Thursday, October 22, 2020
Home Opinions Wanted: a Smart Government

Wanted: a Smart Government

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in an unenviable position. The people who voted him in expect him to make drastic and substantial changes to India’s trajectory and the people who did not vote him are waiting to pounce on every single morsel that falls during his tenure. By now, the honeymoon period for his Government is well and truly over, and the gloves are off. Patience is wearing thin, even among the people who voted for him.

There have been many positives in the term of this Government. Jan Dhan Yojana, an ambitious scheme which can revolutionise banking in India and also eliminate corruption in Government schemes, has kicked off. Coal Auctions have been conducted in a very transparent manner. FDI is increasing, thanks to push from Make In India. Arguably Independent India’s biggest tax reform, GST, has been put on the fast track. Considerable efforts have been put to develop India’s relations with other countries. All these are big measures and the Government has been smart and diligent in achieving these. But there are some areas where the Government has floundered. Although small, these issues have somehow become the defining characteristic as fas perception is concerned.

Choosing the right battles

It is said, one must choose one’s battles wisely. The Government sadly has chosen some battles which they should not have. Censor Board, FTII, War on Porn are all examples. In all three cases, there is definitely some Government action needed. Censor Board should move to becoming a Certification board, as its official name suggests. FTII is riddled with overstaying students, unending courses and general malaise. Child Porn and Revenge Porn are serious issues which need to be tackled. But are all of these burning issues? Censor Board and FTII can be revamped in a slow and steady manner. The matter of Porn is still in discussion at the Supreme Court level. Was there a need for the Government to go overboard on all three issues?

Knowing when and how to fight

Further the Government response to all these issues has been ranging from obstinate to plain stupid. The Censor Board members themselves objected to Nihalani’s moral policing. But he is still the chief. FTII students, Governing Council members and general people from Bollywood objected to Gajendra Chauhan. He is still there. The Supreme Court never asked the Government to ban porn of any kind. It only asked a response. What did we do? We banned it (and then tried to “unban” some part of it by passing the baton on to ISPs). Were these intelligent responses? No.

A UPA Government would have acted differently. If it needed to take over or revamp some institutions, it would do it slowly and quietly, by appointing an acceptable figure as the chief (unlike Chauhan), and carrying on their work systematically. On issues like Porn ban, UPA has already set the tone during its term. Ministers like Sachin Pilot had gone on record saying they would ban porn IF directed by the Supreme Court, thereby very smartly shifting the blame on the Supreme Court, whenever that happens. The current Government’s responses though have been far from ideal.

Controlling the narrative

What compounds the above problems is the Government’s non-existent control on the narrative. That media will go after you is a given. How you effectively counter the media is upto you. The Government has sorely failed here. While some of the above actions were indefensible, at least better attempts could have been made to salvage at least some part of the lost goodwill. Issues plaguing Censor Board and FTII could have been aggressively highlighted. In some places, a step back could have been taken, forcing the opposition to also slow down. None of this has happened.

Hurting the BJP’s newly found voter base

A new entrant and a substantial one, to BJP’s voter base was the young Indian. Educated, below 35 years of age, looking for jobs and online. This section of the electorate, voted for Modi for his positivity. What they get instead is encroachment of some the areas they like. No one like their favourite movies being tampered with. Neither does anyone like the idea that legal porn is being banned under the poorly given excuse of “Child Porn”. The media reporting and the non-existent Government defence only add fuel to this fire. For this crowd, Jan Dhan Yojana, Coal Auctions of even GST do not make any real difference. So they see the Government from the narrow prism of what affects them. And this will hurt BJP electorally.

Signs of Change

But all may not be lost. There are some signs slowly emerging that show the Government is ready to reconsider some of their decisions. The Government has effectively U-Turned on the Land Bill, in the hope that other bills like GST may get safe passage. There has been a rethinking on the Porn ban, although even this rethinking is not very “smart”. It is not a crime to go back on your decision owing to general sentiment or to cut losses. But sticking on to a stand which doesn’t really politically benefit you is stupidity. Doing good for the FTII for example is a move which will reap almost no political dividend, but the current stance is only reducing the goodwill.

The Government become “Smart” and must understand: where it needs to enter the battlefield, how it should fight, when it should retreat, and most importantly how the battle is reported in the media. Only then it can manage to be in the good books, at least perception wise, of its voters.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Gauravhttp://bwoyblunder.co.in/
co-founder, OpIndia.com

Related Articles

Trending now

Punjab’s new Agriculture Laws are hogwash meant to fool gullible farmers, violates the constitution: Read how

The Essential Commodities Act passed by the Punjab govt contravenes the constitution, adds opacity and infringes on the centre

How do Customs officials remove gold concealed in the rectum of smugglers? Things you never thought you’d want to know

Customs officials convince the smugglers to eject the gold from their rectum, or extract with the help of doctors

21 October 1943: Netaji Subhash had formed the Azad Hind Government, India’s ‘declaration of independence’

On October 21, 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose announced the formation of the 'Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind' or the provincial government of free India in Singapore and had declared war on the British Empire.

No, going to Dubai to buy the new iPhone 12 Pro is not cheaper than buying in India. Here is how

Dhruv Rathee criticised the 'Indian Tax System' by claiming that travelling to Dubai for buying an iPhone 12 Pro is cheaper than getting it from India.

Is somebody paying the “experts” to spread spurious narratives on Atmanirbhar Bharat?

A more self-reliant India, with a bigger industrial base, with lesser trade deficits was the need of the hour. Who could object?

Rahul Gandhi to help PFI member and Kerala-based ‘journalist’ Siddique Kappan who is accused of attempting to instigate violence in UP

The Congress leader met a delegation at Malappuram, Kerala on Monday and promised them to look into the issue of the arrest of 'journalist' Siddique Kappan.

Recently Popular

UK: 37-year-old paedophile named Rehan Baig jailed for raping chickens to death while his wife filmed it

Rhan Baig's wife had also joined him in the videos and at one point he alternated between having sex with his wife and the chickens.

Anti-Trump legal analyst of CNN and The New Yorker contributor suspended after masturbating on Zoom call

Jeffrey Toobin has offered an apology for masturbating on the Zoom video call and said that he thought he had put the video and audio on mute.

‘Comedian’ Agrima Joshua, who calls herself ‘feminist’, passes offensive sexual comments against woman due to political differences

Agrima Joshua had earlier found herself in a controversy after insulting the Shivaji Maharaj memorial during a performance.

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

Hyderabad: Hindu woman confronts boyfriend Syed Mustafa over marriage promises, stabbed to death by him and his brother

24-year-old Hindu woman was brutally stabbed to death by her lover Syed Mustafa and his brother on Saturday night at Rein Bazar neighbourhood of Hyderabad

Caught on camera: NCP’s Nawab Malik ‘predicts’ Arnab will commit suicide as he will be ‘trapped’ in TRP case

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik insists that though the BARC letter clears Republic TV's name, the police investigation 'will find evidence' against Arnab.
- Advertisement -

Another contempt case? Prashant Bhushan targets CJI Bobde again, links his home visit during holidays with Madhya Pradesh MLA disqualification case

CJI is eligible for state arranged transport during visits to states, but Prashant Bhushan alleged CJI Bobde of taking favors from MP govt

Shahabuddin was a powerful ‘pawn’ under Lalu-led government in Bihar: Read how he dominated Siwan during the jungle raj

Shahabuddin was fearless because of the backing he got from Lalu Yadav, and in return, he made sure Lalu got votes in the elections

Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray government blocks CBI from investigating cases in the state, withdraws general consent

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday passed an order withdrawing its consent for the CBI to probe cases in the state

Punjab’s new Agriculture Laws are hogwash meant to fool gullible farmers, violates the constitution: Read how

The Essential Commodities Act passed by the Punjab govt contravenes the constitution, adds opacity and infringes on the centre

Paris: Two Muslim women stabbed under Eiffel Tower by white women shouting “dirty Arabs”

Two Muslim women were stabbed repeatedly under the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night by two white women who called them "dirty Arabs".

How do Customs officials remove gold concealed in the rectum of smugglers? Things you never thought you’d want to know

Customs officials convince the smugglers to eject the gold from their rectum, or extract with the help of doctors

Fake news peddler Prashant Kanojia granted bail by Allahabad High Court

Kanojia was also arrested last year for postin derogatory tweets aimed at spreading hatred.

Youth Congress chief spreads misinformation about Modi govt’s Bihar package, distorts statement of BJP chief JP Nadda

Youth Congress chief uses only a part of speech of JP Nadda to spread misinformation about Modi govt’s Bihar package

21 October 1943: Netaji Subhash had formed the Azad Hind Government, India’s ‘declaration of independence’

On October 21, 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose announced the formation of the 'Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind' or the provincial government of free India in Singapore and had declared war on the British Empire.

China fines dairy company for ‘incorrect’ map of its territory in an advertisement, the company issues apology

China penalised Bright Dairy and Food for not showing 'complete and correct territory' of the country, which is a violation of laws

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
465,741FollowersFollow
18,800SubscribersSubscribe