister said, highlighting the defining feature of Modi’s governance.

A typical family at the grassroots level in an Indian village today, which has experienced the Modi model of governance, would probably have the family matriarch as the house owner; would have an electrified pucca house; would have a toilet at home; and would have an LPG cylinder in the kitchen. Such beneficiaries of the government’s good governance cut across caste, religious, regional, ethnic boundaries.

When quality of life improves and ease of living is ensured, democracy is deepened, human freedoms are strengthened, and aspirations take a quantum leap. The grassroots changes in the hinterland, thus, mark the dawn of a New India. During his Gujarat years, the Modi model of governance gave rise to a “neo-middle class”. It would be interesting to map the emergence of a neo-middle class nationally – the millions among the poorest who have benefitted from multiple government welfare measures.

The Modi years at the Centre in the last seven years have given rise to a new era, in what has been described as the dawn of New India, and the emergence of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Some random examples defining the new era could be a) the complete integration of Kashmir with the Indian Union, post scrapping of Article 370; b) a paradigm shift in how aspirational India now looks at jobs and employment, entrepreneurship and wealth creation; c) a new-found respect for India and its cultural traditions and civilizational moorings, across the world; d) the ability of Team India to rise to any challenge, like in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While all politicians are pre-occupied by immediate challenges, PM Modi, in his Independence Day speech laid down a blueprint for the next twenty-five years. He said: “There comes a time in the development journey of every country where the country redefines afresh and pushes forward with new resolutions… Starting from here, the entire journey of the next 25 years, when we celebrate the centenary of Indian independence, marks the Amrit period of creation of a New India. The fulfilment of our resolutions in this Amrit period will take us to the hundredth anniversary of Indian independence with pride”.

Indeed, multiple government initiatives at the Centre are now inspired by the idea to make India stronger, more prosperous, more inclusive and equal and more democratic, in what would be a fitting tribute to India and its people when the nation turns 100 in 2047.

If one were to summarise Modi’s two decades in office, three distinct trends would surely stand out.

First, and easily the most obvious one, is the fact that there are very few who can match PM Modi’s people connect. Be it Paralympians, or soldiers on a Diwali afternoon, or voters in an election-bound constituency, or Covid warriors in India’s war against the virus, PM’s impact on the people is instant and long-term. His interactions with stakeholders on the ground have informed many policy initiatives.

The second characteristic of PM Modi’s governance, since his Gujarat days, has been Innovation, and the ability to tackle even the most complex situation with some out-of-the-box thinking. CM Modi, for instance, was the first to set up a department of Climate Change. To give another example, in 2009, CM Modi launched the Chief Minister’s Fellowship Programme for the youth to steer development and impact society. The initiative was emulated by many other state governments. The Covid vaccination drive has hailed as an example of Indian innovation and resolve, across the world.

The third characteristic of PM Modi’s governance is his futuristic vision, and his focus on long-term changes. Vision 2047 is a good example.

In a nation that spends disproportionate time and energy on allegations and counter-allegations, and is often busy and preoccupied with local to state to national elections, any conversation on long-term challenges, and any initiative to secure the nation’s future and future generations should be welcomed. With his Independence-Day speech focussing on “Amrit Kaal” and the agenda for the next 25 years, PM Modi has clearly set the agenda.

In his Independence-Day speech this year, he said: “I believe that in 2047.. whoever will be the Prime Minister… he or she shall be chronicling those accomplishments in his speech about which the country has taken a vow today…”

One way to further strengthen Vision 2047 could be to have a cadre of Vision 2047 Fellows, drawn from all over the country, much like the Chief Minister’s Fellows that Gujarat, under CM Modi, had.

When India soars high – democratically, socially, economically and militarily, when a $ 5 trillion economy turns into a $ 10 trillion economy, when the child of the poorest, most disadvantaged Indian has the same privileges and rights that the child of the rich and the powerful has, when India leads global discourse on issues ranging from Democracy to Climate Justice, New India would have succeeded. PM Modi would then be known for ushering a revolution that made India unstoppable.

(The writer, a JNU alumnus, is a political analyst. Views are personal)