PM MODI CANDID ON HIS ACHIEVEMENTS
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi is indeed a frank man. He loves to reveal all and hide nothing. He is open minded and open hearted. It is amazing that he is free, frank and fearless. It is for the first time in over three decades of Indian political saga that we have a head of the government who speaks out his plans, achievements and answers criticism of his schemes that a few wily politicians say has gone haywire. It is remarkable that Narendra Modi does not have to look over his shoulders to seek a nod of an extra-constitutional authority.
Would he tolerate if a chit of a boy tore up his cabinet decision and uttered a word “Nonsense” before all TV cameras, mikes, and journalists scribbling feverishly describing the mode of diminishing the authority and grandeur of the office of Prime Minister of India? No, certainly not. Narendra Modi is made of sterner stuff. Those who dare bloc his way know the consequences. So, there is no option but to seek refuge in the cool climes of Europe.
Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi has the patience to sit through a TV interview lasting almost an hour and a half and keep answering all types of questions on his life and times in a smiling manner. I must concede the point that the interviewer, Arnab Goswami of Times Now was more polite than ever. The aggressiveness in firing questions and pre-empting a counter fire in an equally aggressive answer were conspicuous by their absence. The gigantic personality of Narendra Modi pervaded entire period of 90 minutes or so that the TV cameras were whirring and arc lights were glaring. All said and done, it was a good TV interview both serious and light hearted, castigating and mollifying and thus keeping the viewers glued to their TV sets. Generally speaking, a TV interview lasting more than half an hour motivates a viewer to use the Brahmastra in his hand, the switch off button. In this case, an impatient man like me on just does channel surfing preferred to stick to Times Now because of the friendly atmosphere generated by both the interviewer and the interviewee.
Having said that by way of exchanging pleasantries, allow me to make a mention of some of the highlights of the Mega Interview. By the way, this was the first time that Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi condescended to be interviewed by a private channel and Arnab Goswami made sure that he drove the point home until a viewer said, Okay Bro, got it, don’t emphasis the obvious. Just joking folks!
Our Prime Minister said that humour has gone out of public life and parliamentary life. One has to think many times before cracking a joke lest it was misinterpreted who did not have his breakfast for one reason or the other. It must be mentioned that humour is the spice of life. A parliamentary proceeding without humour, cracking jokes, repartees, verbal nudging would be like a class of Maths for kids who love soccer. I hope young and old belonging to the century plus old political party would make a note of it.
The Prime Minister let it be known that he wanted the world leaders to know him so that their political parleys were smooth. He did not want the country to suffer because he was unknown to the outside world. The warming up of diplomatic relations between Bharat and the United States of America was a result of this continual dialogue between Modi and Obama. Their closeness to the extent of addressing each other on the first name basis proved that the ice could be broken and chill changed to warmth. After Pradhan Mantri Modi’s last visit to America and his exchange of views on almost all topics of mutual interest, senior editors of leading US dailies wrote lead articles on the topic. Assessing President Obama’s foreign policy, the edit page counted the growing warmth between India and America as a major achievement of the foreign policy of President Barak Obama.
While we all wish to pay compliments to Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on striking friendship with such diverse countries as Iran and America, a mention must be made of Arnab Goswami’s questions on relations between India and China in the light of what happened in Seoul on membership of the NSG. He recounted that there were as many as 13 interactions between our two countries and yet we drew a blank at the end of the day. Pradhan Mantri handled the issue patiently and said that the game was still going on and all was not yet over. China has been playing a constructive role in dealing with most of the issues between the two countries. However, if there were some differences, these could be sorted out in due course of time. If ideology came in the way, a via media had to be found. The Indian bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group has not yet come to a point of no return. There may be some more rounds of negotiations to iron out the differences and inch closer to a meeting point.
Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi was more than frank in saying that while dealing with Pakistan, India chose to have parleys with the democratically elected government. In other words, one may say that while the Pakistan Army calls the shots, it would not be wise on the part of a foreign power like Bharat to engage the Generals in diplomatic parleys. Our Prime Minister emphasized time and again that the core of his government’s foreign policy was to protect the country, advance its interests and go more than half way to sing the tune of Peace. I may mention that we cherish the goal set by our Rishis, ancient sages, VASUDHAIV KUTUMBAKAM – the world is a family and achieving peace of mind, the inner peace, should be our goal.
Pradhan Mantri answered questions on internal issues too. Raghuram Rajan’s case of going home at the end of the present tenure figured and the Prime Minister paid glowing tributes to the Patriotism of the outgoing Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He also made it clear that no individual was bigger than the system and thus discouraged some loose cannons from taking pot shots at the eminent men occupying high offices, both politicians and civil servants.
Narendra Modi Ji also shot an arrow at those who chastised the entire Opposition in Parliament for blocking the path of progress. He underlined the fact that many political parties that were not members of the NDA still supported the NDA government on matters of national interest. Without naming the Indian National Congress, the Pradhan Mantri minced no words in saying that the problems were prominent with one party. He, however, hoped that the States were conscious of the economic growth that measures like the GST would bring. Thus the Government was close to the number required to pass the GST bill in the Rajya Sabha.
The TV interview given by Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi to Arnab Goswami of the Times Now was an interesting and engaging one. The viewers look forward to seeing more of similar broadcasts where there is no calling of names and intelligent discussions flow smoothly sans bickerings like the nirmal jal of Ganga in Gangotri.