2009 to 2019 was an eventful decade for India. Many new trends emerged in the middle of the decade to set India on a whole new path. Here is a glimpse at those moments.
1. Social Media Transformed the Way We Communicate
The beginning of the decade saw the emergence of social media. The platform completely democratised the way people disseminate information. Now, an ordinary folk had the power to voice his/her opinion and even shape narrative. It was unlike the traditional media where the opinion is shaped by a few and the terms of engagement is one-way in nature. People on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter began to put forth facts and narratives freely. They started question the bias of traditional mainstream media.
There were only few who understood the importance and future prominence of social media and started using it to communicate with the world. According to this India Today article, back in 2009 Lok Sabha election, only three politicians had their twitter account. Narendra Modi’s twitter entry also dates back to 2009 and in the decade that followed, Modi remained a key social media figure be it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Recently, he emerged as the most-followed world leader on Instagram.
2. India's Response to Terror
The bygone decade provides two opposite pictures of India dealing with Pakistan. In the first half of the decade, up to 2014 the political leadership was marked by self-doubt, so much so that the sacrifices of our soldiers were also ignored. This is an unfortunate period wherein Pakistan sponsored terror would attack our cities while the political class would be busy concocting ‘Saffron terror’.
Post-2014 era showed that India can not only respond to terror in a language its propogators understand but also rally the world around it. A slogan in popular parlance captures India’s present-day spirit, “ghar me ghuss ke marenge”. It effectively means that India will strike deep within the safe havens of terror if she is instigated.
India’s surgical strikes and air strikes have made history. The national assertion under Modi era has already became a folklore that entered the hearts of hinterland. India’s steely grit under PM Modi found resonance in the deep reaaches of the country. People felt the pride and celebrated it through songs and videos.
3. An Affirmative Foreign Policy
India’s foreign policy under the Modi government has come out of the bipolar approach that the country was trapped into since many years. Now, India is in a position to be part of geo-political scenario according to its own interest, unhindered by external pressure. Today, India shares friendly ties with both Russia and USA. India recieves concession for its dealings with Iran at a time when US sanctions are being imposed on Iran. Muslim countries have stood with India on many decisions even at the cost of side-lining Pakistan and India’s relations with Israel have taken significant strides. Among global recognitions PM Modi received, many came from Islamic countries.
Be it in Madison Square event in September 2014 or ‘Howdy, Modi’ event at Houston in September 2019, India under PM Modi has firmly exhibited to the world that it is no longer satisfied being a spectator, but an indispensable force in the global order.
4. Abrogation of Article 370
When the decade began in 2010, nobody could have even imagined that the status quo on Jammu and Kashmir would ever change. Post-2014 many democratic experiments were done in the valley. An all-out crackdown on terror networks, curbing the financial networks of separatists gained momentum which culminated in abrogation of the Article 370. It used to be seen as impossible in the political circles. Through this move, years of injustice and discrimination against women, SC/ST community, transgenders was removed. The progressive laws made by the Indian Parliament after much deliberation were made applicable in its entirety to the newlu formed union terriorites of J&K and Ladakh.
5. Road Paved for Ram Mandir
In 2010, Allahabad High Court gave judgement on Ayodhya and asked the land to be divided among three parties. Post-2014 national opinion was shaped for the speedy decision and the Supreme Court took the matter for daily hearing and gave a historic judgement in November 2019 awarding all the land for construction of the temple. It also gave o Hindus. The history will remember that the Hindus fought for almost 500 years and settled the issue withing the constiutional framework.
6. Old Pending Issues Resolved
The nation was not financially unified even in the beginning of this decade. In a historic moment, GST was passed in August 2016.
EWS quota which was promised by many but not implemented by anyone got materialised in 2019.
There are series of long-standing demands resolved post-2014 in this decade such as National War Memorial, memorial for Police force, land boundary agreement with Bangladesh.
7. Last Mile Delivery
India which was divided on the caste-lines in the beginning of this decade came together forming a unique segment which can be called pro-development. That the government schemes can really reach people and transform their lives devoid of middlemen and irrespective of their caste and religion has been proved through the effective last mile delivery model of the Modi government. Be it the financial inclusion through Jan Dhan or the gas connections under UJJWALA, the targets were met on a war footing and in a transparent manner. An article in the Open magazine in 2018 notes, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s opponents may have dubbed some of these schemes ‘old wine in new bottles’, but he has turned the focus of attention on India’s have-nots, plugging leakages in delivery systems and pushing for last-mile delivery. Of the 60-odd Government schemes since independence, about one-fourth have been rolled out by the Modi Government.”
8. Fight Against Corruption
The beginning of the decade was dented with series of scandals. The phrase ‘2G, coal G, daamad ji’ captured the essence of pre-2014 days. Scams after scams and rising inflation made people to take street in 2013 against corruption.
The government which came to power in 2014 started to set right everything that went wrong previously. Reforms were undertaken in banking and public sectors. Demonetisation delivered a major blow on black money. Shell companies were shut. IBC laws have addressed the NPA mess that was created by ‘phone banking’ phenomenon pre-2014.
9. Indian Entrepreneurship Came Into its Own
At the end of this decade, entrepreneurship, start-up have become buzz words. The start up scene with the backing of government initiatives has boomed post 2014. India, now, is counted among the top three countries with the largest start-up ecosystem. On the other hand, initiatives like MUDRA nurtured the dreams of those who wanted to earn their livelihood and become job-providers. Both have contributed to the employment generation in their respective sphere.
10. Modi Era
In the beginning of this decade Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Even before he became BJP’s PM candidate, he was always making news for his strong developmental track record known as ‘Gujarat Model’. In fact, it was the overwhelming popular opinion in 2013 that made him the PM candidate of BJP.
He not only led the party to victory with majority in 2014 but came back with a bigger mandate in 2019 that has made this decade move from coalition governments to stable, majority government.
Today, PM Modi is one among the tallest leaders of the world.