Change is in order. Atleast in India it is. In the past 3 years, we have seen multitudes of historic events – rise of corruption scams, Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, birth of Aam Aadmi Party and historic elections in 2014 to name a few. The media has kept a close eye on what the newly elected BJP-led government is doing. Its hardly been over a week and I have already read a few articles on what policies are being adopted by the ‘Modi Sarkaar’ and how are they different or along the same lines with what the previous Manmohan Singh led government had been doing. This hype and expectation from the government has never been expected before. So is the hype and expectation(or over-expectation) justified? Can the ‘Modi Sarkaar’ really bring about the revolution India is hoping for?
The campaign ‘Abki Baar Modi Sarkaar’ has been successful in producing historic results in this years elections. Lets see the stats first – this year India recorded the highest voter turnout ever at 66.4%. Just to put things in perspective India had seen a 58.2% turnout in 2009. This indicates that people wanted a change. In terms of absolute numbers the total votes cast rose by 32% overall from 2009. And interestingly enough the number of female voters surpassed the other gender in 16 states out of 35! These are some extra-ordinary numbers. And even the results of the Lok Sabha Elections were nothing ordinary to say the least!
But all that is now in the past. The current million dollar question is – can this new government live upto the faith the nation has shown in it? I have been following the interviews and speeches given by Modi over the past few months. He talks of all the changes he wants to bring about and the reforms he believes in. He claims he can answer India’s questions and implement the ‘Gujarat Model’ in the country. Even if we believe Modi Sarkaar to do that – which in itself is a huge leap of faith; will the Gujarat model work for the country as a whole? Economists and politicians are divided are on this. But as a common man how does it affect me, how does it affect the rising Indian middle class?
The Gujarat model has a very capitalist implementation to it; meaning it will favor the industries and propel the growth of investments. One disadvantage of this is the fact that under absolute capitalism, the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. But, consider this, India since the late 90’s has seen a surge in entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship mentality among the youth. People are willing to go after their own ideas and test them in the open market. In an environment which is investor friendly, this will be a big boon. And another feature of the Gujarat model that can aid the budding entrepreneurs is the economic freedom; this simply translates to lesser hindrances from the government. People who have followed the famous Indian TV series – ‘Office Office’ by Pankaj Kapoor would easily relate to this. Economic freedom simply means lesser number of government officials to meet to get things done. This can easily result into small industries and new career fronts growing in the country. Also, to support this high industry-growth India would need a good solid infrastructure foundation – one that is highly due since more than a couple of decades now. In order to successfully implement the Gujarat model, the Government will have to push for more infrastructure projects than ever before which can never be a bad thing!
Another interesting fact about the Gujarat model was growth in agriculture. Over the past decade, a lot of arid and barren land under the Kutch district in Gujarat has been converted to farmlands. With Punjab being the powerhouse for agriculture and states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu who have a high number of farmers, a Gujarat model or atleast a Gujarat-like model would greatly help the country in a big way. And looking at the bigger picture, India – a traditionally agricultural country will always benefit from a model that lays emphasis on agricultural development, isn’t it?
I am no economist, in fact I have hated economics as a subject throughout my school and college life 🙂 ; so I am definitely not the right person to decide if this new Government can go about bringing any good to the country or not. But as a common person, I can definitely see more ups than downsides to the thought-process and reforms the ‘Modi Sarkaar’ wants to bring in. Will they actually go ahead and bring about the change? Only time can tell. But as a young Indian in the 21st century, I can definitely see the New Wave coming to India and the people have already taken a part in this change. But the job is only half-done…