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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his promises: The done, undone and in-betweens

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By Ishan Kukreti

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed into the Parliament last year with many promises. He offered something for everyone, from improved job opportunities to the youth, better agricultural policies for farmers to a Ram Mandir for the devout and a home for Kashmiri Pandits.

His watchwords, development, and good governance gripped the populace of an economically crawling nation with running rampant corruption, almost in a frenzy.

It’s been more than a year since, and the search for Acche Din is still on. Here is a list of promises made in the BJP manifesto of 2014 elections and the presence or absence of their development.

Ram Mandir (Promise unfulfilled)

The NDA victory raised the hopes of Mandir seekers to abnormal levels. However, Narendra Modi, after coming to power, has shown that steely, irritating silence on the topic which he has started employing for a range of other issues. No temple has been built so far, but a ‘Ram Museum’ might see the light of day, some time in the future.

muslims-will-soon-give-nod-to-ram-temple-in-ayodhya-vhp_080614102107

P.S: The disputed site did have a temple before Babri Mosque. But is that land/temple really the birth place of Lord Ram? There is no way of knowing.

Black Money (Promise unfulfilled)

The kind of gusto shown by BJP during election rallies and the promise of Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s bank account within 100 days seem nothing more than gas, passed for vote bank rather than actual bank. Now the government is down to giving threats to defaulters which sound more childish and desperate than dead serious.

Money

Abrogation of Article 370 and the return of Kashmiri pandit (Promise unfulfilled)

Both the issues are pregnant with passionate nationalistic sentiments. And both have been raised time and again with not much on to show for delivery. The words on BJP’s manifesto on the issues were –

“Ensuring return of Kashmiri pandits (KP) to Jammu and Kashmir and establishing Good Governance in the State while abrogating article 370.”5000Plus at Jantar Mantar - By Ishan Kukreti

On the issue of KP rehabilitation, talks between BJP and PDP in May this year could offer nothing substantial. And what was offered was opposed by the separatists. So, as of now, the better off KPs are in their ‘homes’ and the not so better off are languishing in camps.

On the other hand, or rather the same, question of abrogation Article 370 was done away in the Common Minimum Program signed between BJP and PDP after the J&K elections. The issue has not been raised by anyone who is someone in the present NDA government.

Unbundling Food Corporation of India (Promise dropped)

perspective-2To improve the rot in FCI and improve its efficiency, the manifesto had promised the division of its operations into separate procurement, storage and distribution parts. However, the High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by BJP leader Shanta Kumar appointed to look into the matter recommended against it and the matter was conveniently dropped.

Improvement of housing and infrastructure (Promise in-between)

For infrastructure, this graph speaks louder than words:


source: tradingeconomics.com

For housing, NLUM Scam presents a grim picture, but the data is promising.


source: tradingeconomics.com

Corruption (Promise not kept)

The to be government had taken a tough and uncompromising stand on corruption before the election. After the elections, well, its stance is not just lenient and compromising, but encouraging too. Here is a graph:


source: tradingeconomics.com

Promise to the ex-servicemen (Promise not kept)

The words from the manifesto 2014 say “Appoint a Veterans Commission to address the grievances of veterans.” No such commission has been appointed so far. However, the ongoing hunger strike at Jantar Mantar for the implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) by the same veterans, makes it clear that they have a major grievance. Whether the government is planning to set up the commission first and then address it or not address it at all, is something only time or maybe a war can tell.

Any government’s performance is judged by the various socio-economic indicators and they, under Modi government are not something to be very proud of right now.

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Interesting Life Facts About Dr BR Ambedkar

Dr BR Ambedkar came from a middle-class Dalit family and barely had money to make ends meet but still, he didn’t budge on his efforts against social injustices.

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Dr BR Ambedkar efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system were phenomenal. Wikimedia Commons
Dr BR Ambedkar efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system were phenomenal. Wikimedia Commons
  • Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar
  • Dr BR Ambedkar inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement in India
  • In 1924, Dr BR Ambedkar formed a community for removing difficulties of the untouchables and placing their grievances before government

“I do not want that our loyalty as Indians should be in the slightest way affected by any competitive loyalty whether that loyalty arises out of our religion, out of our culture or out of our language. I want all people to be Indians first, Indian last, and nothing else but Indians.”

These were the words from one of the greatest social reformers of our nation and the most influential name who worked against social discrimination. Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar. He was an exceptional leader that modern India has ever seen. Dr BR Ambedkar had multi feathers like that of a jurist, politician and an economist in his hat.

Also Read: Savitribai Phule: The Pioneer Of The Women Education In India

Dr BR Ambedkar was independent India’s first Law Minister and known to be the author of India’s constitution. He used education as a means to rise above all odds and envisioned India to stand on the ladder of prosperity and development. He inspired the Modern Buddhist Movement in India and pioneered campaigns against social discrimination against Dalits, women and labour. He wanted India’s to be a real democratic country and even quoted:

“Democracy is not merely a form of government.It is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. It is essentially an attitude of respect and reverence towards our fellow men.”

Dr BR Ambedkar was elected as the first Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly.
Dr BR Ambedkar was elected as the first Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly.

Dr BR Ambedkar was born in 1891 in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh and died due to severe diabetic neurosis on 6 December 1956 at his home in Delhi. After his demise, his political party was renamed as Republican Party of India in 1957 by his followers. This visionary’s birthday is celebrated as Ambedkar Jayanti in India, every year. He came from a middle-class Dalit family and barely had money to make ends meet but still, he didn’t budge on his efforts against social injustices.

Also Read: Swami Vivekananda’s Quotes That Will Inspire You To The Fullest

The legacy of one of India’s brilliant leader should be noted down well and hence; we have taken up few of the facts about his life and struggle, take a look:

  1. Dr BR Ambedkar ‘s real name was Ambavadekar but his teacher, Mahadev Ambedkar, who was very fond of him, changed his surname from ‘Ambavadekar’ to his own surname ‘Ambedkar’.
  2. Ambedkar was very much against the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gives a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He even offered his resignation for his condition of removing Article 370 from the constitution.
  3. In 1924, Dr BR Ambedkar formed a community for removing difficulties of the untouchables and placing their grievances before government. He named it ‘Bahishkrit Hitakarini Sabha’.
  4. In First Round Table Conference which was held in London on November 12, 1930, Dr BR Ambedkar and Rao Bahadur Srinivasan represented the depressed classes in the assembly.
  5. In 1936, Dr BR Ambedkar formed the Independent Labour Party and participated in the provincial elections of Bombay. In that election, he won 13 seats out of 15 seats reserved for scheduled castes. The Party was transformed by Ambedkar as the All India Scheduled Castes Federation in 1942.
  6. Dr BR Ambedkar was against the strikes and protest by civil servants. In his views, the strike was nothing more than a breach of contract of service.

    Dr BR Ambedkar strongly campaigned against Caste System in India. Wikipedia Commons
    Dr BR Ambedkar strongly campaigned against Caste System in India. Wikipedia Commons
  7. Dr BR Ambedkar was appointed the member of Executive Council of Viceroy as a Labour member in July 1942 and he resigned from this post in May 1946.
  8. In January 1920, Dr BR Ambedkar started a weekly paper called ‘Mooknayak‘(Leader of the Dumb). Through this, he wanted to spread the cause of depressed classes in India.
  9. Due to differences with Jawahar Lal Nehru on the Hindu Code Bill, Dr BR Ambedkar resigned from the Cabinet on September 1951.
  10. Dr BR Ambedkar was elected as the first Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly. He is also referred as the father of the Indian Constitution. However, K.V. Rao portrayed Ambedkar as the mother of the Indian Constitution because according to him, the vital decisions about the Constitution were taken by Nehru and Patel, and Ambedkar followed the same.
  11. In 1952, Dr BR Ambedkar was defeated in the election mainly due to his advocacy of partition of Kashmir. But later in March, he was elected as a member of Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.
  12. It was Dr BR Ambedkar, who changed the working hours in India from 14 to 8 hours.

Also Read: Jamini Roy: A True Rebel Artist

Dr BR Ambedkar efforts to eradicate untouchability and the caste system were phenomenal. Also Being a writer, he wrote many famous books including-The Untouchable: Who are They and Why They Have Become Untouchables, Buddha and His Dhamma, The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women and many more.