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A leader who means Business (Politics)

‘Feather in your cap’ is an English idiomatic phrase derived from a custom, where a warrior adds a new feather to his headgear every time he slays an enemy. Several feathers were added in the last eight years in the head gear of this government and the leader. Be it a festering Jammu and Kashmir wound or the enigma of Triple Talaq or the vexed Ram Janmabhoomi matter, they were all solved amicably. J&K was always a contentious issue that turned rogue over the years with the terrorists and separatists having a field day that lasted more than 3 decades.

 

It needed someone to hold the bull by the horn and tame. That the current government did it under the PM is certainly an achievement. Of course, it is work in progress, but the road to recovery appears to be built in. It needs insight and great ability to take risks to solve problems that involve people. If those people belong to different religions, then one needs a great amount of patience, understanding and perseverance as well.

 

In case of J&K, Article 370 was abrogated, and the special status was withdrawn. Though several talked about, why at all a certain part of the country needed special status, it was the PM who actually walked the talk. Making Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh was a path to redemption. One could expect them returning to normalcy soon.

 

Another contentious issue that remained contentious through hundreds of years was ‘Ram Janmbhoomi’. That a mosque was built there, riled the Hindus no end. A solution to the problem was strewn with difficulties. Governments could even fall. That such a problem too was solved in favour of 80 Crore Hindus of the country was a dream come true. The temple is now well on its way to being completed. That the PM laid the foundation stone of the Ram Temple a couple of years ago, was almost poetic justice. The temple inauguration is scheduled for early ’24. What better poll strategy can be there, other than create an 80 crore Hindu emotional connect?

 

The government has an ear to the ground and knows the pulse of the people. It is most proactive and high on strategy. The country paid a heavy price for its independence almost 75 years ago. What better way can there be than recognize and honour all those who contributed to India’s struggle for freedom? The campaign “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, highlights the contribution of even the unsung heroes of the nation. Not one action could be faulted. Even at the Film Festival at Cannes, India demonstrated its rich cultural heritage and the vibrancy of its democracy.

 

Covid 19, in all probability was the most devastating, this decade. People lost friends, relatives and jobs. People migrated in search of food to eat and safe places to live. The first wave hit everyone badly. Time to show a little mettle and the PM did. There was free ration for the marginalized sections of society. Then the second wave stuck. The scheme was now extended. That 80 crore beneficiaries were given free ration every month must surely rank as the largest in size, complexity and compassion.

 

That the Country could produce two vaccines at a time when the world was struggling to put one across is as much a feather for the scientists, as much as it is for the government. Vaccinating a crore of population was in itself a mammoth doing. Doing it twice over must surely be herculean. Be it as it may, it even extended them to most of the neighbouring nations. Both old and the young were equally taken care of.

 

Be it the ‘Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana’ a national public health insurance fund through which free access to health insurance coverage to low-income earners in the country is provided or the operation ‘Devi Shakti’ that rescued stranded Indians in Afghanistan or the rescue operation that evacuated 23000 students from war-hit Ukraine, the intentions were clear. Help people with proactive steps.

 

Meanwhile, the country saw a long-drawn movement with farmers sitting in, to highlight their plight last year. Even as the movement peaked, the ‘Direct Benefit Scheme (DBT)’ was in full swing, benefitting thousands of farmers across the country. Rs, 6,000 in three instalments was transferred to their bank accounts. Striking a conciliatory note, the government even withdrew the farm bills, a goodwill gesture to the farmers, even as it realised that the larger good was probably compromised.

 

Every section of the population and every need was sought to be addressed. We all remember the socialist slogan ‘Roti Kapda aur Makaan’ popularised in the late sixties. It was as if it was realised today, when affordable housing was made available to more than 2 crore people. People reacted by electing the government back to power in several States that went to vote. That was instant gratification.

 

How does one analyse the strategy and the gameplan of such stupendous success? A strong connect with people for a start. An execution of the plan by a Master Strategist for another. It was almost single-handed. It was “Modi, Vs Rest”.

 

This reminds us of a classic “Captain America, The Winter Soldier” After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, in trying to adjust to modern times, is thrown into a web of intrigue that places the whole world at risk, by an attack on his shield by his new allies. Rogers struggles to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, but he and his team soon come up against unexpected enemies. He eventually wins against all odds.

 

The leader ever passionate and ever charismatic, like Captain America’ is always open to an audience, is enterprising, extols virtues of staying together, playing together, and laughing together. He always wins the virtuous endgame.

 

Further use of technology has been most effective. Social media was used to do the social re-engineering. It was used to enable peer-to-peer dialogue, public discourse and political messaging to reach potential voters during campaigns. Through clever use of technology, an entire generation of new potential voters have been woken up. However, there is lot to be done. Creation of sufficient employment opportunities is one such. Warren Bennis an American scholar, said Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. The PM sure understands that.

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