Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Outlook.com

Half Of Achhe?

True, Narendra Modi has rejuvenated the BJP. Midway through his tenure, though, the PM elicits huge expectations and deep concerns.

Half Of Achhe?
Half Of Achhe? Photograph by Getty Images

Even his critics can’t help occasionally, if grudgingly, adm­ire his political savvy; his fans of course can’t stop gushing with his praise. Four years after he propelled himself onto the national political scene, Narendra Modi continues to be what he can be at best—a polarising figure with many capa­bilities and also worrisome dimensions. As he completes half of his full term, Modi continues to elicit huge expectations and deep concerns. It was said that Modi would set aside his controversial political career in Gujarat and make his mark on history as prime minister of India. What does the scoreboard say?

Becoming the PM itself has been a feat—winning clear majority alm­ost single-handedly. That Modi came via the tough route—working at the state level as CM—is not really very special. Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, V.P. Singh, Narasimha Rao and Deve Gowda were all chief ministers once. But the crucial difference still remains—except Gowda, all others did have considerable experience as ministers in the central government before becoming the PM. And Modi’s relative newness to New Delhi’s politics certainly sets him apart from all his predecessors. Also, he belongs deci­dedly to a post-Nehruvian political era, a new elite, few of whom have so far made a real impact at the national level. Both these characteristics set him apart.

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