India, like the rest of the world, is facing a pandemic, which till today has affected 168,599,045 people and resulted in 3,507,477 deaths worldwide.
Amid this crisis, the world has also started vaccinating people against Coronavirus and so far, administered 1,545,967,545 jabs to the beneficiaries.
India, which has been on the forefront of developing vaccines, has so far administered vaccine doses to about 20.1 crore people and there are 4.24 crore people who have been fully vaccinated without any chaos. This achievement is hailed by the world leaders who know the capabilities and acumen of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi started his first tenure as prime minister of India from May 26, 2014 and was again sworn in as the prime minister on May 30, 2019, thereby completing seven years in the service of the nation.
The journey had not been a smooth ride for the simple reason that he had to fight more enemies within than those across the borders. Opposition parties and a section of society that has been tutored to see ill, talk ill and then spread ill won't digest, but the fact remains that Modi has awakened the nation by showing people how to govern without corruption and how enemies are shown their places without letting this all affect development.
Unlike Congress and other past rulers, these seven years didn't see even an iota of corruption, coal blocks were auctioned in the most transparent manner, spies within the system were weeded out, defense forces were strengthened by making all the necessitated purchases like Apache helicopters and Rafale jets, besides building tanks and missiles indigenously, the country was made to hold massive cleanliness drives, all central schemes reached deserving sections without pilferage and all mega infrastructural projects were completed beforehand for the socio-economic development and empowerment of Indians.
It was the vision of Narendra Modi that several new initiatives were taken up to help India have access to minimum basic facilities that Congress and its allies had been denying to our people for the past 70 years without any regret. Central schemes including Beti Padhao Beti Bachao, Jan Dhan Yojana for enabling poor to have access to banking system, Ease of Doing Business through ‘Make in India', Namami Gange project to clean the holy river, providing electricity and potable water to people in far off places, houses for poor, empowering farmers and institutions like NITI Aayog were all floated/completed/launched to put India's economy on fast-track besides ushering an unprecedented transparency.
Today, India is seeing construction of super highways, tunnels, railway lines, highest railway bridge, sending satellites, preparing for Moon landing, building ports for shipping and one of the most important project – Central Vista, that will not only take the country's eyes off the British era structures but will also help the old and worn out structures to pave a way for enabling India to have an new and indigenously built Parliament House and other offices, which will glorify the nation for centuries to come. Voices of dissension on every issue had been cropping up, but it was the will and vision of Narendra Modi that India got an iconic Statue of Unity leaving the Statue of Liberty far behind when it comes to its dimensions. India also passed several good laws like the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act that gave a dignified life to Muslim women., besides farm bills which are taking the middlemen out of the affair.
The biggest wound that Congress and its allies had ever given to India was the Partition and with that had come into existence Jammu and Kashmir's so-called special status, taking advantage of which the stakeholders used to blackmail the Center and created a mountain out of a hill by describing Article 370 as an indelible mark. It took the Indian Parliament no time to ward-off all rumors and the controversial Article was abrogated without any violence and, along with that, Article 35-A was also gone that denied our daughters their rights. This was a major achievement that insane persons won't even dare to recall or be reminded of.
Narendra Modi chose not to harm a single innocent soul in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and yet gave Ladakh its due share of being a Union Territory while abrogating controversial articles and simultaneously showing Pakistan our India's military might by striking within its territories that's known as ‘Surgical Strike'.
Today, when some bad elements are still trying to flare up communal hatred by instigating particular communities in the name of the Citizenship Amendment Act, Farm Laws or are disapproving of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, our prime minister is showing utmost restraint. He is doing this only to ensure that his aim to empower people, bring home persecuted Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and other such nations, increase income of farmers and vaccinate entire India stands accomplished.
Taking a strong decision of demonetization to check black money, bringing home from abroad all the stranded people during the COVID-19 crisis, handling foreign affairs meticulously, bringing all the NRIs on a common platform, boosting their morale and ensuring that the country stands by them, tightening a noose around crooks who looted Indian banks but were not paying back, and giving the country a fair and effective education policy to ensure that no educational qualification, even that of dropouts, goes waste, is the end result of seven years of statesmanship, which the opposition is unable to digest.
In seven years, how Modi has changed India is an example to reckon with. By empowering culturally rich Indians, ending corruption and redefining the nationalist consensus, he has given India a new vision. Having sailed through the turbulent waters, he faced allegations of polarization yet emerged as winner. Today, when the entire opposition is pitted against just one name ‘Modi' and not the issues confronting people, it establishes that Narendra Modi is rewriting history – history of commitment, national self-esteem and self-reliance. India, post-independence, had become colony of a chosen few families and bureaucrats, and liberating the nation from their hands is what a statesman like Modi has done.
After the verdict of the Supreme Court, a Ram temple is being built at Ayodhya. BJP today is the largest political group in the world and in seven years' time, Narendra Modi has changed the perception of people towards governance. Blemished by corruption at every step, people were dejected and there was a brain drain. Today things are the other way round with more and more youth indulging in start-ups and becoming job givers than job seekers. Facing the pandemic, while BJP and Narendra Modi as prime minister are providing maximum relief to people affected by the pandemic or cyclones through the ‘Seva Hi Sangathan' program, he continues to be humbled and indebted to people at all times for letting him take over the reins of power to serve the country and not rule it.
Lastly, a message for those who are into Modi-bashing: this won't lead to his defeat even in the 2024 general elections because undeterred and far away from these hate speeches or divisive politics, he is going strong and building a strong nation. They must read the signboard ahead, "Work in progress.”
(Raman Suri is an executive member of the BJP's J&K unit. The views expressed are purely personal.)