The First Hundred Days of the New Government

A few thoughts that go out from India in the monsoon season. Well, the monsoon season is about to end and it has been an encouraging time as enough rainfall was received. It means India will have enough grain to feed its people and enough money in people’s pockets. India is primarily an agricultural country and as such if the farmer is happy the country is also happy.

The country has also seen the completion of Narendra Modi’s government’s hundred days. Modi made tall promises to be elected prime minister and now, naturally, people are evaluating his success/failure vis-a-vis those promises. A few things have changed. Government officers and staff who used to come to office around 10.30 a.m. are now rushing to the place of work at 9 a.m. This is a good thing and must be admired.

One of the policies announced is the Jan Dhan yojana in which poor people who don’t have bank accounts will get one. The idea is to transfer subsidies and other benefits directly to people’s banks, and, therefore, avoid the middle men. This is a good scheme from all outward appearances. But, if the accounts remain empty how will the banks administer around a billion accounts? Do they have the manpower, the resources?

The prime minister has also visited Japan and come away with investments totalling around USD 50 billion. The economic benefits of this will take time to show, however, this is a good sign of a developed nation’s interest in India. There’s a quid pro quo in this. Japan and India have a common enemy in China and this could be a case of “an enemy’s enemy is a friend.”

Terrorism, Maoism, economic disparity, these are issues the prime minister hasn’t dealt with yet. And, also communalism. The prime minister has asked for a ten year moratorium on communal violence (i.e. violence between religions and castes), but will this be possible at all to implement? Already there are rumblings of discontent which may grow into a groundswell, anytime. Afterall, Modi came to power on a communal agenda. Didn’t he?