Saying that his government did not have the luxury of a “honeymoon period” that previous new governments enjoyed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hinted at the resistance he is facing “within” his government as also “outside” to the “positive change” that he is trying to bring. He, however, asserted that every decision his government has taken has been “guided solely by national interest”.
“I feel there are areas where surely we need to improve. A big challenge I am facing in Delhi is to convey to a select group of people about our intentions and sincerity to bring a positive change in this country. These are people who are both within and outside the government system,” the PM wrote in a blog on completion of one month in office on Thursday.
“There have been some instances in the last month with which our government had nothing to do yet these controversies have persisted. I don’t blame anybody but I surely feel that we need to strengthen systems whereby the right things are communicated to the right people at the right time. Hopefully things will change then,” he said.
While the PM seemed to suggest his political rivals when he referred to those outside the government system, it was not clear who he meant by “within” this system.
Modi said while he was initially apprehensive about being “new” to New Delhi, that thought exists “no longer” in his mind as he has grown in confidence and determination tremendously. As he completed one month on June 26, he recalled the Emergency that had been imposed 39 years ago on June 25 and said people should take a pledge to create “strong institutions through good governance” so that they don’t have to see those “dark days again”.
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“Every new government has something that friends in the media like to call a ‘honeymoon period.’ Previous governments had the luxury of extending this ‘honeymoon period’ up to a hundred days and even beyond. Not unexpectedly I don’t have any such luxury. Forget hundred days, the series of allegations began in less than a hundred hours. But when one is working with the sole aim of serving the nation determinately, these things do not matter. That is why I keep working and that is most satisfying,” Modi said. He was referring to controversies surrounding the educational qualification of new HRD Minister Smriti Irani and also the political storm over the statement by Union Minister Jitendra Singh regarding Article 370.
Stating that 67 years of previous governments is nothing compared to one month, he said that during this short period, his entire team devoted every single moment for the welfare of the people. “Every decision we took has been guided solely by national interest. When we took over a month ago, I kept thinking that I am new to this place and some people believed that I would take at least a year or even two to learn the intricacies of the working of the Central Government.
Fortunately, a month later that thought does not exist any longer in my mind. My confidence and determination has increased tremendously and I credit a substantial part of this to the collective experience and wisdom of my ministerial colleagues and also to my experiences as a four-time chief minister,” he said.
The PM, who has been meeting ministers and taking detailed presentations from officials from various departments, said this enabled a wonderful exchange of thoughts and ideas and the governemnt has come up with excellent roadmaps for the various ministries and departments. He said that June 26 is an “important date” for him as it marks the completion of one month of his journey to fulfil the aspirations of the people. This day is also another landmark day, he said, because in 1975 he had witnessed an important phase that taught him the significance of a vibrant democracy. June 26 was the day when the Emergency started, having been imposed the previous evening.
“As a youngster, I have several memories of those testing times. The Emergency surely stands out as one of the darkest periods in our history and is a grim reminder of the dangers associated with subverting freedom of speech, press, expression and silencing opposition. Our democracy will not sustain if we can’t guarantee freedom of speech and expression. Today is also a day to reaffirm our pledge to safeguard these values and at the same time create strong institutions through good governance so that that we never ever see those dark days again,” said Modi adding that his government is committed to taking India to greater heights in the years to come.