On the eve of Independence Day — 2014…
The daily I read is a Congress Party mouthpiece, spiritedly in opposition to the ruling National Democratic Alliance. However, going through it today left me palpably happy at how remakably well this country is now governed, thanks to the people of India who chose Narendra Modi to lead the nation’s affairs. The marked degree of difference, compared to how it was during the preceeding decade under the UPA regime, was underscored by an observation of the Supreme Court headlined even by the avowedly antagonistic news and reports the Times Of India routinely carries … ” Stop acting like UPA on Ganga : SC to govt “. To mimick the media, I visualise “sources” reporting Manmohan Singh, the previous captive Prime Minister : “I am delighted and the country is relieved with my (and my Party’s) removal from power …” As I am, and vast majority of people are !
Let me sum up some of the other news that fills me with an euphoric state of well-being :
On his first visit to Kargil as PM, Modi minced no words in stating that Pakistan continues to sponsor terror missions in India, even while emphasising that the neighbour has finally lost the capacity and will for facing a frontal war. Our neighbour has launched four since 1947 and has been soundly, humiliatingly beaten in every one of them. Expectedly, the editorial faults the plain-speak saying, “Modi chiding Pakistan for pursuing a proxy war does nothing to improve bilateral relations.” It would prefer the Indian Prime Minister to adopt a gentler approach, the one which has done nothing to arrest the violence triggered from across our borders and which the people are frankly tired of !
It comforts me that the Govt is now redressing a wrong perpetuated by successive previous regimes that never found it worthwhile to award the country’s highest honour to Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard who kept India on the top in the game for over two decades. However the cause of my delight is not limited to the person but to the overarching question : What kind of a country do we want ? What national values must we reinforce with our day-to-day decisions ? It rankles that the UPA govt had the great man, the nation’s pride, in its last year’s honours list but went for a promoted candidate instead — the little master of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, who is reported to have gained enough from brand equity garnered from his exploits in the field.
The removal of Gandhi-Nehru name from our national schemes and projects is as a much a matter of my happiness as the hashtags #CongressMuktaBharat and #CorruptionFreeIndia I have actively supported and promoted. A country that has largely shunned such personality intense and cult promotions, the practice reminds me that horribly misplaced slogan coined during the infamous Emergency days : Indira is India — India is Indira … reducing a nation to a person and blowing up a person to equal the oldest nation on earth !
Today, the country premier crime and corruption investigating agency has dared to move a note regarding ‘irregularities’ public sector bank appointments at senior levels and, consequently, the Govt will review several of the suspicious ones. The action would be symbolic of the clean-up this country sorely needs to stem this pervasive corruption that has come to characterise our affairs. The President has given the nod for review of 12 university vice-chancellor appointees, several during the very last days of the previous regime.
ON FAST TRACK – Govt sets deadline for 245 services
- Chasing neighbourhood cops to get a no-objection certificate for a passport won’t be necessary now as Delhi Police has committed to a 20-day deadline for it.
- This and 244 more services by various state departments, civic agencies and Delhi Police have been brought under the Delhi Time-bound Service Delivery Act as an Independence Day gift. Already , 116 services by 24 departments are covered by the Act.
- Delhi Police has committed to issuing copies of FIRs to complainants within a day, and complete verification of tenants and servants in 20 days.
- NDMC has promised to remove obstructions from roads in one day . It will sanction building plans in one day and complete mutation of property in seven days. Even the corporations have agreed to sanction building plans for residential development within 30 days.
- Bus passes for students, the physically disabled and senior citizens will be issued in a day . The higher education department may agree to issue provisional certificates within 15 days.
- The department of women and child development has committed to sanction pension to widows and women in distress within 45 days.
- The notification of these is likely by the end of this week. The law governing time-bound delivery of services prescribes penalties for officers who harass the public with delays.
Prime Minister might dare to continue with his habit of speaking extempore while addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort, after his Govt launches state-of-the-art warships INS Kolkata and INS Kamorta. The aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was commissioned in June this year. There are 44 warships currently on order in Indian shipyards valued at over Rs 2000 billion, These are part of the plan to steadily build a three-dimensional blue-water Navy capable of taking care of India’s huge strategic interests in the region stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait.