Vijay K. Saluja
Being in Singapore since last week of April, I could not closely follow the full `Election Tamasha` on various TV Channels of India & in the newspapers which emerge from India. But, I did watch one Channel[Zee] here which did continue with the hour to hour stories about the election-trails, beamed panel discussions, extensively covered the tours of the main candidate-Narinder Modi & of course some other candidates too.Rahul Gandhi lagged much behind in the coverage time?Perhaps coverage was directly proportional to the distance traveled & the rallies addressed by these two candidates.The candidates of AAP Party who monopolized the TV time during Delhi-elections were hardly covered by this Channel!This Channel like any other channel in India can not be faulted for being discriminating. One has to perform, be credible in their promises to the electorate & be on the right track of governance.
The mail English newspapers here in Singapore-The STRAITS TIMES & TODAY since the announcement of the election results carried the news with prominent head-lines like
Opposition BJP sweeps to power by landslide margin
Modi`s landslide sweeps away India`s old order
Modi`s faces massive task to meet India`s soaring expectations
Narendra Modi-India`s Man of the Moment
The crux of the news-reports was that it was an impressive campaign by Mr Modi who focused mostly on the right issues & was successful in casting the elections as a referendum on who could deliver jobs, govt services & economic growth-himself or Rahul Gandhi & his Congress Party.The fact that Modi`s BJP has won an unprecedented landslide victory is a clear pointer to Indian`s hunger for positive change ie effective & good governance & thus efficiency in covering implementation-deficit gaps after years of policy drift & mega-scams!
A tea-seller going to occupy the top-most post of the executive –the prime-minister of the world`s largest democracy-India inhabitated by 1250 millions people of diverse & multiple castes ,races,religion,economic backgrounds speaking various languages is a strong statement about the ROBUST election system in the vibrant democracy ie India, of the World. Modi`s win is to a great extent is also a victory for merit over privilege as was commented in one of the newspaper.
How should Modi go about & start his inning?
It is a fact that the expectations of the citizens especially the common man have been raised by many announcements by Mr Modi in his various election rallies which he addressed in almost all parts of the country.Bringing expectations in line with reality will be as big a test as making progress where he can.But given the will I am sure he possesses to improve things in various sectors , he will lay down policies in line with the set goals to be achievable in realistic terms.Being experienced already in the state-craft & governance, he & his well chosen team will set out in a properly drawn manner to achieve various set targets in a time bound manner.Certainly,I am sure the team will not commit serious mistakes nay blunders committed by AAP party after Delhi elections?
To mention a few priorities-our cities- the engines of growth & their attendant infrastructure are in a big mess. One of the priority could be to lay special emphasis on improving local governance. Skilling of local officials & elected representatives- MPS, MLAs, Corporators is very imperative.A neglected area so far?!How can one expect optimum utilization of LAD funds unless the elected representatives are aware of many intricacies of execution of projects vis a vis the need of the community?!
In rural areas, the same is needed for sarpanches, gram- pradhans & other panchayat members. Skilling will also help in tackling various issues emerging out of land-acquisition, project execution involvement of community etc etc,too.
Corruption is another priority area which needs the urgent attention of the new dispensation.How to take various measures so that the common man is not troubled by the scourge of governance will be another challenging task .
Lifting the economy out of the morass of self interests & unshackling it from the clutches of cronies is/will be another area which will need active & aggressive engagement by Mr Modi.
Several of the states will be run by political rivals.Like any leader winning clear mandate & decimating the Congress-the political party in power for most of the years since independence may tempt Mr Modi to steamroll the political opponents views.It would be better to practice amiabilty, find common grounds & as well use their strengths to buttress economy & social fabric..
He has started the INNING in a brilliant way-inviting 8 Heads of States to the oath taking ceremony was a master stroke in diplomacy. Setting up of SIT, in the 1st Cabinet Meeting , itself is sending right signals about the clear intentions of the new Government.
Profile- achievements of Mr. Vijay K. Saluja
· Director Giraffe Heroes India Program
· Senior Fellow Institute of Social Sciences-New Delhi www.issin.org
· Ex Chief Engineer[civil] New Delhi Municipal Council
· Ex President, IIT Delhi Alumni Association
· Red & White Bravery Awardee-2002
· Giraffe Hero-2004 www.giraffe.org
· Nominee-`Delhi Citizen One Award`, instituted by `India Today Group`
· Honoured by Technology Alumni Association of IIT Kharagpur[2012-2013]
· Idea Daredevil Awardee