Saṃgacchadhwaṃ saṃvadadhwaṃ Saṃ vo manāṃsi jānatām (May we move in harmony, speak in one voice; let our minds be in agreement)
In his first address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked the above shloka from the Rig Veda to define the New India of his vision.
As the country celebrates Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark the 75th Independence Day, it has emerged as the fastest growing economy at a time when even developed countries are facing recession. India’s voice is now heard and respected all over the world, even by world powers at war with each other. In December this year, India is poised to become the President of G20, the grouping of the world’s 20 largest economies. This is no mean achievement for a country whose survival itself was doubted by Western critics when the British left India 75 years ago. Yet, here we are today; a robust and vibrant democracy!
An average Indian could hope to live for only 27 years and earn a meagre Rs 21 per month back then.
Today, the average life expectancy in India is above 70 years and its per capita annual income is over Rs. 90,000. These gains are the result of 75 years of steady, and sometimes faltering, democratic governance. However, during his eight years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought about a paradigm shift in the process of development through his Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayaas slogan. The New India that PM Modi visualised through this approach is a blueprint for the future of the world’s largest democracy, a vibrant emerging economy, and an aspiring global power.
The objective is transformation of the nation. The impact of the Modi model of governance is being felt not only in India but also the entire world. In a US-based agency tracking global leaders, PM Modi has repeatedly emerged as the most popular leader of the world for the last three years, with an approval rating of 77 per cent.
Transformation, indeed, has been PM Modi’s top priority right from the very beginning. Within a year of his assuming the top office in May 2014, he disbanded the Planning Commission, the relic of Nehruvian socialism, and replaced it with the National Institution for Transforming India, better known as Niti Aayog. During his more than eight years as the Prime Minister, Modi has transformed India into the world’s fastest growing economy: he radically altered the national security scenario by conducting surgical strikes across India’s eastern and western borders. An abjectly import-dependent India is now making increasing proportion of its defence requirements within the country and exporting some of its military hardware abroad.
By withdrawing special status of Jammu & Kashmir, PM Modi has fulfilled the cherished dream of ‘One Country, One Constitution and One Flag’. He has driven all sorts of secessionists, militants and Left-wing extremists on the back foot. As the fluttering of the national flag in all homes during the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav exemplifies, PM Modi has made every Indian proud of being Indian.
A significant feature of this transforming New India is the active involvement of the people from all walks of life in the process of nation building. PM Modi has achieved this through regular direct communication with the people of India. Be it his Mann KI Baat initiative, his frequent tweets and speeches or his direct communication with the beneficiaries of the Government schemes and the individuals who made major contribution towards making New India, PM Modi has imparted a personal touch to the process of governance for the first time in India.