In my little way, let me tell you what I feel after 1 year of the new Government.
1. I once again feel that our country is heading in the right direction, in every way.
2. There needs to be a strong leader for a strong country – I still remember how much I admired Barack Obama and was praying that one day an inspirational leader becomes our PM. Finally, we are seeing a set of leader like that, from Modi, Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Parikkar to name a few.
3. I was always admiring the social security net provided by many of the European states as well as the west. Finally, there is hope with the new universal insurance net and the guaranteed old age pension scheme. We should become a welfare state by investing in policies and programs that are long term, and not throwing in digging pits.
4. I never knew that only 25% or so families used to have bank accounts. Now, I am amazed at the way a 90% coverage has been achieved in less than 6 months. The notion that if there is a will, there is a way is truly applicable.
5. Transparency and efficiency – I have always felt that Govt. (all over the world, except few) lack in these two. But seeing the way things have changed in the past few months, at least at the top echelons of Govt., every democracy has a hope. Personally, since I am working in an educational institution, I now know that the research grants given to all institutions are reviewed more rigorously than ever, by experts in relevant fields, rather than money being wasted. This is a big trust that Govt. has gained from me. I know that the money I pay as tax actually helps the needy.
6. Walking the Talk – I have heard many leaders speaking and promising, but quietly fooling the people. All shades of politicians. But, now we are seeing a set of leaders who are action oriented, not interested in blabbering, but in implementing programs in a time-bound manner.
7. A Long term vision. For far too long, our nation has not had the opportunity to dream big. At least now, with the progress made so far, we as a nation is starting to dream – houses for all by 2022, 24×7 electricity by 2020, better livable cities, social security for all, pension for all and a strong educational foundation by knowing our true history. Above all, this is a dream in the making – already the power sector is on it’s way to achieve the 1 billion tonne goal, social security net is covering about 8 crore new enrollments (in just 20 days, from the previous 4%), educational research institutions are strengthened and many other initiatives are seen on the ground.
8. Clean India. For the first time, a leadership is able to create a mass movement. This has forced political activists of all hues and color to start their own cleaning campaigns, which is never seen before. We have seen protesters (ABVP students) cleaning up the streets in Trivandrum after the protest. These are invaluable signs of the change that is happening. On a personal note, I am impressed by the new bins in the trains (in between the coach connections – a brilliant idea). People are using these too.
9. Finally, for the first time in my small history (20+ years) of knowing our country, I am seeing people who have only one intend in their heart, soul and flesh – India First – full stop. That makes me happy: borders are safe and guards are no more lead by passiveness, the economy is resurgent and no more sluggish, the world is considering India as a rising Lion and not as a doormat, the needy are being empowered and not enslaved, we are all being seen as Indians – not based on our caste, creed, color or religion.
Beyond all these, I am happy to notice that there is a rise in confidence among the many that I speak to. There is a renewed vigor and confidence in serving the nation. For sure, 2014 has been a watershed moment for our country. There ought to be a million challenges to solve in our diverse nation, but knowing that there are people who is spending every moment in the service of the nation gives a feeling of safety, and a spirit to do my part as an Indian.