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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

Modi’s change of mind

Shridhar Rao

The sudden paradigm shift in Prime Minister Narendra Modi seen these days reminds us the old lilting Hindi song of Lata Mangeshkar “Badle badle mere sarkar nazar aate hain” in the Bollywood flick “Chaudvin ka Chand”.

Gone are the days when Modi used to spew venom against Congress party and its leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Now, not only he meets them in a cordial manner, but all of a sudden, started lavishing praises on the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru also.

According to political analysts, it is quite natural for Modi to soften his stance and has become polite at a time when his party, the BJP, suffered a crushing defeat in the recent assembly polls in Bihar and even in the by-election at Ratlam-Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh where the Congress snatched the Lok Sabha seat from the BJP. Though it was a single seat victory, but was a morale booster for the otherwise waning esprit de corps of the Congress.

If the marvellous win by the RJD-JD (U) combine in Bihar prompted its third time Chief Minister in a row, Nitish Kumar, to say that a third political front has come to take on Modi’s BJP pan-India, inspired by the Congress’ victory in Ratlam-Jhabua LS bypoll, the UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav went on further to say that he would like to see his father and SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi deputy Prime Minister of the country.

Though Akhilesh’s remark was dubbed as obiter dictum by both the Congress and the BJP, but it holds water, as the ensuing assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh is not far-off (in early 2017). His party is leaving no stone unturned to retain power in the state and ready to go for any kind of permutation and combination to achieve his goal.

How seriously the SP had viewed the Bihar Assembly polls has become crystal clear with the fact that for the first time, the UP government has declared holiday for all the offices in the state on Chhath, the most pious festival of Bihari Hindus.

The crushing defeat of the BJP in Bihar and New Delhi has thrown coldwater on the morals of BJP which was anxiously hoping to win both the states so as to ensure that there was no problem on the front of showing numbers on the floor of Rajya Sabha while passing important Bills like GST and land reforms.

So, it came as a Hobson’s choice for Modi to become resilient in the hope that the Congress would get moderated and start supporting the BJP while clearing all the Bills which are pending on the floor of Parliament.

There is an adage in Hindi, ‘dhoop mein chaliye halke paaonv’, means, when going gets tough, put your steps very carefully. That is what Modi has been doing these days. He shed his garb of being a dictator politician and wants to mingle with others.

The funny part is that Modi has even not been able to take action against a few rebellious party MPs like Shatrughan Sinha who came out against the party in the open, daring the party high command to take action against them.

Well, the euphoria is over now after completion of a year in office by the new Modi government at the Centre and the people, who had given him once-in-a-generation mandate to rule over the country for five full years, want to see the outcome of the reformist measures taken by him.

Secondly, Modi should understand that in a democratic country, it is his duty to take along the opposition for passage of every important Bill in Parliament. He has already started taking baby steps towards that direction, which has been welcomed even by his sharp critics also.

Yes, Modi has been able to bring in certain amount of foreign capital through his constant foreign trips. But it is not suffice. He has to ensure that this inflow of foreign capital translates into the capex by the country’s corporate houses. Not to mention that except a few, no corporate house is doing any capex at the moment.

Now, time has come for Modi to say a spade a spade. He should talk tough with those who have been shadowing him so far to take corrective steps or face the music. It is essential to have a soul-searching to find out the reasons for the crushing defeat the party had in the two important state assembly polls.

While a number of schemes launched by Modi like PMJDY, Make in India and Digital India have successfully achieved their goals, still there is a host of other schemes that couldn’t see the fruit on the ground and the gold scheme announced by him has turned into a mirage.

It’s time for Modi to understand the mistakes committed by him and his government during the past one-and-half-year regime at the Centre and take a cue from them so as to start afresh in the new year. Yes, he has the potential to make it bigger in future and the nation will continue to expect something big from him to come in future as usual. Now, this repentance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a welcome step and hope that it may bring changes in the political scenario of the country.