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‘New India, heralding age of nari shakti’: Modi ministers mark 8 yrs of NDA with glowing op-eds

Amit Shah called national security a ‘high-point’ of Modi government. Smriti Irani focused on government’s policies for women, including the decision to abolish ‘triple talaq’.

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New Delhi: Union ministers variously described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “dynamic”, “decisive”, and “visionary”, as they took to writing opinion pieces in newspapers and news portals Monday to mark the eighth anniversary of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.  

The Modi government completed eight years in office on 30 May.

In his piece in The Times of India, Union Home Minister Amit Shah described the Modi government’s focus on national security as one of the “high points” of the government.

“We no longer just see lip-service being paid on terror attacks as was done by the previous Congress government,” Shah wrote. He claimed the past eight years have been “the most fulfilling journey of making a New India, and its foundation has been laid by the PM”.   

Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani wrote an opinion piece in The Indian Express about the Modi government’s policies for women, among them the abolition of instant ‘triple talaq’ — a form of divorce that allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’, or divorce, thrice.  

J.P. Nadda, the national president of the BJP, called the last eight years a “trendsetter”. Writing in Hindustan Times, he said the last eight years have been a journey of changing the Indian psyche “from nothing is possible in this country” to “everything is possible if the government and the people have the will and commitment”.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, the minister for railways, communications, and electronics & information technology, wrote in The Economic Times about the “India Model” of governance and what he called “tech-led empowerment”.   

“PM Modi’s vision of tech-led empowerment has transformed the life of every Indian. His experience of the ‘Gujarat Model’ helped our nation lead and shape our future. With the ‘India Model’ of governance in practice, the world is already looking at us with hope,” he wrote.

Also Read: Modi PMO tends to control everything, ministers seek nod for press meets too, says Anil Swarup

‘Timely interventions’

Shah, who became the Union Home Minister in 2019, said the Modi government could safeguard the economy to a large extent during the Covid pandemic because of “timely interventions through effective policies and programmes”.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all when I see people’s unflinching backing for the PM’s appeal on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, their voluntary surrender of LPG subsidy, as well as their support for demonetisation and lockdown,” Shah wrote in The Times of India

In his piece in Hindustan Times, Nadda claimed the government’s “innovative and decisive approach” helped make possible decisions such as the reading down of Article 370, the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the abolition of ‘triple talaq’.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, passed by Parliament in July 2019, makes the practice of Talaq-e-Biddat, also referred to as ‘triple talaq’, illegal and punishable. 

“In previous regimes, the willpower to deal with perennial problems was lacking and everything was left to fate,” Nadda wrote. “PM Modi’s innovative and decisive approach in dealing with problems made all the difference. His firm resolve led to the scrapping of Article 370, construction of the grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya, abolition of instant triple talaq, passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act, and surgical strikes on terror camps across the border.”

The Citizenship Amendment Act is a controversial law that seeks to ease citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who entered India on or before 31 December 2014.

‘Triple talaq masterstroke’

Women and Child Development Minister Irani wrote in The Indian Express that the central government under Modi had “heralded a renewed age of ‘nari shakti’ in the run-up to ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’”.

‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ is the central government’s year-long celebrations to mark 75 years of Independence.

“Women have been put forward as foot soldiers of change,” Irani wrote.

In her piece, she described the law to make ‘triple talaq’ illegal, the proposed increase of the legal age of marriage for women to 21, and the revision of the permissible gestational age for abortion to 24 weeks, as the government’s “three masterstrokes”. 

“The Modi government has led by example in visibly respecting ‘nari shakti’ in its eight years. There are eleven women in the current Council of Ministers, holding key portfolios and serving as a pleasant reminder of the repositioning of the nucleus of administrative initiatives,” Irani wrote. 

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar wrote on News 18 that the Modi government’s various agricultural policies since 2014 will result in a golden agriculture sector when India completes 100 years of Independence.

Besides these, several other ministers took to Twitter to praise Modi’s “leadership”.

“Aiming at transformational changes, both lethargy in system & dead/archaic laws are weeded out,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a tweet

Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted that India’s foreign policy of the last eight years had “people at its centre”. 

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri called the eight years of the Modi government years of “unprecedented inclusive development”.     

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read:  8 years on, Modi the storyteller is gone, but the story of hope endures



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