Achhe Din: A Chimera

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A Report Card on Modi government’s third year Experts analyse the performance of the various key ministries, including the PMO, Home, Defence, External Affairs, Agriculture, Skill Development, etc., and give marks

The man of destiny knows before anyone else that he has arrived. So did Modi well before 2014, when he became the Prime Minister of the most populous democracy in the world. Black money worth Rs 15 lakh per head will be back, he thundered. Two crore jobs will be created, he assured, and the youth found its political fatigue under decades of Congress rule being replaced by this new found political Viagra.

And yet, the more things changed, the more they remained the same. Political analysts may be wondering why the masses are mesmerised still, but the on-ground analysis of the ministries of this regime – including Modi’s own PMO - shows poor to abysmal delivery. One of the reasons is Modi’s complete dictatorial control over almost all but some minor ministries. Every minister, from finance, to defence, to external affairs, is just told to sign, or else…

As a result, the slogans that brought him votes, Skill India, Star-up India, Make in India, have remained but slogans. Homeland security has clearly been smashed with the audacious Chhattisgarh slaughtering of 25 CRPF soldiers by Maoists. Kashmir is totally out of the government’s hands. Manipur is burning…

India dreams of fighting China, but its major defence purchases are stuck, awaiting a four-star Chief of Defence Staff. And on the external affairs front, Modi snubbing the Chinese has made the Dragon even more determined to keep India out of the NSG. Even small, next-door neighbours like Nepal and Bangladesh have blasted India for its wrong policies. Indian railways, riding high on slogans such as Swachha Rail Mission, is back tracking on all fronts, though this is not stopping the government from boasting of a Bullet Train project, when the existing lines are giving up the ghosts.

Our experts, each with specific knowledge of the ministries, have had a few words of praise only for road transport and power ministries. The rest are best exemplified by Modi’s Madison Square Garden show: pyrotechnics and drum rolls of a showman!

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