27 February, 2021

The Big Boss

PM Modi is off to an encouraging start. Will the momentum last?

The Big Boss

Plato must be pleased. The new prime minister seems to have taken the Greek philosopher’s advice. “The beginning,” said Plato, “is the most important part of the work.” And what a beginning it has been for Narendra Modi. He has hardly put a foot wrong in the past two weeks. He has displayed a sureness of touch, a firm resolve and an inclination to take tough decisions. He has lived up to his campaign promise of “small is beautiful”.

The minimalist approach is conspicuous in cabinet formation. In the process, the prime minister has had to ruffle some feathers, but the unhappy task was executed with grace. Meanwhile, the boldness with which he overcame hurdles to appoint his principal secretary should worry his adversaries. What Mr Modi wants, Mr Modi gets. This is the message he is sending out.

Cabinet formation is a messy business. Resignations, tantrums, threats are a commonplace. Therefore, consider the way L.K. Advani and M.M. Joshi have been marginalised. There has been not one word of protest from the two...

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