Narendra Damodardas Modi, the 14th Prime Minister (PM) of India have been at the forefront of many life changing events both at the regional and national level. Started his life as a, 'sangh pracharak', at the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), became a cadre for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and from there rose to the level of party General Secretary (GS) and a chief strategist and thereafter the Chief Minister (CM) of one of India's moderately underdeveloped and communally charged state, Gujarat.
Authors have penned books, columnists have written columns in dailies and television anchors have debated his way of life, decisions he has taken and whther they are people friendly or not. Today as the PM enters his 67th birth anniversary let us take a brief look at five such incidents or decisions because of which he had to face criticism since he took oath of office.
Pakistan visit and Pathankot attack:
The earstwhile UPA government was often accused of lending soft hands to the Pakistani establishment which repeatedly harmed India therough state sponsored terrorism. During the run up to the 2014 general elections his speeches on how to tackle Pakistan and terrorism, infused a sense that he will be the right man to handle Pakistan.
On December 25, 2015 on his way back from Kabul the Prime Minister (PM) made a stopover at Pakistan's Lahore where the then PM Nawaz Sharif welcomed him with open arms as he was celebrating his daughter's engagement ceremony and also his own birthday.
Seven days later the Air Force station at Pathankot which is also a part of Western Command was attacked by four heavily armed terrorist which claimed the lives of at least eight people. Though all the attackers were killed but this incident of showing softness towards Paksitani establishment earned the PM a lot of criticism.
Dadri mob lynching:
In the night of September 2015 a mob of villagers attacked the house of Mohammed Ikhlaq on the perception that he and his family have kept beef in their home and consumed it as well.
52 year old Mohammed Ikhlaq succumed to the injuries on the spot. This incident triggered widespread agitation by the intellectual elite of India. Many artists returned their awards to the respective bodies as a sign of dissent and in solidarity with the family of Mohammed Ikhlaq.
PM Modi came under heavy criticism for not condemning the act of lynching since the Mohammed Ikhlaq belonged to a minority community.
Uri Attack 2016:
At September 18, 2016, members of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan based terrorist organisation attacked and killed 19 soldiers of the Indian army. This was retaliated by a surgical strike by the Indian army at the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The PM came under tremendous pressure from various corners to undertake a possible military strike against Pakistan. There was widespread criticism of the PM from the opposition about the credibility of the surgical strike.
Demonetisation slows down GDP:
On November 8, 2016 the PM in a televised address to the nation announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 will no longer be a legal tender. The step was taken as a measure to stop the inflow of counterfeit money into the monetary system of India.
This was followed by a significant dearth of cash in the hands of citizens. Many small businesses were forced to shut down and long queues followed at the banks and ATM counters.
India lost its status of fastest growing major economy when after six months of its implementation demonetisation had hit the GDP of the country and plummeted it to 6.1 per cent in the quarter that ended in June 2017 from earlier 7.1 per cent.
PM Modi was at the receiving end of criticism from economists like Amartya Sen, Manmohan Singh and many more for this drastic action.
Haryana violence 2017:
The state of Haryana suffered widespread violence on August 25 when the Panchkula court found Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a self styled godman guilty of raping two devotees. The inefficiency of the Haryana police was at full display. Around 30 rioteers were killed in shoot at sight orders.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khatter faced a lot of criticism for not being able to control the violence. This also brought PM Narendra Modi at the centre of criticism since he did not take any action against the CM Manohar Lal Khatter.