The Narendra Modi Govt. on Tuesday completed 100 days. During the last Lok Sabha elections, everbody saw how “Modi opposition ki Bajatey the”. But on the 100th day of his Government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has revealed a little known talent of his for musical instrument during his trip to Japan. While on last Monday he was seen playing a few notes on flute at a Tokyo school, the “piece de resistance” came on Tuesday at a TCS event when he took – like a pro – to a pair of traditional Japanese Taiko drums and amazed everyone present. The real professional drummer, who had started the proceedings, had to play at his best to keep pace with PM Modi.
Actually, it’s a “cultural shock” after 10 years of watching Sonia Gandhi using Manmohan Singh as her drum and beat him up. It is a huge relief from the stiff and robotic diplomatic visits of former PM Singh, who used to read from scripted speeches or spoke in bureaucratic English, showed very little physical as well as emotional mobility and rarely displayed his political acumen. Singh’s foreign visits always had a battery of journalists accompanying him on “free junket”. Yet, we never saw the kind of detailed coverage that Modi is getting both in national and international media, inspite of the fact that he does not pay for the “junket” of the journalists. Modi’s “flute-&-drum” diplomacy is a refreshing change because he not only deploys his persona and political acumen but also people skills. He is showcasing to the world what is India and Indians are capable of even by his own example - the metaphor-rich image of the former “chaiwala” taking part in an elaborate tea ceremony in Japan, one of the most industrialized and developed nation in the world.
During this short span of 100 days the Modi Govt. has a lot of achievements to showcase. Prime Minister Modi set precedent by establishing new style of working culture among his council of ministers and bureaucrats , directed all the Ministries to follow austerity principle by doing away with wasteful expenditures and be accountable to the people. His Govt. took many bold decisions including abrogation of redundant institution like Planning commission as well as 62 Groups of Ministers (GoMs) and Empowered Groups of Ministers (EGOMs). Also the Govt. announced SIT for bringing $8 billion black money back to the country, scrapped the collegium system and established Judicial accountability Bill instead, emphasized need of toilets in every house and started “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana” to make rural India financially sound. Apart from these, the Indian economy saw a 5.7% growth rate which will surely rise in the coming days. But the one area where Mr.Modi has excelled spectacularly is the way he has given towering image to Indian diplomacy unlike his predecessors. Right from inviting leaders of SAARC countries to his swearing-in ceremony to bringing back nurses from strife-torn Iraq to then recent blocking of WTO's Trade facilitation agreement in the larger interest of the poor of our country. He also bowled over people of Bhutan and Nepal on his recent trip to those countries. Modi also took hard decision when he cancelled foreign secretary level talk with Pakistan for their bonhomie with Kashmiri separatist elements. All these proved that Modi is a master in the art of displaying diplomatic flair.
The meetings between the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi reflected the warmth, mutual respect and deep ties that exists not just between the second and the third largest economies of Asia but also among the two nations with shared and deep rooted cultural and religious bondage. With Modi Govt. seeking massive investments over the next five years to create 100 new smart cities, upgrade infrastructures with investments in new ports, introduce bullet trains and reform railways, improve level of governance and make the proposed industrial corridors and clusters successful, Japan is perhaps one of the most important countries that is in a position to invest as well as help in improving issues of economic efficiency. The other key areas of significant cooperation include that of education and research as well as expanding horizons of shared values like that of Buddhism and Hinduism. The class of Japanese education and their excellence in the area of fundamental research is incomparable. Collaboration between Japanese and Indian Universities can be a major area of progress. Abe announced that japan will invest USD 34 billion (approx. Rs 2,10,000 crore) over the next five years, under the aegis of India-Japan Investment Promotion Partnership in various projects including infrastructure, building of smart cities in India, transport systems, rejuvenation of the Ganga and other rivers, manufacturing sector, skill development, and rural development etc., which will be financed by this fund under the public private partnership (PPP) model. So, without any doubt, among the foreign visits of PM Modi till now, the visit to Japan is the most significant one. Japan is perhaps the ideal nation which can become one of the most trusted allies of India and a major contributor to the Indian economy through investments and cooperation in various areas.
Modi has the magic of making things happen. The first 100 days of his governance is proof enough that India belongs to a different league.