An Open Letter to the PM: 3 Cheers; 3 Disappointments and 3 Wishes!!!

Dr Navniit Gandhi
Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Dear and Honorable Mr. Prime Minister of India,
Greetings from an ordinary citizen of India!

Am taking the liberty of penning an open letter to you, fervently hoping that it shall somehow reach you, as many other tweets, news, and doings of thousand others do reach you and you do take cognizance.

First, I would like to ask you: ‘How are you?’ Not many of us ask you as to how are you doing, and whether you do get good and sufficient sleep or time to take a relaxed meal? When was the last time you took a ‘vacation’ or just like that-- a fortnight off, to relax and unwind? Was there a week in these years when you didn’t have to plan, strategize, meet, foresee, act, and initiate or simply contemplate in anxiety? How has it been, governing US (not an entirely sensible and mature crowd that we are) for 8+ years now? Have we behaved well and as you expected us to? Or, have we let you down often?

Well…one earnestly-conceived project of yours, where our stubborn refusal to change must have saddened you—is the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan! The thousands of tons of garbage-generation and its careless dump and scatter all over the cities and villages of India continues unabated.

While we spare no moment in shredding with the most hurtful and stinging words --the character and conduct of those who govern us, we sadly do not pause and take a look at our own insensibilities and insensitivities. We destroy, kill, hoard, remain ignorant, cheat, spit, backstab, lie, and evade most of our national responsibilities and yet we scathingly condemn you or anyone who governs us, without as much as a thought. Without any experience of managing even 100 people of all sorts of backgrounds, we sit in judgement of those who are running the show involving 130 crores of people. This trait of ours remains unflinching irrespective of who was in power before you took over, and who will be in power in the future. I apologize that most of us do not take even a peep inward.

I write to you today, to specifically spell 3 cheers; 3 disappointments and 3 wishes of mine!!! AM neither a leftist, nor a rightist; I harbor no parochial religious or regional identity; am neither a blind sycophant and nor a blind critic of yours. I am just a plain citizen. The following are my personal views and I owe allegiance to no group whatsoever.

Much has happened in the past 8 years of your stable rule, to cheer about. However, to me, these three reasons stand tall:

♥ Our diplomatic successes and the overall image of India abroad
♥ Digitalization and the ensuing transparency in the economy
♥ An overall feeling of ‘yes, we can’---be it in sports or MSMEs; infrastructure or in science; in global fora or in entrepreneurial ventures.

The cheetahs are back; the Chenab bridge stands tall; our economic performance is steady and our youth is playing sports---all are good signs!

However, several disappointments stand galore too, the 3 primary ones being:

♥ Law-enforcement continues to be weak; there is not enough ‘deterrence’ or fear for those who continue to kill or cheat or rape or commit fraud or hack or destroy
♥ Merit is still gasping for survival, even as nepotism, corruption and reservations of all kinds prevail
♥ Electoral calculations are increasingly taking precedence over strong and ‘righteous’ actions and decisions

Yes, I often feel terribly disappointed. Criminals of all kinds and in all areas seem to be basking under your constraints and the resulting inaction of your team, even as an overall spirit of ‘discipline’ still eludes the nation. Of course, there must be hundreds of pressures that you also reel under, but then there are huge promises you yourself had made, isn’t it? You have a good team with you. Your intent is still believable. Is it only the electoral compulsions that keep your hands tied?

And yet, I and many citizens like me, ‘hope’. We hope that the overall scene shall further improve, in time.

I conclude with 3 wishes of mine:

♥ The undue perks, privileges and pampering---extended to any lobby (be it the leftist or the rightist; the industrialists or the farmers; the upper or the lower castes), must cease
♥ Even if it is an uphill task, will you please begin the process of ensuring: ‘one set of laws; one academic syllabi; one set of welfare schemes etc---in this ONE NATION of ours?
♥ With immediate effect, could you make it strictly compulsory for each and everyone in public service (our elected representatives and government employees/bureaucrats at every level) that they HAVE TO use ONLY public hospitals and public schools/colleges for themselves and their families?

Dear Mr PM, no other one PM or President of any of the 195 countries of the world could have stably governed 1.3 billion most-heterogeneous citizenry, in times of peace or pandemic; recession and record-challenges as your government has done---with little or more success. Your team has, in several areas/departments, spared us agony and despair and not made our national fabric further fragile. And yet, the pitfalls and lacunae have begun to now disappoint much.

There is a long way to go…

I wish you courage, good health and resilience in the years ahead, while also hoping that we, the people, become worthy of deserving a government that is worthwhile! May we and you share sincere intent, for the sake of this nation!

I take literary liberties and quote Robert Frost with minor alterations:

‘The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But you have promises to keep,
And miles to go before you sleep,
And miles to go before you sleep…’

Navniit Gandhi is an academic since 25+ years; a feature writer (300+ articles), and has authored 10 books. Her 10th and most recently authored, published and launched book is titled: NOT MUCH IS AS IT SEEMS Her write-ups can be read at
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