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Why we don’t deserve PM Modi: A 16-year-old’s open letter to fellow Indians

It is incredibly easy for a politician to become well-liked, especially given the vast disparity in the layers of Indian society.

On 16th May 2014, I was an eleven year old kid, who got up at six in the morning to watch the General Election results being declared. Politics had always been a hot topic in my family. We celebrated that day, ordered pizza, said prayers of thanks, and distributed sweets, because we thought that the country finally understood how desperately we needed change. I now know that we were gravely mistaken.

Nearly five years later, the country stands at the precipice of the next election. I’m going to be as blunt as humanly possible now: PM Modi deserves to be re-elected. This may not be the politically correct thing to say, given the warm and open atmosphere created by our left-liberal ecosystem (irony much?), but it’s the truth. He is without a doubt, one of the earnest, and dedicated leaders we have seen. He works solely towards progress, takes all (often sickening and malicious) criticism in his stride, and does not consider himself above the public. He calls out anti-nationalists and urban naxals, and does not endeavor to be politically correct at the cost of his own integrity. He is a living embodiment of the “By the People, For the People, Of the People”, principle of democracy, one of the very few we’ve seen so far as an independent nation.

All of which are among the many reasons why we don’t deserve him.

We must admit this; we’re a very uncooperative and ‘hard-to-govern nation’. There’s so many stakeholders, vested interests, and different points of view. While dissent may be the beauty of democracy, nationalism should always be, in my opinion, impermeable to dissent. You can choose to hate your government, not your country. A lot of people currently hate PM Modi because of how openly and strongly he supports the idea of nationalism. We can’t seem to digest the fact that our Prime Minister encourages us to love our country. After all, he’s challenging the status-quo, instilled by years of UPA governance. Where we sing patriotic songs, perform skits and hoist our flag two days in a year, and spend the rest oblivious to how our nation is being looted mercilessly. PM Modi urges us to change that, through Swacch Bharat and several other such campaigns. This poses a problem for us, as the older scheme of things was much more convenient and didn’t require much effort.

Another thing we must admit is that we love complaining. This could also be attributed to the years of UPA rule. They made us the whiny, perpetually unhappy nation we are today. We’ve now come to believe that the entire onus of driving our country to prosperity is on the government. PM Modi, however, urges citizens to be active participants in the process. This becomes a problem as while we’d all love to shout slogans and criticize, no one is willing to step up and take action themselves.

Think about it. Swachh Bharat was, almost entirely, a citizen driven initiative. It relied most importantly on awareness campaigns and public participation. This fits well with the Modi government’s “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” slogan. But, majority of people fail to credit or even acknowledge the contribution of the government in this regard.

Here’s something all those people need to know:

You are not doing a favour by voting a government into power. Merely exercising your right to vote does not absolve you of your moral duties towards the country. It is not wrong of a leader to encourage you to love, and contribute to your own nation. He’s just reminding us of our long forgotten duties, something that isn’t in his job profile.

We cannot appreciate a leader that projects himself as a ‘sevak’, not a ‘Messiah’. Who inspires us to uplift ourselves, rather than asking us to be completely helpless and dependent on a savior. He reiterates countless times that he is one of us, and is grateful for the opportunity we have given him to serve our nation. If we cannot recognize his value, we do not deserve him.

It is incredibly easy for a politician to become well-liked, especially given the vast disparity in the layers of Indian society. All it takes is a few moves of appeasement, some photo-ops, steering clear of all controversial issues (no matter how crucial they may be), and if all else fails, they could always entice the economically downtrodden with a few thousand bucks or a bottle or two of liquor. Forgive me for the thick cynicism, but I couldn’t put it in softer words. PM Modi has taken none of the aforementioned steps. He has been hands-on with controversial issues, refrained from appeasement on religious or casteist lines, and never introduced any measures or policies only to garner public support.

This is what makes him loathed by several sections of the Indian public.

We can’t help the existence of such people. We really can’t even attempt to change their minds. It is their own restricted mindset that prevents them from looking at these points objectively. The people I’m aiming to reach out to here, are the fence-sitters. The genuinely open-minded people who are willing to make an informed decision, and are aware of the dire consequences of ill-informed voting.

Your vote is hugely more important than you realize. Please do vote, and when you do, please make sure you have the interests of your country at heart, and nothing else.

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