| by N.S.Venkataraman

( July 27, 2014, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) As Mr. Narendra Modi has completed his sixty days governance as Prime Minister, even his pledged admirers and those who voted for him with great enthusiasm and hopes, now keep their fingers crossed. While the confidence level in Mr. Modi’s commitment and capability are still high, an element of concern amongst the country men are conspicuous, which cannot be ignored.

 The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the launch of “MyGov portal” an official portal of Government of India, in New Delhi on July 26, 2014

One of the matters of great concern is that Mr. Modi, for all practical purposes , has stopped communicating with the country men. Those who were impressed with Mr. Modi’s election campaign, when he caught the imagination of the people, showed great understanding of the moods and aspirations of the common men and effectively established a channel of communication with people at all levels, wonder as to why he has gone into silent mode now. In this context , It is disturbing that several people tend to compare his present style of functioning with that of Dr. Manmohan Singh, who “saw nothing, heard nothing and said nothing”.

While Mr. Modi appears to be taking efforts to strengthen the administrative machinery and put systems in place, there are many other issues happening in India today on which he gives an impression that he does not want to share his views with people.

One of his cabinet ministers was accused of indulging in rape and he continues in his job today, even after the court admitted the case against him on an appeal. India had great traditions when ministers have resigned in the past, even when there had been casual observations by the court against them. Mr. Modi could have either defended the minister and explain as to why he would defend him or asked him to prove his innocence and then resume the job of the minister. Mr. Modi did neither.

The recent behaviour of a Shiv Sena M P who tried to force feed a muslim during his ramzan fast has sent shock waves around the country. While Mr. Modi’s party (BJP) has distanced itself from Shiv Sena M P’s act , BJP continues its alliance with Shiv Sena. Many people think that Mr. Modi is keeping silent, keeping the forthcoming assembly election in Maharashtra in mind and the political strategy of keeping alliance with Shiv sena intact. Obviously, Mr. Modi has failed to take principled stand, which is contrary to the claims that he made during the election campaign about his commitment to the cause of minorities including muslims.

While Mr. Modi government is taking measures on economic front and for promoting industrial and economic growth, which represent very complicated and difficult issues, the rise in price of goods and services have become too sharp for the comfort of common man. The increase in the price of vegetables like tomato and onion and many other food items are creating difficult issues for the budget of the individual families and such budget is as important as the national budget that Mr. Modi has to manage. The steps to catch hold of the hoarders and bring out the hoarded materials have not been taken to the level needed.

In recent times, several members of BJP party in various parts of the country have been making several statements, without an element of caution and care and which have the potentials to create controversies and conflicts in the country. Such statements are unnecessary and counter productive and such persons making these statements get huge media attention. These trends are marring the image of Mr. Modi and his government and one wonders as to why Mr. Modi would not put down such behaviour of his party men with all the force at his command. Some people seem to think that he may not have adequate hold over his party men.

Finally, the repeated incidents of rape and molestation of women reported in the media are causing huge damage to the image of India itself in the world forum. Many international media have commented on this. Mr. Modi is conspicuous by his absence of communicating with people on such sordid episode and reassuring them that he will ensure safety of women all over India. He has to take some very urgent steps in this matter to create confidence amongst women that they would be safe in Mr. Modi’s government. He must not only take such strong and appropriate measures but should also appear to be taking some measures in the eyes of women.

While Mr. Modi may be striving to take meaningful and appropriate steps in providing good governance, the fact is that he has not found time to speak to his country men and continue the channel of communication with the people , which he so successfully established during his election campaign. Mr. Modi’s trump card is the support that he gets from grass root people and he should not give an impression that he is governing the country from ivory tower. During the recent election , people who voted for BJP really voted for Mr. Modi and his present silent mode may become very costly.

ARCHIVES FROM AUGUST 2007 TO JANUARY 2015