It rarely happens when the government announces a revolutionary decision and the Prime Minister goes on an overdrive, as its brand ambassador, across the country to promote the merits of the step. It didn’t happen when the Union government took the hard decision to liberalise the Indian economy from the stranglehold of state in 1991 or when Right to Information became a fundamental right in the country.
Imagine ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh trying to personally promote the Right to Information Act, 2005 and how to use it for empowerment through rallies across the country after the Act was implemented. Imagine what positive change that could have brought in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style of work is arguably different from Singh. In the days after he sent shock waves across the country by announcing demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes on November 8, PM Modi has attempted to reach almost all parts of the country and personally promote the merits of his decision – from Punjab to Karnataka to Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh. Bihar is lined-up for January 5 and many more are yet to come. Don’t be surprised if Modi decides to address a rally or a function in southernmost Kerala as well.
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One may find Modi’s Punjab and Uttar Pradesh visits reasonable as both states are going into polls early next year. But to Gujarat and Karnataka – why? One may say that Modi went to these states to attend some programmes for which the PM had committed much before announcing demonetisation. But when Modi speaks, he speaks as if he is still not out of the 2014 General Election campaign mode. When he speaks for demonetisation and the subsequent less cash society, Modi doesn’t just speak for one decision of the government, he further makes inroads into people’s psyche and he knows this is the only way to realise what he dreams of.
One can argue whether his intentions are devious or not, but, at the face of it, he appears to be the only politician in the country with a clarity of thought and vision and the man on a mission.
Interestingly, PM Modi has the habit of leaving hints of his future plans before doing so. He had left ample hints for the present demonetisation decision and the government’s digital economy push in months preceding November, 2016.
As far as his bold and unstoppable speeches across the country are concerned, PM Modi had not just hinted but declared much before in advance that he wants to see a “Congress-mukt Bharat”. Demonetisation is PM Modi’s biggest gamble in that direction and he cannot stop touring the nation – not for the coming few months.
Demonetisation and less cash economy, if successful, would mark the end of Congress economy prevailing in the country since independence – and symbolically the biggest achievement for PM Modi’s “Congress-mukt Bharat” mission.