As the country once again steps towards general elections in 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stands as a symbol of a resurgent and aspirational India. The election of 2024 is critical to sustain the momentum that the country has gathered over the last decade. People continue to repose faith in the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, but for his detractors, this is going to be a battle for survival.
Over the span of 10 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has focused on making people lead players in India’s growth story. He has displayed the grit to implement hundreds of new schemes, programs, and campaigns that previous governments had been shying away from due to expected short-term ramifications. He pushed difficult targets like cleanliness, electrification, health, entrepreneurship, and the revival of farming while keeping in mind the requirements of segments like the poor, youth, women, farmers, marginalized, divyangs, and the elderly. His approach, from sports to education, health to housing, and business to external affairs, encompassed a decisive policy shift in terms of deliverables, timeliness, and responsiveness. India has also entered in a new era of cultural renaissance under his leadership.
All this while, the Prime Minister’s detractors had used gimmicks, mudslinging, and obstructionism. By constantly raising one issue and moving rapidly on to the next, the opposition attempted to instill a feeling of doubt and instability among people who believed in the leadership of Narendra Modi. As they have focused once again on tarnishing his image, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the single agenda of the general election of 2024.
At this stage, the role of people who disseminate knowledge and information — intellectuals, scholars, opinion makers, and thinkers — who believe in Shri Narendra Modi’s ideas of ‘New India’ and ‘Viksit Bharat’ again becomes important. With the Prime Minister setting a clear inclusive growth agenda for the country, it becomes the responsibility of thought leaders to ensure that his message and vision reach everyone, without getting lost in the din created by detractors.
Academics4NaMo is an effort of academics, intellectuals, and thought leaders to counter the propaganda of the opposition, create a positive environment, and spread the word about the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. It is incumbent on groups like this to explain the importance of the 2024 general elections and how it could decide the direction and pace of the country.
The battle of 2024 is the battle between two narratives. On one side is the gloom-and-doom, end-of-day narrative of the opposition which represents the politics of dynasts, corruption, instability, and appeasement — on the other side stands the idea of a ‘Viksit Bharat’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi where everyone is a partner in growth.
Academics4NaMo stands once again to highlight this difference.
The year 2014 was a decisive moment in India’s political history. It was the year when the country made a clear choice and vested faith in the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. It was the result of this choice that in the subsequent years, the country steadily changed direction from downturn, hopelessness, and despair to confidence, hope, and aspirations.
The campaign Academics4NaMo was formed ahead of the 2019 elections by academics, intellectuals, and thought leaders, who wanted to see Shri Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister once again. In the run-up to the elections, the group carried out a sustained campaign. Its members reached out to researchers, teachers, intellectuals, and professors in order to create awareness about the schemes and policies of the Modi government. Through online and offline meetings, activities, discussions, and signature campaigns the group built a network of more than 2000 academicians from various parts of the country. Members built a website to manage pan-India activities and distributed t-shirts among volunteers. After the elections, the group rebranded itself as ‘Academics4Nation’ (https://www.academics4nation.org/) with the idea of making positive interventions and keeping the network alive.
With the general elections of 2024 at around the corner, the group has once again come forward to play a positive role in creating an informed discourse.