o, how is the Modi sarkar (government) doing?
This is the most-often asked question these
days — laced with hope, anxiety, anticipation,
and a tinge of worry too — by people cutting
across class, profession and even by vested interests all over India.
So much has happened and so fast in the last 60 days in
Indian politics that it’s too short a time to deliver judgment
Obviously, any government should be given at least six
months to settle down. But the luxury is not available to the
Narendra Modi-led government due to rising food prices
and the rail fare hike. It has in a sudden way created a bitter feeling much before the celebration of the new government’s arrival concluded.
Since the government opted firmly in favor of price hikes,
‘achchedin’ (good days, Modi’s election campaign’s leitmotif) is increasingly becoming more a satirical expression
than reality. It’s interesting to see that millions of people
who voted or did not vote for the National Democratic
Alliance government are watching every action with a
sharp focus on Prime Minister Modi.
Repeatedly, one hears from common voters, “Let us wait
and watch. Prices haven’t been brought under control.”
It’s a fascinating political phase in the nation’s life when
people really believe that something surprising will emerge
from the government’s actions that will lessen the drudgery
of their lives.
India Abroad spoke to a few important people in the government to make sense of what is happening in New
Delhi’s corridors of power. In a country of 1.2 billion-plus
people, where the government machinery is monstrous and
sports the skin of a rhino, in two months one can only judge
the direction of the new government, and nothing more.
Uneasy lies the head
“The prime minister is concerned,” said a senior
Bharatiya Janata Party leader who meets Modi frequently.
“He is not relaxed when he meets us. He wants the speed of
An influential government official claimed, “The PM sits
in office for long hours. Except home and finance, he has
taken a comprehensive briefing of all the important min-
istries. Normally the briefing starts in the afternoon and
lasts till 9 pm to 10 pm. These meetings are to apprise Modi
about the ministry, its agenda, scope of work, future plans
and all that’s being done to achieve its goals.”
“Since even the ministers are new to the job,” the official
added, “mostly secretaries present the case of their min-
istries before the PM. Some secretaries through
PowerPoint presentations bring out all the data. Modi sits
through the meetings and interacts too. The prime minis-
ter’s major time has gone in understanding each ministry’s
spread and focus. In these meetings, the PMO’s (Prime
Minister’s Office’s) officer-in-charge of the particular min-
istry, who is normally a director or of joint secretary rank,
takes notes and presents the entire meeting in perspective.”
On the one hand, Modi has a first-hand briefing of all the
ministries and on the other hand he has also got a first-
hand introduction to the entire universe of international
“In the PMO, Modi has settled like a fish in water,” one
of Modi’s key aides told India Abroad. “He is able to grasp
things easily. He delegates work and keeps tight sched-
Another officer, dealing with diplomacy, agreed Modi is a
fast learner. Never before has an Indian prime minister met
so many world leaders in two months. At the end of six
months, Modi will have met the American, Russian,
Chinese, Japanese, Australian and all South Asian
For all his campaign bluster, India’s new prime minister is showing no signs of being a rebel, says Sheela Bhatt
So, how is the Modi government doing?
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, second from left, with his ministers after the oath-taking ceremony at the presidential palace in New Delhi, May 26.
ADNAN ABIDI/REU TERS