For the commentator who is also a critic of Narendra Modi, any judgment at any time, poses excruciating problems. As I begin my evaluation of the Prime Minister's first 100 days, I am assailed by a powerful doubt: Will my prejudices undermine my objectivity? Will I be fair to the politician who is not my favourite politician? The PM's acolytes assume pseudo-secularists, liberals and soft lefties smack their lips at the opportunity to take another shot at the 'most vilified' public figure in post-independent Bharat. Actually, many go through agonies.
In my case, to compensate for any overt and covert biases, I go the extra distance to ensure Mr Modi gets a fair deal. It is so much easier for a certified or recently baptized Modi follower to dash off 800 words than the commentator - critic. So, let me state upfront that Mr Modi's 100 days contain much that is positive and commendable.
As a recent opinion poll revealed, support for the PM since May 2014 has actually gone up.
The business community is over the moon.
For them Modi is no false prophet. One can detect an all-round toning up of efficiency in the bureaucracy. Babus are coming on time, as are the trains. Almost every day, the PMO announces a new policy, a new reorganization, faster clearance of routine procedures. Modi has personally set a scorching pace. Apparently, he is a creative insomniac.
Take Friday August 29. The country woke up to the happy news that the PM had launched a bold and much-needed banking scheme targeting the poorest of the poor. This financial inclusion will enable every adult citizen to possess a bank account. On the first day 1.5 crore accounts were opened.
On the same day, we learnt the PM had been tweeting in Japanese to the people of that country. In spite of some clumsiness in the handling of foreign secretary talks with Pakistan, Modi is breaking new ground by reaching out to countries India had neglected. These are just a few of the positives.
Have I been fair? Even Mr Arun Jaitley would concede this is a balanced verdict. In fact, I have travelled further than the zealous Modi supporter, R Jagannathan of First Post, who criticized Modi for refusing to initiate "aggressive reforms". And compared to Ellen Barry of the New York Times, I am an absolute angel! She reported recently on the "chorus of disappointment" in the country with Modi, and added this punch line, "This disenchantment is a reminder that the man India elected this year is, in many ways, a cipher." Ms Barry's cipher-evaluation notwithstanding, the disenchantment is genuine. It derives from Modi's approach to his job. When he secured the highest public office, his opponents pointed to his governing-style in his home state. It was one-man rule. I disagreed. Modi was too shrewd a politician not to understand the difference between Gujarat and India. I have been proved wrong.
Whatever our shortcomings, we are an open and argumentative people. When two or three of us are gathered together, you can be sure of a verbal feud.
Foreigners complain that the besetting Indian sin is talking too much and doing too little. Indira Gandhi's Emergency failed because it could not stop the aam-aadmi's propensity for 'loose talk'.
Thank God! Loose talk is the country's strength and the foundation of our vibrant democracy. The PM clearly frowns on the habit. Ministers and party leaders in the BJP are under strict orders to follow the script handed down by him.
One could argue the PM is doing nothing more than imposing discipline. In reality, something more sinister is emerging. The word 'Orwellian' is casually bandied about. In this instance it is perilously close to the truth. Big Brother is watching. For starters, his eye is fixed on his own people.
How they dress, who they meet, where they meet, what they say, whether they talk to journalists... all is being monitored. Dissidents are quickly brought back into line with dubious tactics.
The phrase 'control freak' is increasingly being employed to describe the phenomenon. Is Narendra Modi such a person? The American entrepreneur Ronald Perelman noted, "You can only be a control freak when you have weak people around you." Is that what the PM is aiming for? Any advice coming from me for Mr Modi will be construed as mischief. Nevertheless, I wish the PM gets his 'chance' to deliver what he promised to deliver. India is too vast, heterogeneous and capricious a country to be ruled by Big Brother tactics. If he continues in his present mode he will probably be the victim of an in-house coup. He must understand he is first among equals in the government he helped create.
This article was first published in the Times of India
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Vinod Mehta is an Indian who has managed to get his hands on a few rupees. As is invariably the case with Indians, his interest in anything else in purely illusionary
You are a BRAINLESS DUMB FELLOW! SCUMS LIke you called him anti-Muslim,DESPOT, HITLER and MASS MURDERER. This is the thought process of this guy. He finds use for technology to save Indians... Kashmiris (MUSLIMS and INDIANS).
Jammu and Kashmir floods: Narendra Modi deploys successful Google app to find people
Seeking to boost search and surveillance capabilities of rescue teams in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir, a successful Uttarakhand 'Google' application is being pressed into service by the government.
The Google application called 'Person Finder' is a customized exclusive web application that allows individuals to post and search for the status of relatives or friends affected by a disaster.
NDRF Director General OP Singh told PTI that they are in talks with Google authorities and the system is expected to be operationalised by tomorrow morning.
Sources privy to the development said Google has briefed the government that its 'open source' content has a lot of data and information on the locations and inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Kashmir valley.
The rescue and disaster mitigation teams, sources said, are facing a number of odds in their task like bad communication network and high water level and this satellite- based application will strengthen their efforts to reach out to more victims of the worst-ever floods tragedy in the state.
Once updated and activated, search and rescue teams can use the 'Person Finder' to locate the people living in an area and deploy men and material to evacuate them from marooned locations. "The platform had been very successful during last year's floods and heavy rains that had wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand.
Once activated, the web and SMS-based resource will bolster rescue teams of all the agencies like NDRF and IAF immensely," a senior officer of the security establishment said.
Under this smart application offered by the crisis response division of Google, all data entered into it is available to the public and searchable and accessible by anyone.
Once initiated, search and rescue teams of the National disaster response Force, IAF, Army and other civil aid authorities can use the database to reach more and more people who are stranded for the last few days and need immediate succour.
Abosultely, recently, I had an opportunity to work with a Ukranian middle-man who provides projects....he says the exact word, Indias talk too much but when it comes to delivering things and doing things, they are a BIG ZERO! This is in the field of Software where we are proudly trumpeting ourselves as world beaters!
Chineese and Japaneese, Koreans do not talk like us but do things we can only sit and dream in the mid-night!
Misogynst >> The people are asking: what does the CONGRESS bring to the table?
They are planning to bring the Next generation Gandhis er.. next generation Vadra Gandhis to the table, and plans are to package the new kid (Rehan Vadra Gandhi) to appeal to the millenials....
After Manmuted Singhs tenure, even BJPs DOG would have stood a tremendous chance of winning the last elections.
Merely blaming Modi or accusing him will not win Congress ( or VM ) any votes.The people are asking: what does the CONGRESS bring to the table?
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