Friday, 22 March 2019

What TINA Voters Will Never Accept About Modi

During the general elections in 2014, several of our friends told us that they will be voting for Modi due to the TINA factor. TINA stands for there is no alternative. It didn't matter to them that Modi had proven himself beyond doubt by transforming Gujarat. Gujarat before Modi was a state with high crime rates, where women feared getting out of their houses post 8PM, where farmers were suffering, where jobs were few, infrastructure was average at best. Like the rest of the country corruption was rampant, electricity supply was erratic & investments weren't as high as desired . In the 13 odd years that he served as Gujarat CM, he transformed it into an industrious, prosperous state with low crime rate, surplus electricity, farmers who made good money off their produce & low corruption levels. Gujarat went on to top ease of business, FDI rankings. Modi utilized technology to bring about this transformation, which was hitherto unheard of among Indian politicians.



But despite Modi's efforts, he did have his share of detractors. His detractors claimed that Modi often exaggerated his achievements. The fact that major corporations, industrialists, rating agencies, analysts spoke highly of Modi, was immaterial. Sadly, quite a few people bought into some of the fake stories spread about Modi's work & claimed to vote for Modi only because of the TINA factor.

In the 5 years that Modi has been the country's PM, he has brought in a host of reforms which resulted in improved rankings in ease of doing business, great advances in infrastructure, high GDP growth, zero terrorism related incidents outside of J&K. The Balakot air strikes were the proverbial icing on the cake. He didn't shy away from bringing in politically "risky" reforms like GST & demonetization. These two reforms hurt his core voter base, but he stuck true to his pre-poll promise of eradicating black money & corruption. But instead of idolizing him, several voters continue to point out his flaws & claim to be forced to vote for Modi due to the TINA factor.

We compare PM Modi to his rivals & analyze whether acceding that TINA being the reason for voting for PM Modi does justice to his efforts

Corruption

While the opposition has been crying hoarse about the Rafale deal being a scam, truth is that no one is buying it. There are corruption charges filed by a authentic body against PM Modi or his ministers. PM Modi continues to enjoy a squeaky clean image.

Each & every dynast of the Gandhi family had several corruption charges filed against them. Rahul & Sonia Gandhi too are out on bail in the National Herald scam case. Priyanka Gandhi's husband Robert Vadra is mirred in several cases which point towards a land scam. Mayawati had several corruption cases lodged against her after her stint as the CM of UP. Akhilesh Yadav's government too was considered to be a den of corruption. The less said about DMK, the better. Mamata Bannerjee is party to the Saradha scam, which rocked West Bengal. N. Chandrababu Naidu -  another CM who used technology to transform his state was named in the cash for votes scandal. The less said about politicians like Sharad Pawar, Lalu Yadav etc the better. Truth is most of the politicians entered politics with the sole purpose of making money.

PM Modi - who gave up worldly pleasures for the sake of  serving the nation came as a breath of fresh air. He has no family to make money for & is known to pay for several expenses from his own pocket. Several industrialists too claim that corruption in upper levels of government has vanished. Corruption is a parameter where   PM Modi towers above the rest.

Performance

Never in India's history has a PM brought in such wide ranging reforms in a span of 5 years. PM Modi worked like a CEO, listing out his goals to his ministers & then following up on it on a regular basis. In the first few weeks after he took over the reins, he brought in biometric attendance into central government offices. Gone were the days, when central government employees would stroll into their office at 11AM, followed by tea. They would resume work at 11.30AM, only to break again for lunch at 1PM. Lunch would be a royal spread ordered from hotels nearby. Post resuming work at 2PM, they would leave early for Golf at 4PM. Thanks to the biometric attendance system they were forced to report to work at 9AM & stay in office till end of the day. He made the bureaucrats too adhere to a similar work ethic. This resulted in several projects getting completed in record time & significant improvement in the lives of Indians, especially the poor.

Rahul Gandhi never made the news for his development work & reforms in Amethi. His surname remains his only claim to fame. No international agency or industrialist has been heard raving about Mamata Bannerjee for her development work. Despite being in power for 3 terms, there is no marked development in WB. The same holds true for 4 time Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik as well. While CM Chandrababu Naidu has been credited with marked improvement in AP, he is still not considered to be on par with PM Modi. How else do you explain him staying out of power for 10 long years? UP was a lawless, BIMARU state under Mayawati & Akhilesh. The Congress governments in Karnataka, Punjab aren't noteworthy either. While CM Amarinder Singh is well respected, he isn't considered to a visionary leader. The newly formed Congress government in MP, Rajasthan are in the news mainly for their scams rather than any development.

To give you some perspective, Modi's Gujarat model of development was making national news right from his 1st term. During his second term, he became a cult figure for the people of Gujarat. The impact of his development agenda was felt by the labourers from UP & Bihar, who were migrating to Gujarat for jobs. These very labourers used to sing paeans about Modi's work when they used to go back home. That explains Modi's popularity in UP & Bihar, before he even started campaigning there. By the time he won a third term, Modi was already a pan India leader.

Risk Taking Ability

PM Modi is not averse to taking risks, if he is convinced that it would benefit the nation. When it comes to taking risks & backing issues PM Modi not only trumps his current rivals but also his predecessors.

Both Manmohan Singh & A.B Vajpayee were rather soft on Pakistan. While Indians were seething with rage over MMS not attacking Pakistan post the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, Vajpayee too is guilty of succumbing to pressure & handing over Masood Azhar. None of the Congress governments of the past can boast about making incremental reforms for the sake of the economy, apart from liberalization. We won't be surprised if the politically inexperienced Rahul Gandhi turns out to be risk averse if he becomes the PM. The same holds true for Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu & Naveen Patnaik. While Mamata Didi may be open to taking risks, one can rest assured that dissenting voices will be "silenced" if she comes to power. Mamata Didi is known to have gotten several BJP workers killed in West Bengal. One can imagine what will happen to democracy if a maniac like her becomes the PM.

PM Modi's several diplomatic visits has led to Pakistan getting isolated across the globe & being forced to beg for financial aid. One had to admit that neither his predecessors nor his current rivals had it in them to order the surgical strikes, despite knowing that Pakistan is a nuclear armed state. PM Modi conducted internal surgical strikes too via demonetization & GST.

Truth is that PM Modi has raised the bar for future politicians. Whenever a politician is compared to him, he/she comes across as woefully short of PM Modi's stature. He is truly unmatched when compared to his peers. It is not TINA, but his exemplary achievements in such a short time span make him stand head & heels above the rest. We would request Modi critics who are claiming to be going to vote for him owing to the TINA factor, to give PM Modi credit for his good work & give hope to several visionary leaders of the future. 

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