Rashmi Mehta is a Businessman and the Key Trustee at the Lilavati Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai
History is often considered to be a series of stories about men and women who inspire and lead from the front and bring about a real positive impact on the society and perhaps, if one is to wonder who would that be for the times we live in, we have to go no further than our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Often, and rightly so, referred to as the “YUGPURUSH”, he has proven himself to be the most capable leader our country has ever witnessed. He has done that by transforming his revolutionary ideas into definite reality and bringing about a fundamental change in the way Indians are perceived all over the globe. It would be a severe understatement to call him just the ‘Champion of Development’, for more than that he is the champion of the ordinary common man and has given many reasons for every Indian to be proud of his, her or their roots.
Shri Modi with his passion, commitment and zealous efforts, continues to inspire every Indian to do his bit for the nation. Let’s take a cursory glance at some of his efforts and achievements, which were hitherto considered impossible.
1. Leading India’s bid for a Permanent UNSC Membership: Despite receiving unwarranted criticism for doing so, what his detractors failed to see was that by his multiple official visits to friendly countries he was furthering three key Indian causes: improving relationships with countries, inviting investments and winning support for India’s permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
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.
2. Powerful Mass Appeal: Shri Modi’s mass appeal is due to multitude of reasons such as his relentless focus on youth empowerment, fighting corruption, taking concrete steps to eliminate terrorism, his efforts to reduce the socio-economic inequality prevalent before his tenure to name a few.
3. Abrogation of Article 370 in the former State of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K): This Article comes in Part 21 of the Constitution and pertains to the Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions. It resulted with a 1974 accord between Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah which restored peace in J&K. It renders political and administrative autonomy to J&K in all matters except defense, atomic energy, CBI, foreign affairs, railways, ports, maritime security, elections, currency and the likes. It aimed to allow time for political injury to heal but it has turned into a bargaining tool.
For a healthy democracy, all states must be equal. Special status and special category likely create a sense of entitlement that hurts India and therefore under his governance Article 370 has been abrogated in the state of J&K.
Abrogation of Article 370 was a much-needed step to cohesively integrate the people of J&K with the rest of the country and bring about a political unity which every nation strives for.
4. Striving for a clean India: The Swacch Bharat Abhiyan is a wonderful example of how the PM has managed to battle the issue of cleanliness and hygiene in India, especially amongst the children and the youth of the country – a long standing concern in India. In the process, he has succeeded to introduce a healthy competition by naming clean cities and clean railway stations, putting cleanliness on the national agenda.
The campaign has received tremendous success and is one which will definitely make India a better place for every citizen.
5. Empowering India: “Make in India”, these three words declared by the PM from the ramparts of the Red Fort woke the nation up to its potential. For years, India has been grappling with the menace of unemployment but the PM’s vision to transform India into the manufacturing hub of the world has breathed new life into about 25 different sectors. Furthermore, the efforts put in by the PM to make India a more business friendly country, courtesy of various policies and also with the arrival of “Digital India”, the country has taken massive steps to connect everyone, from urban to rural areas and has thus given, a great boost to the economy.
6. Steps to eliminate Terrorism: Bold steps taken against terrorism by Shri Modi include carrying out surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, resuming cordon and search operations in more than 20 villages in Shopian and combing operations launched against Maoists in Chhattisgarh among many others. Furthermore, the act of taking critical and meaningful steps against terrorism has united the country like never before.
7. Leading the World: India has been quite a docile follower despite its immense capabilities. Under PM Narendra Modi India have broken out of its shell. Be it with regard to the BRICS bank or when Shri Modi, along with French President François Hollande, launched an alliance of over 120 nations – the Solar Alliance – at Paris COP21 climate summit. He volunteered to set up the headquarters in Gurgaon, India, once again bringing our nation to the forefront. Under him, India has emerged from the shadows and taken on the lead in the global space.
8. Connecting India like never before: PM Modi’s government has been giving a huge boost to infrastructure. Railways, Roads, and Shipping have been the focus to augment this infrastructure and aid in connectivity. The Railway budget focuses on structural and infrastructural reforms. New trains are announced on a regular rather than annual basis.
9. The World Does Yoga Together: International Yoga Day is celebrated annually on 21st June since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice attributed mostly to India and this all possible through the efforts of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.
10. The masterstroke a.k.a. Demonetization: Apart from the above, demonetization was a bold step taken by the Prime Minister which created a huge impact as many black money holders were worried about the pile of cash they were sitting on and all these strong steps that have been taken by the Prime Minister were for eliminating the corruption from society.
11. Eco-Friendly steps: Under Modi government, various steps have been taken towards achieving eco-friendly goals for a sustainable future. The widely successful campaigns such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Clean Ganga Mission, National Air Quality Index, Toilets Before Temples, and Clean Mission for Mount Everest have given a boost to the country’s ecological balance.
12. SANKALP SE SIDDHI (New India Movement 2017-2022): Sankalp Se Siddhi scheme is a 5-year plan of building new India by focusing on major issues such as Corruption-free, Literate India, Poverty-free, Communalism free, Caste discrimination free, Clean India and Terrorism Free. It also aims to double low income group families especially poor farmers’ income.
13. Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A survey of world leaders and their performance in the time of coronavirus pandemic claimed that PM Modi was ahead of all major Global Leaders in approval ratings in their respective countries. The overall response of Shri Modi has been nothing short of fantastic by leading the nation in these tough times.
AWARD AND HONOUR TO PM MODI
PM Modi has been conferred various honours including the highest civilian honour of Saudi Arabia Sash of King Abdulaziz. Shri Modi has been also been conferred the top awards of Russia (The Order of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First), Palestine (Grand Collar of the State of Palestine), Afghanistan (Amir Amanullah Khan Award), UAE (Zayed Medal) and Maldives (Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen). In 2018, PM received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize for his contribution to peace and development.
A ‘PEOPLE’S LEADER’
Narendra Modi is a ‘People’s Leader’, dedicated to solving their problems and improving their well-being. Nothing is more satisfying to him than being amongst the people, sharing their joys and alleviating their sorrows. His powerful ‘personal connect’ with the people on ground is complemented by a strong online presence. He is known as India’s most techno-savvy leader, using the web to reach people and bring about change in their lives. Not only that, he has authored several books, including poetry.
There is no doubt that PM Modi does what he preaches, and it is a sign of a man who is still in touch with his roots; a man who wants to advance but not at the cost of his cultural values and for PM Modi, the nation always comes first, as he has demonstrated that multiple times.
In my humble opinion, what else could we ever hope to accomplish in our lives than to achieve complete synergy of purpose between what we do and who we are? To teaching kindness and helping to foster empathy and compassion. To standing up for justice and inspiring millions of people around the world and in Shri Modi’s case giving an entire country and also the world an example of not only how this world is changing, but to also show how to be that change. Change is inevitable and I believe the work he has done so far will positively impact generations to come.
Our relationship goes far beyond his tenure as the PM of India when he was a fellow Gujarati, someone with an immaculate vision for India and its future. His grit and passion are unmatched and his attention to detail is remarkable. Like a jeweler who can discern a gem without using a magnifying glass, PM Modi’s judgement on so many occasions have proved to be just as accurate.
On this special occasion of his 70th Birthday, I wish him the best of luck and I pray to almighty to give him the strength to continue taking this country to phenomenal heights, keep him in good health and give him a long and healthy life.