THE year 2014 will be remembered as a milestone year which proved to be a game changer in the Indian polity. Narendra Modi is the hero of 2014. This will be a red letter year in the life and times of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP. Finally, the RSS is emerging from its shell and for the first time in the history of India, guiding the governance of the country. The other facet of this year is that the 125-year-old Congress party has receded into oblivion. This year will also be remembered for Rahul Gandhi failing to prove himself as a leader of India’s largest and oldest party. The year will also be marked for Manmohan Singh ruling 120 crore people for 10 years without having a political constituency or facing the electorate. What a paradox! History has begun judging Manmohan Singh from 2014 as he allowed scam after scam, just to remain in power. Again, the year will be noted for the display of how to market and use multimedia to influence, motivate and fetch votes. And it will go down in the political history of Haryana and Maharashtra that saw, for the first time, a BJP government. The year will also be remembered for the beginning of the end of regional satraps. The year also stands out for the fact that Indians have partially emerged from the camouflage trick of divisive politics to separate Muslims and Hindus. India has emerged as a votary of development. The electorate of India has wrought a coup by voting on the premise that ‘achche din aa sakte hain’ or good days can be here if a decision to choose the right government is taken wisely. Indians have tremendous hope in the leadership of Modi and there is a clamour for development.
There is no movement in the economy of the country this year. The way India has opened up its doors for international relations has left everybody wondering as to how the roadmap will plan out. After the time of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, External Affairs is emerging as India’s prime focus. This year will also be remembered for a Prime Minister taking oath with less-experienced ministers. The paradox of this year is that the country was ruled by an economist Prime Minister and yet is cash-starved and resources are scarce to implement Modi’s development agenda. The real challenge of Modi in 2014 was how to take India onto the path of progress without the required resources. Neighbour first, Make in India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Jan Dhan Yojana, Digital India, Smart Cities, SAARC satellite, visa on arrival and hassle-free travel, and a proposed new body to replace the Planning Commission are all decisions by Modi in the last six months where, without budgetary support, only political will was required.
The biggest challenge facing Modi is how to make India a market-friendly nation and generate resources. His ‘Look East, Link West’ policy is for making India a part of the global supply chain. For strengthening this, Modi is linking hands with tech-savvy and financially sound Japan, Australia (a land of abundant natural resources) and the politically most powerful US while making inroads into the markets of SAARC nations. It appears to be the best possible roadmap in the given circumstances. Modi has to start sowing the seeds of development, so that Indians do not become disillusioned after posing unquestionable faith in his administrative and political acumen. Let us hope for the best in 2015.