A Review of 100 Days of Modi Sarkar- Are Achche Din here?

Review of 100 Days of Modi Sarkar
Review of 100 Days of Modi Sarkar
Review of 100 Days of Modi Sarkar
Achche Din – A Review

On May 16 this year, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made history by securing more than 272 of the 543 parliamentary seats at the 16th Lok Sabha elections. The Indian National Congress that has dominated Indian politics for over 60 years was delivered a crushing defeat. But what was most significant was that the Indian electorate had voted for Narendra Modi’s BJP and not BJP’s Narendra Modi. Modi or NaMo, as he is called by both his followers and detractors alike, became a significant rallying point for all those who voted for a change in the country – all those who believed in a revolutionary transformation without the actual revolution. As Modi completes 100 days as the elected leader of the world’s largest democracy, here’s a review of 3 significant aspects of the Modi Sarkar (Modi administration).

Economy and finance

The Union Budget 2014-15, presented to Parliament by the NDA Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was one of the most awaited and significant events in the past 100 days. The economy of India was struggling under the weight of a burgeoning Current Account Deficit (CAD), a highly volatile rupee, and an errant inflation rate. The FM’s opening statement setting the fiscal deficit target for FY 2014-15 at 4.5 percent with an attempt to meet the 4.1 percent fiscal deficit set the scene for a development-oriented budget. He also pegged the GDP growth target for the year at 5.4-5.9 percent, for the next year at over 6 percent, and at 7-8 percent for the subsequent 3-4 years period.

Some of the major highlights of this budget that invited both huge appreciation and criticism included increase of foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance sector and defence sectors to 49 percent, development of 100 smart cities across the country, increase in Public Provident Fund (PPF) investment ceiling to INR 1.5 lakh, and increase in income tax exemption limit to `INR 2.5 lakh and INR 3 lakh for individual taxpayers below and above 60 years, respectively.

Reflecting the return of investor confidence in the country’s economy and the changes in policy as brought about by the NDA government, the QI GDP growth rate of the current fiscal year has shot up to 5.7 percent from 4.6 percent of the previous quarter. The CAD similarly has dipped to 1.7 percent of the GDP showing clear signs that the economy is following an upward graph. Though the rates of inflation are far from being tame, the government’s steps to curb food inflation seem to be promising. As if in honour of the PM’s 100th day at the Centre, the Sensex rallied past the 27,000 figure and the NIFTY breached 8,000 points– record milestones for the Indian stock markets.

Welfare and development seem to be the watchwords, and ‘no freebies’ seems to be a policy now. One of the records set by the NaMo government is the opening of over 1.5 crore bank accounts across the country on a single day under the PM Jan Dhan Yojna – a scheme aimed at financial inclusion of the masses who had hitherto no access to savings accounts or the banking system. The scheme aims at opening 7.5 crore zero-balance savings accounts in the country by January next year. Each account holder will be provided a RuPay debit card and an accident insurance cover of INR 1 lakh.

Make In India”, the Prime Minister’s message from the Red Fort on the occasion of his maiden Independence Day address to the country was clear – the manufacturing sector (15 percent of the national economy) may expect much more benefits in days to come. The sector has already received a major boost over these 100 days and the NaMo administration seems committed to developing India as the zero-defect manufacturing hub of the world. Manufacturing expanded 3.5 percent in Q1 of this fiscal year. Retail inflation based on the consumer price index is down from 8.31 percent in March 2014 to 7.96 percent in July 2014.

One of the noticeable failures of the NaMo administration has been its inability to bring back over USD 1.4 trillion worth black money stashed away illegally in tax havens outside the country, particularly in Switzerland. A key promise made to the electorate of India by the NDA was to ensure that thousands of crores worth black money would return to India within 100 days and be pumped into the economy and the offenders would be taken to task. It looks unlikely that the NDA government will be successful in swaying the Swiss authorities, who have repeatedly turned down pleas from Indian authorities to share the names of bank account holders and information regarding these holdings in the past.

Overall, tough decisions have been taken and a strong welfare agenda has been initiated. It remains to be seen if the buoyancy of the markets and the confidence of the investors can be retained. The task of setting the Indian economy on track is a tough and uphill one. If the Modi Sarkar succeeds in pulling this off in the months to come, the country will have much to rejoice over. The stoic acceptance of the country to changes such as rail fare hikes etc. shows that the country is geared up to face minor austerities and retains its confidence in the government.


I stand here as your Pradhan Sevak (Prime Servant), not Prime Minister (Prime Minister)”, said Modi in one of his most important addresses to the nation. The emphasis on good governance is unmistakable. Unlike the previous government at the Centre, there is no doubt that the PM is indeed the captain of the ship. The NDA has been a cohesive force with all ministers and leaders pitching in to launch various schemes and speaking in a united voice in all governmental issues. The outlook of the government is a staunchly “No Corruption” one, though the adherence to this may be verified in the months to come.

Pushing forward the agenda of inclusive governance and fundamental duties of the citizens, the PM launched a citizens’ portal, MyGov. The PM reposed faith in the capabilities of 125 crore Indians and opened up the portal that allows users to both discuss solutions and actions for any concern that affects the country while also involving the citizens in volunteering time and energy into such efforts.

The Planning Commission has come to an end. In an economy that is increasingly been driven by private and global forces, the Planning Commission has outlived its utility, believes the NDA government. The commission is to be replaced, soon, by a panel that is ranked high on its global competitiveness, capabilities and skills, and innovativeness, promises the NaMo Sarkar.

Defence has become a central subject of importance for the country.  The NaMo government has pledged to spend US$ 250 billion over the next decade in an effort to upgrade the country’s military equipment. Indigenous production efforts have also received a major boost from the government with the PM declaring that India will develop about 197 light-utility helicopters, and more Kolkata class destroyers. With FDI in defence being raised to 49 percent, the government is also looking forward to importing some high quality military equipment.

However, there has been a major controversy over dismissal and reshuffle of UPA-appointed State Governors marking the past 100 days. Some 9 Governors of the UPA regime had to leave during the period that Modi has been in power. The Governors who have hitherto resigned include Shekhar Dutt (Chhattisgarh), B V Wanchoo (Goa), Sheila Dikshit (Kerala), K Sankaranarayanan (Maharashtra), Vinod Kumar Duggal (Manipur), Vakkom Purushottaman (Mizoram), Ashwani Kumar (Nagaland), B L Joshi (Uttar Pradesh), and M K Narayanan (West Bengal). The Uttarakhand Governor Aziz Qureshi has approached the Supreme Court against the government’s move.

The NDA Government has successfully pushed through the National Judicial Appointments Bill as an alternative to the collegium system that has been in existence for over 20 years. The Bill was accompanied by the 121st Constitutional Amendment Bill to validate the change in the system of appointment of High Court and Supreme Court judges. This has attracted the criticism of several senior judges and lawyers who claim that the collegium system was non-partisan and has worked very effectively in the past.

Religious nationalism was one of the most criticised and the most feared feature of the NDA government when it came to power. The NDA manifesto included the establishment of the much disputed Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. It was feared that the hardline Hindutva influence of the RSS over the BJP would be immensely detrimental to the nation’s secular ambitions. Though such religious fanaticism has not emerged in these past 100 days, the threat is still latent, not completely absent.

Diplomacy and foreign policy

One of the salient features that have emerged in the first 100 days of the NaMo Sarkar is its emphasis on diplomacy and the strengthening of relations with neighbours and other Asian countries. The Prime Minister has visited Nepal, Bhutan and Japan building excellent ties and cooperative agenda with these countries. Bilateral trade and defence have been key issues even as India sought technological and financial assistance from Japan, Singapore, and other nations to build 100 smart cities. Infrastructural projects and communication ventures apart from cultural exchanges have found immense attention.

The Prime Minister started his tenure by inviting the leaders of all SAARC nations to attend his swearing-in ceremony – an unprecedented move. While it received minor criticism from some quarters, the country as a whole welcomed the move as an attempt to consolidate India’s position as a dominant South Asian force. Lost, somewhere in the midst of heady diplomatic pleasantries, was the issue of Bangladeshi immigrants. The agenda of ridding India of their presence – a topic of much furore before Modi came to power – seems to have gone lukewarm. The PM’s friendly overtures have attracted rich dividends with Pakistan and Sri Lanka freeing a number of detained fishermen.

All has not, however, been good on the Pakistan front. Several incursions across the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Kashmir have resulted in many deaths – both of military personnel and of civilians. India ordered the UN Military Observers Group on India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to leave the country claiming that the Kashmir issue would be resolved bilaterally. This resolution seems to be nowhere in sight, though with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley stated that the incursions at the LoC and the IB are “extremely serious and provocative” and “not being conducive to the relationship of the two countries.”

Despite the grim outlook in Kashmir, NaMo’s Japan visit has been a resounding success. The Prime Minister has been successful in winning the hearts and the support of the Japanese for India. The tour concluded with the countries signing five agreements – significant ones involving defence exchanges, infrastructure and healthcare. Japan also agreed to lift ban on six Indian organisations such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) imposed after the 1998 nuclear tests.

A feather in the cap of the NDA government is certainly the establishment of the BRICS bank – a developmental cooperative bank based on equal partnership of the BRICS nations to lend financial support to infrastructural projects in the member-countries.

Overall, the Modi Sarkar has succeeded in bringing about a refreshing change in the political scenario of India. The Prime Minister has made news each day of his tenure and has inspired a resolve in Indians to accept and embrace change for the country’s progress. Will he keep the momentum going? Will India reach the pinnacle of economic progress without losing its democratic and secular fervor? Will corruption, red tape, and conservatism be a thing of the past? We shall keep watching out for Modi Sarkar in the months to come, hopefully not to see the bubble burst.

Related Information:

100 Days of Modi Sarkar

Four Years of Modi Sarkar

Two Years of Modi Government