The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails” goes the famous quote. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one leader who always knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. In 2014, when he bowed down to touch the steps of Parliament before entering, he silenced all his critics — a gesture that clearly shows the national character of a man, his deep-rooted values and faith in Parliamentary democracy. That image is going to be alive in memories forever.
PM Modi’s first term was dedicated to setting up the foundation of a new India. The legacy he received in the year 2014 necessitated major overhauling in terms of administration, policies and governance. He took the challenge, rose to the occasion and delivered on all fronts. The result was obvious — a huge mandate in 2019. Bigger the mandate, bigger the responsibilities. Within 15 months of his second term, the PM has taken big decisions, including the abrogation of Article 370, criminalisation of triple talaq, anti-terrorism law, New Education Policy 2020 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. In this short duration, he has led the nation remarkably, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. He corrected many “historical wrongs” and simultaneously laid the foundation of India’s future — an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
Confidence to stand alone
Douglas MacArthur, the American General had said: “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” All the decisions taken by PM Modi are based on this philosophy. Abrogation of Article 370 not only corrected the historic blunder, but also gave a platform to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to join the mainstream of the nation for peace, prosperity and development. He has shown courage, conviction and commitment to the integrity of the country. After 73 years of Independence, now, we are indeed one nation with one flag, one Constitution and one head of the government. He had shown similar boldness during his previous term through surgical strikes and Balakot airstrikes. He always believes that “the safety, honour and welfare of the country come first always and every time”.
Be it his bold decision to push the legislation for criminalising triple talaq, or empowering the security agencies with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to tackle the anti-national activities — the decisions are a clear reflection of his will to reform, transform and perform.
The ultimate test of a person’s character is not where he/she stands in times of comfort, but how they respond to adversity and crisis. Covid-19 posed a Himalayan challenge to leaders across the world. PM Modi led the nation in the hour of crisis with his resolve and phenomenal organisational skills. Time and again, we have witnessed that when the PM appeals, the country rises to the occasion. He led from the front, set the example at all levels and steered the nation out of the pandemic mayhem. He gave the roadmap to India: from capacity building to nation building. The Rs 20 lakh crore package to make India Aatmanirbhar Bharat is a reflection of his long-term vision and far-sighted governance.
The NEP has Modi’s stamp
The whole world is looking up to India — how the nation will emerge in the 21st century. During the last 34 years, we have seen the impact of globalisation, liberalisation and technological invasion in almost every walk of life. But our education system and education policy were never reformed to the contemporary needs. Being the Union Education Minster in PM Modi’s Cabinet, I can share with authority that from the nascent stage of drafting to cabinet approval and now in the implementation phase, PM Modi has been leading the New Education Policy 2020 in its present format by giving valuable inputs, suggestions and vision. He has always emphasised the role and importance of education in our lives and our moral responsibility to produce global citizens with Indian roots and values. With his regular guidance and vision, today, India has got its first education policy of the 21st century, which is Indian in roots, international in outlook, interactive in content, inclusive in approach and will be impactful in its outcome. Access, quality, equity with affordability, and accountability have ensured that it became a policy with long-term vision, and will make India a global knowledge hub.
Today, PM Modi is one of the most respected and tallest leaders in India with global influence. He has restored the prestige and aura to the office of the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. He has awakened the country from slumber and led us to rise to the occasion to make India a global power. He has ignited the will of the nation and given us the refreshing call for keeping the self-respect rejuvenated. He is the manifestation of the dreams and aspirations of New India. He is the symbol of hope and faith for the youth of the country.
PM Modi always believes in the power of one — if every Indian moves one step ahead, India moves 135 crore steps forward. A firm believer of Team India and cooperative federalism, he has given leadership to the country we always aspired for. I would like to quote PM Modi’s talisman; “My government has only one religion – India First, only one religious book – Constitution of India, only one worship – the welfare of 135 crore Indians and only one doctrine sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas”.
Long live the country. Long live the leader.
Ramesh Pokhriyal is Union Education Minister. Views are personal.
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