Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led from the front and changed the contours of the country in multiple ways, the way Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi did during their heyday, although in a different direction. The forgotten heroes of India such as Lal Bahadur Shastri and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose have been remembered during the Modi era in a manner not seen during the period when the Congress Party was in government or the Congress Party was the government. During the time when the soft-spoken professor of economics, Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister, it was clear from the outset that India had in a sense adopted the system in the People’s Republic of China. This is that the party chief controls the government through the Prime Minister and the other ministers. The colleagues of the Prime Minister in the Union Council of Ministers knew who the boss was, and responded to cues from 10 Janpath rather than from 7 Race Course Road (now Lok Kalyan Marg). This was a pity, for had Manmohan Singh demonstrated the ability to use the awesome powers of his office to establish ascendancy over the party supremo, the trajectory of India may have been different. The mild-mannered economist has a brilliant mind and in private is known to have sound views on the policies needed for India, which in many respects differed from the election-obsessed and “goodwill”-focused stance of 10 Janpath. It had been expected of Rahul Gandhi that he would effect a change once he became president of the All India Congress Committee, but Rahul has become essential not for the Congress Party but for the BJP. As long as it is a presidential contest between PM Modi and challenger Rahul Gandhi, the BJP will romp home in 2024 in the same manner that the party did under Narendra Modi’s leadership and Amit Shah’s organisational skills in 2019.
The opposition is so disorganised that several of its constituents are opposing the very policies that they supported until PM Modi implemented them. GST ought to have been brought into effect ten years earlier than it was in 2016, but 10 Janpath lacked the skill to bring this about. Had PM Manmohan Singh been given the responsibility, he may have succeeded, the way he did with the US-India nuclear deal later ratified by the IAEA, with even the PRC having to keep quiet despite seething with rage. The farm bills that were made into law by the Modi government are what the Congress Party claimed that it wanted, although it became clear that the powerful interests behind the reform succeeded through “goodwill” in getting the UPA not to implement reforms essential for agriculture in India, but which have now been put in abeyance by an order of the Supreme Court of India on the reported grounds that the laws have caused protests to break out, as indeed they have. Whether reform should be held up because of protests is a point needing attention, as if such an view is adopted, reform will be impossible. That too in a country where in essence the Police Code and the Criminal Code date back to nearly a hundred and fifty years. How such codes co-exist with the Constitution of India that is far more modern in its mindset is among the many reasons why India is such an incredible country. The other threat is the GHQ-Rawalpindi-PLA alliance. This is working to once again plunge Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh into chaos and takeover, and must be not just resisted but defeated. There must be no repeat of 1962, only of 1971. Prime Minister Modi has pioneered the Act East policy. Now what is needed is to act on the threat from the dragon and its lackey. This will involve the building of credible alliances and planning designed to ensure victory in each of the fronts that GHQ Rawalpindi-PLA is working on, including the use of social media to promote disaffection in society through the spread of disinformation and hate-inducing messages. An alliance against this threat is not an option but a necessity. Defeat is as unthinkable as stalemate in this battle of wills between PM Modi and General Secretary Xi Jinping. Action to secure victory is what is needed, and what will surely happen.