Clearing up India is not as
easy as it may seem.
With a broom and the will to clean up the streets and neighborhoods across India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the country’s biggest ever cleanliness drive in October last year – a campaign that he claimed was free from politics and inspired by patriotism. Known as the ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India) mission, the campaign was expected to cost over Rs. 62, 000 crores and has captured the imagination of the average Indian citizen since the Prime Minister has promised to make India trash-free by 2019. In fact, at the launch of this ambitious program, the prime minister himself wielded a broom and cleaned the roads.
Critics, however, say that Modi appears to be taking credit for a drive that was actually initiated by the previous governments. This so-called ‘war’ on dirty streets was launched way before the Modi government came into power, they say. Debunking criticism that his government has been taking credit for every achievement, the Prime Minister has categorically acknowledged the efforts of all previous governments to make India clean.
Much like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral, Modi nominated nine prominent public personalities — including Bollywood stars — who had to nominate nine more to contribute to the campaign, thus making it a pyramid scheme of sorts. The Indian media had a field day since the TRP (target rating point)-hungry TV channels gave maximum coverage to actors, cricketers, celebrities, and corporate leaders cleaning roads and