Sunday, June 12, 2016

B.S.Raghavan on Narendra Modi

B.S.Raghavan, one of the oldest former civil servants now amidst us, is an erudite commentator on current happenings, political and others. A clear thinker, his articulation competes with his cogitation. He has worked with three prime ministers and has wide experience  having served in different states and Delhi.

He spoke on Modi's 2-year performance as P.M. and what the future beholds at YMIA, Chennai on June 12. He had fulsome praise for Modi. This is a weighty compliment from a person who admits that he is a fan of Jawaharlal Nehru. In a way, it is most difficult to come across a more incompatible pair than Modi and Nehru. But there you are, Raghavan does not allow his self-diagnosed prejudices to cloud his opinions on men and matters.

BSR said he has become more optimistic about India thanks to Modi's leadership. His comments were on Modi as a person and not as someone belonging to BJP or any other group.

Candid assessment was made on 1)Modi's performance in domestic arena, 2)Modi's phenomenal and unexpected successes in foreign front and 3)what improvements are called for. Jan Dhan Yojana, Skill India, Make-in-India and Clean India projects came in for wholehearted praise. About Modi's misses, he made a few debatable observations.

He wished that Modi, immediately on assumption of power, should have announced a few electrifying steps like "Uniform Civil Code" will be operative from tomorrow" (does our slothful legal system permit this?) and "all non-performing bureaucrats will be sent home forthwith". The Pathankot disaster, in his view, should have let heads like DGP, Army General roll. Modi's tendency to be silent on idiotic comments by some extreme elements was duly disapproved of. Modi ought to learn from Nehru how to squelch rumours and misleading comments firmly and fast. Modi needs to travel more domestically and like Nehru must become visible to all Indians.

BSR felt that Modi should have chosen a more appropriate cabinet of ministers. However, he did not say who could have been included. In his view, some present ministers do not belong to their respective portfolios however capable they are otherwise.

The speaker was sanguine about the future outlook. He hoped that Modi is a learner.

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