Atal ji laid down the foundation for creating a Model of Good Governance through participatory, transparent and people centric policy making processes. No wonder, the NDA II is emulating his path by declaring his birthday as the Good Governance Day
Dr. Vivek Kumar Mishra
Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee was one of the most prominent and widely admired leaders of Bharat. In his passing away on August 16, 2018, Bharat lost a great patriot, statesman and a veteran leader. He was very popular for his non-partisan politics. A politician respected, loved and followed throughout the political spectrum. A true diplomat and a leader like no other. Atal Ji was a ‘swayamsevak’ of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Regarding his association with the RSS, he once said in the United States that “he may not be Prime Minister tomorrow, but nobody could take away his right of being a swayamsevak.” Besides all this, he will be remembered for the model of Governance based on the participatory and transparent approach to cater to the the changing needs of India.
Good Governance Day
Atal ji was a leader who laid the foundation of good governance by linking politics to values and Indian traditions. His 90th birthday was declared as ‘Good Governance Day’ by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in 2014. Shri Modi decided to follow the path of Vajpayee ji through commitment towards providing transparent, effective and accountable governance to the people of India. Good Governance means a government based on development orientation, transparency and early and easy deliverance of services. Prime Minister Modi said the Good Governance Day reiterates our commitment towards providing transparent, effective and accountable governance to the people. Moreover, observing Good Governance Day will continuously remind that the ruling party should be impartial, development oriented and development should cover all the sectors of the society for whom Vajpayee devoted his life.
Vajpayee ji was a man of values and ethos, who decried the divisive ideology of sections of politicians. He had a vision for the country and sought its rightful place in the comity of nations
The basic idea of good governance was put forwarded by Vajpayee ji in his address at Asia Society in New York on September 7, 2000. He said “empowering the individual means empowering the nation, and empowerment is best served through rapid economic growth with rapid social change.” He not only improved the economic power of India but also introduced several social reforms to uplift the unprivileged section of the society. During Vajpayee Government, India experienced one of its fastest periods of economic growth. India became an emerging power in Information Technology due to the reform programmes executed under his able and visionary guidance. He firmly believed that every region, every community and every citizen of our country should enjoy the fruits of India’s prosperity and progress. He launched the Antyodaya Anna Scheme to provide cheaper subsidised food grains to the poor, and expressed his commitment to the common man.
Atal ji’s most memorable achievement was the ambitious roads projects he launched—the ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ and the ‘Pradhanmantri Gramin Sadak Yojna that build a network of highways wall-weather roads for unconnected villages. “Delhi Metro” project was launched by him in 2002.
Vajpayee ji took India to the new heights by introducing economic reforms. Under his tenure from 1998 to 2004, India maintained a GDP rate of eight per cent, the inflation level within four per cent with foreign exchange reserves were flourishing. Atal ji’s commitment to reducing the government role in running businesses and industry was reflected iin the formation of a separate disinvestment ministry. The introduction of Fiscal Responsibility Act was another radical step he took to ensure the fiscal discipline.
Vajpayee model of Governance can be described as a government that changed India’s economic and political scenario. It was always participatory, consensus oriented, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient. It was also equitable and inclusive and followed the rules of law. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
On Atalji’s Path
Present Prime Minister Shri Modi is carrying forward Vajpayee ji’s legacy. Like Vajpayee ji, he also believes in democracy, where those who govern are not rulers, they are servants. AIn this regard Shri Modi has taken various initiatives like Digital India, MyGov.in, Jeevan Pramaan, e-Bhasha, e-Sampark, e-Greetings, GST and implemented others policy initiatives. The core idea behind the launch of any such initiative is that technology should be used as a tool to bridge the gap between the government and the citizens. The idea is to root out corruption by middlemen and facilitate convenient payments and receipts. Prime Minister Modi has expanded the good governance path laid out by Vajpayee.
(The Writer is Assistant Professor in Department of Political Science and International Relations, Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh)