Desperate times call for desperate measures. And it is amid these desperate times, the best and the worst qualities of a man are tested. As the world continues to fight the pandemic caused due to Coronavirus, the leadership of various countries is put to a difficult test unparallel in history. Their individual successes and failures will define the collective future of their countries. And India is fortunate enough to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lead the nation from the front in its struggle against coronavirus.
Managing a country like India with a vast geographical area, limited resources and the second-largest population of the world with a federal polity was never going to be easy. However, this daunting task has been made possible by the pro-active (rather than reactive), timely and inclusive approach and vision of the PM. No wonder, the response of the Government of India has been earning laurels all throughout the world, at a time when even developed nations are facing heat over their lackadaisical response to the unforeseen crisis and their leaders losing the support of the people.
Not only has the PM reflected the vision of ‘Team India’ and ‘co-operative federalism’ in both letter and spirit by taking the CMs of all states along in this fight but has also gained global recognition for his initiative like Mission Sagar (assisting island nations in Eastern India ocean with food and COVID related medicines), his call for SAARC to create a fund for fighting COVID-19 collectively and providing much-needed medicines to various nations of the world ranging from USA, Brazil and UAE to Afghanistan and Bangladesh etc.
There is scientific evidence that highlight that had India not taken the timely decision to impose the lockdown, the number of cases would have reached nearly eight lakhs by fifteenth April (when the actual number was only around ten thousand). India’s lockdown has gained one of the highest points in the Stringency Index, an index prepared by the University of Oxford to compare the strictness of lockdowns imposed by various countries.
Realising that lockdown would impact the farmers, labourers and poor section of the society the most, Modi government came up with a series of measures to help the needy in the form of PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana which provided for financial incentives to the vulnerable section of society, putting money in the PM Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts of women, providing free gas cylinders under Ujjwala Yojana, early disbursal of scholarships, pensions and more work for MGNREGA job cardholders.
The technology was judiciously used by the government for checking the spread of coronavirus by launching of ‘Aarogy Setu’, a mobile app to help people in getting knowledge about the disease, the nearby victims of this disease etc. The app maintains the health record of an individual, without compromising his/her privacy rights, as is generally made to believe by a certain section media at the behest of the opposition of the country.
PM Modi’s initiative to show our gratitude to the Corona warriors by lighting up diyas/candles and beating up plates resonated with the people of India at large who supported it whole-heartedly by doing these activities wherever they could, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Kamrup and Kohima. The RBI, joining hands with the government, came out with a series of measures in the monetary domain to help banks, businesses and industries (especially the MSMEs) from getting adversely impacted from the lockdown. The policies of the RBI are in line with the government’s vision of saving the jobs, employment, businesses and livelihood of the people.
The recent announcement of economic package worth rupees twenty lakh crore, which is around ten percent of our GDP, highlights the fact that this government has its ears on the ground and listens to grievances of the people. It is due to the optimism created by the policies of the government that global financial institutions like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) have projected India’s growth to be around 1.9 % for the financial year 2021, with India and China as the only two major economies that are likely to grow, while all others getting contracted in this challenging times.
PM also launched PM-CARES fund where people can donate generously to help the government financially in assisting the vulnerable groups. To encourage the corporates to donate more and more, tax exemptions are provided for transactions made to PM-CARES. Special trains have been run by the Railway Ministry for the labourers and migrants to reach their home. Also, the production of medical equipment like masks, testing kits, and ventilators has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last two months under the ‘Make In India’ initiative of the government.
PM Modi continues to remain popular and loved by the people due to his approachability, commitment to serve the children of Bharat Mata, selfless attitude, devotion and empathy towards the poor of this nation. He believes in putting Nation above petty politics and this the reason why he has taken CMs of all the states on board and allowed them to speak their minds freely despite the fact that those belonging to the opposition may be critical of both him and as well the Union Government which he heads.
States have also been provided full support and assistance without any discrimination by the Centre, be it in the form of manpower or monetary help irrespective of the party in power in that state. Keeping up the democratic traditions of the country, the decisions related to the extension of lockdown has been taken by the PM after taking the opinions, suggestions and considerations of all the states, thereby making it a case of the bottom-up model of governance, instead of the much-criticised top-down one.
When the lockdown ends, the world would have transformed completely. Our conventional wisdom and way of thinking would not be of much use then. Therefore, it is time to join hands with PM Modi and support him in his fight to protect both the lives and livelihood of the people with his unconventional and out-of-the-box thinking and leadership.
There can be no denial of the fact that the world is looking towards India with great hope and expectations due to PM’s decisive leadership and immense potential in the people of India to turn every challenge into an opportunity. We have shown the world our power by providing affordable and timely medicines like HCQ to even superpower like the US. Therefore, the rise of India is very much beneficial to the world as we had been living with the philosophy of ‘Vaisudeva Kutumbakam’ or the entire world as a family and ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina’(Happiness for all) since ages.
(This article has been written by Radhe Shyam Singh Yadav, who is a BJP Karyakarta/National Co-Treasurer of BJPkm4kisan)