8 Successive Years of Modi Rule

India has found its great magician in Narendra Modi. He is a master of management skills, knows what to show and what to tell the country and has brought many revolutionary changes and has no match across the political sphere.

By Geeta Singh

  • Narendra Modi has solely become the face of the BJP, his popularity mounted BJP from zero to peak
  • No other Indian politician is as popular as compared to Modi on any social media platform
  • With 78.5 million followers, Modi is the world’s second most popular politician on the Twittersphere
  • Price rise is another challenging problem that the Modi govt may face in the coming years

Recently Rahul Gandhi raised questions about the governance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi through his tweets on Twitter. He tweeted, “Power crisis. Jobs crisis. Farmer crisis. inflation crisis. Prime Minister Modi’s eight years of misgovernance is a case study on how to ruin what was once one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.” Rahul Gandhi is the only leader in the opposition who criticizes the Modi government prominently. But does this criticism fit in with the mood of the nation? if we look at the number of electoral victories of the BJP since 2014 when Narendra Modi became Prime Minister for the first time, we find that its popularity graph under the leadership of Modi is soaring high. The journey of the Modi govt in these eight years was going as smooth as silk until the Coronavirus knocked in 2020. Then the ride was bumpy as the pandemic waves had created havoc in the lives of Indians. two years-2020 to 2022 indicated the descending graph in Modi’s popularity. Opposition and political pundits were skeptical about winning the five states’ assembly elections. But the ‘Modi effect’ hit the mark and BJP won four states including the most crucial one – Uttar Pradesh with a landslide victory.

MODI MANIA

The mania for Modi in people is so insane that his followers or Bhakts can go to any extent. This is the first time in the political history of the country bhakt word comes into the political arena. After the 17th century when Hindi literature had seen the rise of the Bhakti era, India has seen a large number of devotees or ‘Bhakts’ of a

BJP has become the richest and most influential political party in the country, whose record
membership has established it as the largest political party in the world.

political figure, which is a rare phenomenon. The aura of Modi has enchanted his bhakts and mainstream media equally through various social media platforms. Before 2014 Congress President Sonia Gandhi could hardly have thought in her dreams that Narendra Modi, whom she and her party Congress had called by many derogatory words like Feku, Chaiwala and Maut Ka Saudagar at the behest of her pet courtiers would turn out to be the smartest enchanter of India’s politics because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has converted all these into a new political opportunity for himself and BJP. The Modi-mania started fullfledged before he became Prime Minister in 2014. Now, this mania is at its utmost exuberance. From tattoos, food menus, films, kites, sports, clothes, the stock market and social media it is omnipresent.

BRILLIANT AURA

PM Modi has built up an aura around him that attracted Indians. Because our nation was dismayed and hopeless with the nonchalant attitude of the UPA government, it had welcomed Narendra Modi and BJP like never seen before in the country. Modi was immediately hailed as a messiah of suppressed and downtrodden who would bring ‘Achhe Din’ and expected to assuage our pains and bring about a magical change in the system, which is rooted deeply in our psyches. From his stylish fashion choices and frequent travels to his interactions with celebrities especially in Bollywood, there is rarely anything about Modi that is not explored. India’s most stylish contemporary politician early on, he worked hard to maintain that impression. The short-sleeved, knee-length, pastel coloured kurtas became his signature style. Within the first six months of taking office, he had spent almost 30 days abroad—a record for any Indian Prime Minister. And after Indira Gandhi Modi is another PM who has flaunted clothes and accessories (headgears) representative of a community or state multiple times.

The Modi government spent nearly Rs 91 lakh crore on social sector programmes and infrastructure
development over the last eight years

TECH SAVVY PM

PM Modi is the most popular politician on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and to a greater extent, he has successfully used social media mediums to shape his public image as a tech-savvy leader. According to a new study done by US-based scholar Joyojeet Pal, assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, “Modi uses social media as a personal signal rather than for issues, per se. He has used social media successfully to shape his public image as a techsavvy leader, aligning himself with the aspirations of a younger generation in India,” said Pal after doing extensive research of the Prime Minister’s postings on social media websites.

Right now with 78.5 million followers, Modi is the world’s second most popular politician in the Twittersphere after Former US President Barack Obama. Obama has over 131 million followers on Twitter. The Indian Prime Minister is very active on Twitter and regularly uses the microblogging social media platform for airing his views on the country’s development, highlighting new achievements and propagating welfare programmes carried out by his government. While his most prominent opponent, Rahul Gandhi, lags far behind at 20.4 million.

On the other hand, Gandhi’s total Twitter engagement — likes, retweets, and quotes — was almost three times that of the PM in 2019-21, despite Modi having almost quadrupled his number of followers. Modi joined Twitter in January 2009 and right now is following 2431 accounts according to his handle @narendramodi. Modi is the world’s most-followed or liked world leader on two other social media platforms—Facebook and Instagram. In a list of 50 most followed world leaders on Facebook, Modi tops the list as his official page is liked by over 46 million people. Although his Facebook page has 46 million followers, the real views he gets per post is around 17 lakh according to the latest 2020 “World Leaders on Facebook” rankings.

However, Trump dominates the rankings for the most interactions with 30.9 crore comments, likes and shares on his Facebook page over the past 12 months, ahead of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro with 20.5 crore interactions. Modi, who has more than four times as many page likes, is only in third place with a total of 84 million interactions over the past 12 months, according to the report by leading global communications agency Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). On Instagram Modi has 66.9m Followers. No other Indian politician is as popular as compared to Modi on any social media platform.

PM Modi is the most popular politician on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram
and Twitter and to a greater extent, he has successfully used social media mediums to shape his public image as a tech-savvy leader

MODI 1.0 and 2.0

Modi came to power with promises like ‘Acche Din’, development and employment, but the pandemic spoiled the economic figures while PM Modi still has high hopes for India’s economy. If we look at the Modi 1.0 and 2.0 period, the first half was though naive but affirmative and the second half was very firm and condensed for taking up challenges. These eight years were focused on welfare and delivery: financial inclusion, health insurance, electricity, gas, water, roads, toilets and digitalisation. The production-linked incentive scheme is possibly the Government’s most innovative economic initiative. It has the potential to transform India into an export manufacturing hub even as China’s labour costs rise and draconian new rules by Beijing drive foreign companies to diversify their production bases and supply chains out of China. After winning a landslide in the May 2019 Lok Sabha election Modi 2.0 started confidently with firm decisions. Many important Bills were tabled and passed in Parliament like the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019; the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019; and the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, criminalising triple talaq.

Big-Bang Achievements of the Modi Govt

As the Modi government nears the completion of 8 years in power, we look back at some big-bang decisions which changed the country forever and made a huge impact on the lives of Indians. Undoubtedly, these decisions taken by PM Modi had laid the foundation of ‘New India’.

Goods And Services Tax

The Goods and Services Tax (GS T) was in the pipeline for 17 years before it became a major tax reform in For a long time, India was seen as a non-friendly country for business owing to its complicated tax laws. The GS T subsumed 17 existing indirect taxes to make compliance with taxation laws by the business world simple. The rollout of GS T through a special session of Parliament three years ago remains a major highlight of the Modi government.

Ram Mandir Verdict

The long-pending and contentious issue of Ram Janambhoomi got resolved in the second term of the Modi government. Though the verdict was given by the Supreme Court, there is no denying the fact that the government handled the situation remarkably well. The legal battle over Ram Janambhoomi went on and on for many years despite ‘overwhelming evidence’. It is only after a Hindutva government was elected with a thumping majority in two consecutive elections that the Judiciary came out with clear judgement on the issue.

This was one of the core issues in the BJP manifesto. It marked the end of a historic battle that has been waged for centuries and it came to an end during Narendra Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister. Although the verdict was delivered by the Supreme Court, the government deserves applause and admiration for handling the security matters post-verdict in a very efficient manner.

Abolition of Article 370

Some dates stand out in history. August 5, 2019, is one such historic date when the Modi government revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Repeal of Article 370 was long pending on the BJP agenda and was a key point of the election manifesto in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. PM Modi took this vital decision to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A because it would integrate Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India and will put it on the same footing with the rest of the states. The abrogation of Article 370 also means that all Indian laws are applicable in the state and therefore people from outside the state can buy property in the state and settle here. This also paves the way for easy return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri pandits in the valley.

Bifurcation J&K and Ladakh Union Territory

While abrogating Article 370, the Modi government also divided the state into 2 Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. By doing so, the Centre effectively took control of the state with law and order directly falling under the Home Ministry. This was for the first time in the history of India that a state had been bifurcated into 2 Union Territories. The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry while Ladakh will be a UT without a legislature like Chandigarh and both the UTs will be headed by two separate lieutenant governors.

Triple Talaq bill

July 30, 2019, is another day which will go down in history as a memorable date. The historic Triple Talaq bill was passed in Parliament, to restore the honour and dignity of Muslim women and also to safeguard them from domestic harassment and abuse. Under the law, anyone found guilty of leaving their wife by way of triple talaq can be prosecuted for up to three years in jail. The Muslim Women
(Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men and seeks jail term for the guilty, was the first draft of legislation tabled by the Narendra Modi government in this first session after it took the oath of office for a second term in May.

This was one of the core issues in the BJP manifesto. It marked the end of a historic battle that has been waged for centuries and it came to an end during Narendra Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister. Although the verdict was delivered by the Supreme Court, the government deserves applause and admiration for handling the security matters post-verdict in a very efficient manner.

Citizenship Amendment Act

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA ) was passed by Parliament on December 11 and a day later was made into law with President Ram Nath Kovind giving assent to it. The legislation was enacted to provide citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, after facing religious persecution. Such refugees will not be treated as illegal immigrants but will be given Indian citizenship.

Insolvency And Bankruptcy Code

The link between failed businesses and the consequent banking ailment was long seen as a problem area for economic growth and policymaking. The Modi government enacted the Insolvency and
Bankruptcy Code (IBC ) law in 2016. The bankruptcy code is a one-stop solution for resolving insolvencies, which previously was a long process that did not offer an economically viable
arrangement. The code aims to protect the interests of small investors and make the process of doing business less cumbersome. The IBC has 255 sections and 11 Schedules. IBC was intended to tackle the bad loan problems that were affecting the banking system. The IBC process has changed the debtor-creditor relationship. Several major cases have been resolved in two years, while some others are in advanced stages of resolution. It provides for a time-bound process to resolve insolvency. When a default in repayment occurs, creditors gain control over the debtor’s assets and must make decisions to resolve insolvency. Under IBC, debtor and creditor both can start ‘recovery’ proceedings against each other. It is described as the silver bullet to tackle India’s chronic problem of non-performing assets. Banks have begun to recover debts that were earlier thought to be irretrievable.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan

Though it has its origin in the Nirmal Gram mission — under Raghuvansh Prasad Singh-led rural
development ministry — of the Manmohan Singh government, the Swachh Bharat campaign is one of the big socio-political achievements of the Modi government. PM Modi’s personal push in his speeches from the ramparts of the Red Fort and televised events has given the Swachh Bharat campaign a new dimension. He is the first prime minister to have successfully conveyed to the public that cleanliness has a direct correlation with their health status and economic well-being. The toilet construction programme under the Swachh Bharat campaign to make India an open-defecation free (ODF ) country played a significant part in the Modi government being voted back to power with a greater majority.

The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

Another highlight of the government in the last 8 years and the one that played an equal political role in getting Narendra Modi back to the PM O is the free distribution of the LPG cylinders. It was done through the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana under which women in villages get free one LPG cylinder connection per household.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched to safeguard the health of women and the household from the consumption of unhealthy fuels by providing them with clean cooking fuel in the form of LPG . The scheme is designed to protect the health of women by curbing health issues that result from consuming fossil fuels and other fuels used for cooking. Moreover, it also reduces casualties that occur as a result of unclean fuels and control respiratory issues due to the
consumption of unhealthy fuels. Apart from furthering the health of women, this scheme also seeks to empower women in rural India by issuing connections under the name of the women in the household. The scheme has been so popular that at the end of the last fiscal, it overshot its target of 8 crores LPG connection. Official data show that Ujjwala Yojana accounts for over 70 per cent growth in total domestic LPG connections in the country.

Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission

Ayushman Bharat is National Health Protection Scheme, which will cover over 10 crore poor and
vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees
per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will subsume the ongoing centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY ) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS ).

Vaccine Diplomacy

The Indian government was also one of the first nations to engage in “vaccine diplomacy”. India has decided to ship out doses of the novel coronavirus vaccine to ‘neighbouring and key partner countries. India supplied 10 million doses of the vaccine to Africa and 1 million to UN health workers in India under the COVID -19 Vaccines Global Access (COVA X) facility of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI ). Among the individual countries, Bangladesh is the largest beneficiary having received 7 million doses of the “Covishield” vaccine, of which 2 million doses are in the form of a grant, while Nepal has received 1 million. Bhutan and Maldives have received 150,000 doses and 100,000 doses respectively, while Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have both received 500,000 doses. Besides this India has supplied 1.5 million doses of the “Covexin” vaccine to Myanmar. Mauritius and Seychelles have been sent 100,000 doses and 50,000 doses of “Covishield,” respectively. Several other countries, including Bahrain, Barbados, Dominica, and Oman, are also part of India’s “vaccine assistance”. In the South Asian region in which China’s growing presence has been discernible over the past few years, the Government of India’s “vaccine diplomacy” could help in making the playing field more even.

It is the charisma of Narendra Modi that has made the opposition weak and
ineffective in present times. Hence, 2024 is not far away to set the stage for Modi 3.0

The Modi government spent nearly Rs 91 lakh crore on social sector programmes and infrastructure development over the last eight years, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted citing a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report. But there are challenges like Unemployment, sluggish growth of GDP, lagging in numbers in Export-Import and negligence in healthcare which is still haunting the progress.

Joblessness has been on the rise since 2016. Demonetisation, GST and intermittent lockdowns all reduced employment. It climbed to a 45-year high – 6.1% – in 2017-18, according to the last official count. And it has nearly doubled since then, according to household surveys by CMIE, a widely-used proxy for labour market data. More than 25 million people have lost their jobs since the start of 2021. And more than 75 million Indians have plunged back into poverty, including a third of India’s 100 million-strong middle class, setting back half a decade of gains, according to estimates by Pew Research Centre. The high-octane flagship initiative of the Modi government, ‘Make in India’ was supposed to turn India into a global manufacturing powerhouse; but its share in GDP is stagnant at around 15 percent over the last eight years. According to the Centre for Economic Data and Analysis jobs in the manufacturing sector went down by half in the last five years. The target of 25% of GDP in manufacturing can be achieved if we cut red-tapism and would be able to pull in investment for export hubs.

Price Rise is now another challenging problem that the Modi govt may face in the coming years. In Modi 1.0 and 2.0, the government did a smart thing by increasing taxes on oil to keep the rate steady while earning money to fund its social welfare programmes. It paid good dividends in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. However, oil prices caught fire in the second half of 2019 and continued to flare up since then. All kinds of commodities are selling at much higher prices. Half of the population is engaged in the agriculture sector but its contribution to GDP is very less. Prime Minister Modi had promised to double farmers’ income, but nothing has been done.

PAVE WAY FOR MODI 3.0

It was the first time since 1984 that any political party had won an absolute majority back to back in 2014 and 2019 general

Price Rise is now another challenging problem that the Modi govt may face in the coming years

elections, and BJP retained this power with a clear majority. 42 years ago, on 6th April 1980, at the time of the establishment of BJP, veteran leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had recited a few lines of his poem – “Andhera chhantega, Sooraj niklega, Kamal khilega” (The darkness will dissipate, the sun will emerge, the lotus will bloom). Then, no one realised that his words would come true in future. During the last eight years, Narendra Modi has solely become the face of BJP and his popularity mounted BJP from zero to peak. Simultaneously, BJP has become the richest and most influential political party in the country, whose record membership has established it as the largest political party in the world. Although in the past eight years Modi emerged as a synonym for BJP, we should not forget the credit of Narendra Modi’s heroism also goes to BJP, which got only 2 seats in the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, to register 303 seats in his name in 2019. It is the charisma of Narendra Modi that has made the opposition weak and ineffective in present times. Hence, 2024 is not far away to set the stage for Modi 3.0. Notwithstanding, for Modi, there would be a vital task to refresh governance as every decision of his government would make a huge impact on the lives of common Indians.

Pradhan Mantri se Pradhan Sevak Tak … A Journey

Various units across the country are preparing videos that will highlight the government’s achievements,
compiling quotes of Modi and putting together easyto-share bite-sized infographics

To Propagate the achievements of the eight years of Modi government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP ) is preparing for celebrations across the country. Elaborate preparations are underway to mark eight years of the Narendra Modi government on May 30 by BJP . With a little over a month to go for the anniversary, a committee headed by BJP national general secretary Arun Singh and information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur met at BJP headquarters. The government and the BJP marked the day by dedicating it to the welfare of Covid orphans.
The theme was all about sewa, or service. With the theme of Pradhan Mantri se Pradhan Sevak. The campaign will focus on the journey of PM Narendra Modi through his photographs and posters
capturing some key moments. Another idea that is being proposed is to have a series of
e-books around several themes. According to sources, Doordharshan, the public broadcaster, is planning a three-day conclave that will have various cabinet ministers and experts talking about the past eight years. And, as has been the practice in the past, ministers will travel to different parts of the country,
spreading the government’s message.

The physical events will be backed by a big social media push. For this, various units are preparing videos that highlight the government’s achievements, compiling quotes of Modi and putting together easy-to-share bite-sized infographics. A focus on beneficiaries of welfare schemes is seen as one of the main reasons for the party’s repeated electoral success. Through “seva and sampark” and the outreach
programmes will be targeted at “beneficiaries and influencers.” Last year, the party had decided to send out senior leaders and ministers to over 100,000 villages. Sources said that preparations are on to publish the achievements and the promises made in the form of a booklet, which is being planned to reach the people on a wide scale. In the report card that will be presented on the completion of eight years
of the Modi government, the major issues that can be highlighted are Jammu and Kashmir, abrogation of Article 370, smart cities and their development, cleaning rivers and employment generation., Namami Gange etc. The party has started making strategies for the electoral states of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The first step in this direction was the meeting of BJP ’s Scheduled Caste Morcha in Shimla on 20 April. Apart from this, BJP is also focusing on SC voters in the election preparation of both the states.
A senior leader said that the party has prepared a list of booths where there are more than 100 SC voters. Booth committees will be formed for such constituencies. It will be the responsibility of the SC Morcha to ensure that the BJP reaches them.


Geeta Singh

Geeta Singh has spent 20 years covering cinema, music, and society giving new dimensions to feature writing. She has to her credit the editorship of a film magazine. She is also engaged in exploring the socio-economic diversity of Indian politics. She is the co-founder of Parliamentarian.

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