Jan Bhagidari is the Cornerstone of Democracy - PM Narendra Modi's Unwavering Faith in Jan Shakti
#Jagat Prakash Nadda
“Our strength lies in the people’s power. Our strength lies in each and every citizen of our country”- Prime Minister Modi
The concept of Jan Bhagidari, literally translating to people’s participation implies the role of the collective in the implementation of policies. Harnessing the power of the people has been the central aspect of implementing the PM Modi-led government policies in a populous country like India. PM Modi has shown the benefits of tapping into this power by strongly motivating the masses to do their bit, to check when something is going wrong, flag issues to the government during implementation and motivate others to aid governance.
DIALOGUE: A TOOL FOR BETTER GOVERNANCE
Jan Bhagidari is incomplete without the continuous process ofJan Samwad. The essence of true participative governance rests on the process of holding regular interactions with people to understand ground realities, followed by policy papers based on the analysis of the issues with suggestive measures to tackle them. Ideally followed by the implementation of the policy and its feedback from people, it is then followed by feedback from the beneficiaries based on which the policy is then implemented. Through various means, the PM Modi-led government has taken extensive care to maintain this constant dialogue between the people and the government to empower and ease people’s lives. A fitting example of this is the PM Fasal Bima Yojana. Launched by PM Modi in 2016 after combining two major schemes for crop insurance and ensuring sustainable agriculture, it was relaunched again in 2019-2020. The revised scheme is the unique culmination of farmers’ feedback through various offline and online methods, thus covering a variety of concerns- a true illustration of the power of dialogue used for transformative change.
THE ERA OF PEOPLE-LED DEVELOPMENT
PM Modi has undeniably been successful in his efforts to motivate the masses to go the last mile. People have answered his clarion calls not once, nor twice but multiple times for converting policies on paper to success in reality. When put in numbers, the numerical and data-driven success of schemes can seem flat or unidimensional. However, the beauty in the schemes envisioned and implemented by PM Modi is in their multi-dimensionality. His words are a testament to the fact that he thinks in terms of holistic development of the people leaving no soul in the journey of holistic development.
As a leader, PM Modi’s resolution to involve every citizen for policies and benefits to reach all is consistent throughout his vision and governance. Take for example the issue of open defecation which was addressed by PM Modi in his first Independence Day speech as the Prime Minister. He asked all citizens to take part in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. A mass movement that has now culminated into over one lakh ODF Plus (Open Defecation Free) villages in the country and more than 11 crore toilets have been successful in just 60 months, a feat that has amazed the world. Though it might just seem like a cleanliness mission, it has also ensured dignity and safety for women, saved the lives of numerous children and prevented many girls from dropping out of schools.
Take another example of the Jal Jeevan Mission ensuring over 10 crore tap water connections in villages alone, so far. In his own words, “the success of Jal Jeevan Mission is based on: people’s participation, partnership with all stakeholders, political will and optimum utilisation of all resources.” The delivery of such a basic necessity in the lives of the masses is now a reality. Women don’t need to travel hours to fetch water, diseases spreading through contaminated water have been curbed while also providing ease of living to rural families.
Yet another proof of the strength in numbers is the over 200 crore COVID-19 vaccination record which was no mean feat to achieve in mere 18 months but we did it. While it was the product of the cumulative efforts of many, it was led by PM Modi himself, resonating with his sense of determination to achieve the unachievable and his unflinching faith in his people. Other significant mass movements envisioned by PM Modi during the pandemic when he urged citizens to respect curfews, applaud healthcare workers and light diyas to appreciate those fighting at the forefront also manifested into tremendous positive responses from across the country. Despite the government not setting mandates for citizens to get vaccinated, the people showed promise in choosing the better out of the alternatives they had. Similarly, those who could afford to, chose to let go of their subsidies for LPG and railway subsidies on tickets when no actual subsidies were removed, thus practicing to “give it up” when they were asked to. If these are not instances of the power of PM Modi-led jan bhagidari in action, then what are?
FROM PARTICIPATION TO PROSPERITY
Mann Ki Baat, a major success that has been termed widely (and rightfully so) as a social revolution, also finds its base in Jan Bhagidari. Every episode is a curation of a monthly reminder of PM Modi’s unshaken faith in the transformative power of each individual. A remarkable mass movement Vocal for Local- a clarion call for promoting indigenous trade and encouraging local businesses to flourish has gone a long way in creating awareness among people and boosting entrepreneurship. Today, this mass movement has empowered numerous small businesses, helped sustain startups in remote parts of the country and also assisted in reviving traditional crafts. A unique phenomenon, part of the mission for aatmanirbharta in toy manufacturing is PM Modi’s call for getting ‘vocal about local toys.’
"I want to salute the little children between 5 and 7 years of age. The nation's consciousness has been awakened. I have heard from countless families that 5–7-year-old children tell their parents that they do not want to play with foreign toys. When a 5-year-old child makes such a resolution, it reflects the spirit of self-reliant India in him," PM Modi, Independence Day, 2022.
Since 2020, PM Modi has urged startups to help achieve the feat of becoming a global toy hub and aid to set up toy clusters in the country. Cut to 2022, more toy clusters have come up in the country, events like ‘Toycathon’ to crowdsource innovative ideas for developing toys based on Indian culture and ethos have gained momentum, toys to be certified according to BIS (Bureau of Indian Certification) standards has become mandatory for all manufacturers thus eliminating many Chinese competitors. At the same time, exports decreased by 70% and imports increased by 61% in FY 2019-22! All such measures have thus culminated in Indian toy exports reaching unfathomable heights and are proof of what a determined nation can do.
"Democracy is not only giving a contract to one government for five years. In reality it is Jan Bhagidari.”- PM Modi
The unshakable faith PM Modi has shown consistently in the citizens of the country has yielded unimaginable positive results repeatedly. When policies reach the last mile is when democracy is deemed truly successful. Thus, the essence of PM Modi’s clarion call remains to be:participation of all leads to the prosperity of all.
# Jagat Prakash Nadda is National President, Bharatiya Janata Party