The Magical Gujarat Model!

At the very outset let it be clearly understood that this writer neither supports nor opposes Mr. Narendra Modi’s candidature to become prime minister. His opponents claim he will divide the nation. His supporters claim that he will bring a qualitative change in India. I am detached and indifferent because a qualitative change does not excite me. Only a fundamental change interests me. I will focus therefore on the narrow aspect of the much touted Gujarat Model of development associated with Mr. Modi.

What is the Gujarat Model?

Across India and much of the world the Gujarat Model is being referred to as the mantra of progress. Big businessmen from Europe descended on Gujarat to laud this model. An American university contemplated a lecture by Mr. Modi over television to expound on the Gujarat Model. Mr. Modi came to a Delhi College and enthralled students and the media by his exposition of the Gujarat Model.

What I have been able to glean with my limited knowledge about the Gujarat Model is that it is designed to facilitate investment by reducing red tape and minimizing corruption. It is designed to encourage business to invest and expand. At the same time it is designed to tighten administration for better delivery to ordinary citizens. All this is very desirable.

But as a model how is it different from what Dr. Manmohan Singh unsuccessfully aspires for? How is it different in fact from the commonsense notions that are as old as the hills?

Ah, but calling it the Gujarat Model gives Mr. Modi a new patent over an ancient formula. To the vague understanding of ignoramuses like this writer and the large bulk of the population it conjures the illusion of some magical formula that will banish all grievances inflicted by the current dispensation.

That is how the hidden persuaders of big media controlled by big business work. They provide hope. They glorify traditional policies by inventing a new nomenclature that creates interest among the simple minded. There is a groundswell for Mr. Modi among the BJP members. It might very well spread to non-members. But there should be no confusion. The initial impulse for creating the groundswell came from big businessmen and not from small citizens. And the strategy used is by no means new.

Recall the ancient commonsense wisdom handed down the ages that countries should aspire for good relations with neighbours to ensure peace and progress. One Prime Minister announced his intention to follow this obvious commonsense advice. The hidden persuaders went to work. They immortalized this ancient bit of commonsense as the Gujral Doctrine. So why not the Gujarat Model? It simplifies matters for the uninitiated unable to understand the complexities of governance and policies. It arouses hope. It increases support.


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3338      Comments: 4

Comment Mr Puri, India's major problem at the moment is poor leadership which is leading to a situation of anarchy.The cause for the poor leadership is this benami first family about whom very little is known apart from the fact is that their word is law.How come a country of more than one billion is silenced easily by a coterie of media,crooked administrators in the garb of IAS/IPS/IFS/Judges/educationists have come to weild so much power with total disdain?When there is a fire burning, what we need is effort to douse it and save the people and property.We are currently in this stage.With Modi coming in, there will be governance.But for Modi to do a good job, he needs to get a reasonable majority.I think mediamen and women like you who do not accept first family reign should work for this and make it a reality.Keep raising bogey about Modi or saying structural issues need to be addressed is unnecessary and impracticable at this stage.

05-Mar-2013 23:24 PM

Comment Shiv, you must read my comment more carefully. I have no problem if people choose Modi as the best available Prime Minister. By fundamental change I mean what I have been writing in my articles repeatedly. India must reclaim its identity by recreating Hindustan as a South Asian Union which alone will balance us against China and allow us a global role. This must be accompaned by genuine federalism within the nation that allows more self rule to local bodies and states and greater cohesion and power to the centre at the same time by implementing the Constitution as written. In America the states have more autonomy than in India and the President has more power than the Indian PM. Our President is not a titular head but has executive responsibilities like the French President. I welcome autonomy for Kashmir provided the same is granted to all states and Kashmir has no special status. In other words I seek a structural and systemic change in India which alone will allow our nation to play its appropriate global role.

My Word
05-Mar-2013 21:20 PM

Comment Indeed.

The so called Gujarat model is more favorable to businessmen than 'aam aadmi'. And no magic should be expected if Mr. Modi comes to power. There are more fundamental changes required in system than Mr. Modi would bring even if he gets 2/3rd majority.

But, democracy is to chose between the ‘availables’, between bad and worse, between 'OK' and bad and rarely between good and better. And masses do mistakes unintentionally while choosing between the alternatives - across nations.

To my best knowledge there is no better choice available among alternatives than Mr. Modi, given the current circumstances. All critics who believe or purposely spread fear that Modi will divide the nation are wrong. Those critics should realize that actually the UPA govt is already doing that.

We can certainly hope a better and reasonably fair govt under Mr. Modi. May be there will be another US in creation where govt policies are driven by business interests, but the "aam aadmi's life" is still better in US than in India.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
05-Mar-2013 11:29 AM

Comment "Only a fundamental change interests me" - I am interested to know from you MrPuri, what according to you are fundamental changes you wish to see initiated by a politician/political party and do you think it can be effected under the current system of "democracy"?

Also I want you to answer under the current UPA regime with so much corrution, is it unreasonable for a guy like me to expect change , atleast a change to a person like Mr Modi about whom there is not even a whiff of corruption?

05-Mar-2013 11:19 AM

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