“The Modi Effect”: Promotes Indian Reforms and Projects A Powerful International Image
Within a year after Modi came to power as the India Prime Minister on May 26th, 2014, he has positioned himself as one of the world leaders who made the most frequent foreign visits in 2014. He has improved India’s foreign relations, meanwhile playing the role of a “salesman” for India. Regarding his recent efforts to develop India’s image, Modi has won enormous applauses, but he is also facing a lot of accusations and questions. Expectations for India’s economic growth could not eclipse the challenges faced by the Modi government in terms of internal conflicts and reform resistance. Modi finds his movement to reform India at crossroads.
Modi is awakening a “sleeping” India
According to various sources, the overall performance of the Indian Prime Minister’s government is commendable. One year ago, India’s inflation rate and economic growth were at 9% and 5% respectively. Now its inflation rate has fallen to 5% and India’s economic growth forecasted by IMF this year would reach 7.5%, which means India’s economic growth rate would exceed that of China.
In terms of internal structure and workflow, India didn’t make big changes in the past year; but India did make a subtle change in its image, especially with a powerful central government and a strong leader. India’s former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh portrayed an image of scholar, while Modi’s image is totally different. Now, the Prime Minister’s Office has turned into India’s decision-making center, with direct dialogues from Modi to the secretaries. The past situation of decision-making paralysis has been changed for sure.
Secretory-general of China Chamber of Commerce in India, Li Jian, who has worked in India for ten years, said, “Modi’s government has implemented many reforms which the former government was unable to push or unwilling to push. As frontline commercial service agencies, we often deal with the Indian government, Indian industries and the Indian Parliament, and therefore we have felt this difference the most.” Li Jian also said in the past, different states in India had different tax systems, which led to local resistance for commodity circulation and business development. However, now a unified tax system is being firmly pushed by Modi. Modi’s government is not only promoting the “Make In India” policy, but also opening up industry restrictions and proportions of total shares for foreign capital, with some industries allowing 100% foreign capital investment.
全球推销印度是莫迪最大 Global Promotion of India is Modi’s Biggest Highlight
Modi has also become a major role on the international stage. Over the past year, Modi has visited nearly 20 countries. “Straits Times” of Singapore commented that a flurry of visits has made the entire world as Modi’s stage.” It is worth mentioning that the Sino-Indian relations is an unavoidable focus for Modi. When he visits China, he strongly promotes India and invites China’s enterprises to invest in India.
莫迪摆脱烦恼需要时间 It will take time for Modi to get rid of troubles
Although Modi’s diplomatic whirlwind has attracted much attention, he still needs to go back home to deal with the troubles brewing in his backyard. The biggest unavoidable problem at present is the reform of land requisition law, which is intended to solve problems of infrastructure construction delays and industry land requisition delays, which have seriously plagued India’s economic and social development. This law was successfully passed in Lok Sabha controlled by BJP, but is strongly opposed in the Rajya Sabha by the Indian Congress Party. The congress party accuses BJP as “close to the rich, close to enterprises.” In a country with two-thirds of rural population, such kind of label to BJP will make Modi to lose the support of farmers.
Qian Feng, Executive Director of China South Asian Association, told the reporter of “Global Times” that, Modi’s greatest influence to India in the past year is the change in people’s hearts. In the past, Indians, especially the elite class, always walked in a contradictory way between superiority and inferiority. On one hand, they wanted to create an image of “the biggest democratic country”, and on the other hand, they worried India would fall behind in the increasingly competitive international economy. Modi’s emergence, with his pursuit for development and decisive personality, not only refreshes the world’s old feelings for India, but also awakens the sense of nationalism among the Indians.
From small actions like cleaning the streets to improving the city sanitary conditions to big moves such as reforming policies for development, Modi’s “action without delay” style has recalled more and more Indians’ long lost memories on administrative inefficiency and made them to believe this government would create a brand new India. However, Qian Feng believes that many troublesome problems would not be resolved in a short term, and Modi’s achievements in the past year don’t demonstrate anything. What he brings to India is confidence for the future ahead.