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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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The Plight Of Kashmir’s Pandits

The Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Kashmiri Pandits
Plight of Kashmiri Pandits continues: Community members. Flickr

Dozens of Kashmiri Pandits on Friday paid homage to civilians, Army men and their community members killed since 1989 and said the plight of Pandits still continues.

For 28 years, the Kashmiri Pandit community has been observing September 14 as ‘Martyrs’ Day-Balidan Diwas’ at B.K. Ganjoo memorial park in Central Delhi.

United Kingdom-based activist Shafalica Bhan Kotwal who has been fighting for the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits, said: “There is no major change in the lives of Kashmir Pandits, their plight still continues despite Bharatiya Janata Party being in power.

Kashmiri pandits
Kashmir. Pixabay

“Most of them were thrown out of their homes. They are living in pathetic conditions in shelter homes with no basic facilities.”

She said the community was once accustomed to living in minus 17 degrees Celsius. “Their families are now living in the hostile Jammu weather,” she added.

The son of Kasmiri Pandits’ leader Tika Lal Taploo, Ashutosh Taploo, was at the meeting. He said: “My father was killed not just because he was a Pandit..because he was looked as the Hindu community leader.”

Kashmiri Pandits
Kashmiri Hindus protest renaming of Shankaracharya Hill. Flickr

Taploo said his father was the first Pandit to have fallen to terrorist bullets in the Valley.

Also Read: Jammu And Kashmir’s Ad Film Wins Gold At IAA Awards

“Till today no government has brought any major change in Pandits’ lives, the atrocities we experienced and psychological trauma we suffered is fresh” he said.

In a statement calling for justice to “victims of terrorism,” the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora said a memorandum signed by thousands of Kashmiri Pandits has been addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted to Union Minister Hansraj Ahir. (IANS)