Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi in 1971 to return to power with an absolute majority in the Parliament for his party for two consecutive terms. As many political commentators have pointed out, it reflects a profound cultural change in the country.
With such a resounding mandate comes great expectations. And there’s a dedicated group of people on the ground who expect definite actions from the party on certain fronts now that it has secured a second term in power with an even greater majority.
While these supporters waited for two years before criticizing Narendra Modi for lack of action on the Hindutva front, they appear to have started a bit early this time around as criticism has started flowing in even before the Narendra Modi has taken oath as Prime Minister. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that the BJP delivers on certain core fronts to prevent disenchantment among the ideological electorate.
Here is a list of 10 things the BJP must deliver on in its second term:
1. Constitutional Protection for Hindu Traditions
In light of the attempted desecration of the Sabarimala with Judicial sanction, the BJP in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections promised to ensure that such traditions are constitutionally protected.
Not just Sabarimala, various Hindu festivals have been curtailed and threatened by the Judiciary as well. Therefore, especially considering the fact that it’s a promise made in their manifesto, the BJP must enact a law to protect Hindus traditions and festivals from attacks through the Judicial route.
2. Judicial Reforms
In recent times, the Judiciary has become a tyrannical institution that is invading territories which ought not to be its concern. As the Parliament was weakened considerably by coalition politics, the Judiciary used the circumstances to expand their own powers. In recent times, they have been running amok, bringing the country on the brink of a Judicial Tyranny.
Thus, now that power appears to be secured for the BJP for a significant period of time, it ought to tame the beast that the Judiciary has turned itself into. The Collegium has become a means for institutionalized corruption that has no constitutional mandate whatsoever apart from the ones created by the Judiciary itself. As a consequence, it has led to dynasties in the institution which must be brought down for constitutional principles to prevail.
Moreover, certain Justices appear to have taken upon themselves the mantle of prophets tasked with the responsibility of deciphering the message of the lord from the pages of the Constitution. Of course, most often, it’s only their own personal ideologies that they project onto the Constitution to bring about social changes which they believe is the mandate of the lord.
The Parliament must remind the Judges that it’s not their job to bring about social reforms and must assert its authority. For far too long, the Parliament has only ceded space as the Judiciary has continued to accumulate more and more power for itself. While the BJP has displayed the willingness to take on the monster in its first term, it must take things to its logical conclusion in the second.
3. Articles 370 and 35A
Repeal of Article 370 has long been a manifesto promise of the BJP. While it could be argued that it did not have the political power necessary to fulfil its promise all these years, the argument now no longer holds.
The settlement of the Kashmir problem, among others, could very well prove to be the lasting legacy of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. He does have the will of the people behind to force such a move. While much resistance can be expected from the radical elements in Kashmir, Narendra Modi during his first tenure displayed the inclination to overrule such protests.
The return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, too, ought to be coupled with the repeal of Articles 370 and 35A. If Narendra Modi does not deliver in this regard now, it will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of a lot of people.
4. NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Bill
The BJP risked major electoral loss in the North East with its commitment towards the CAB. However, the results have proved that such concerns were misguided. The last time the Bill was tabled, it relapsed in the Rajya Sabha. With the BJP expecting to secure a majority in the Rajya Sabha sometime in 2020, it is of great importance that the Bill, which gives persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries a path to automatic citizenship in the country, is enacted into law.
The NRC, too, has kept the North-Eastern states on a boil for quite some time. It has been a longstanding demand of Assam for the peaceful resolution of the matter. The BJP displayed great commitment towards it in its first term and in it’s second, things must be taken to their logical conclusion.
These are manifesto promises which must be delivered to reaffirm people’s faith in Narendra Modi’s leadership.
5. Deportation of Rohingyas
Throughout its first term, the BJP has maintained that Rohingyas are a security threat to the country. Some of them were even deported from where they came. That has been the official stand of the BJP, that the Rohingyas must be sent back to Myanmar.
India cannot bear the burden of the more demographic shift. It will lead to further chaos and might even spark a civil war in the country. The social stability of our country cannot be sacrificed for radical groups whose members are known to slaughter Hindus. Therefore, in the second term of the NDA government, the process ought to be quickened.
6. Bhavya Ram Mandir at Ayodhya
The Ram Janambhoomi debate has been going on for far too long. It has been on the BJP’s manifesto for far too long as well. With the mandate that Uttar Pradesh has given them in the Assembly Elections and again in the Lok Sabha Elections, it is of paramount importance that the matter is resolved once and for all in the next five years.
For a New India to emerge, it must make peace with the ghosts of its past. Only the construction of the Ram Mandir will see to that. It will also be the final coffin in the nail of secularism in this country.
7. Education Policy
For the entirety of its first term, the NDA government put the matter of new education policy in the back burner. This time around, there are great expectations that the foundations for an India-centric education will be laid. It is no great secret that the education syllabus is still littered with Marxist distortions. New India must do away with the baggage of the current education policy.
Higher Education needs some serious reform as well. Research in STEM fields and advanced technology needs to be given a boost. Social Science subjects need to accommodate Indic principles rather than apply Western philosophies mindlessly to the India context.
There are great expectations regarding the new education policy from the Modi government. And it is of great necessity that he delivers on it in his second term.
8. ‘Lock Them Up!’
Narendra Modi and other leaders of the BJP have spoken a great deal of the alleged scams perpetrated by senior leaders of the Congress party. There are numerous cases currently ongoing against politicians from the top echelons of the Congress.
The mother-son duo of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are currently out on bail. Chidambaram and his son are accused in multiple cases. Robert Vadra is facing heat from various investigative agencies as well. Ahmed Patel is on the spotlight too.
Thus, there must be closure in at least some of these cases with the guilty party ending up in jail. If the corrupt do end up in prison, it will be a great boost to Narendra Modi’s credibility as a leader.
9. The RTE Act
Much has been spoken of the 93rd Amendment that discriminates against Hindu-run private schools and makes them unable to compete effectively with minority-run institutions. It has led to the closure of a great many Hindu-run schools that has translated into them ceding ground to minorities in this regard.
The inaction on this particular issue riled up a significant section of the BJP support base on social media. While it does not find any space in BJP’s manifesto, the discriminatory needs to be repealed by the BJP in its second term to assuage its own voter-base.
10. Government Control of Hindu Temples
Another issue that has great support among a certain niche of BJP supporters is the matter of government control of Hindu Temples. It is certainly one of the most evocative ones. The continued control of Hindu Temples by the Secular State has led to immense corruption, theft of antique idols and Temple Wealth and the loss of Temple land by illegal occupation.
On certain occasions, the HRCE department has even interfered with the ritual practices of Hindu Temples. There have been instances when non-Hindus have been appointed to the department to manage the affairs of Hindu Temples. It’s a grave insult to the faith of millions and millions of Hindus. There have also been reports of Temple money being used for secular purposes and objectives other than the preservation and propagation of the Hindu Faith.
Moreover, it’s only Hindu religious institutions that are managed by the secular state. A secular state by its very definition has no business running religious institutions. Prime Minister Modi claimed that 2019 Elections marked the end of secularism as we know it. However, secularism can be said to have died for certain only when the numerous discriminatory laws against Hindus have been repealed. Therefore, the Prime Minister is expected to carry through on his own words.