The new cabinet reshuffle in the Modi Government has been a pronounced one for performance, making it amply clear that merit and diligent performance is what this Government will adhere to. Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman’s ascend from a thorough spokesperson to a no-nonsense Commerce Minister with her prudent negotiating skills in one of the most tough times of the Indian economy to the road to Raisina Hills as India’s first “full time” Defense Minister marks the emergence of a new India where work alone will be the defining factor for all appraisals where gender will no more be a deterrent in an incredible India!
Women representation in the Indian Union Ministry had been at its lowest during the last several decades of the Congress rule but strangely it was the saffron party that had been hounded as a party of male dominance with little or no scope for women in prominent roles. The Modi government has ever since 2014 proved its inclusive and empowering stand towards women.
Today’s decision of having the all talented and the tough Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman to lead the security of the nation is nothing short of a historic one.
It is not mere symbolism of women empowerment as thought out to be but a carefully thought out decision to appoint a tough task master to one of the most important portfolios in the crucial times that lay ahead. Ever since Manohar Parikkar’s forced exit to head Goa, the defense ministry had been the boiling pot with constant constructed mischief from the PoK side coupled with a conspicuous expansionist attitude of China, at the helm of demonetization and GST implementation and rollouts that had the finance minister Arun Jaitley’s hands full with the additional charge of the defense ministry.
And now Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman’s induction as the Defense minister seems timely and just right because although the Doklam issue is currently put to rest by the Indian diplomacy brilliantly, there is more to achieve to make up for the slowdown of the Indian defense forces that reeled sluggishly under a non-ambitious UPA regime with not much modernization of the armed forces or its military procurements. While she gears up to take control of her new role it is to be seen as to how the Make in India initiative of the Commerce ministry would be fitted into the defense framework for encouraging indigenous technologies and manufacturing of defense machinery needs.
The biggest reason that made PM Modi pick Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman to lead the defense Ministry is that she proved her mettle during her 3years stint as Commerce Minister where the Chinese economic expansion by making India a dumping ground was well handled by her where she took decisive steps in the interests of the Indian manufacturing sectors. Perhaps her economics acumen and her tough negotiating skills would be a plus in better handling of Chinese aggression at the borders by not just strengthening our defense forces or building international alliances but by also restricting the Chinese’ economic expansion as she understands where to cut China best!
The defense ministry is a prime portfolio and the Modi Government was well aware that a very competent and capable person had to fill up the post dedicatedly which could not be handed out on a platter in a hurry. Considering the crucial developments across the borders in the recent past there was no scope for change of guard hence there had to be diligent deliberation before the important decision which of course needed no reminders from anybody but then the opposition has to make its presence felt hence they seem to deem this appointment as their victory, due to their demand!
Nevertheless Nirmala Sitharaman’s appointment is that answer by the Modi government which has got even the most connected journos and political pundits wrong this time and they are quiet evidently unprepared for brewing any animosity out of the whole turn of events that will perhaps haunt them till 2019. But the much-awaited decision has been made that will perhaps reverse all odds of the past several decades with an articulate and ardent high performer who will take India to newer heights.
So, here’s wishing Nirmala Sitharaman, the JNU economics grad from the humble temple town of Madurai who represented Karnataka as a Rajya Sabha member to lead the nation fierily forward like Kittur Rani Chennamma or Vanake Obavva against its enemies, both external and internal!