ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF

India Today - - NEWS -

Aserved his al­liance well. Its rating is 71 per cent, up from a fad­ing 48 per cent in the Au­gust 2016 MOTN poll. But the PM would do well to lis­ten to the la­tent anx­i­eties of his peo­ple—un­em­ploy­ment and cor­rup­tion re­main ma­jor con­cerns, fol­lowed by cash crunch and price rise. The peo­ple of In­dia have tremen­dous pa­tience, but they need more than fine speeches and good in­ten­tions to keep their faith in him. The PM has rad­i­cally al­tered the po­lit­i­cal land­scape with his over­whelm­ing per­son­al­ity for now. The re­sults of the forth­com­ing state elec­tions will be a vin­di­ca­tion or other­wise of his unique style of lead­er­ship.

On another note, dear reader, you have in your hands a rein­vented in­dia to­day. We live in a time where we are flooded with in­for­ma­tion 24x7 from any­one, any­where and at any­time, but it re­mains im­por­tant to know what is sig­nif­i­cant and what is the truth. In all the noise that sur­rounds us, truth has al­most be­come an en­dan­gered species. in­dia to­day has al­ways striven to get you the truth with­out any agen­das and pro­vide you an un­der­stand­ing on is­sues that re­ally mat­ter. In keep­ing with the chang­ing times, in­dia to­day has been re-en­vis­aged to en­hance not only its core val­ues of clar­ity, cred­i­bil­ity and rel­e­vance but also pro­vide you with a daz­zling va­ri­ety of finely-cu­rated in­for­ma­tion and fea­tures. As you are a think­ing In­dian and an im­por­tant part of the conversations hap­pen­ing in In­dia, I be­lieve, in­dia to­day will re­main a must-read for you. Happy read­ing. ll politi­cians come to power promis­ing hope—whether it is Barack Obama who pledged Yes We Can, Don­ald Trump who wants to Make Amer­ica Great Again or Naren­dra Modi who spoke of achhe din. How­ever, de­liv­er­ing on prom­ises is eas­ier said than done. It re­quires con­vic­tion, au­dac­ity and courage. The re­spon­dents to our bian­nual Mood of the Na­tion (MOTN) poll have un­der­stood this to mean be­ing “un­afraid of tak­ing risks”, and have rated it as the prime min­is­ter’s strong­est char­ac­ter­is­tic; it man­i­fested it­self in the sur­gi­cal strikes against Pak­istan as well as in de­mon­eti­sa­tion. There is a spate of good news for Modi— he is con­sid­ered the best prime min­is­ter so far, dis­plac­ing both Indira Gandhi and A.B. Va­j­payee; two-thirds of the re­spon­dents be­lieve he is best suited to lead the na­tion. And the rul­ing NDA’s vote share, should the coun­try go to polls right now, is 42 per cent, get­ting them a po­ten­tial 360 seats, more than the num­ber that swept them to power.

What’s more, the pop­u­lar­ity gap be­tween him and his near­est ri­val is enor­mous; Rahul Gandhi scores a measly 10 per cent against Modi’s 65. Yet, the re­spon­dents are not blinded by their en­dorse­ment of Modi’s poli­cies. Over half of them be­lieve de­mon­eti­sa­tion was poorly im­ple­mented, caus­ing more pain than gain. Clearly, half­way into his term, the PM has es­tab­lished a di­rect, deeply emo­tive rap­port with the peo­ple, some­times urg­ing them to sav­age him at a pub­lic square if he fails and at other times re­mind­ing them of his out­sider sta­tus, the ‘fakir’ who needs not even a minute’s no­tice to aban­don the trap­pings of power. He has con­vinced them of his brand of ‘ashawadi’ (hope­ful) pol­i­tics and a reimag­ined In­dia.

Modi’s Ac­tion Hero im­age has

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