Monday, May 16, 2016

A Letter To Narendra Modi On His Government's Second Anniversary

Dear Shri Narendra Modi,

These are celebration times again. Two years after historic election victory, and nearly two years of being in government. There will be a lot of articles praising and analyzing your past two years. There will be various "samvads" and such. You also know how such "intellectual/academic/media" crowd is divided into doomsayers and boomsayers. I won't bore you with that stuff.

Last year, I wrote a series (mentioned here) evaluating your first year in office. I wrote that much later than on 16th May, for in my opinion, none had really broached the perspective I had in mind. That is why this year I wrote my article much earlier. I attempted highlighting your falls, to caution you lest you forget your urgent "to-do list" in the din generated by conflicting cacophony. In the end I cursorily touched upon what you could do (redo) to (re)gain momentum.

This letter is in a similar spirit. I was contemplating writing a somewhat bigger summary of the combination of what I wrote last year as well as this year. However, I decided against it. There is no point in repeating things all over again.

Instead, I want to write a somewhat oblique observation. I will try to cut the drab and give only a small number of paragraphs, which (I hope) have explosive punch. This might give you another perspective:

1. You got to office, riding on support as well as expectations of people. Instead of making a head-start, you have been dabbling with established non-workable solutions, as well as dilly-dallying regarding taking meaningfully tough decisions.

To cut the story short:

Two years have gone behind. I do not want five or ten years also to go behind similarly. You have striven in some ways for these two years. You may have learned something about these ways. The least you should have learned is what does not work. So what does one do if one discovers that things one tried did not work? One changes course.

2. Dharma is eternal, though particular warriors for dharma are place-holders who execute the fight. If those who are put as place-holders do not hold their place, replacements must and will happen. We as individuals are at best place-holders, and we do service to ourselves by holding our place well, and work for dharma.

In light of the above, I adjure you to consider this:

Spend the next ten days, relaxing and mulling over what to do, and more importantly what not to do. Since you dislike taking holidays, I will avoid suggesting that, though that might be even better. Even otherwise, relax, in the sense that, you take routine decisions, you attend "government anniversary parties", you listen to media review, and you answer their questions also. Yet, at the back of your mind, remain quiet and meditate.

Few people voted for you to make you a Prime-Servant so that they could relax. Most people voted for you to enable you to take a position of "General" with whose leadership they could fight the long war that needs to be fought and won.

You need to change course radically. In fact it should actually be a new course. Whether Jaitley or  Irani, whether Modi or  SubbuSwamy, names and persons are not the issue. Charting on the new course is.

We have had too many of "If only Prithviraj Chauhan had not pardoned Ghori" analyses of history. Let this time it be such that "This Prithiviraj does not pardon Ghori" builds the future.

Imagine, as if this year you have won an election for a three year term. Think afresh. It is time for you to Reboot.

All the best.