Narendra Modi is a magician with a magic wand for all problems that India is facing now. Or so believes, or rather want to believe, the Hindutva brigade and their supporters. The Hindutvavaadis see their messiah in Modi and quiet obviously so. There has been no other Hintuva politician, not even Advani with his Jinnah or Babri Masjid remarks, who stood unapologetic about the Hindutva cause in the history of modern India. There has been no other politician who while insisting that Muslims wear the religious caps, refused to wear one when he was offered. But Modi’s fanbase and supporters always knew that his Hindutva image wouldn’t go well with rest of India. So they drew a strategy that would be based on a subject that would appeal to all – development.
So if Modi spoke through Google Hangout, it made news. When Modi got an award, that also made news. The newspapers elsewhere in the country was flooded with full page advertisements listing out Modi’s achievements. People The money flowed. PR followed. And people seldom checked to see facts from the fiction. One must say that it has been an impressive PR work done by any politician in India so far. They got most of the people to believe that Gujarat became a better state under Modi’s rule. And the middle-class found their messiah in Modi, thanks to the mess that Congress party got India into.
Those who cared to check, however, brought out a different image of Modi and his so-called development in Gujarat. Tehseen Poonawalla in his article titled “Modi’s Gujarat model: Much ado about nothing” says, ”Gujarat has only seen 6.1% growth which is slightly above the national average growth of 4.66% in terms of per capita income. Gujarat lands a joint 9th place with TN in GDSP growth during the 11th plan (2007-12) in General category states, slower than the Congress ruled Haryana, Rajasthan, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.” and that “under him debt on Gujarat has gone up more than 4 times during his tenure (2001-13), from Rs 42,780 cr in 2001 to Rs 1, 76,490 cr in 2013. Gujarats per capita debt is already among the highest in the country and is all set to rise further by a whopping 46% in the next three years, while debt on Gujarat is the 3rd highest in India behind WB (Rs 1.92lakh crore) and UP (Rs 1.58 crore).“
One state in India that either BJP or Modi could not get in their favor is Kerala. Add that with the Leftist leaning that Kerala has shown in the history and you would know why the hindutva brigade, both inside and outside Kerala, wants to project something else against the widely acknowledged ‘Kerala Model’. The corporate world and their executives, who obviously would want to make everything work in their favour, wants to project the Gujarat Model too. You got to read K V Kamath’s comment in line with this. Even though world over economists and human development indexes have praised the Kerala model, the corporates and their executives in India seldom mentioned that in their comments. Yet, they had no qualms in proposing a non-existent ‘Gujarat Model’.
But today came a serious blow to the Hindutva brigade, the corporate executives like Kamath and many others who had fallen prey to the PR work of Modi’s team. A committee set up by Raghuram Rajan, then Chief Economic Advisor and now RBI governor) released their study report that ranks Kerala as second most advanced state in India (preceded by Goa and followed by Tamil Nadu in the list) and Gujarat is among the less developed states. There couldn’t be a better timing for this news report. Narendra Modi is now visiting Kerala while his claims are being debunked by statistics. India can still be hopeful.
Modi’s Gujarat model: Much ado about nothing – http://ibnlive.in.com/group-blog/the-india-blog/3638/modis-gujarat-model-much-ado-about-nothing/64837.html
Raghuram Rajan report – http://www.indianexpress.com/news/odisha-bihar-mp-least-developed-states-raghuram-rajan-report/1174586/
K V Kamath’s praise of Gujarat model – http://www.financialexpress.com/news/gujarat-development-model-worth-replicating-kv-kamath/1168874
Kerala Model (Wiki) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerala_model