Modi’s speeches are being praised quite a lot in America. I too am amongst those praising him. Narendra Modi has enhanced the respect of Indians in America and there are no two ways about it that his visit has been more successful than that of many previous Prime Ministers. In Narendra Modi, Indians living in America saw an image of one such national leader whose stature was equal to that of Obama. In his speech Narendra Modi too enhanced the stature of Indians living in America and there are no two ways about it that he has returned from America successful.
But, the one thing that has got me a little worried is imagining the future of India and people living in India. Narendra Modi gave exactly the kind of speech in America which people living there wanted to hear. The concept of development that Narendra Modi described there, that is the concept of the upper-middle class. The model of development about which he talked in America, that is the model of development of the upper middle class. Alongside Narendra Modi tried to give a message to the middle class that if people of the middle class want, then their children too can go to America. Why only America, they can go anywhere in the world, because there is a workforce shortage in the entire world. Narendra Modi mentioned 2019 at several places, it means that Narendra Modi wants to talk about development of the upper middle class till 2019, wants to talk about giving an opportunity in India to the upper middle class in the consumer sector and wants to give this hope to the middle class that if they want, then they can move up towards the upper middle class. The meaning that emerges from this is very clear: that in Narendra Modi’s mind the map of development for India is a map of development for 30 per cent people.
I would want that people who understand Narendra Modi prove this notion of mine wrong. I want to be proved wrong, because I don’t want this country to reach that stage of tension where swords are drawn against each other. 70 per cent people of India don’t have education, don’t have health facilities, don’t have water and the biggest thing, don’t have food. What they do have are opportunities to die bit by bit. A person like me wants to hear from the lips of Narendra Modi that in the next 5 years there will be a system for 100 per cent education in India. If we talk about sending teachers in the world, then those teachers will be teachers from the upper middle class, because in India the possibility of higher education is only with the upper middle class, the middle class is also finding reaching there difficult.
That everyone gets an opportunity to walk on the road of economic development of our country, this only — and only — the Government can ensure. Right now whoever is walking is walking dependant on the market. The market doesn’t want to give people bread, the market wants to earn bread. The market doesn’t want to educate people, the market wants to make education an even bigger business. The market doesn’t want to keep people alive, instead it wants to enslave people. If Manmohan Singh didn’t understand this, will Narendra Modi too not understand this fact?
I am hankering that Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that in the villages and cities of India such a system of education will be there whereby people can reach the level of competing with the world. Seventy per cent of people in the country have neither the capability to reach health facilities and nor do health facilities reach them. Even if they get the medicines from somewhere, then which medicine is to be given for which illness, seventy per cent of people have no one there to tell them. The third biggest thing, to which it is necessary to draw the attention of Narendra Modi and that a person like me wants to hear from the Prime Minister, is that in the villages of India at least such industries should be set up which are related to the raw materials being produced there.
But it is unfortunate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi lost this opportunity in America. Narendra Modi had got an opportunity in America to make an announcement for seventy per cent of India’s population who are outside the stream of development, who need education, health and industry, which are an answer to unemployment and especially, had got a chance to announce a solution for the lack of occupations – a lack spread like an epidemic in the villages of India , but he turned this chance into announcements of possible opportunities for the upper middle class.
I don’t think that there is a need to tell Prime Minister Narendra Modi that if — let alone a river of development, not even a drain reaches these 70 per cent people and they remain distant from possibilities of education, health and employment, then the 30 per cent of people for whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made announcements, they too will not be able to utilise opportunities easily. If they will want to utilise these opportunities, then they will have to take the help of the Army. The one thing we repeat again and again is that even now one third of the districts of India are far from development and are so far that even the rule of the Indian Government doesn’t run there. And this dissatisfaction is not a problem of law and order, this dissatisfaction is a problem of development.
When will Prime Minister Narendra Modi present the map for development of the whole nation, a person like me is awaiting that. That is why when Narendra Modi gives a speech in America, then the heads of Indians there rise with pride. But the heads of which Indians are raised? Indians from the upper middle class who can go to America, who can get education in America and who can go to America and do business — the announcements of Narendra Modi are for them. But for those who can’t go to a city from their village, who have not seen the capital of the country except on television and who haven’t travelled in a good train, for them all these announcements are redundant and meaningless. Because they can neither read, nor write, neither understand and nor are they able to fight illness to stay alive.
To raise this question today can be like the sound of shots on deaf ears, but journalism is not flattery, journalism is not PR journalism. Journalism is the name of bringing attention towards the right problems. Today we would like to make a humble request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hope that soon you will give at least one such speech which can communicate hope to the hearts of more than 70 per cent people of the country. In these 70 per cent people, the oppressed, deprived, tribals, Dalits, minorities and backward classes, people of every class of the country are included. Also included are those who are called upper caste. That everyone gets an opportunity to walk on the road of economic development of our country, this only — and only — the Government can ensure. Right now whoever is walking is walking dependant on the market. The market doesn’t want to give people bread, the market wants to earn bread. The market doesn’t want to educate people, the market wants to make education an even bigger business. The market doesn’t want to keep people alive, instead it wants to enslave people. If Manmohan Singh didn’t understand this, will Narendra Modi too not understand this fact?
If Narendra Modi will decide to hand over the whole country to the market, then he will have to be ready for this too – that if in the country protests and movements (andolans) of youth begin on questions about disorder, exploitation, unemployment, inflation, corruption, hunger and death, then how will he face that? Will such protests and movements (andolans) be met by gun shots or will they be met by solving the problems, alleviating the pains of people?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi should understand one more thing very clearly: that if he will follow in the footsteps of previous Governments who ran away from problems, then he will prove to be a Prime Minister of the country like Rajiv Gandhi, who became Prime Minister with a huge majority of 404 MPs, proved to be in his last days. I am not comparing the two. I believe that today Narendra Modi has an opportunity to do a lot of things, but if he will become a caretaker of vested interests, corporates and the market, then it will be difficult for him to carve a space for himself in history. But I hope that Narendra Modi will not hand over the country to the market and will work heart and soul to include 70 per cent population of the country in the stream of development. Even though his speech in America will enthuse 30 per cent, it will be very disappointing for 70 per cent of people.