Minimum Government, Maximum Governance

Published By : Admin | May 14, 2014 | 15:04 IST

I believe government has no business to do business. The focus should be on Minimum Government but Maximum Governance.

- Narendra Modi

For decades, we have had extraordinarily large governments while ironically the quality of governance has been quite poor. There has been more attention paid to the size of the government and not so much to its quality. Thus, Narendra Modi’s model of a small yet efficient government stands out. Narendra Modi believes that the role of a Government in businesses should be limited to that of a facilitator.

Narendra Modi’s has translated his beliefs into reality with Gujarat ranking as the number one state in economic freedom in India. The economic freedom index shows that Gujarat under Narendra Modi, has a small-size state machinery, and is very efficient in protecting human life and property vis-a-vis the quality of the justice mechanism measured by the availability of judges, the completion rate of cases by courts. The investigation quality by the police is also impressive.

In addition, the labour scenario in the state has been found to be superior under him. Thus Narendra Modi had demonstrated that a good justice delivery mechanism and an entrepreneur-friendly environment is possible, even with a small and less intrusive government.

Another aspect of Narendra Modi’s approach governance has been his adherence to Gandhiji’s principle of Swaraj. Mahatma Gandhi was a believer in the importance of self-government and believed every village must be empowered to deal with local issues. Narendra Modi took concrete steps towards fulfilling Bapu’s dream by making local self-governments more effective. He made decentralization a basic pillar of his governance model and ensured adequate powers were given to people.

Gujarat was a state where 20% of the area had 71% of the water resources and the remaining 80% areas had merely 29% of water resources. Management of water resources has been one of the biggest challenges for the State Government. Through his political acumen, Narendra Modi turned this crisis into an opportunity. He created a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ called WASMO (Water and Sanitation Management Organization) in 2002 to empower the rural communities to manage their water situation.

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Village level Pani Samitis (Water Councils) empowered rural communities. Thesewere groups of 10-12 members from a village who were trained by Government through capacity building programmes and allowed to decide how the water resources available in their areas should be used. The members of the Samitis were directed to contribute ten percent of the capital costs in order to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility towards welfare of the village.

Pani Samitis have particularly institutionalized the involvement of women leading to a positive impact in terms of sanitation, health, checking water-borne diseases and reduction in drudgery. The number of PaniSamitisin Gujarat rocketed from 82 to 18,076 between 2002 and 2012.

Another significant initiative by Narendra Modi has been the efficient decentralisation of Administration in the form of ATVT (Apno Taluko Vibrant Taluko). It was launched to empower people locally to guide the growth process through a sub district citizen-centric approach where governance and development is activated at the grass root level.

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Narendra Modi wanted that instead of the State consisting of 26 pillars (the 26 districts), it should consist of 225 pillars(the 225 Talukas). Under the ATVT, every Taluka in Gujarat is empowered to provide a local platform for double digit growth and social development. The decentralization of administration upto the sub-district (taluka) level has made growth speedier, more effective and transparent as well as citizen centric. Every taluka now makes plans according to its requirements and challenges, and accordingly carries out focused implementation of development schemes for higher benefits.

Red tape and harassment by the middle man, which was a major hurdle for people in small towns and villages, is curtailed. People, especially farmers had to travel long distances, but can now avail easy access to services through the ATVT. This approach is innovative, proactive and in tune with needs of the region and has defined the socio-economic life of villagers.

Another fascinating innovation by Narendra Modi is the adoption of the concept of a “Samras Gram”. Sometimes, panchayat elections can be acrimonious and the ensuing bitterness can lead to impediments in development works. In order to prevent such obstacles, he identified the need to build consensus around development. Under this initiative, villages, which select a Sarpanch by consensus, receive monetary rewards and encouragement.

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Samras Gram too has proved to be a boon for Rural Development as a unanimously selected panchayat enjoys the confidence of an entire village and is more reliable and functions with greater enthusiasm. When a local body is elected with such a consensus, the level of responsibility towards delivering good governance receives an impetus.

These are just a few examples of how Narendra Modi had cut down on avenues for government interference while truly empowering people and making them partners in the development journey.

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What Has PM Modi Done For The Sikh Community? Sikh Welfare/ Langar?
February 15, 2024

Sikhism promotes tolerance for different religions, equality, social justice, and service to humanity. Sikhism's core teachings emphasize spiritual devotion and reverence for God, along with applying humility, compassion, honesty, and charity in daily life. Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji could foresee multiple issues our nation faced and advocated for preventing radicalization, promoting gender equality, and protecting the environment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in reverence for the teachings of Guru Nanak Ji and, in his umpteen addresses to the nation, has reiterated that the contributions of all the Gurus from the Sikh lineage remain unparalleled and cannot be matched up for the upcoming 1000 years. Their sacrifices for attaining the nation's independence are an excellent example of struggle and sacrifice against injustice.

It is through PM Modi that the nation, for the first time since the country's independence, became more aware of the varied forms of sacrifices made by the Sikh community and their countless contributions to sustaining the glory of the nation after partition. Inspired by courage and a sense of duty from the Sikh Gurus, he emulated it into the spirit of the New India.

The last decade has seen several noteworthy initiatives undertaken under his leadership to celebrate and promote the values of Sikhism and augment Sikh welfare. These include the celebration of the 400th Prakash Parv of Guru Teg Bahadur Ji, the 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the 350th Prakash Parv of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the exemption of GST on Langar, the building of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, making Sultanpur Lodhi a heritage city, establishing a chair in the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji at a British university, and the provision of facilities for Sikh pilgrims to travel to Pakistan.

The Kartarpur Corridor was opened in November 2019, which proved to be a momentous move towards making it more straightforward for Sikh pilgrims from India to go to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev Ji lived out his final years. Additionally, the development and preservation of historic Sikh sites has been a particular priority for the PM Modi administration. One example of such a project is the Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib restoration, also known as the Patna Sahib Gurudwara, which is extremely sacred to Sikhs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi facilitated efforts to provide justice and closure for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots by creating a SIT, reopening 300 cases, and imprisoning those found guilty. PM Modi brought the Jallianwala Bagh memorial back to its former splendour and gave 3,328 victim families financial support of Rs. 5 lakh apiece. Through the "Citizenship Amendment Act," the Sikh sisters and brothers who had been subjected to torture in Afghanistan and Pakistan were allowed to get citizenship.

In 2022, December 26 was declared by the Modi government as Veer Baal Diwas, symbolic of the resolve to do anything to protect Bhartiyata. This day will be remembered by every Indian as a mark of respect for the bravery principles lived up to by the four Veer Sahibzades of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

As a diaspora diplomacy specialist, PM Modi has also engaged the Sikh diaspora as "bridge-builders" between India and adopted countries. His clarity of vision in tapping them to further economic, financial, and global benefits for India has undeniably benefitted India. Veer Bal Diwas programs are now held in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, and Greece. Veer Bal Diwas is now observed on a global scale. It is due to PM Modi's persistent efforts that the Indian Sikh diaspora is more valued now as a unique force in world culture and revered as brand ambassadors of India.

Last but not least, under his regime, copies of Guru Granth Sahib reached India from Afghanistan, and the nation received the privilege of seeing three 'Swaroop' of Guru Granth Sahib ji that arrived in Delhi from Kabul. The Sikh tradition is the best example of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat' and explains PM Modi's close affiliation with the values this religion upholds. Welfare for all will naturally be taken care of.