India’s prime minister, Shri Narendra Modi is a common citizen who hails from a humble background. His rise in home turf as well as at the global front has made every common Indian, especially the middle class, extremely proud. Those who have no family legacy and have risen through the ranks purely on merit and hard work see a reflection of themselves in India’s Prime Minister. He is an ordinary Indian who set himself on a voyage to achieve extraordinary things; similar to the masses who compete with millions, crack examinations, and make the most of the opportunities that come our way.
For the middle class Indian who works at a public or private sector enterprise or runs her own business, there has been a steady conditioning of the limitations that come her way. Inadvertently, she used to limit her ambitions based on her social and economic status. It was an unsaid rule that to make to the top, one had to give bribes, deal with corruption and use gaps in the system to one’s advantage. None of these hurdles to success hold true anymore.
With the Prime Minister determined to ingrain a culture of honesty and integrity by slew of reforms such as encouraging digital payments, implementing Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 middle-class Indians have begun to believe and practice that they can get clearances and permissions for basic utilities like new electricity and water connection without paying commissions or bribes. The culture of giving high-profile references to get work done is being replaced by single-window automated systems. Minimum human intervention and maximum technology is institutionalizing transparency like never before in the fabric of India.
For a decade, India under the UPA was plagued by corruption, scams, money laundering and ever-increasing disparity in distribution of wealth. International perception of India took a beating. This image too has been recast in the past 5 years. The Prime Minister is a global ambassador of India, whose visits in foreign countries are celebrated by both, the diaspora and the local population. It was a matter of great pride when he delivered the keynote address at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018 in Hindi. He took Hindi global, at placed it at the world’s most discussed gathering of economists. It was at this forum that he had mentioned the three greatest threats to civilization are climate change, terrorism and the backlash against globalization.
After the horrendous terrorist attack on CRPF Jawans in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, India received unprecedented global and diplomatic support. The global leadership stood in solidarity with India and against terrorism. Numerous prayer meetings for victims of Pulwama were organized across the globe. India is emerging as the new pole of soft power and an example of strong leadership. The middle class Indian has begun to aspire and dream global, primarily because of the global visibility we have received under the leadership of Narendra Modi. The national pride he is able to evoke with every speech is reflected by the sheer volume of people who throng to hear him and see him in person.
Varanasi, the world’s oldest city was limited to being a temple city before the Prime Minister not only contested from the constituency, he also started various programs to refurbish the city and put it back on the world tourist map. Under the Namami Gange program, India’s holy river Ganga is being cleaned. Steps like accompanying global leaders to Varanasi and Akshardham temple instill a sense of cultural pride, which was conspicuous by its absence.
The scale and size of celebration of Diwali in Ayodhya, which according to Ramayana marks the homecoming of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman after 14 years of exile, is a spectacle for the entire world. The Kumbh Mela 2019 organized at Prayagraj attracted tourists and media attention from across the globe. As it found place in Guinness Book for the largest human gathering, it was a day for the Nation to celebrate and take pride in its heritage and roots.
With Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs, every self-made citizen is convinced that it is possible to succeed and make a difference by virtue of perseverance and dedication.