Many may call him an anti-Muslim or a Hindu with extremist tendencies, but for me Narendra Modi is the best Prime Minister India can ever have. Even critics cannot deny his intentions for India's development, and he has proved his mettle in a number of tough conditions. His undeterred resolve to turn India into a 'no-corruption' country along with his commitment to development helped him win Lok Sabha 2014 with absolute majority. And guess why even the opposition hasn't seriously accused the Modi government of corruption so far? It's because there isn't any.
1. His stand against divisive politics
The Godhra Riots, one of the most controversial topics in modern Indian history, became a major talking point in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections. Just days after Modi was sworn in as Gujarat's Chief Minister in 2002, the Godhra riots broke out in which more than 1000 Indians were killed. Despite being new on the job, he brought the entire state under control within 72 hours. The situation which he was in was not an easy one. During the Godhra riots, he sought army help from the then chief ministers of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. They refused point blank. Despite these problems, he controlled the riots that could have brought biblical destruction upon Gujarat.
Since Independence there have been hundreds of riots. However, Gujarat was the only state to set up a court to investigate and jail the culprits.
Since Independence there have been over 90 massacres and hundreds of riots. However, Gujarat was the only state to set up a court to investigate and jail the culprits. Modi had to face Special Investigation Team (SIT) probes several times after being alleged to have an active role, but was given the clean chit eventually.
Ultimately, Modi went on to enjoy three terms as chief minister of Gujarat and though he did have detractors, many Muslims living in Gujarat supported him. This certainly doesn't support the theory that Modi believes in divisive politics. He has shown time and again that he can steer India above petty politics that use caste, creed and religion as a tool.
2. A champion of development
The mission of development has become Modi's USP, capturing the imagination of the public since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections with slogans like 'Acche Din', 'Sab ka Saath, Sabka Vikaas' and 'Abki Bar Modi Sarkar'. That's what differentiated him from others.
After being voted to power he did not forget his mantra. He brought initiatives like the 'Jan Dhan Yojana', 'Startup India, Standup India', 'Smart Cities' and 'Make in India'. Just recently, Make in India Week brought investment commitments of up to ₹15.2 lakh crore.
According to the Economic Survey, thanks to the Make in India initiative FDI inflows have increased by about 40%. Companies like Bombardier, Foxconn and Apple have committed to investments in India that can bring employment and development.
Thanks to the Make in India initiative FDI inflows have increased by about 40%.
All this having been said, let's face the reality. The development hasn't been as expected. Why? One must not forget that the unending rules, regulations and policies of a 10-year regime take time to untangle. Modi has no magic wand that can turn around the economy in such a short time. We are going in the right direction, but we have to be patient. Consider this: if a goods train that is travelling at a great speed wants to make a U-turn, it will slow down first. It's similar in the case of the Indian economy. The economy has made sufficient progress. Now give it time to show results.
3. His handling of terrorism and security threats
Consider this. In 2008, a group of Pakistani terrorists arrived on Mumbai's shores in a boat called Kuber, walked right into Taj Mahal Hotel, CST, Leopold Cafe, Nariman House and other locations and opened fire. They did not see caste, creed or religion. The attack killed over 300 innocent people, most of whom were women and children. The 26/11 attacks showed India's vulnerability when it came to internal security. The terrorists were neutralized in 72 hours after NSG commandos, police and sections of army took control of the situation. This was then.
If figures are to be believed, infiltration bids have drastically fallen under the Modi administration.
Now consider this. On 2 January, after PM Modi returned to India after visiting his Pakistani counterpart, terrorists holed up in Pathankot airbase. They had strict instructions from their Pakistani handlers to destroy Indian assets and anything that could help the Indian army. The infiltration in the Pathankot airbase was detected by a drone that was deployed for regular patrolling. As soon as the authorities had information of the infiltration, they sealed the entire area and neutralized them in less than three days with minimal damage to civilian life and property. While India did lose some army men, if the terrorists had managed to blow up Pathankot airbase, the destruction of life and property would have been many times worse.
If figures are to be believed, infiltration bids have drastically fallen under the Modi administration. Apart from this, India is also prepping its military arsenal by entering joint partnerships with France, USA, Russia and Israel. The arsenal predominantly includes nuclear capable submarines, F-16s, rockets and choppers. These will help ensure security at Indian borders at all times.
4. His lobbying for permanent UNSC membership for India
Throughout 2015, Modi travelled to various countries, and was dubbed the 'NRI Prime Minister' by some. What they didn't note was that by travelling so extensively he was furthering three key agendas: improving relationships with countries, inviting investments and winning support for India's permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
There hasn't been any other Prime Minister in Indian history who has worked so hard for India's bid for a permanent UNSC seat.
After travelling and inviting ambassadors and leaders from countries like the US, Germany, Russia, France and Japan, he achieved almost everyone's support for India's UNSC bid. This support was a direct result of his efforts to showcase India's eligibility for a position on this international platform. In my knowledge, there hasn't been any other Prime Minister in Indian history who has worked so hard for India's bid for a permanent UNSC seat.
Also see on HuffPost: