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Gujarat's CM Shri Narendra Modi says Change is Possible, India feels Change is Inevitable

India Today Conclave 2013, was a hot topic for the past couple of days. The reason being, Narendra Modi was scheduled to speak at the Conclave on the relevance of Namo Mantra at the National Level. His entry at the Conclave carried the mark of his distinctive style, persona and stature. It was incredible to see the audience , mostly VIP in nature flocking to catch a glimpse of him. Having heard him recently at the SRCC , folks from Delhi and the entire country appeared more than eager to grasp his thoughts on Reinventing Indian Democracy. Social Media had a Rockstar-like anticipation for him. And as always, the indefatigable Modi had new ideas, fresh concepts and interesting anecdotes to augment his vision. But the most striking aspect of his speech was his narrative, encapsulating the idea of a progressive India, functioning within the gamut of the present system and our Constitution.

First things first, it is a welcome change to see an Indian leader speaking a good two hours extempore and then not shying away from taking questions from the audience. Though the interactive session appeared more of a grilling session, Modi emerged with flying colours. He answered questions on a plethora of issues ranging from the menace of Corruption, International Policy, Disinvestment, FDI in retail, etc. It actually resembled one of the American Presidential type debates, with only the opponent missing. Which other Indian leader has the courage and conviction to emulate such an act?

It is in vogue to blame the sorry state of affairs in the country on the system. People do carry a notion that as long as the system is not totally revamped, things in the country would never change. But Narendra Modi provided a counterpoint to this thought process and demonstrated how Indian democracy could flourish and prosper within the confines of the same system. In a country used to witnessing the master servant relation between the government and the citizens, Modi stressed emphatically that both these entities are equal contributors in growth and development and it is the government’s prerogative to ensure the support of the people. He reflected the sentiments of a billion Indians when he said that India needs Action, not mere Acts. Isn’t it a shame that we keep on adding new acts and populist schemes, but the ground realities hardly change!

In a span of a couple of hours, he dished out a large menu of recipes to take India forward. While the glass half empty way of looking at India’s population would see it as a burden, Modi talked of reaping the benefits of the demographic dividend with 65% of Indian Population under 35. He talked of Technology as an ally to tackle corruption. He gave an alternative to the rhetoric most use against FDI in retail. Its effect on the SMEs would be lethal. The idea of letting private players operate on the Indian Rail Network was simply outstanding. Not once during his speech did he address the concerns of special castes or religions. Isn’t playing to the caste and religion lobby a necessary part of an Indian politicians job? Well, Narendra Modi is no ordinary politician. He rises above such petty politics. He is a rare leader who is aware of the dire need of environment conservation. He understands the importance of harnessing the prowess of Indian bureaucrats rather than using them for political gains. India is perceived as a soft power and the lack of arms manufacturing capabilities is often cited as one of the reasons for it. Modi’s quest of making India not only self-sufficient with regards to it’s arsenal but also emerging as one of the leading arms supplier is indeed exemplary.

Looking at the response he got from the audience present and the enthusiasm among the public to catch his speech, it is an unparalleled feat. Maybe it is the political equivalent of an India Pakistan cricket match.

Today, amidst the gloom and directionless manoeuvring of the country, India is in search of an alternative. An alternative, who does not promise quotas, acts, schemes, but who promises ideas, values and competence. Narendra Modi is setting up a discourse by his public interactions where development is the core idea. Modi emphatically stated that change is possible. It won’t be a surprise, if people of the nation subscribe to his ideas and ideals whole-heartedly after listening to him and expedite this process of change!

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