3 years

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Artful but with a heart

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Never before has the first three months of a Prime Minister been looked through a multi focal lens
He is going to be here for almost 2000 days, but attention somehow needs to be paid on his ‘first 100 days.’ Everyone has been working furiously to assess the “honeymoon” period of the government that is in power. This time the curiosity is more profound. After all, Narendra Damodardas Modi is just no ordinary Prime Minister. He came into business with big bang pinning on the expectation of delivering aache din. Since assuming the office, he has attracted a class of pontificating pundits from all sides of the political spectrum. Never before has the first three months of a Prime Minister been looked through a multi focal lens. Each one of these varying pundits of different backgrounds are evaluating his office days through their respective lens.

These include the lens of the pessimists, who continue to see him as the polarising figure with varying shades of pink. Then, there are the cynic political analysts whose point of debate continues to thrive on the secularism versus communalism agenda. There is the overarching lens of the international watchers- the media, the economists and the world leaders who have occupied the balcony position of observing silently with a hawkish eye, the every move of the Prime Minister. And then there are the optimists, who could be divided into the two categories. The first kind is of the newbies- the recently turned young Modilings, and the second comprises the oldies, the prominent supporters who have been applauding his personality from get go. The optimists see Modi’s emergence as a new lease of life, applauding his move to abolish the Nehruvian model of socialism.

But these are all the usual, the obvious eyes which have been prying on the journey of all the Prime Minister in duty. And they will continue to do so, it’s their job! But what has been interesting is the continuous monitoring of Prime Minister Modi by the people of India. The nation has been keeping itself up to date with every move of Modi. After all, it is because of their trust in him that he has been elevated from the Chief Minister of a State to the Prime Minister of the country. It is the lens of the people which is therefore of paramount significance; even for Narendra Modi.

But first things first… How do we perceive our Prime Minister? Clearly Modi has created a new myth as a Prime Minister. A Prime Minister who is committed, a no- nonsense doer. We see him as a Prime Minister who is stern, hardworking and likes to keep a close watch on all his Ministers. Undoubtedly, these traits make Modi a different kind of leader. They believe in their Prime Minister and don’t doubt nor question his intentions. His speeches and statements continue to thrill and influence a large majority. More so, what continues to keep Modi popular among the people is his crystal clear vision, his tenacity to be transparent. Modi gave an assurance that his government would provide a people-oriented policy, infrastructure development, inter-ministerial harmony, remove economic bottleneck, and provide stability and sustainability. And Modi in the last three months has been working hard in translating his popularity to real action.

And come next week, he will be completing 100 days in office. There will be the so called Opposition, the media, and the economists - who would be coming out with their report cards. But for Narendra Modi, personally, it will be of no interest. Instead he would be monitoring the social media for the views and opinions of his people. From get go, Modi has projected himself as the nation's leader—the face of the country. He knows what he wants for his nation and what the people of India wants out of him. Modi realised it early during his campaign that his political strength lies with the people, particularly the young and the restless. He has been tailoring his moves in accordance with the aspirations of the new generation of voters. By calling himself the Pradhan Sevak of the country from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day, he created and defined his own Prime Ministeral persona. After all, if Modi's history-making campaign offered hope, the nation's chaiwalla Prime Minister has delivered audacity of his vision of an activist government.

Modi has been more of a social engineer than a guardian of the old welfare state. He has freed himself from the outdated old guard by making maximum governance and minimum government his primary motto. Making a dramatic break from the past he has made his government's priorities based on transparency in governance through e-auction by emphasising on education, health, water, energy and roads. From promising 24x7 electricity for all, to creating a ‘Digital India’ by electronically connecting all the villages in the country to the ambitious project of Clean India, Modi and his sarkar has been on a roll.

Indeed, if the first 100 days of Modi’s term have proved anything, it is that he has assumed a dual leadership role of figurehead and a visionary. And the people of India have been loving the leadership, and the new style of politics which has been in full display.

The new Modi politics has set the foundation for an assertive government at home and has forged a new approach to foreign relations. By trying to get the top bureaucratic layer within his realm of influence, Modi has made prime minister’s office more powerful than his predecessors. Modi is a Prime Minister with a heart of a politician, but a mind of a ruthless businessman. The way he is maneuvering, he could well be documented as a transformational and a transactional leader. And though in these 100 days he might not have taken any landmark decision, he has shown that he is a clever tactician and a skillful master. He has showcased that he has the innate ability, acumen and the sheer adeptness in ‘getting things done’. It might be too early to say anything on Modi's impact on Indian politics but for now, PM Modi has reasons to be pleased that his popularity continues to rise among the people who matter most to him.

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