The Innerview – This past Friday, India has gone over a massive change in just a day. The man at the helm, Narender Modi successfully led the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and its allies to a glorious victory, totally decimating the Indian National Congress (INC) and its allies.
The Indian stock business ECG aka the Sensex soared beyond the level of 25000 basis points – a first. This is a clear indicator of the euphoria that was persistent in the stock markets. The hopes of the Narender Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to form the next and hopefully a stable Government at the Centre certainly soared.
The NAMO or Narender Modi wave has made history and people are expecting a change in the country and their lives. So what does this bode for a common man like you and me? What does the Indian Aam Aadmi expect the Narender Modi led Government to do?
Here is my bucket list of items I hope Shri Narender Modi will look into apart from making his Government and its practices accountable.
- The Mega “Card” Mess – Sort out the mega “card” mess. Indian citizens grapple with a myriad of documents, Voter Identification Card, Aadhaar Card, Ration Card, Driving License, CGHS Card to name a few. Create a homogenous data warehouse and create a unified identification card where services can be attached or unattached on as per qualification. Let systems talk to each other or rather let agencies poll data as required from this Central Data Warehouse. Quoting an example, there is a lack of concurrence between the latest census and our electoral rolls. If our census is any authority to go by, why were the electoral rolls not tallied with it? This gap needs to be closed so that the actual electorate is able to exercise their votes and not sit on sidelines after finding that their vote has mysteriously disappeared. One card should sort it all when it comes to all Government related activities.
- Roads & Highways – To grow India needs to move faster in terms of people and goods and services. The average speed of Indians travelling on highways is around 35 kmph. This needs to be doubled if not more. We are the second largest road network in the world where loads can be felt (read rattling bones) on account of the quality of roads. If India needs to grow faster, India needs to speed up. Priority should be given to all-weather six-lane highways that steer clear of settlements. Clean up the bureaucratic mess and speed up clearances. Focus on completing flyovers wherever stalled.
- Healthcare for Masses – Upgrade existing healthcare infrastructure to bring technological advances in the field of medicine for masses. Invest in multiple modern primary hospitals and strengthen secondary healthcare centres on the district level to ensure that all citizens are covered by state-funded care. Boost confidence in Healthcare Professionals and reduce citizen dependencies on Private Healthcare (read very expensive) setups. Review Universal Health Coverage and fine-tune it for effectiveness. Integrate with point number 1.
- Quality of Education – Augment the public system to equip the future of India with goal-based learning & education. Needless to say, this will require a huge effort in creating quality education infrastructure both in terms of curriculum and facilities. Focus more on experiential & research-based learning than just classroom teaching. Identify and nurture talent at the district level by creating more avenues for competition. Modernise tools and techniques to create educated citizens and not just literate ones. Integrate with point number 1.
- International Frontiers – Keep and nurture old friends, make new ones too. Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s government created an acclaimed Statesman out of him and I would like to see Shri Narender Modi achieve the same if not a higher level. Finally and decisively resolve border disputes with China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka so that real work on International Policies, Issues & Trade can be done. Work with international partners and community on eradicating pertinent ills like drug & narcotic abuse, child trafficking and most importantly terrorism. Bring back at least those $500 billion of illegal funds Indians have stashed away in foreign tax havens as stated by the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation in February 2012. Use this recovery to secure India’s frontiers and in her development efforts.
- Handle the Scammers – Shri Narender Modi! While I am not suggesting a witch hunt, in my humble opinion the Citizens of India have a right over the money embezzled in a plethora of scams that have come to light in the past. Use state and private machinery to work in collaboration with the Centre to get to the bottom of each of these scams, recover the money and nationalise the assets of all involved. Strengthen Lok Pal to cover all and bring the private sector under its ambit to minimise corruption if not uproot it totally.
- Minimum Government, Maximum Governance – This has been proclaimed by you at all times, Shri Narender Modi. Do look up the defunct laws and remove them or at least make them current. Integrate Central ministries cohesively and make Government business more efficient. Create a friendlier environment to smoothen communication and actions between Central and State Governments. Create a friendlier environment for businesses as well as create nodal centres for development and nurturing entrepreneurship. Incubate regional & local think tanks to foster idea generation that hand hold it to fruition. Invest in infrastructure with the right people at the helm of affairs.
- Empowerment to Women – Women empowerment and safety to be made paramount a fact that Narender Modi subscribes to unequivocally in those terms. Equal representation (not the toothless) and decision making in all spheres need to be promoted.
- Section 377 – All humans (not just men) are created equal. A fact that dynastically run politics does not yield much margin to and suggests that equality between humans is unattainable. Bust this myth and create a friendlier environment of sameness for the LGBT community of India.
As just another one out of the numerous citizens whose name went “poof” from the electoral rolls.
As a just another person out of many who support Shri Narender Modi & who unwillingly saw these change heralding elections from the sidelines.
I am not asking for much from the forthcoming Prime Minister of the Republic of India – Shri Narender Modi.
Or am I?