New Delhi(PTI): BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday said his party was against forcible conversions…
New Delhi: A fundamental problem with PM Modi and his back office is that they’re project driven, not the policy driven. In last 15 months the biggest political defeat of the NDA government was not when the BJP won only three out 70 seats in the Delhi assembly elections. It was when the government realised it could not sell the `land bill’ to the farmers of India or even to its own constituencies.
Just a year after winning 282 seats in the Lok Sabha and an unambiguous mandate to rule, it is surprising to see that the same political leaders are, now, not doing a very good job of assessing the mood of people correctly. Take the current case of the Draft National Encryption Policy released on Monday evening. The government’s plan was to access all encrypted information, including personal emails, messages on WhatsApp or even data stored on a private business server. The government proposed that for at least 90 days, web and net users should make these available to security agencies if required, in text form. It also wanted everyone to hand over their encryption keys to the government.
By Tuesday afternoon, the government had backtracked. Telecom Minister Ravishankar Prasad announced a withdrawal of the draft policy saying the government would place it in public domain again after reworking some of the “expressions” that were giving rise to “misgivings”.
The question to ask: is the Modi government taking policy decisions without thinking them through or without proper consultations and then being forced to backtrack? One plausible explanation for government’s flip-flops could be that it reflects a certain aspect of Indian democracy, that the government is showing sensitivity to public criticism – especially on issues which concern the Indian youth, a constituency that took Modi to Race Course Road (the residence of the PM).
So the PM is trying to be a “ PM of poor Indians”. Actions speak louder than posturing and Modi is taking contradictory actions in handling the poor and issues related to the poor. For example, the Modi government wants fewer people dependent on farm land but at same time he has increased MNREGA daily wages from Rs.100 to Rs 150. Both ideas can’t work simultaneously. Another problem: BJP leaders are in complete awe of Modi and his clout with saffron voters so junior leaders in the party do not air their views. One does not hear Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj air their opinions.
In fact, a close study of the trajectory of the land bill shows that the Modi government demonstrated timidity in withdrawing the bill but was still wise enough to withdraw it. The Congress had hit the jackpot with the land bill but lost the opportunity to encash it. In every retreat, Modi and Amit Shah have cut their losses before they lose their vote bank, substantially. However, this is not the best way to govern a complex nation. One major fundamental problem with PM Modi and his back office is that they’re project driven, not the policy driven. In matters of policy-making it is showing a major deficiency. Modi’s class is not doing its homework.