Aadarniya Pradhan Mantriji,

At the outset, please accept my heartiest congratulations on your team successfully completing more than four years in office. You had come to power on the plank of 'Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas. This was something in the league of Franklin D. Roosevelt's 'New Deal' and Indiraji's 'Garibi Hatao'. This is the time for you to take honest stock of your actual achievements and correct the shortcomings.

One major strength that you enjoyed was you not having to face situations like what your predecessor faced, like having a draft Ordinance torn to pieces by a person officially not part of the government. To your credit, but for Jammu and Kashmir, you did not impose President's Rule in non-NDA led states.

The news about our economy overtaking that of France is indeed heart-warming. Unfortunately, the one about the poor state of health of our rupee is equally disheartening.

As the next Lok Sabha Polls are fast approaching, it is time for you to do an honest S(Strengths), W(Weaknesses), O(Opportunities) and T(Threats) analysis of the actual performance of your government – and not indulge in mere 'jumle baazi' as your critics have been accusing you of.

Some of the areas which may cause you some discomfort in 2019 are:

(a) Uncertainty About Fuel Prices. We common citizens are in constant dread about the next dose of hikes. Your government says that the issue of not bringing petroleum products under GST was decided by the previous government. Can you take shelter behind such a logic? When your government is hell-bent on amending the Constitution for an issue regarding J&K (I think it is Article 35(c)), can you not repeal a 'wrong' decision of the previous government? Please remember, prices of many items are linked to those of fuel. A layperson is more concerned about the state of his household economy than in our economic performance vis-à-vis France, et. al.

(b) Controversial Statements About Ram Mandir. Yes, the matter is before the apex court and we should all await its final order. Yet, some very senior members of your party (the latest one being the Deputy CM of UP) continue to make controversial statements on this issue. On one hand, your party accuses the INC of daring to try to impeach the CJI and, in in the process, showing contempt for our judiciary, and on the other, your own party men are 'taking decisions' prematurely on the temple issue. It would be good to remember that the Ram Mandir issue helped your party to attain its present stature. Today, the electorate may not be swayed to the same extent. Please, therefore, rein in some of your loud mouths.

(c) Mob Lynchings. It is rather sad to note that almost all such crimes occurred in the BJP-ruled states. Yes, you have strongly disapproved of such acts, but the more deterrent action (like exemplary punishment) needs to be taken. A question arises: can the public be allowed to take the law into its hands on mere suspicion? Even if the public finds a person 'guilty' of, say, lifting cows, or abducting children, should it be allowed to 'dispense on-the-spot' punishment? What are our law enforcement agencies meant for?

mob lynching
People shout anti-government slogans during a protest against what the demonstrators say are recent mob lynchings across the country, in Ahmedabad, India, July 23, 2018.REUTERS/Amit Dave/File photo

(d) Crimes Against Women. Incidents like the ones in Kathua and Unnao gave a bad name to your party. It is okay to condemn such acts, but more concrete action needs to be taken so that such events do not recur. One cannot take shelter behind the plea, 'It is a state subject' – more so when most of these cases happened in states ruled by your party. You would be setting a good example by meting out stringent punishment to the guilty – even if they belong to your own party.

(e) Misgivings of Andhra Pradesh. No convincing replies seem to have been given to the complaints about the 'raw deal' to that state. Please remember, AP is a very important state of the country. Agreed, the concept of Special Category Status has been dispensed with by the Finance Commission, but then, your government can show some magnanimity by conceding demands like the Kapada Steel Plant and adequate funds for the Polavaram Project.

(f) The Kerala Flood Disaster. There is a lot of confusion about what exactly the UAE government said about the Rs 700 crore aid for the state. In case the central government feels it demeaning to take help from a foreign power, let it release that (or a bigger) amount to that state. That way, you would be hailed for your magnanimity. True, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, NDRF and other central forces did an outstanding rescue work, but then, rehabilitation is an equally challenging task now.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing an election rally in Dwarka on 1 February 2015.IANS

(g) Remembering Atalji. Yes, he was indeed a great statesman, loved by all. The only question is "are you not over-doing" the act of honouring his memory? Some of the TV channels can list the number of roads, universities, sports stadia, etc., named after the members of the 'first family'. If your government goes overboard in its naming/re-naming spree, it would be no better than the INC governments of the past.

We admire you for providing a stable government to us and adding to the dignity of our great nation. The only advice to you is: "It is not enough to be fair. You must also appear to be fair."

With warmest regards,

JAR Moorty.

(An ardent admirer till now, but who demands more concrete proof for remaining so.)


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