The real Modi story

Article Date: 
21 Jan 2009

The sobering reality is that Gujarat had the lead in 1995 which it lost after the post-Godhra violence, and is trying to regain its erstwhile pre-eminent position. The fundamentals to attract investments—industrial peace, great infrastructure and ancillary industries—preceded Modi’s tenure. The Narmada dams were already under construction, workers polished diamonds in Palanpur, petrochemicals and cars were made in Vadodara, milk flowed from Anand, yarn churned out in Hazira and a refinery was being built in Jamnagar, much before Modi took office. Gujarat’s rural prosperity is substantially, though not entirely, due to significant remittances from overseas Gujaratis.

It is odd, therefore, to credit Modi with Gujarat’s vibrancy. And it is hard not to blame his government for the colossal failure to protect civilians during the anti-Muslim violence in 2002. That alone disqualifies him from holding office. But Gujaratis have continued to elect him. Fair enough; but the rest of India does not have to do so.

The story of the drop in Gujarat’s share of projects under implementation is not widely known; Modi’s governance hasn’t helped the state overcome the damage that massacre caused. Money went elsewhere and it is returning only now. Modi’s supporters say he has shown Muslims their place in India. He can probably make trains run on time as well. But at what cost to the nation?

Article Author: 
Salil Tripathi
Article Source: 
Live Mint