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Happy Birthday Narendra Modi! The shortcomings that he could have avoided as Prime Minister

Happy Birthday Narendra Modi! The shortcomings that he could have avoided as Prime Minister

It has been over fifteen months since Modi took charge as the PM with an image of changing the outlook of India with a spell and a wand but little has changed since then.

Be it a 365 kg 'laddoo' being unveiled in Delhi or a 65-meter-long cloth being sent from Uttar Pradesh, wishes are pouring in from all quarters for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday. Even his bitter political allies have kept their differences on the back burner and have taken to Twitter to wish the PM a good day.

It has been over fifteen months since Narendra Damodardas Modi took charge as the Prime Minister with an image of changing the outlook of India with a spell and a wand. There were high expectations from him when he took the oath of office and secrecy on May 26, 2014. He promised several schemes to be implemented, gave a ray of hope of more employment opportunities, improvement in the country's economy among numerous others.

However, as Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said, Narendra Modi is not a "Ronald Reagan on a white horse".

The government undoubtedly, has brought about several changes in the year gone by. From adopting 49% foreign investment in the defence and insurance sectors to opening of millions of bank accounts for poor families to bring them in the economic cycle, from his promise of giving 'minimum government, maximum governance' to gathering support for 'Make in India', policies have been formulated and work has been done.

However, looking back at his tenure in office, the Modi government has also had several shortcomings. With a massive and decisive mandate in Lok Sabha polls, the government has often been accused of being arrogant in its decisions and of ignoring the Opposition calls. They have also been accused of too much publicity but little work on the ground. Modi came with a promise of ‘ache din aane wale hai’, the question now being heard is 'where are the good days’?

Below are some of the allegations that have been levelled against the Prime Minister:

Cozying up to the business community: Modi's 'Make in India' pitch has been wholeheartedly accepted by Corporate India. But while he is leaving no stone unturned to please the India Inc by creating a favourable environment for them, he has been slammed for taking decisions that are against the common man. The opposition parties have attacked the government for advocating the Land Acquisition Bill during the times when drought-hit farmers are eying the government for help. There are allegations of the proposed bill infringing the rights of farmers and land owners to give more benefits to corporates in the name of development. Strongly defending itself, the Modi government has said that the new bill will only ease rules to acquire land which will unleash projects which are aimed at reshaping the crumbling infrastructure in cities and setting up industrial corridors. They also advocate that their vision of building smart cities, expressways and super-fast bullet trains is possible only if the Bill is passed as these are land-intensive projects.

One for the cameras: In stark contrast with his predecessor Manmohan Singh, Modi has been extremely vocal. During all his appearances in the country and abroad, Modi has often been criticised for acting ‘for the cameras’. Not even a single significant step has missed the cameras and his social media team has also done a commendable job to not let any of these steps miss the viewers’ eye. Numerous pictures of the PM float in social media where only he, amidst a group of many, is seen looking towards the camera. Be it his ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ with US President Barack Obama or his ‘Bandhgala’ suit where he wore his style on his sleeve, the cameras clicked and he trended!

PM who remains out of India: From SAARC nations including Bhutan and Nepal to United States of America and United Kingdom, Modi was abroad for 51 out of 365 days in power. He has been repeatedly cornered by the opposition parties over how he is neglecting the internal problem of the country and focussing only on building his image on the world stage. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, even went ahead and mocked PM in the Lok Sabha saying that he should take an ‘India tour’ to understand the problems that the country is facing. The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, hasn’t paid much attention to the claims by the rival parties. Soon after the Modi government completed one year in power, BJP leader Ram Madhav had quoted from the records that Manmohan Singh had been abroad for 47 days in a year but no one even got to know about it and no attention was given to him. “Modi is a visible leader and is making India visible on a global platform,” he had said.

Insulting previous governments on the world stage: "There was a time when people used to feel that what sin they committed in their past life which resulted in taking birth in India, Now I can say it with firm belief that people from all walks of life are eager and happy to come back and settle in India,” he had said. How Modi has portrayed the image of the past governments of India on the world stage has been of the major criticisms against him, which even his followers have agreed with. While attacks and counter attacks on opponents in the political arena is not a new phenomenon, insulting national leaders on the world stage has been seen as an insult to the nation. His remarks have drawn sharp reactions asking if what he meant to say was that people in India had been living in shame before May 26, 2014 when he assumed office of the Prime Minister. People believed that his comments on the world stage against other national leaders has "devalued" the stature of the PM and lowered the dignity of his office.

Not delivering on poll promises: Bringing back black money in 100 days was one of the prime visions that he focussed the attention of the voters on during months of campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls. Even fifteen months after assuming office, the promise remains unfulfilled. Only a special investigation team has been constituted but any result in bringing back the black money stashed abroad does not even figure in the distant horizon. The BJP had promised that it will take decisions on core issues like abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, building Ram temple in Ayodhya and Uniform civil Code, but BJP President Amit Shah on completion of one year in office cited ‘coalition compulsion’ as the reason behind the unfulfilled promises and claiming that just a mandate in Parliament is not enough.

With over three years left and a massive majority in the lower house of Parliament, India hopes that the promises that Modi made are fulfilled and the government treads on the path of development that it had carved in its vision document at the time of the general elections in 2014.

Happy 65th Birthday Mr Prime Minister!