Flaw in Modi’s Approach

Indians possibly have the strongest herd instinct among all peoples in the world. When authority sets direction the entire nation seems to fall in line. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi should bear this in mind as he seeks to reform attitudes of people. The PM’s pet project is the Clean India movement. It is appropriate for the PM to sweep the floor as a symbolic gesture to emphasis dignity of labour and a sense of civic responsibility. Bit when over a hundred celebrities from politics, business and entertainment do likewise and get themselves photographed he should watch out.

A recent incident highlighted the danger. Cameras captured the street being deliberately littered by workers before two BJP leaders descended to the spot, swept the litter, and got suitably photographed during the deed. TV channels became incensed over this hypocrisy and lashed out at the BJP leaders. One urges commentators to coolly reflect. In essence was the intention any different from the hundreds of celebrities picking up brooms to get themselves photographed by the media? Is it anyone’s serious contention that these celebrities are going to make this a daily practice for keeping India clean? No, their intention is simply to promote awareness about cleanliness among people and at the same time impress the Prime Minister that they are following his lead.

How much intrinsic value does the creation of such awareness have for society? People will solemnly nod their heads and say that India should indeed be kept clean. After that, what? In what manner will their daily conduct in fact change to help cleanliness? On any dispassionate assessment the answer will be, very little. No effective policy for garbage disposal has been introduced.

In the same manner the call for a united nation by Mr. Modi to commemorate the memory of Sardar Patel inspired more and more people to echo his sentiments. Thousands even ran through cities to propagate unity in the nation. But will their fun loving exertions in any way further the cause of unity in the nation? Did their exertion in any way have the slightest beneficial impact on the communal tension that simmered in the Trilokpuri locality of the nation’s capital? It did not.

The Prime Minister should reflect. It is all very well to attempt changing the people’s attitudes by creating awareness through staging events. But for the most part the awareness is of self evident truths that are known to people but seldom acted on. If the conduct of people has to be changed it can only be done by the clear enunciation of laws and rules and by governance that ensures that their violation will invite instant punishment. That is the only and surest way of changing the conduct of people. That is how people in the more advanced societies of the west became disciplined and socially responsible.

Going by current trends there is danger that in India gestures will replace actions, events will replace projects, promises will replace policies, symbols will replace substance and delusion will replace reality.


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

Top | Analysis

Views: 3378      Comments: 4

Comment Mr. Puri: Step by step one will win the race. Remember ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY. It is democracy--Government by the people, of the people and for the people. They must give their contribution as directed by their leader and follow it till goal is achieved. I like Narendra Modi directing the country as he does. If they follow him, there will be MANY CHAIWALA

pranlal sheth
12-Nov-2014 06:01 AM

Comment "Where is a will, there is a way".

I think there is a will, ways will be changed or improved if there is willingness do bring change.

But, I don't agree with the last para, for different reason mentioned below:

Quote [ Going by current trends there is danger that in India gestures will replace actions, events will replace projects, promises will replace policies, symbols will replace substance and delusion will replace reality ] Unquote

why to use future tense in above para ? Isn't it what had been already in practice since a few decades ? The famous phrase "nal hai magar pani nahi hai" symbolizes that era.

And if this sublimation existed since a few decades, it will need sometime to eradicate it.
If it does not get eradicated, why to hold Modi's govt responsible ? as it already exists.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
11-Nov-2014 12:55 PM

Comment Agree 100%, these monkeying tactis should stop.All our cities have a look of places which have had 20 years of civil war.There are debris,broken pavements,loose sand,craters dominating roads.added to it all our public spaces have become open cess pits.Faeces strewn all over vacant places creating a stench to kill all cockroaches.Indians have become extremely comfortable living amonst filth and stench.I have been to some of the poorest places in the world.No where do I see open defecation,peeying,spitting.

11-Nov-2014 02:42 AM

Comment I liked the last-but-one para. Govt must impose fines on such unlawful people. It should start area wise as pilot project and then all over

11-Nov-2014 02:14 AM

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