When a new government is duly elected through transparent, democratic procedure, the constitutional obligation of all four estates — parliament, the executive, judiciary and the press/media — is to accept the verdict of the electorate and provide constructive good governance advice. Therefore in the discharge of our constitutional obligation, we offer a priorities list for the new BJP/NDA government which has been returned to power in New Delhi with a massive majority in Parliament.
The first priority of the new Central government should be resolute enforcement of the rule of law — the raison d’être of governments — without fear or favour. This requires respecting the constitutional rights of minorities and unsparing prosecution of cow vigilantes and lynch mobs that ran amok during the past five years. It also requires implementation of the police-justice reform recommendations of the high-powered Justice Malimath (2003) and Jusice J.S. Verma (2012) committees. The plain incontrovertible truth is that without the firm rule of law, socio-economic development is impossible.
Secondly, the scale and depth of poverty in rural India which grudgingly hosts 60 percent of the population, is a national disgrace. The major problem of Indian agriculture is low per-acre yields and difficulty of accessing urban and foreign markets. Therefore resuscitating Indian agriculture necessitates urgent repair of rural India’s broken K-12 school system, reviving the lapsed adult literacy campaign, smoothing rural-urban road and rail links and permitting the unfettered growth of downstream processed foods and agri-business industries.
Third, the BJP leadership has to rediscover the commitment to free enterprise and free markets of its parent party, the Jan Sangh. To fulfil its sabka sath sabka vikas (unity and development for all) promise, the new government has to denationalise all public sector enterprises and restore the free enterprise traditions of this once hugely prosperous subcontinent.
And last, but by no means least, the second BJP/NDA government should urgently address the issue of reforming the country’s obsolete education system which has destroyed the high potential of post-independence India’s young population. In belated fulfilment of the BJP’s 2014 election manifesto, the new administration should raise the annual outlay (Centre plus states) on public education to 6 percent of GDP forthwith, which means the Centre’s budget education allocation should be raised to 3 percent of GDP. The calculus to attain this objective has been repeatedly published by EducationWorld. Moreover liberalisation and deregulation which has substantially benefitted Indian industry is urgently required in the education sector.
Despite prophecies of doom, the people of India have overwhelmingly reposed their trust in the BJP/NDA government and prime minister Narendra Modi in particular. Now the onus is on them to discharge the trust and faith reposed in the BJP/NDA government for the second time.