Indian dream: Just a Modi-tag?

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Samarjit Kambam
Persons who create sensations grab the attention of the masses. Likewise citizens of different nations of the world like sensational figures of varying degrees. Experts opined that people of the United States, among all countries of the world tops the chart when it comes to sensation. The Americans are sensation-cravy and anything sensational to them be it matter, time or space is highly welcomed and admired. Remember former President of US Bill Clinton’s “inward appropriate, outward inappropriate” relationship with Monika Lewinsky? Even though Clinton was abhorred by many US citizens, larger number of the people embraced the sensational scandal, enjoyed it like enjoying a newly released box-office blaster movie and even looked upto him as a lover boy or Casanovaic figure.

Going through the brief records of some of the United States Presidents, the Americans even though comprising of Republicans and Democrats always elected Presidents who are/were sensational in one way or the other. John F Kennedy had a large number of skeptics, but his terminally handsome looks, glamorous personality, calm and poised appearance charmed, cajoled and won the hearts of voters and easily defeated Richard Nixon by soaring to lofty heights of popularity merely four months prior to the Presidential election. His passionate short-term affair with Marilyn Monroe, one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood’s history stirred the hornet’s nest of sensation and he became even a more popular public figure. Ronald Reagan who started the Star Wars programme was a Hollywood actor, an icon who had a huge fan following thereby grabbing utmost attention of the US citizens. Besides, he was a good communicator and left an unforgettable legacy with his “Good Morning America” after he was re-elected for his second presidential term. George Bush, the 43rd President of the US is a charismatic figure, a good statesman with great leadership quality, great social skills, possesses good organisational capacity, pro-active, an ardent baseball player and has a great sense of humour alongwith immense patriotic fervor and a philanthropist at heart.

A century or so back, blacks were denied entry and quarantined for a minimum gap of 100 yards from the White House fencing. But the outlook of the Americans have liberalised manifold. An African-American was sitting on the Chair of US President for two terms who is non other than Barak Obama, a mix of pitch black Kenyan father and milky white Kansas mother. He has an imposing and magnetic personality and possesses great rhetoric skills apart from his spectacular persona. His sensational speeches encompassed required ingredients to keep audience spellbound for hours. He won the Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for his abridged audiobook versions of his books “Dreams from My Father” in February 2006 and for “The Audacity of Hope” in February 2008 thereby reflecting his extraordinary speaking skills. His concession speech video titled the phenomenal maxim “Yes, We Can” which was viewed more 10 million times on YouTube in its first month swept the conglomeration of nations by storm which was one of the main factor to get him elected as President of the United States. Statisticians revealed that the number of whites voted more than the blacks in his first Presidential victory. On 4th April 2011, he announced his sensational re-election campaign for 2012 in a video titled “It Begins with Us” that he posted on his website which again acted as his springboard to leap towards victory to Presidentship for the 2nd term.

We can go down memory lane and vividly remember how Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated his rival in the Californian Governorship by a landslide victory. Even though Arnold who was born in Austria (known as “The Austrian Oak”) and became American citizen, had no experience in politics, the citizens of California nevertheless liked a sensational figure who is a seven times Mr Olympia, five times Mr Universe as well as an action hero of Hollywood. In fact, he has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Perfectly Proportioned Man’. Over and above United States, he has a gigantic fan following throughout the world. Thus, his stairway to the chair of Governor of California was a cake-walk for him. Who knows, he may later on opt for the chair of President of US mumbling “I am back” by rising up as a poll terminator stampeding all his political rivals and making them expendables.

Again, the narcissistic and obnoxious President of US in the flesh and blood of Donald Trump had played the sensational cards through his facist and racist rhetorics and heavyweight public appearances. His billionaire status and his model wife whom he is older by 25 years add more to the sensation. Besides, he had toyed with mass media with great dexterity kicking behind Hillary Clinton in the dark alley.

At the home front, Narendra Modi the Prime Minister of India is also a man of maxims and tags and can toy with words – beautiful, crafty and sculptured words which don’t fail to plug the right strings in the hearts of Indians. He possesses great oratory skill and is also a great statesman. Previously when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat he was even denied visa for entry into the United States pin-pointing him as the ‘Butcher of Gujarat’. But after becoming Prime Minister of India he was welcomed with open hands during Obama’s Presidentship. The reason? Modi is a sensation in the US. To the people of United States he is a sensational living story. They are captivated by his meteoric rise to fame from a humble background as a tea-seller at railway stations to a BJP trouble shooter, to a Chief Minister and to Prime Minister of one of the largest democratic country of the world. His awesome down to earth personality, sense of unique oriental (Jawaharlal Nehru inspired) modified dressing tailored by fashion designers, his crowd pulling abilities alongwith his great oratory skill sets him apart from other Prime Ministers in Indian history.

Madison Square Garden in the United States is reserved only for the gods of men. Even famous rock-stars whose songs went multi-Platinum and hit the charts worldwide feel that their destiny is not fulfilled until they don’t get the opportunity to stage a concert at this very place. In his visit to America during Obama’s term with the aim of boosting US-India relationship in many key areas, he was given full liberty to make his speech in Madison Square Garden, the first Indian Prime Minister in the history of India to get such a privilege. Even though he made his speech in Hindi, the US citizens apart from NRIs and PIOs were totally hooked and glued by his persona, oratory skills and unique symbolising qualities.

Course Modi-magic worked and he possessed the ability to keep the audience spellbound. All the NRIs mostly billionaires and millionaires favoured him and kept intense faith in him because of his successful Gujarat model while he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. Fissioning to a world figure from being a tea-seller he has amazing marketing skills and can chart marketing strategies with ease. His visit to the US may be termed as ‘Marketing India’. He wooed the investors with different schemes such as Lifetime Visa to PIOs(People of Indian Origin), free visa to Americans and Special Status Visas and various opportunities that favour the NRIs thereby tempting the US investors to come and invest in India. If his marketing strategies fall in the right places, many sectors such as education, industries, infrastructures, energy, agriculture, transport, health sector, tourism etc will soar sky high.

No doubt his “American Dream to Indian Dream” is a beautiful tag. But his magic at Madison Square Garden will not last forever if our home turf is not investor friendly and doesn’t possess the requisite ambience for investment. As the investors are getting more and more sensitive, they want a stable and favourable environment for investment. Only beautiful tags, maxims and slogans will not work in the long run. Before treading their feet in Indian soil, the investors want to make sure that they don’t invest at the wrong place and time.

That’s why they are waiting because they are yet to see tangible changes on the ground before investing. They seek faster clearances so that their projects are not stalled and threatened as it may put additional pressure on banks as they could become non performing assets. Mr Modi needs to keep in mind that nothing lasts forever. Apart from changes in labour and land acquisition laws, foreign investors are also asking for changes in FDI limits and ease of doing business. Scrapping obsolete laws, transparency in procurement deals, reducing number of litigations by the government, weeding out bureaucratic red-tapism, privatisation of non performing PSUs, enhanced national security, paralysing terror outfits in India in collaboration with Israel-the top notch nation in the world in countering terrorism, enhanced secularism as well as maintaining identity of various sects, religions, races, castes and creeds etc. are some steps he needs to tread.

As vowed by Modi to usher in reforms, if Indian government does not see any bold moves on reforms, the entire sentiment which was painstakingly built up will fall and crumble quickly. It’s the most auspicious time for Mr Modi and his herd to carry out some reforms and enterprising risk management in various key areas, bring forth new ideas and be pragmatic in approach to make a good market and investor friendly India and yield rich dividends in various areas such as giving more employment to many unemployed but resourceful Indian youths, infrastructural, industrial and agricultural growth, better healthcare system, research and development, quality education of government schools and colleges, better transportation facilities, enhanced defence, curbing inflation etc. Otherwise the investors will head towards greener pastures and the “Indian Dream” may end up as a political coitus-interruptus or just a mere illusion. Lastly, the sole opinion of the writer is to work out more on upliftment of millions of farmers and people living below the poverty line by the central government instead of spending mammoth amounts on avoidable carnivals such as MODIfest.

(The writer may be reached at [email protected])

Source:The Sangai Express

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