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Leadership styles and impact – A comparative Analysis of Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi

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Critical Thinker

Comparing leaders from different eras and contexts can be challenging, as they operate in different political landscapes and face unique circumstances. However, here are some points of comparison between two prominent Indian leaders, Indira Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi:

  1. Leadership Style: Both Indira Gandhi and PM Modi have distinctive leadership styles. Indira Gandhi was known for her strong and assertive leadership, often described as authoritarian. She exercised a significant level of control over decision-making within her party and the government. On the other hand, PM Modi is known for his charismatic and dynamic leadership style, emphasizing communication, public engagement, and grassroots mobilization.
  2. Economic Policies: Indira Gandhi’s economic policies focused on nationalization and state intervention in various sectors of the economy. She implemented the bank nationalization and abolished the privy purses of erstwhile princes. In contrast, PM Modi has pursued economic liberalization and reforms, aiming to enhance foreign investment, promote entrepreneurship, and improve ease of doing business. He has emphasized initiatives such as “Make in India” and introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  3. Foreign Policy: Both leaders have made significant contributions to India’s foreign policy. Indira Gandhi played a pivotal role in the non-aligned movement and championed India’s voice on global platforms. She also led India during the Bangladesh Liberation War. PM Modi has prioritized strengthening India’s ties with various nations, engaging in active diplomacy, and promoting India as a global power. He has sought to enhance economic and strategic partnerships through initiatives like “Act East” and “Neighborhood First.”
  4. Social and Political Impact: Indira Gandhi’s leadership was marked by the declaration of the Emergency in 1975, which suspended civil liberties and led to significant criticism. However, she is also remembered for her role in shaping policies such as bank nationalization, promoting social justice, and empowering marginalized communities. PM Modi’s tenure has seen initiatives such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission), the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (financial inclusion program), and the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme. His leadership has been associated with a focus on infrastructure development, economic growth, and digital transformation.
  5. Popularity and Political Support: Both leaders have enjoyed significant political support at different times. Indira Gandhi had a strong base within her party, the Indian National Congress, and was seen as a formidable political figure. PM Modi, too, has garnered considerable popularity, with his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), securing substantial electoral victories. He has been able to maintain a broad voter base through his appeal to the masses and his ability to connect with various segments of society.

It’s important to note that this comparison provides a broad overview and may not encompass all aspects of their leadership. Additionally, assessments of leaders can vary based on individual perspectives and political leanings.

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