Kanchan Banerjee Posts
Modi is ‘the man of the moment’. ‘Landslide’ and ‘Tsunami’ are the two most frequently used words to describe the victory of Modi-led NDA or BJP - in the historical Indian 2014 elections. It’s historical not just for India, but for the world.
‘Democracy’ in the modern sense, is the victory of majority opinion. America is the oldest democratic state in modern era and India is the largest. Many people know that the % of Indian voters, who exercise their power in the ballot box are among the highest in the world. Also, India has the largest number of eligible voters - 814 million, out of which 550 million (67%) people exercised their duties. This data is something that India can take pride in.
However, the most important factors in this election are as follows:
There was no sympathy vote (like the death of Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi), but a ‘faith’ vote for Mr. Modi.
Most pundits said that this election was going to divide the electorate – they factored too much on the boogey of communalism which people of India abandoned long back, yet political and media gurus with self-interest kept on parroting in vain. In a way, Modi was imaged as a pariah. Finally, the ‘real’ Modi - Modi the humanitarian, Modi the leader, Modi the patriot, Modi, the ‘servant’ of people will be revealed!
Even within BJP there were some who were not Modi fans nor supporters! Actually, many did not believe in his possible success.
No other land in the world is so diverse like India.
No other land in the world has such extremities, especially in terms of basic needs of life. The largest number of poor, illiterate and malnourished people live in India, a fallacy created by past governments, especially the ones lead by the Congress Party. Yet, the largest number of youth in one single country with so much potential, almost gave up all hopes; suddenly hope finds a place in all hearts, even among the doubting Thomas’s!
Yet, this election demolished the artificial vote-politics’ divides - using caste, creed, jati, regionalism and religion.
Modi has proven that democracy represents all people of a nation, and not just any particular party or alliance.
‘Good days are here’ – if this oft used optimistic slogan is to become true, then there are few post-election indications. The very first thing is, Modi has set a non-partisan message – every MP represents 1.25 billion people, does not matter which political party he belongs to, is ready to work with them all. He also has said that India will move ahead by the cooperative work of the Center and the Chief Ministers - as a team.
India has given so much to the world, never invaded any country, yet gave historically the maximum price for its own people and humanity. Invasions after invasions destroyed much of its physical greatness. The British rule gave the final blow to India’s economy - by increasing her poverty, ridiculed her heritage; ‘divide and rule’ was established as norm and much of her wealth was taken away after the destruction of indigenous industries, ultimately creating a divided, weakened India, establishing an education system that was to create ‘clerks’ and loyal sepoys for the ruling class. That realization which worried many in India during the first few years of Independence, slowly evaporated in last 67 years.
After a long gap, India finally has a leader who has roots in the soil, who breathes the real air of India and bathes in the ever-flowing sacred waters of India. He knows the pulse of India – what it is today and what it ought to become.
There are four key factors that are identified in the so called ‘Democracy Index’.
"Whether national elections are free and fair". India has proven this time and should get full marks.
"The security of voters". Except a few pockets, like the state of West Bengal – India has scored very high as well.
The other two factors were in question during past government(s): "The influence of foreign powers on government" & "The capability of the civil servants to implement policies". It is to be seen how India proves its mettle in these two areas. It is indeed possible that India will succeed under the leadership of Modi!
Those who doubted Modi’s goal of 272+, even some of his followers, will now believe more in his intuition, judgment, leadership and statesmanship. India has not seen a man for long, who can actually promise and deliver. Though he has not promised specific deliverables – he has promised some things which are pre-conditions to any definitive, realistic and measurable goals: ‘Good governance’, the best majdoor (dedicated servant for the nation) and chowkidar (watchdog and custodian of the people) India can have: Shri NarendraModi.
Therein lies the chance of ‘hope’ to become ‘real’....
In the post-independence history of India there have been few ‘departing’ events which had great impact. These ‘turning points’ have affected the fortunes of the country.
With the death of the guardian of nation’s conscience – Mahatma Gandhi, came the first turning point. The Mahatma gave absolute power to Jawaharlal Nehru (who was not a Gandhian at heart) and the country got steered into a direction which is seen by many today, to be the wrong path to development. An era of true statesmanship and undiluted patriotism in civil society ended with the death of Sardar Patel, the true designer of modern India. With the passing of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the era of daring political astuteness was over. Yes, Smt Indira Gandhi dared to bring Sikkim within Indian boundaries and, also destroyed the backbone of Pakistan by helping to create independent Bangladesh. Her death marked the end of an era of absolute power politics; it ushered in freedom issues and also marked the beginning of an era of financial greed in politics.
But, there are few leaders since then, who made huge difference to India. Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia and Narasimha Rao. Much hope was pinned on Rajiv Gandhi, but India did not embark on the road to true progress. Atal Bihari Vajpayee dared to conduct the nuclear tests, despite threats and then created the much-needed highway network and infrastructure-related development work. But, unfortunately, the past ten years is simply a tale of non-governance, scandals and scams - to benefit the elite political classes and associates.
India has been waiting for a leader, who would show that India is indeed ‘shining’. A leader who would utter the words of Swami Vivekananda - “Hero, take courage, be proud that you are an Indian”, a leader who would say in pride, " I am an Indian, every Indian is my brother," and that " the ignorant Indian, the poor Indian, the Brahman Indian, the Pariah Indian, is my brother.” The world started to look at India after his 1893 Chicago speech. India needs to grab the spotlight again, for the right reasons.
Then, hope sprung as another name entered the arena – Arvind Kejriwal, who made a Gandhi-like effort to fight the corrupt polity and politicians. Kejriwal and his cohorts stole the thunder and became popular by arousing people’s sentiments. But time has revealed that he and his gang are no better than ‘anarchists’ and India deserves much better. His flip-flops on many vital issues have proved that the character of Kejriwal is no match for changing the dark side of India. We are too aware of the ruling party and its leadership. It now seems that even the hope sparked by AAP, needs to be fulfilled by a true national leader.
India is at crossroads today. India needs a leader who can fathom the pain of the poor, deprived, hungry and the downtrodden. India needs a leader who would understand what price rise really means to the ‘aam admi’. India needs a leader who perceives what sustainable development is and yes, the importance of safeguarding her ecosystem. India needs a leader who recognizes what good governance is – where corruption is curbed; someone who can head an efficient government that works for the needs of the people, and not the people in power. India needs a leader who would appreciate what it means to invest in research and development, to make India self-reliant and a global manufacturing hub. A leader who knows how to reposition India and reclaim the role of ‘Jagad Guru’.
So, if it is not Narendra Modi, at this point, then who is it?...
Ideas and knowledge from India have spread across the globe, from time immemorial.
People of Indian origin have traveled across the seven seas for centuries - to share knowledge, expertise and to trade, before the ultimate downfall of India, which happened around 1700s.
Gone are the days when ‘made in India’ was what people desired. Consider this - Alexander the Great’s father King Philip’s grave has many artifacts which came from India. Indian steel and more specifically, the sword made of this steel boasts of being the best quality in the world. Muslin was one of the finest textiles the world had ever seen - a 20-yard by 1-yard piece could pass through a finger ring! Indian ships were the best in the world till the period of European renaissance. So many other goods from India, that were of high demand for rest of the world, cannot be listed here and, so many of those have indeed been forgotten!
When the British colonists came to India, they saw a great opportunity to exploit the people. They destroyed age-old indigenous industries, which were close to man and nature, and replaced them by systems dependent on machines - which sometimes harmed both man and nature.
After the industrial revolution, materials made in Europe became a hall-mark for quality and innovation. German machine tools were the best. Then followed America, Japan and Korea. Who is next in line? Many say China. But the big question is - why not India? What does India lack?
Can India take a challenge to compete with Chinese and Western Multi-nationals in major sectors including oil & gas, manufacturing, technology and health-care industries? Yes, India can and will, only if the right leadership is in place.
India needs visionaries now, to compete globally in every possible field. In science and technology, Indian minds are shining everywhere. Indian businesses also are flourishing on the global scenario. But, where is the vision to position Indian made products globally and compete with global players?
Indian consumers are now getting more used to the global market quality; gone are the days when few could afford ‘foreign’ goods. It is abundantly available in India, now. But, what about the status that goods made in India enjoy? Well – there is a struggle between ‘Indian made’ and ‘foreign made’ goods in India. Will the big Indian manufacturing houses give up?
As we all know, only too well that the population in Europe, America, Japan and many other countries is hitting an age bracket, where they won’t have enough productive man-power left for the near future. Only few countries are really ‘young’ in that sense. And, India is that ‘young’ nation today, which will supply far more man power, than it did when it provided software engineers to the world! A huge exodus of great talent in all fields may occur, in order to meet the man-power demand of the globe. Even China is getting old!
Yet, India’s internal demands are more important. India needs entrepreneurship, skill training and education for opening up jobs of tomorrow. India can provide the needed knowledge, creativity, production and service both to the whole world and for her own needs.
It will need a visionary approach with a definitive mission and true leadership. Rest will fall in place. India awaits a global leader and the re-awakening as a nation.
Sri Aurobindo had predicted that by 2025, India will find its own glorious position in the comity of the nations. But, can things happen automatically? No. All people related to India - in India and outside will have to join hands and contribute - in order to make it truly, proudly ‘made in India’ again in this century!...
Welcome 2014! Welcome India! It’s Homecoming time once again! Excitement kicks off in New Delhi on January 7 with the inauguration of the 12thPravashiBharatiya Divas event. It is indeed, time to celebrate, to rejoice and to get engaged.
In the good old days, people from around the globe flocked to India for both knowledge and wealth. The ancient Indian centres of learning - Universities of Takshashila and Nalanda and travelogues of numerous travelers from Greece, China and Middle East are testimonials of that rich bygone era. Always a safe haven for the world’s persecuted communities – including the Jews, the Persians, the Tibetans and, more recently, the refugees from Bangladesh, fact is that Indians have traveled across the globe sharing knowledge and trading its prime products. In fact, the entire world has been deeply influenced by India – in the knowledge sector, language, culture and so on. Almost everything known to mankind in the area of science, maths, medicine, metaphysics and astronomy came out of India, thus making it a land of bounty, with far-reaching impact.
Even well-known American historian Will Durant admitted: "India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all".
Today, in over 100 countries, people of Indian origin are significantly contributing in all spheres of life, which also includes heads of several states. Millions of so-called ‘indentured laborers’ from India and their children have actually built various nations.
Unity in Diversity – that is the central theme of the Indian civilization. The reason is that globally, it is very unique and has never suppressed any voice. India has more than a dozen and half major languages and thousands of dialects. Each region and state of India has distinct characteristics, which are very hard to find anywhere in the world. Yet, the whole country is united in one idea – India, Bharat. To many, it is motherland, to others it is ‘punyabhoomi’ or sacred land where the Himalayas, the sacred rivers, the sacred pilgrimage places adorn the country and make every dust particle on the Indian soil - sacred. People of varied faiths, following myriad paths have been living together for centuries, along with the atheists. Science and spirituality have co-existed here for millennia by enriching our lives and our civilization, in every possible way.
India welcomes all - the PIOs, the NRIs. The people of India get a chance during the PBD to re-unite, to interact, to share and to create new bonds with others and India.
India is poised to become one of the top global powers with the largest number of young population; and reportedly, will soon be overtaking China in terms of maximum population inhabiting any country. India has many great things to share with the world today, yet it has its own share of challenges. In challenge, lie opportunities. Indian-origin people across the globe must explore these opportunities to make a difference.
PravashiBharatiya Divas is thus the best possible place to make this happen.
We wish you along with all our regular readers, well-wishers and patrons a very prosperous year 2014. Let us keep connecting, exploring and sharing. New Global Indian is your platform and we thank you for being part of this great mission....