Dear Rajnath ji,
From an education minister of Uttar Pradesh, who dared to implement the politically risky Anti-Copying Act, 1992 to a serving home minister who successfully cracked down on violence perpetrated by the Maoists your political career spanning over four decades is marked with Karyanvayan (delivery), Vichardhara (ideology), and Maryada (morals).
Governance of delivery and performance
It is not the designation, but what you discharge at that position that matters. In 2008, the nation was jolted by 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. After 2007, we witnessed significant upturn in terrorist attacks on Indian soil. Attacks increased by 250 per cent in 2008 and 30 per cent in 2009. The continuous upward trend moderated to 3 per cent in 2015 and 5 per cent in 2016. Clearly, there has been significant stability in both, number of attacks and fatalities.
Jammu and Kashmir, experienced an increase of 93 per cent in attacks in 2016. Against this backdrop, you never paused engagement with Kashmiris or resort to governance of diktats. I was shaken when I heard young school girls in Kashmir dismiss their faith in the system. They wore school uniforms and held stones instead of books. The gut-wrenching sequence shook me, for education is the elixir to social progress. I was afraid for their future.
My fears were assuaged when you urged the J&K CM to review juvenile cases and pardon first-time offenders. Your repeated visits and even appointment of Dineshwar Sharma, a former Intelligence Bureau chief to engage with Kashmiris reflect your resolve to reach an amicable solution. Licenses of 4,842 NGOs were cancelled in 2017 for violation of FCRA rules.
Launch of an online analytical tool to monitor flow of foreign funds in the country will help policymakers overcome the challenge of mapping sources and uses of funds on Indian soil.
The ceasefire in J&K during Ramzan is a very courageous decision backed by righteous intent. Unfortunately, those who believe in religion will not resort to violence and for pretentious disciples, Ramzan is not a good enough reason to abstain from bloodshed. We need to seal porous borders in West Bengal that facilitate infiltration in the region. I am sure we will arrest Left-wing extremism and reduce civilian/personnel fatalities with support from the reforms aimed under the Modernisation of Police Forces Scheme.
Not just Vajpayee’s protégé or Modi’s colleague
Today, when Indian politics is witnessing a complete overhaul in both, form and substance, your disposition reminds us of the Vajpayee estate, where there was no room for toxicity or unbecoming lexical wars.
It is only Vajpayee’s student who can muster the courage to accept that politicians in India suffer from “crisis of credibility” within the electorate and they have no one to blame but themselves. Your firmness on issues of national importance are reflective of the nationalist regime that has embraced the country and saved it from clutches of secessionist forces that have managed to nurture their independent fiefdoms in sovereign India.
However, lest people conclude that you derive your identity from the party’s history or present leadership, it is imperative to highlight that you personify integrity in politics.
Praiseworthy: It is only Vajpayee’s student who can muster the courage to accept that politicians in India suffer from 'crisis of credibility'.
I remember attending a media conclave two months back where three questions were posed to you, and your response to all of them was personally, a watershed moment.
Nurture student politicians, don’t politicise them: It is the responsibility of even politician/party to ensure education is not politicised. However, student politicians aren’t a nuisance to the society. Being a student leader himself, the minister testified the construct that it is through political prototypes like student unions that youth acquire leadership skills and appreciate democratic values.
Debate, don’t protest in Parliament: Protesting and stalling the activities of Parliament is failing the electorate, for the people’s representatives have the responsibility to voice citizen concerns, not create shameful optics at the temple of democracy.
Governance over power: Well aware of the political repercussions of the Anti-Copying Act, 1992, true to your political upbringing in the Sangh, went ahead and implemented it. Prioritising good governance over popular politics is a sign of self-assured politician.
Politics of consultation and collaboration
Nation-building is a complex process that brews over decades. The fact that India is able to claim global acclaim is an outcome of the efforts of multiple governments, farmers, soldiers, scientists, economists and the people of India.
By putting national interests before one’s personal ambitions and future of the party before one’s own personal career, you earned respect across fault-lines of party, ideology and society.
When you assumed the party’s responsibility for the second time in 2013, the party was at a critical juncture. Your dextrous organisational skills and decades of experience ensured internal party politics did not render external bruises and bickering leaders were dealt with utmost sensitivity. The party devised an impregnable election campaign that revolved around the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and theme of "Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas".
How can anyone deny the fact that it was under your leadership, that the party claimed brute majority and gave a stable government to India. Your role in 2014 General Elections was critical and indispensable, if not the most discussed.
Your legacy as Union minister of home affairs will echo in annals of those Naxal-baris which are on their way to normalcy. May you continue to deal with anti-India forces with deftness for many more years to come.
We look forward to a peaceful future where Ram Rajya thrives, in the truest sense.