One month, hundred days, six months, nine months, a year, two year… it has become customary to talk the talk and walk the walk through the agendas and missions of every Prime Minister. We highlight the success, the lows. We evaluate the achievements, the disappointments. We discuss new beginnings, and mock the endings of old. Every move and action is dissected and diluted such to print a chapter in the book of the Prime Minister. And the frenzy continues. Today, Narendra Modi completes six months in office. Ever since he has logged in as the Prime Minister, he has been the talk of the town. We just can’t get enough of Modi. Keeping up with Modi has become the new obsession. And, rightly so. A Prime Minister who refuses to sleep, or let anyone else, has been hyper active every second of everyday.
In the six months time, Modi has continued to work at a scorching pace, harping on the right tune, speaking out with the grandiloquent language of his vision. He continues to enjoy the popularity among the masses. His popularity rating from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from New York to Sydney continues to be high. If India had the concept of approval ratings, Modi after six months in office would have a staggering 90% (if not more, maybe). But, if we assess Modi and his period with his predecessors, Modi has scored no brownie points. History tells us that when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, in his first six months in office, the Pokharan II nuclear tests were conducted. Even P. V. Narasimha Rao and his man Manmohan Singh within six month at office brought in the economic reform with their historical budget. So, if one compares or pits against these achievements, what has our ‘rockstar’ PM achieved?
The instant answer would be a strong nothing. But, there is always a but. Narendra Modi and his party came into power when India was stumbling. The greatest pitfall that we were facing as a nation was the absence of a strong face. A leadership. There was a vacuum. The need of the hour was filling that monstrous appetite for a tangible, a significant strength of personality.
And this is what Narendra Modi has done in his first 180 days. He has given India a shape, a personality, a vision. With his starched kurta, rock solid demeanour, enigmatic personality, Modi has given India strong leadership with clear evidence of its convictions. Such has been the dominance of his personality, that Obama called him a ‘man of action’ at their recent interaction in Myanmar.
From being known as a controversial leader of India just over a year ago, Modi has undoubtedly become a ‘rockstar’ global icon. In a very short time, Modi has become a key player in global geopolitics. Striking up a rapport with Obama, Xi Jiping, bromancing with Abbot, and Abe, clamoring warm ties with the leaders of countries as diverse as Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar, Modi has been on an international roll. So much so that Modi is a forefront contender for TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” in race with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and ahead of Obama, Alibaba, Kim Kardashian and the likes.
Modi in his 180 days has undoubtedly sketched a grandiose picture of a magnificent India. With glitzy promises of Make in India, Swach Bharat, Digital India, Jan Dhan Yojna, the promise to retrieve the black money, he has managed to build a strong brand of India, nationally and internationally. This has got the country, the countrymen, both at India and abroad excited. Solely based on promises, and devoid of any concrete action, people of the country are satisfied. Some even supremely happy with how lives have changed for them for betterment. They applaud him for lowering the fuel prices. They laud him for the falling inflation. They are so mesmerized and captivated by Modi, they attribute these changes to Modi Magic. They feel and believe that the acche din is almost here. They don’t see that the changes that have come are thanks to international factors. They are brimming with hope. It is the same hope which got the BJP the key two states under their belt. And with the same Modi and his charisma, they are fighting to win the state of Jharkhand and open a handsome account in J&K. Such was the void in India and among Indians, that they continue to be enamoured and enthralled by their Pradhan Sevak.
And just like you cannot judge a film by its trailer, we cannot judge Modi and his sarkar in six months time. It’s premature to expect any visible outcome or any full-blown action in the first six months of a new government.
We have the picture up. The outline is rock solid. What remains are the colours to be filled. Modi has a lot of time, and clearly destiny continues to side him. We need to give Modi more time. The economic, foreign and social promises that Modi is making now can only be judged in four years time. He has got the jargon rolling, which was missing for long.