1 year of Modi 2.0: Five big-bang decisions that laid the foundation for ‘New India’
As Modi 2.0 nears completion of 1 year in power, we look back at some big-bang decisions which changed the country forever.
New Delhi: In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when speculations were made over return of Modi government, the election results dealt a powerful blow to the political opponents. Narendra Modi-led BJP stormed to power for the second term, even with greater majority than Modi 1.0.
Within 100 days of assuming office, Modi govt took many gamechanger decisions which initially triggered some protests but overall was widely welcomed by all, as in most cases, ‘historical wrongs’ were corrected.
As Modi govt 2.0 nears completion of 1 year in power, we look back at some big-bang decisions which changed the country forever. Rather, it prepared the framework for building a ‘New India’, as reiterated by PM Modi time and again.
1) Abrogation of Article 370
Some dates stand out in history. August 5, 2019 is one such historic date when Modi government revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
Repeal of Article 370 was long pending on BJP agenda and was one of the major election manifesto in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The major argument behind the move was that scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A would integrate J&K with the rest of India and will put it on same footing with rest of the states.
So, when the Modi government returned to power with massive mandate, it lost no time in acting on its promise.
Separate constitution will no longer be valid in the state and it will abide by the Indian constitution. This will streamline the flow of funds and will bring better development to the region.
The abrogation of Article 370 also means that all Indian laws are applicable in the state and therefore people from outside the state can buy property in the state and settle here. This also paves the way for easy return and rehabilitation of Kashmir pundits in the valley.
2) Bifurcation of State into 2 Union Territories – J&K and Ladakh
While abrogating the Article 370, the Modi government also divided the state into 2 Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. By doing so, the Centre effectively took control of the state with law and order directly falling under the Home Ministry.
This was for the first time in the history of India that a state had been bifurcated into 2 Union Territories.
But, the Modi-Shah duo are known for taking unconventional decisions and this has made them an invincible pair in Indian politics.
The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Puducherry while Ladakh will be a UT without legislature like Chandigarh and both the UTs will be headed by two separate lieutenant governors (LG).
3) Ram Mandir Verdict
The long-pending and contentious issue of Ram Janambhoomi got resolved in the second term of Modi government. Though, the verdict was given by the Supreme Court but there is no denying of the fact that the government handled the situation remarkably well. The legal battle over Ram Janambhoomi went on and on for many years despite ‘overwhelming evidence’. It is only after a Hindutva government was elected with a thumping majority in two consecutive elections that the Judiciary came out with clear judgement on the issue.
This was one of the core issues in the BJP manifesto. It marked an end of historic battle that has been waged for centuries and it came to an end during Narendra Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister. Although the verdict was delivered by the Supreme Court, government deserves applause and admiration for handling the security matters post-verdict in very efficient manner.
4) Passage of Triple Talaq bill
July 30, 2019 is another day which will go down in history as a memorable date. The historic Triple Talaq bill was passed in Parliament, to restore the honour and dignity of Muslim women and also to safeguard them from domestic harassment and abuse.
Under the law, anyone found guilty of leaving their wife by way of triple talaq can be prosecuted for up to three years in jail.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, which criminalises instant divorce by Muslim men and seeks jail term for the guilty, was the first draft legislation tabled by the Narendra Modi government in this first session after it took the oath of office for a second term in May.
Despite abolishing the repressive Triple Talaq law, the Modi government earned harsh criticism of the Opposition. It claimed that the legislation was being used to demonise the Muslim community. However, many Muslim scholars contested Opposition’s view, stating in clear terms that the bill will lead to gender justice and equality of Muslim women.
5) Citizenship Amendment Act
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed by Parliament on December 11 and a day later was made into law with President Ram Nath Kovind giving assent to it. The legislation was enacted to provide citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 after facing religious persecution. Such refugees will not treated as illegal immigrants but will be given Indian citizenship.
The newly framed law triggered protests across the country, with many claiming that it violates the basic tenets of the country’s constitution. Govt was quick to dismiss such claims with strong rejoinder.
Opposition raised huge outcry over the issue and claimed that the bill was a tool to legally establish Muslims as the second-class citizens of India by giving preferential treatment to certain groups.
However, the logic was rebutted by Home Minister who made it amply clear that there was no radical angle to it and it was a long-pending issue which has been resolved. Speaking in Parliament, Amit Shah said that the bill will give a new dawn to lakhs and crores of people.
His statement that in his view and PM Modi’s view, “India is the natural homeland for Hindus across the world” settled the matter for once and all. In fact, this is the most fundamental ideological shift the country has witnessed since inception.