In 2014, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into the limelight, along came a quest to rejuvenate India, economically and socially. The 2014 Manifesto proposed by the party spoke clearly about unity, equality and growing together: Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. Among several promising plans, there was a sense and belief in this government to build up a system, where people in power would act for the public good.
Now in its third-year in-charge, the BJP- government, eyeing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, is also clear about a vision for 2022. In a democratic setup, the role of states is pivotal in shaping the larger perspective and maintaining equilibrium amongst the masses. This year, in particular, BJP has been quite successful in achieving this goal. The party managed to get a grip over matters in several states, after replicating its winning nature in the Assembly Elections.
In his address after the party’s win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated the win will provide the foundation for a ‘New India’; an inclusive India. “Indians today are not waiting for governmental sops. They only want opportunities to be created for them, so that they can work for their livelihood and prosperity,” said Modi.
A plan for 2022 is an emphasis on BJP’s re-election hopes, presenting itself as it will be at the centre, without much effort when the time comes. Since 2014, the government has focused on topics and areas of significant public interest such as digitisation, cleanliness, social reforms, equality, women empowerment etc. In all, the government has managed to fulfil the idea of hope and continues to instil a positive feeling that the cost of development would not be the common man. The government is “of those who have voted for it and also those who have not… of those who have walked along, and also of those who have not.”
The problem with a country like India is perhaps the nature of middle class – a section the current government has not spoken much about or has done. The middle class continues to grow, as more and more people are sandwiched between the rich and poor. A gap growing by the day, instead of getting bridged. The middle class were interested in Narendra Modi’s vision, during the 2014 elections and were instrumental in the party’s eventual success. “The strength of the poor and aspirations of the middle class can take India to new heights,” expressed Modi.
“The upcoming 1st January on 2018 will not be standard. The people who were born in the 21st century will find that this date will decide a lot in their lives.” Modi also welcomed the youth, an important demographic of the population, “to be a part of the force which develops India.” Women are also an important deciding factor for the Modi government. In the 2014 manifesto, BJP pledged for an India where there’s a greater involvement of women. The party recognised women as an integral part of its “nation building process.”
The idea is simple and put across well by the Prime Minister and President, Ramnath Kovind during their respective speeches around India 71st Independence Day celebrations. The notion of ‘New India’ runs by and through the people and not the democracy itself. This is why there has been a focused attention towards people, individuals, team-building and more importantly nation-building in both the speeches. While basic amenities such as electricity, pucca houses, healthcare and education were key benchmarks to be achieved going ahead, building a compassionate society also needs to be addressed.
With each public speaking opportunity, the current government continues to think-through and make their relationship more personal. During his speech on 15 August, Modi emphasised on the words, “brother”, “sister” and “team” while talking about the New India, constantly highlighting the role he plays in enabling India to accomplish the proposed outcomes. Somewhere helping us that re-election in 2019 will not be a matter of choice, but a sort of moral obligation if the nation has to progress together: Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.
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The CSR Journal Team