The Modi I Know

The PM thinks big and is an in­sti­tu­tion builder par ex­cel­lence

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - AN EPIPHANY OF IDEAS - Amit Shah

In the week gone by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in­ter­acted with lakhs of Asha, An­gan­wadi and ANM work­ers. These are grass­roots health work­ers whose ef­forts im­pact a wide cross-sec­tion of so­ci­ety, es­pe­cially the poor and those liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas. Apart from his in­spir­ing words to them com­mend­ing their yeo­man ser­vice to so­ci­ety, he also an­nounced an in­crease in their hon­o­rar­ium. Along with im­prov­ing their qual­ity of life, it will also mo­ti­vate them to per­form their cru­cial roles even bet­ter.

Very of­ten the PM reaches out to sec­tions of so­ci­ety who are un­sung he­roes through his mo­bile app, let­ting them know they are most val­ued and their work is pre­cious in na­tion build­ing. Apart from health work­ers, he re­cently reached out to teach­ers thank­ing them for their con­tri­bu­tions to so­ci­ety.

This is one ster­ling qual­ity I have ob­served in Modi right from the ear­li­est time I got the op­por­tu­nity to work with him. Ev­ery­one in the or­gan­i­sa­tion or gov­ern­ment, per­form­ing any kind of role, would be per­son­ally en­cour­aged by him and made to feel spe­cial. This qual­ity of recog­nis­ing the im­por­tance of ser­vice and more im­por­tantly re­spect­ing those who put in their ef­fort to serve oth­ers, is ex­em­plary. This also shows his own spirit of ser­vice; ev­ery mo­ment he wants to be in­volved in mak­ing In­dia a bet­ter place.

It is also the mark of an ex­cel­lent or­gan­i­sa­tion and in­sti­tu­tion builder. Or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­sti­tu­tions are, at the end of the day, manned by peo­ple who put their shared vi­sion above in­di­vid­ual in­ter­ests. Such sac­ri­fices, when recog­nised by peo­ple of stature, only make an or­gan­i­sa­tion stronger by boost­ing morale.

He was also some­one with great at­ten­tion to de­tail. For ex­am­ple, in many of our pro­grammes, there would be a lamp light­ing cer­e­mony with which the pro­gramme would start. The cot­ton wicks used in lamps, if im­mersed in ghee be­fore­hand, get lit im­me­di­ately when a guest tries to light them. How­ever, if the same wick is dry, it takes a lit­tle longer. He would take care that even such minu­tiae were in place. Later, in the first decade of the 2000s he be­came the chief min­is­ter of Gu­jarat and marked him­self out as an ex­cel­lent ad­min­is­tra­tor, which oth­ers in the Gu­jarat gov­ern­ment im­bibed from him.

Modi has al­ways been very par­tic­u­lar about law and or­der. He be­lieves in fair­ness and jus­tice, and en­cour­aged us to sim­ply work as per law with­out fear or favour. His abil­ity to think big and im­ple­ment it on the ground is ex­em­plary. He had a vi­sion of a bank ac­count for ev­ery house­hold. Ac­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion flowed out of that vi­sion and more than 32 crore bank ac­counts have been opened un­der Jan Dhan Yo­jana. Hav­ing seen smoke filled kitchens first-hand, he wanted to en­sure smoke free lives for poor women. What fol­lowed was more than 5 crore free LPG haven for black money or the amend­ment of Pre­ven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act to con­fis­cate prop­erty equiv­a­lent of money stashed abroad, be it bring­ing the Fugi­tive Eco­nomic Of­fend­ers Act or de­mon­eti­sa­tion or the end­ing of in­ter­views for some gov­ern­ment jobs, an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive for, and sup­port­ive of, hon­esty is be­ing built around us.

Atalji was also a leader who sim­i­larly put the na­tion on the path of growth through mul­ti­ple in­sti­tu­tional re­forms that breathed life into our econ­omy. Roads, tele­com, ed­u­ca­tion, jobs, the econ­omy over­all took off thanks to his ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship. BJP came to be known as the party of good gov­er­nance and party with a dif­fer­ence.

Sim­i­larly, even un­der Modi’s lead­er­ship ru­ral roads are be­ing built at twice the pace, high­ways are be­ing built at more than dou­ble the pace than was the norm be­fore. Elec­tric­ity is reach­ing poor house­holds and so is LPG; toi­lets are be­ing built in crores of homes to boost ac­cess to safe san­i­ta­tion and a bat­tle against mal­nu­tri­tion has been launched. The huge health­care game changer – Ayushman Bharat – has also been ini­ti­ated.

Such de­vel­op­ment is not hap­pen­ing in just one or two states or re­gions but in the whole of In­dia. Con­sider the fact that some states in the north-east have been con­nected by rail for the first time ever. For the first time, al­most ev­ery house­hold in In­dia has a bank ac­count. This is a par­a­digm shift in gov­er­nance that has also brought great good­will and trust for BJP. When peo­ple speak of BJP be­ing an ‘elec­tion ma­chine’, it is ac­tu­ally de­vel­op­ment and progress that is BJP’s elec­toral ma­chine.

The PM has helped BJP be­come a force even in re­gions where the party used to have a cur­sory pres­ence, for ex­am­ple in the north-east. If BJP and its al­lies have been cho­sen by the peo­ple in state af­ter state across re­gions, it is due to the good gov­er­nance that Modi has suc­cess­fully im­ple­mented and the ‘can do’ spirit of New In­dia that he res­onates.

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