On 10th of August 2023, Honorable Prime Minsiter of Bharat Shri Narendra Modi thundered “21st century is about fulfilling every Indian’s aspiration” in the Lok Sabha. No leader in Independent India’s history has echoed the sentiments, feelings, pains and aspirations for growth and betterment.
This has been the cornerstone of Modi’s policy making for nearly a decade gone-by which has seen Modi at the helm of Bharat’s affairs both in domestic and world stage. If there has been one individual who has democratised politics from family-owned subsidy model of owning a political party, shifted the measure of performance from mere photo-ops & announcements to substantial delivery of governance, been the centre of criticism for unapologetic Bharatiya values, it is him, the man – Narendra Damordas Modi.
In the world's largest democracy, Bharat, Narendra Modi has emerged as a towering figure in recent years. His tenure as Prime Minister, which began in May 2014, has been marked by transformative policies, economic reforms, and a vision for a stronger, more self-reliant Bharat and most importantly the emphasis on cultural nationalism – a distinct shift from earlier regimes that were characterised by apologetic mindset. This article covers Narendra Modi's leadership, highlighting his achievements, his emphasis on Cultural Nationalism and the impact he has had on the nation.
Decade of Transforming India
Economic Reforms and Development
Under Narendra Modi's leadership, Bharat has witnessed substantial economic reforms and growth. Initiatives like "Make in India" and "Digital India" have promoted entrepreneurship, innovation, and the growth of the manufacturing sector. The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) streamlined taxation and improved ease of doing business. Digital India helped progress digital payments through Unified Payments Interface or UPI. In August 2023, UPI-based payments in Bharat achieved a milestone by surpassing 10 billion monthly transactions for the first time with a net transaction value of Rs 15.18 trillion, as reported by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
The government has prioritized infrastructure development, with massive investments in building roads, railways, ports, and airports. The "Smart Cities" initiative aims to create modern urban centers that offer a high quality of life for citizens. Highway construction is happening at a scorching pace of around 40Km / day as compared to around 3 Km / day in earlier regimes.
The "Jan Dhan Yojana" has led to record numbers of previously unbanked individuals gaining access to financial services. The "Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana" has provided loans to small entrepreneurs, promoting financial inclusion and job creation. Harnessing the power of the JAM trinity - Jan Dhan bank accounts, Aadhaar, and Mobile - to revolutionize financial inclusion in India. Every month, nearly 10 billion transactions take place on UPI. More than 45% of the global real time payments happen in Bharat. Direct Benefits Transfer of government support is plugging leakages, and has saved over 33 billion dollars. The total number of Jan Dhan accounts have crossed 50 crore as on August 9, 2023, nine years since the scheme was launched in August 2014.
The "Ayushman Bharat" scheme, one of the world's largest healthcare programs, aims to provide financial protection and quality healthcare to millions of vulnerable families. It has already made a positive impact on the lives of countless Indians.
Clean India Campaign
The "Swachh Bharat Abhiyan" has led to significant progress in improving sanitation and hygiene across the country. Millions of toilets have been built, reducing open defecation, and improving public health. 109 Million Toilets were built in rural India since the launch of Swachh Bharat in October 2014, translating to 95.2% rural population having toilet access – this data is as of February 2022.
Foreign Policy, Diplomacy & G20 Presidency
Narendra Modi's diplomatic efforts have strengthened Bharat's global standing. His interactions with world leaders have deepened ties with key nations, leading to increased foreign investment and collaboration. India’s G20 presidency in 2023 has been an inspiration to all through the philosophy of Vasudeiva Kudumbam or One Earth – One Family – One Future. Narendra Modi through Bharat’s G20 Presidency has offered the world the much-needed thought leadership and laid the foundation for constructive and peaceful co-existence of nations through consensus building, dialogue and finding common ground.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Modi's leadership was evident in the swift implementation of measures to protect public health. Initiatives like "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" supported the economy during these challenging times. Vaccine rollout through Co-Win – a real-time digital framework for vaccine delivery has been applauded and implemented by many countries across the world. As you read this article the live vaccination data in the country would have crossed 2,20,67,42,902 doses – a staggering achievement considering how once black marketing and hoarding featured governance delivery.
Defending National Security
The government has taken a strong stance on national security, with decisive action against terrorism and efforts to modernize the armed forces.
The International Solar Alliance, launched by Modi, aims to promote clean and sustainable energy solutions. Bharat has also made significant commitments to combat climate change.
Initiatives like "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" and "Ujjwala Yojana" have empowered women by promoting education, health, and financial independence. PM Ujjwala Yojana – aims at providing clean cooking fuel (LPG) to underprivileged households improving domestic health and has benefitted 10.35 crore individuals.
Narendra Modi And Cultural Nationalism
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of Bharat, has been associated with the concept of cultural nationalism during his tenure. Cultural nationalism emphasizes the preservation and promotion of a nation's cultural identity, heritage, and values. Here are some key aspects of Modi's approach to cultural nationalism:
1. Promotion of Indian Culture: Narendra Modi's government has actively promoted Indian culture on both national and international stages. This includes celebrating traditional festivals, organizing cultural events, and showcasing Bharat's rich heritage.
2. Reviving Traditional Practices: Initiatives like "Yoga Day" and "International Day of Ayurveda" have been promoted globally, emphasizing Bharat's ancient practices and traditions. These efforts have contributed to the resurgence of traditional Indian knowledge systems.
3. Heritage Conservation: Modi's administration has shown a commitment to preserving and restoring historical and cultural sites, such as temples, monuments, and heritage cities.
4. Language and Education: The promotion of Indian languages and education in traditional Indian knowledge systems is a part of the cultural nationalism. Efforts have been made to expand the use of native local languages, emphasis on learning in mother tongue and to revitalize Indian script languages. National Education Policy 2020 emphasises accountability and transparency at every level of the education system through a structured framework.
5. Promotion of Traditional Attire: Modi himself is often seen wearing traditional Indian clothing, and his government has encouraged the use of traditional attire in various official and cultural events and active promotion and revival of Khadi. To put things in perspective from 01st April 2022 to 31st January 2023, KVIC (Khadi & Village Industries Commission) produced a total of 77887.97 Cr, sold 108571.84 Cr and created 1.72 Cr employment.
6. National Symbols and Values: The emphasis on national symbols, such as the Indian flag and the national anthem, has been notable. Additionally, Modi has often invoked nationalistic values and unity in his speeches.
7. Support for the Arts: The government has supported various forms of art, including classical music and dance, to ensure that these art forms continue to thrive.
8. Promotion of Indian Cuisine: Indian cuisine has been promoted internationally through events showcasing the diversity and richness of Indian food.
It's important to note that cultural nationalism has been a great unifying force for a diverse country like Bharat. Cultural Nationalism coupled with Transformative policy making specifically targeting poverty alleviation through development have put Bharat on a Transformative path.
Narendra Modi's leadership has been marked by a clear vision for Bharat 's future and a commitment to improving the lives of its citizens. While his tenure has seen numerous achievements, challenges remain, given the legacy which he inherited in 2014. However, there is no denying that he has left an indelible mark on Bharat 's development trajectory. As Bharat continues to grow and evolve, the leadership of Narendra Modi will undoubtedly be a significant part of its history.
Grandson, Husband and Father of Two, S Jaganathan - is the Founder of The Verandah Club. Convenor INTACH Coimbatore Chapter. He is an avid traveller, interested in trendspotting and a firm believer in the philosophy - Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah.
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