Modi governance: Beyond all the hype and hoopla
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi completes his two years in office after a week or so on May 26, the hype and hoopla surrounding the revolutionary reformative announcements of his Government is slowing fading out.
When India voted for Modi in 2014, people saw in him a game changer – someone who could lift the nation from policy “paralysis” that it found itself stuck during the UPA regime. The new Government did not let down the people and announced its intention to bring in big-bang reforms and ambitious projects.
However, two years on, the desired change is not visible at the ground level. Water crisis, unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition, pot-holed roads and other such issues continue to haunt the Indians. The honeymoon period of the Government is over and the people who have voted the BJP to power want results on the ground.
That is why Bureaucracy Today beginning this edition and for the next one year will keep a track of the work being done by various Central ministries. This magazine will investigate how the common man is grappling with everyday changes and challenges, opportunities and conflicts. It will track and monitor the institutions of governance and policy makers and will analyse whether the big-ticket schemes are actually being translated into reality.
As India reels under a severe drought and the onslaught of a water crisis is threatening the lives of common people, our Cover Story in this edition analyses the work of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in the last two years after the NDA-II Government came to power.
However, it seems there is more lip service as against any concrete measure to grapple with the problem that is due to years of mismanagement of water resources by subsequent Governments both at the Centre and in the States.
Reservoirs and wells in India are running dry but the apathy of elected representatives to such a serious issue remains unchanged. What could be more unfortunate and shameful than the fact that at a time when water woes should be the top national concern, only 80-odd MPs were present in the Lok Sabha on May 5 when it discussed the issue of drought in the country. Such apathy and indifference is not only shocking but also dangerous.
The Union Government also cannot shirk its responsibility by claiming that the water is a State subject. It should strike a balance between federalism and its constitutional duty.
Modi must place the water issue at the centre of his development agenda. And as the Supreme Court on May 11 slammed the Centre for not planning in advance to deal with the drought problem and observed, “The buck will eventually stop with the Government of India.”
However, everything is not lost. There is still people’s hope and faith in Modi’s visionary and pragmatic leadership. As the Modi Sarkar enters its third year, we hope that it will seize this moment and live up to the expectations of the people and change the game rules for India.