Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Synonyms to Sushasana

Arjun Ram Meghwal
Contd from previous issue
Atalji’s Government had allowed bringing bodies of martyrs to their homes to enable the people to honor the soldiers who gave supreme sacrifices in the service of the Nation. He was a man of consensus and pragmatism reflected from the fact that in 2000 three new States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand were formed by carving out from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar respectively in a very peaceful manner. It was a well-thought-out move towards establishing good-governance by bringing Government closer to the people.  
He was deeply influenced by the futuristic insights of Dr BR Ambedkar’s thoughts and his role in Nation-building. It was the insistence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krisha AdvaniJi that VP Singh Government, supported by BJP, honored Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar with Bharat Ratna on March 31, 1990. AB Vajpayee’s will to develop the pious premises of 26 Alipore Road, Delhi where Maharaja of Sirohi, Rajasthan invited Dr Ambedkar to stay after resigning from the Union Cabinet (1951), transpired to create it as a museum that would inspire the people for social equality. Dr Ambedkar breathed his last at this place only. The Ministry of Urban Development signed the exchange deed of this private property on October 14, 2003, under Vajpayee’s supervision and development works were inaugurated in December 2003. Later during the UPA regime, this project was kept at bay. The Modi Government developed it at the cost of INR 100 crore as Dr Ambedkar National Memorial and dedicated it to the Nation on April 13, 2018.  
Atal Bihari Vajpayee walked the talk of Good Governance by undertaking several initiatives at the dawn of the 21st century. Now taking that baton forward, PM Narendra Modi has increased the speed & scale of these measures to realize his goals and make New India a 21st-century global leader. Technological interventions like DBT, JAM trinity, Faceless taxation, among other measures, led to minimizing the discretionary power, and it has strengthened the people’s confidence in institutions. The ambit of Kisan credit cards has been increased, and agriculture allied activities have been incorporated. A big boost to the infrastructure sector is undertaken through the Bharatmala, Sagarmala, National Asset Monetisation Pipeline, Agriculture Infrastructure fund, an extension to PMGSY phase-III.
The repeal of Article 370, ie the special status of J&K, has added a new dimension to the effective & efficient services delivery mechanism for J&K.  Now, people from every section are brought into the mainstream development agenda. Atal Bhujal Yojana has for sustainable groundwater management. Recently, on 8th December Union Cabinet Approved the Ken-Betwa interlinking project and it has become the first major center-driven project to carry water from areas with surpluses to drought-prone and water deficit areas to realise the vision of Atalji.  
The Mantra of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ facilitating the ease of lives of citizens. Breaking governance silos through better coordination among various Ministries & departments with initiatives like PM Gatishakti, PRAGATI, capacity building through Mission Karamyogi, focused emphasis on simplifying procedures and reducing the compliance burden on businesses, individuals, and other stakeholders are ensuring better service delivery. The implementation of GST, Labor codes, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, New Education Policy, Mudra, PM Awas Schemes, PM Kisan,and seamless faceless resolution of tax disputes are other several aspects, strengthening the transparency, responsiveness, and other dimensions of good governance. It is testimony to such measures that India has improved on Ease of Doing Business ranking to 79 positions from 145 in 2015 to 63 in 2020. Similarly, the Global Innovation Index ranking increased from 81st (2015) to 46th rank (2021).
Societies co-evolve with scientific & technological developments, and so does parity required for the governance reforms to accommodate the emerging transformation for the betterment of all stakeholders. Modi Government measures implemented in a time-bound manner are genuinely remarkable, and many historic milestones have been achieved so far.  As the saying goes, there is always room for improvement; many significant reforms are in pipelines.  PM has raised the concern for holding simultaneous elections, single electoral roll, judicial reform in the form of All India Judicial Services on many platforms for the Nation’s best interest. Appropriate consultations are being held at federal & political levels among relevant stakeholders to expedite the reform process.
Good Governance is a means to essentially serve the people, having its end towards fulfilling their aspirations through the well-established Constitutional framework. Atalji’s vision, leadership, guidance, and invaluable insights will always remain an inspiration for present and future generations. As the Nation witnesses Good Governance Day during the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, let’s introspect and pledge to act in the spirit of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’  for building a New India. PIB
The writer is Union Minister of State for Culture  & Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, representing Bikaner Constituency in Lok Sabha