"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails." PM Modi is one leader who always knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. In the year 2014, when he bent his forehead and touched the steps before entering the Parliament, he silenced all his critics with his gesture. This gesture clearly shows the national character of a man, his deep-rooted values and faith in the parliamentary democracy. That image is going to be alive in memories forever.
The tenure of Modi 1.0 was for the setting up of the foundation of a new India. The legacy he received in the year 2014 necessitated major overhauling in terms of administration, policies and governance. He took the challenge and rose to the occasion and delivered on all fronts. The result was obvious, a loaded mandate in Modi 2.0! Higher the mandate, higher the responsibilities. Within 15 months of the Modi 2.0, PM Modi has taken decisions including the abrogation of Article 370, criminalisation of triple talaq, anti-terrorism law, New Education Policy 2020, Citizenship (Amendment) Act. In this short duration, he led the nation remarkably during the global pandemic of COVID-19. On the one hand, he corrected many "historical wrongs" and simultaneously laid the foundation for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
It is believed that "A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent." All the decisions taken by Prime Minister Modi are based on this philosophy only. Abrogation of Article 370 not only corrected the historic blunder but also gave a platform to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to join the mainstream of the nation for peace, prosperity and development. He has shown courage, conviction and commitment to the integrity of the country. After 73 years of independence, now we are indeed one nation with one flag, one constitution and one head of the government. He had shown similar boldness to the world during surgical strikes and Balakote airstrikes. He always believes "the safety, honour and welfare of the country come first always and every time."
His bold decision to make legislation for the criminalisation of triple talaq, empowering the security agencies (UAPA) to tackle the anti-national activities is a clear reflection of his will to reform, transform and perform.
The ultimate test of a person's character is not where they stand in times of comfort but how they respond to adversity and crisis. COVID-19 posed similar Himalayan challenges to leadership across the world. PM Modi led the nation in the hour of crisis with resolve and phenomenal organisational skills. Time and again, we have witnessed that when PM appeals, the country rises to the occasion. He led from the front, set the example at all levels and steered the nation out of pandemic mayhem. He gave the roadmap to India –"From Capacity Building to Nation Building". The Rs. 20 lakh crore package to make India ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’ is a reflection of his long-term vision and far-sighted governance.
The whole world is looking up to India, how it will emerge in the 21st century. During the last 34 years, we have seen the impact of globalisation, liberalisation and technological invasion in almost every walk of life. But our education system and education policy never reformed to contemporary needs. Being a Union Education Minster in the Modi Cabinet, I can share with authority that from the nascent drafting stage to cabinet approval and now in the implementation phase, PM Modi has been leading the NEP-2020 in its present format by giving valuable inputs, suggestions and visions. He always emphasised the role and importance of education in our life and our moral responsibility to produce global citizens with Indian roots and values. With his regular guidance and vision today, India has got its first education policy of 21stcentury which is Indian in roots, international in outlook, interactive in content, inclusive in approach and impactful in its outcome. Access, quality and equity with affordability and accountability make it most beautiful and visionary policy that will make India a global knowledge hub.
Today, PM Modi is one of the most respected and tallest national leaders with national and global influence. He has restored the prestige and aura to the office of the Prime Minister of world's largest democracy. He has awakened the country from slumber and led us to rise to the occasion for making India a global power. He has ignited the will of the nation and gave us the refreshing call for keeping the self-respect rejuvenated. He is the manifestation of the dreams and aspirations of New India. He is the symbol of hope and faith for the youth of the country. He always believes in the power of one. If every Indian moves one step ahead, India moves 135 crore steps forward. A firm believer of Team India and cooperative federalism, he has given leadership to the country we always aspired for. I would like to quote Prime Minister Modi's talisman; "My government has only one religion – India First, only one religious book-Constitution of India, only one worship- the welfare of 135 crore Indians and only one doctrine – Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas".
Long live the country! Long live the leader!