From the huge mess of demonetization, the first question that comes up is whether the Prime Minister is losing his grip on governance and politics.
The demonetization drive has exposed several gaps in the government's planning, vision as well as execution. The idea was not at all planned well. The execution was dismal and the way it is now being repaired by the propaganda of less cash society only shows that political ego has once again trumped economics and welfare. It also reflects how good governance, once a promised gesture was a distant and faraway fantasy for the common folk of India.
And it is not just demonetization. Look at the leadership of the ruling party. There is a dearth of talent within the Bhartiya Janta Party. Check any state ruled by the BJP, you will see disappointing, lackluster leadership, except maybe in Chattisgarh, M.P., and Rajasthan, the CMs of which were chosen in a pre-Modi era. Post Modi you don't see any significant leaders being groomed. Even in the forthcoming elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and other states, the BJP has no significant face, no leadership to boost the confidence of voters.
One of the highest hopes from Mr. Modi was in PSU management. However, two and a half years later, the hope is still a hope. PSUs have not seen any major reform. In the Tata vs. Mistry case, the government could have ensured that PSUs investing in the companies promoted by Tata Sons do not take sides and help resolve issues. But by abstaining from voting in shareholder meets, the PSUs have taken sides. The demonetization drive failed majorly due to poor management in PSU Banks. If private banks did not do anything, at least the government banks should have stepped up and ensure transparency in exchange of notes.
Railways is another mess, where only you get announcements for fare hikes and nothing major for passengers or businesses. In the name of dynamic pricing they have increased prices to ridiculous levels without giving any hoot to amenities or services provided.
The middle class, already overburdened by taxes is being taxed more than ever and now the government plans to increase subsidies so much that your airfares also would be subsidized. If governments decide to subsidize airfares, anyone would know about their intentions towards nation's economy.
Now move north to Kashmir, where the government still has no major roadmap. It is just going day by day basis. Last month Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Commander's brother was killed in an encounter. That time he was a terrorist sympathizer, today the BJP government is providing compensation to the family, plus government job for his kin. It's policy to deal with neighboring Pakistan is still fuzzy and confused.
He came into power with high hopes. He started off well taking innovative steps. But governance in India is now just a horse and pony show of mindless propaganda and effective public relations strategy.