The largest election in the world is in process in India. When the counting of votes is done and the dust settles down, what can be expected? Will Modi transform India from a developing nation to a modern one?
The largest election with 900 million eligible voters began in India on April 11, 2019 and is continuing. The results will be announced on May 23, that is almost six weeks from the start. Present indications are no party will be able to get an absolute majority to form the new government. It has been reported that the BJP will be the only party that will have a commanding lead. Therefore, BJP will be given the first opportunity to form a government with coalition partners.
Therefore, the parties that are ambitious to plant their members as Ministers in the cabinet will try to woo Prime Minister Modi. Because of political and ideological differences, Modi will try to offer partnerships to the parties that are willing to compromise their ideology for the sake of united front.
Between the date of elections result and forming a new government, the real election for power politics will take shape. This process will be exciting and interesting to India and the world. Thus, weaving of democratic fabric will be in full action.
There will be speculation every hour as to who is likely to join the BJP. It is a foregone conclusion that the defeated Congress party will be almost powerless.
Let us assume that after the dust settles, Modi will succeed in putting together a coalition that will be approved by the President of India and the Indian Parliament. Now comes, the hard part, how to govern?
Unless the ruling party has majority in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, it is difficult to get major legislations approved. Composition of Rajya Sabha is based on representation of different parties from various States. As in the past, the BJP may not be able to enjoy a majority in the Rajya Sabha.
The actual results of the election will give some indication on the degree of mandate, if any, Modi is able to get from the electorate. After the election, the reelected Modi will be highly confident. Thus, the huge election and its results offer many opportunities for Modi to transform India from a developing to a developed country. Will Modi embark on an economic revolution that will create employment and start wiping out poverty? Will Modi finally make a determination to build the most modern infrastructure that will deliver clean drinking water and electricity for 24/7 to all Indians?
India has many intrinsic strengths that have not been capitalized within India. The outstanding and extraordinary success of overseas Indians in capturing the leadership of almost all levels of society in the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Portugal, Singapore, U.A.E., and others make a refreshing contrast to the leadership within India. Will Modi mobilize the leaders of private industry in India and use their experience in transforming India? Will Modi privatize 46 Public Sector corporations and 145 Public Enterprizes?
India is a net exporter of food. But there are 300 million poor in India going hungry, while India is wasting 40% of its food production, costing $40 billion per year. Will Modi start doing something about this sooner than later?
USA—INDIA CLOSEST ALLY RELATIONSHIP
Prime Minister Modi must capitalize on this new relationship with the USA. President Trump has visited all major countries except India. After forming the new government, Prime Minister Modi should organize a warm reception to President Trump. This visit must be well prepared. The USA private industry is ready, willing and cooperate with India. It can help as much as it helped China, if not more. India must create favorable economic and business environment for private foreign investment. If India gives carte blanche as China did to the USA, India will make a rapid progress.
India should build large scale factories to manufacture consumer and industrial goods for export. India has no choice but to promote exports to create massive employment. India does not have to invent a new wheel. We have seen the successful experience of China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore.
Will India open its economy and liberalize fully? Will India take steps to make India one of the easiest countries to do business with?
FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY
President Trump is the first US President since India’s independence to give unstinted support to India. India has been branded as the CLOSET ALLY and the USA will allow India to transfer 100% of any and all technologies. This will enable India to manufacture products in India using most sophisticated and latest technologies. We know all modern wars are won by sophisticated technologies.
As India transforms its economy thru economic revolution, it can also build the most modern defense using sophisticated technologies.
Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh were one country before independence. Modi must give leadership and negotiate peaceful relations with Pakistan. Pakistan’s economy is in shambles. If only Pakistan exterminates all its terrorists and their organizations, Pakistan can open a new page. It is reported that after India’s election, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will be willing to get together with Modi. Helping to grow Pakistan’s economy can help India’s economy also. Fortunately, the U.S. and the U.N. are applying maximum pressure on Pakistan to get rid of all terrorist organizations.
INDIA IS THE LARGEST ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. INDIA IS THE YOUNGEST WITH 50% LESS THAN 25 AND TWO THIRDS LESS THAN 35
More than 25 CEO’s of large Fortune 500 corporations in the
USA are of Indian origin. An Indian is
Dean of Harvard School of Business Administration, that manufactures CEO’s. The US elected two governors of Indian origin, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. Indians are the leaders in every discipline –law, engineering, technology, medicine, music, business, science. Indian Americans are the highest educated and earn the highest income in the USA. All these professionals excel not because they are of Indian origin, but because they are the smartest.
IBM IS THE SECOND LARGEST PRIVATE EMPLOYER IN INDIA, EMPLOYING 150,000
IBM has more employees in India than even in its headquarters in the USA. IBM is reaping profit and investing in Research and Development. The number of patents filed by IBM in India is a testimony. While India is criticized as not a business friendly, IBM’s experience challenges it. Every cloud has a silver lining!
MODI MUST CAPITALIZE ON THE ELECTION AND CLOSEST ALLY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE USA
India’s GDP now growing @7% must grow at least @10% for the next decade to modernize India and create employment. The USA because of unfavorable trade balances with China wants to divert its imports from China. Modi has the greatest opportunity to embrace the USA and work together as China did. Modi must discourage socialism and embark on full-fledged capitalism.
(The author is a former President & CEO, First Asian Securities, NY, and Senior Adviser, Imagindia Institute, New Delhi, a think tank. He can be reached at email@example.com )