M Chuba Ao
BJP National Vice President
The story of the fall of the Congress party and its 'further decline' must draw the attention of the students of politics. On one hand Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a very successful trip to the United States and Egypt on the other hand we had India's opposition parties and especially the Congress spending a lot of Mandays on negativity. The politics of negativity has brought them to this level from their own glorious past but they are simply being ignorant and arrogant in not learning any lesson.
As I think on how to plan starting this article, my attention was drawn to a tweet from the AAP – that says, “If the country is to be saved then at first the Congress should announce that they will not bet on Rahul Gandhi for the third time”. So, that’s the so-called Opposition Unity.
The Prime Minister's US visit was historic and path-breaking but the Congress leaders kept on raising domestic issues when Modi ji was abroad. A Prime Minister on an official foreign tour represents 140 crore Indians but the opposition parties were issuing repeated statements on the situation in Manipur. Their approach was guided by the politics of compulsive criticism. The opposition parties failed to appreciate that parliamentary democracy runs on the basis of collective responsibility and the cabinet system. If the Prime Minister was away in the United States, he was not on any pleasure trip as is done by a few opposition leaders of eminence.
Diplomacy and that too at the level of the world's most powerful country and no less than US President Joe Biden himself deserved special attention from the Indian Prime Minister himself. The issues in Manipur or any other sector were and are constantly being attended to by Home Minister Amit Shah ji and other respective ministers. So essentially there was no much merit in circulating a school boy's variety of arguments that the PM is abroad while Manipur is burning.
As a north-easterner leader in public service for the last few decades, I am aware that issues in Manipur are serious and complex. They ought to be handled sensitively and carefully which Amit Shahji has been doing at his level in coordination with other leaders and security forces and other agencies. The Congress has a habit of going to the town with a loud voice with a claim as if they had given perfect governance. Other opposition parties too will do well to realise that several problems in this country are gifts of Congress legacy -- direct and indirect.
We have had problems with Punjab, Tamils in Sri Lanka, the rise of Naxalism, communal riots in states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and closer home, we know well how things were mishandled by Congress leaders in Assam. The efficacy of the Indira Gandhi-Zail Singh team with respect to Assam is a known story. They may not remember the dark days of 1975 when Emergency was imposed. I was in Guwahati those days and I distinctly remember how things went on and how common people and religious minorities suffered. Some of those actions were sheer state-sponsored Goondaism. How they encouraged inefficiency and corruption in Nagaland and other states?
Therefore, it may be in the fitness of things to suggest instead of pointing fingers at others, the Congress and other regional parties should direct their efforts at fulfilling their own obligations to respective states wherever they are in power. Before dreaming to become Prime Minister; a galaxy of leaders should look back at their backyards. What kind of developmental and governance models they have given to some states such as West Bengal (Mamata Banerjee) and Bihar (Nitish Kumar)?
In fact, the manner the opposition leaders gathered at Patna and the manner deliberations went on, there is no doubt their ambition at best can revive the era of political uncertainty of the 1990s. People of India have rejected these outright and hence they should be prepared for another round of shock treatment by Indian voters in 2024.
The Congress and other opposition parties could therefore re-route their energies towards strengthening their own organisations in states and improve governance. The corruption-oriented world of Mamata Banerjee where loads of currency notes were there for all to see.
Modi's government has laid emphasis on a corruption-free India and an inclusive government focusing on people's right to basic needs like power, good roads, toilets, security of life and property, quality education, regular income, employment, and entrepreneurship.
The StartUp India and Skill India are something Indians will cherish in the long run.
The Prime Minister's US visit deserves special mention for strengthening the bonds on the economic front and in defence. I am particularly thrilled with the initiatives to attract investment from US company Micron in the semiconductor industry. This will lead to creation of at least 5000 direct jobs and 500 new high-end engineering jobs.
India-made chips will be a revolutionary thing to happen and hundreds of talented young Nagas and Mizos will find avenues to develop their potential.
The Prime Minister also met the likes of Amazon CEO, Andrew R. Jassy and retail is a happening space for the large subcontinent. Modi ji also interacted with CEO of Alphabet Inc. and Google, Sundar Pichai in Washington and these were important events. For the first time perhaps, the Prime Minister could make technology a vital tool for improving the relationship between two global players.
GE and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited have signed a MoU, and a manufacturing license agreement will also come soon. This is a "trailblazing initiative" to manufacture F-414 engines in India—the first of its kind— and will enable greater transfer of US jet engine technology than ever before.
'Tech diplomacy' is an emerging field in the practice of international relations today. This concept fosters dialogue between states and the tech industry and we have begun the journey well. Prime Minister Modi ji is today a true global leader. His speech at the US Congress clearly suggest that Modi ji has come a long way and is taking India into a new sphere of global positioning.
Modi was honoured with the highest award in Egypt. This was a powerful message as Modi representing a Hindu majority India was being shown love and respect by a major Islamic country.
Sadly, instead of complimenting a government and the prime minister for discharging its role so well, the opposition parties have been burning midnight oil in finding faults. This is their big time failure.
During Parliamentary debate in February this year, the Prime Minister had told the opposition leaders and especially the Congress, “For 22 years you remained victims of the misunderstanding that you could destroy Modi with lies. People’s faith in Modi is not a creation of the media". One can endorse this view strongly as people of India have immense faith in the sincerity and hard work of a man who made humble beginnings in his life and political career.
Those who believe in dynastic polity and ‘birthright’ kind of entitlements will have to refresh their computer sets for New India.