In the earlier articles in this series, we looked into the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. In this part, we take a look at the achievements of Rajnath Singh, Minister of Home Affairs.
Rajanth Singh has been associated with RSS since the age of 13. He was the professor of Physics after completing the Masters in Physics from Gorakhpur University. I am sure, that most of us don’t know this fact that he is such a highly educated person. Later he was associated with Jan Sangh and became MLA for the first time in 1977. In 1984, he was elected the president of Uttar Pradesh Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the youth wing of the BJP, and in 1988 he became the national president of BJYM. In 1991, he was appointed as Minister for Education in Uttar Pradesh government led by Kalyan Singh. His achievements from that tenure include bringing of the historic anti-copying act to stop copying in exams. This was one of the reasons why the BJP government in UP wasn’t re-elected again, as opposition made an issue out of it with such impunity as if cheating in exams is a fundamental right. After Mulayam Singh came to power in 1993, he repealed this act.
So, we as a country need to decide whether we need to stand by such politicians who for their short-term benefits, are ready to play with the future of the country or those people who without caring for political fallout, take decisions in the interest of the country. Even today copying in exams is the menace in few north Indian states including UP and Bihar.
Rajnath Singh had also included Vedic Mathematics in the syllabus. Later in 1997, he became the president of BJP in Uttar Pradesh and was elected as Chief Minister of UP in 2000. In 2003, he took charge as Union Minister of Agriculture. During this tenure, he initiated a few epoch-making projects including the Kisan Call Centre and Farm Income Insurance Scheme. He also brought down interest rates on Agriculture loans and also established Farmer Commission. After BJP lost power in 2004 elections, he became BJP national president in December 2005 and continued to hold the post till December 2009. He was re-elected as BJP national president in 2013. After Narendra Modi took over as PM in 2014, he was appointed as Minister of Home Affairs and subsequently handed over the BJP presidency to Amit Shah.
Here are few notable achievements of the Home Ministry under the leadership of Rajnath Singh.
Control on terror activities – The most important and noteworthy achievement of MHA under Rajnath Singh is that the ministry has kept the country mostly terror-free except the disturbed areas. There hasn’t been a single incident of bombing/terror attacks anywhere in the country except for Jammu and Kashmir, Naxal dominated areas, some isolated incidents in North East and two attacks on army camps and one recent small-scale attack in Punjab. Bomb blasts and casualties caused because of it are things of the past. This is the single biggest reason, at least for me, and should be for all Indians to vote this government back to the power.
According to a recent RTI reply by the MHA, between 2004 to May 2014, 850 innocent citizens died of terror attacks in the hinterland of the country that is except for Jammu and Kashmir, the North Eastern States and Naxal affected area. This figure is measly 21 from June 2014 till December 2018. This shows how internal security has improved during Rajnath Singh’s tenure as home minister. During UPA, every major city of India saw terror attacks and people getting killed in them.
Naxalism – Considerable reductions in Naxal violence is another hallmark of the performance of Union Home Ministry. Centre has brought down Naxal affected districts to 90 from 144. Fatalities have been brought down to 263 (Civilians and Security Forces) in 2017, the last full year data available, from high of 1005 in 2010.
Cracking down on NGOs – This government has cracked down on various NGOs which were operating in the country violating norms. Many of such NGOs often derailed developmental works through their agenda, and some of these NGOs were also notorious for religious conversions in the garb of humanitarian aid. According to Home Ministry data, close to 16,000 NGOs have lost their FCRA registration, since 2014 thereby debarring them from accepting foreign aid, which was often used to here to promote the donor agenda, rather than service of people. Even NGOs like Greenpeace and Amnesty weren’t spared for not adhering to laws. While Greenpeace was forced to shut its two offices in India and cut down staff, Amnesty India tried to skirt the ban by forming a shadow entity for accepting foreign aid, for which recently Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided them.
Rohingya Crisis – Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have been regularly entering in India illegally since 2010. However, we Indians were not aware of this, and meanwhile, they made their biggest settlement in the city of Jammu. Jammu being part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, article 370 should be enforced which prohibits Indians from other states to buy land and settle there. In such conditions, illegal refugees reached Jammu and made their biggest settlement and that too around sensitive army bases? Wasn’t it a part of some sinister agenda? This government exposed Rohingya problem, by saying it would start their deportation soon, but however as usual liberals like Prashant Bhushan came to their rescue, and got a stay from Supreme Court, and that’s why the government couldn’t repatriate them. In fact when threat to security of Jammu and Kashmir was given as one of the reasons for their deportation, former CM of the state Omar Abdullah rushed to their defense, and tweeted that such threat was never pointed out to him in joint security coordination meetings, to which senior journalist Shekhar Gupta asked him on Twitter that, threat aside, how can they live in J&K despite article 370, to which Omar Abdullah replied him privately in a message.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 18, 2017
What was it which he couldn’t say publicly? Wasn’t it a sinister move to change the demography of the Hindu majority Jammu region? Thanks to Modi government, Rohingyas and their security threat have been exposed. They would be sent back with due process.
National Police Memorial – Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated National Police Memorial in Delhi in honour of all policemen who died in the line of duty till date all over the country. The project was conceived and completed by MHA. It is often seen that police forces are less celebrated than armed forces but their contribution in maintaining internal security can’t be ignored.
This memorial was first conceptualized during NDA – 1 government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the foundation stone was laid by the then home minister Lal Krishna Advani. It took NDA – 2 led by Narendra Modi to complete the memorial and dedicate it to the nation and fallen policemen. It points out the contempt with which UPA government treated police martyrs just like it kept pending National War Memorial pending for 60 years, which was also completed and inaugurated by Narendra Modi government.
E- FRRO – Foreigners Regional Registration Offices have now been made online which offer 27 different Visa/Consular related services to foreigners visiting India, thereby doing away with the need of foreigners visiting these offices other than exceptional cases. This move has greatly been beneficial for foreigners visiting India.
Bharat Ke Veer – Bharat Ke Veer is an online portal from where you can contribute to the family members of paramilitary who are martyred in the line of duty directly in their bank account. This portal was an idea of film star Akshay Kumar, who presented it to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. He liked this idea, and the portal was established. Every beneficiary family’s donation amount is capped at Rs 15 lakh, beyond which the amount goes to the corpus fund set up for the benefit of martyred paramilitary personnel. A committee decides on the allocation amount from this fund. After the Pulwama attack which killed 40 of our CRPF men, there was a surge of donations on this portal. As per the dashboard, all 252 martyr families of paramilitary personnel till now has got full Rs 15 lakh as donation from common public, beyond the compensation given to them as per the government rules.
Single emergency number 112 – MHA took an initiative to launch a nationwide single emergency number 112 by subsuming all other emergency numbers like police (100), fire (101), ambulance (108) and women’s helpline (1090) on the lines of USA’s 911. In case of an emergency, you just have to dial 112 and required help would reach to you within 10 – 12 minutes. MHA is further planning to bring down response time to 8 minutes.
Cyberdost Twitter Handle – with the advent of the internet and social media, the number of cyber-crimes are on the rise. Cybercriminals use new modus operandi to fool people time to time, because after a particular time, people get aware of previous modus operandi of these criminals. Therefore, MHA has taken an initiative to launch a twitter handle @Cyberdost, which regularly posts updates about cyber security and new modus operandi of cybercriminals. This initiative shows how the Modi government thinks out of the box, and work like a corporate which is very different from the usual bureaucratic setup. Cybercrime needs a cyber-solution and not bureaucratic file movement and hence the twitter handles to educate people. It has also launched web portal www.cybercrime.gov.in to report cyber crimes directly through the website, without going to the police station.
National Register of Citizens (NRC) – The process of updating the NRC for Assam has entered its final phase. This is an exercise to identify legitimate Indian citizens before the cutoff date of 24th March 1974. Updating the NRC for Assam, which was originally prepared in 1951 and never updated since then, is a long-standing demand of people of Assam to identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. However, successive Congress governments didn’t dare to implement it on some pretext or the other as it would have struck of illegal immigrants living in Assam of Indian citizenship which is it’s vote bank. It took the orders of strict orders of Supreme Court and BJP government in both centre and Assam to update the NRC. MHA started NRC update exercise and according to draft NRC, around 40 lakh people couldn’t prove their citizenships. Amit Shah has promised to implement NRC in entire India, to throw all illegal immigrants out of the country, it BJP is voted back to power.
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) revoked from certain areas – AFSPA has been a bone of contention in North East as well as Jammu and Kashmir. It gives sweeping power to forces, to arrest or kill anyone on mere suspicion. There have been instances of misuse of this power by forces. Therefore, there is large scale opposition to this act from the residents of these states. MHA has revoked AFSPA from entire Meghalaya, Tripura, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, as these areas were declared insurgency-free and are no longer classified as disturbed areas. Was the AFSPA removal possible without central government curbing down violence in these areas? These are stellar facts which show the performance of government on the internal security front.
The author is journalism pass out from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. After dangerously flirting with the idea of left during his IIMC days, due to the proximity of the IIMC with JNU, a den of radical leftists, he became firmly aligned to right after realizing the futility of the left. He tweets at @kpophale.