Ram Buxani is a Dubai-based veteran Non-Resident Indian entrepreneur and Chairman of the a 60-year-old business conglomerate ITL Cosmos Group. He is also an established community leader of the NRI population in U.A.E.
Seventy is just the start of great things to come
Sixty years in the Hindu system is the halfway mark of life. Seventy has a special significance. With fifty years still to go in the granted lifespan it is the most spiritual of anniversaries and is marked by the blessings of the Lord for longevity, health and the capability and intent to do good things. The special ceremony is known as Bhima Ratha Shanti and is customarily organized by the couple’s children, grandchildren and younger siblings or relatives and the larger family.
In the case of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that would mean a celebration by 6 billion people who have watched India under his stewardship soar to the top of the leaderboard and give India a global presence she has not enjoyed since Nehru promised her people a tryst with destiny these seven decades.
The seventieth birthday has a universal application. Known commonly as the platinum jubilee it has even received mention and salutation in the Bible.
The King James translation of Psalm 90:10 reads: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength, labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
We unreservedly offer that collective strength to Narendra Modi not to fly away so he may carry on for years with vim and vigour and enhance even further the dedication of giving the country a front seat in the comity of nations.
Many of us will on this day applaud the Modi era for its boost to commerce, trade, foreign relations, military muscle, urban and rural development but I would like to underscore one overwhelming achievement.
The health of a nation
The Prime Minister was famously quoted as saying,
“When I think of a developed India, I think of a healthy India, particularly the good health of the women and children of our nation.”
And I think it becomes mandatory even as we laud his giving the nation a facelift that we focus attention on this tremendously vital aspect of health. On birthdays and anniversaries we wish the concerned individual good health. It is an essential mantra. Mr Modi mobilised the concept and made it valid for every single citizen, accentuating the need for sanitation, cleanliness, hygiene and personal grace and self-esteem.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement) is a campaign by the Government of India to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country’s 4,041 statutory cities and towns. It has designated ambassadors and activities such as national real-time monitoring or the spread of updated practices through chosen NGOs.
The Jal Jeevan mission promises running potable water to all by 2024. At present 75% of Indian households do not have drinking water on the premises and about 84 per cent rural households do not have access to piped water.
He also almost single handedly changed the world’s mindset about backward, poverty stricken crippled India and reflected her power and her glory, her might and her intellect, her heritage and her culture by exporting yoga as the savior. And the world responded. Every June 21 the Indian iconic health prescription is marked through International Yoga Day in a benediction encompassing billions.
But if Mr Modi truly made good his promise it was in empowering the rights of women. Seen today as a modern, sensitive, thinking leader he has uplifted scores of women by creating policy designed to give a better life and ensure the dignity of the female sex. His scheme for self-reliance gave a tangible helping hand to 25 crore women who were on the cusp of destitution.
From the simple but crucial supply of sanitary napkins through the Jan Aushadhi programme in rural India and the Ujjwala scheme for obtaining gas cylinders to the success of the Mudra Yojna and easy access to bank loans, Mr Modi did what he meant to do. He succinctly encapsulated his priority in these words: “Whenever women got an opportunity, they made India proud and further strengthened it. The country is now determined to provide equal opportunities for self-employment and employment to women. Now, women are also working in coal mines. Our daughters are scaling heights by flying fighter planes”.
Modi’s decision to set up a committee to explore the possibility of an increase in the marriageable age of girls is welcomed and never been done before. It will look into never before issues like Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Fertility Child Sex Ratio (CSR) in a nation where male chauvinism has ruled the roost.
These are only some of the wonderful gifts he has given to us. In return on his birthday we should not only offer gratitude but send out the message loud and clear from this time and place that his call on the world to see India as the nation of tomorrow in all its finery and grandeur has made 30 million NRIs stand up tall with pride and fulfilment that being Indian now counts for so much.
Keep on doing the good work Prime Minister, we are with you.