Atanu Dey On India's Development

Shri Narendra Modi and India will Prevail

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Any dispassionate observer of India would agree that India is underdeveloped in practically every sense of the term. What’s worse is that India has always had the potential to do much better. India’s failure to develop is a disappointing tale of how disastrous lack of able leadership can be. India does not lack any of the factors – material, social, cultural – necessary for development, and yet it consistently failed to reach an easily attainable goal. For decades on end, India has been on the verge of changing course but slides back into the status quo. One is forced to the inescapable conclusion that the political will to develop is missing.

Economic growth and development is not just a matter of economics. Economics informs the question of economic prosperity – which is the necessary foundation of development — but it alone does not determine the outcome, any more than a map determines the destination. The map helps in reaching the destination but the destination depends on the objectives of the traveler. The objectives of a country’s leaders translated through the policies they espouse dictate its fate. Political will is the guiding light that illuminates the path to success or failure. India’s failures can be directly attributed to the myopic, self-serving, unintelligent, uninspired and uninspiring leaders it has had the misfortune to have.

Perhaps a country deserves the leaders it gets. In any complex system such as a large economy, circular causations and feedback loops ensure that many of the variables are determined within the system. A prosperous society wisely chooses good leaders, which in turn makes for greater prosperity, which then gives rise to even wiser leaders. Countries can get trapped in vicious circles of poverty and poor leaders, or rise in a virtuous circle of enlightened leaders and rising prosperity. It is rare but not entirely impossible that a leader out of character with the prevailing scenario emerges and dramatically changes the trajectory of a nation. Perhaps the change in leadership happens because of an invisible underlying change in the collective character of the people. An old Indian saying says that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.

One can sense a change in the collective consciousness of India. It is barely perceptible but it is growing in intensity. It is this: people are realizing that India is missing committed leaders who care about the country and not about their own enrichment at the cost of the country’s future. People sense a change coming about and that India will finally be able to achieve its potential. However, change always threatens those who flourished under the old order.. Even as the emancipation from the chains of servitude is around the corner and the sweet smell of freedom is in the air, forces inimical to progress and change rise in synchrony to keep Indians chained to backwardness and poverty. Indeed they are the ones who engineered India’s poverty for their own selfish ends. India’s progress is not in their interest and quite expectedly they struggle the most against the change.

All these musings were prompted by the case of Shri Narendra Modi. Around ten years ago, Gujarat’s fate changed and Narendrabhai became the Chief Minister of the state. I have keenly observed his leadership over the years, with growing admiration and respect for him. As a student of economic development, I have learned that development is a function of economic policies, and economic policies are derived from objectives, and leaders have objectives. So in a sense, if you follow what a leader does, you can deduce his or her objectives.

What Narendrabhai has achieved in Gujarat is worth marveling about. Much has been written about Gujarat’s progress under his leadership and I will not repeat it here. What’s worth noting is that he has achieved all this while under adversity. The more he achieved, the greater the threat he presented to the powers that be; and consonant with the positive changes in Gujarat, they increased their campaign of ruthless vilification and character assassination against him.

Adversity, it is said, reveals character. Shri Modi is study of how to meet adversity and overcome them with grace, intelligence and single-minded dedication to the goal of advancing the national interest. He epitomizes the strength that a warrior gains from the attacks by his opponents. The greater his achievements, the larger the threat he poses for those who want India and Indians to be backward and poor, and the more intense their vicious attacks on him.

May you live in interesting times, the Chinese curse says. We certainly are in for some very interesting times – but in our case, it will be a blessing. Narendrabhai’s achievements in Gujarat have awakened many Indians to the possibility of change and progress. They are saying, “If he can do that for Gujarat, it is time for him to work on a larger scale and do it for India.” The possibility of India being led by Shri Modi strikes fear in the hearts of India’s enemies. This is quite understandable because they cannot bear to see all their work undone. If India wins, they lose. The list of India’s enemies and Modi’s enemies is one and the same. I am sure that the war against Shri Narendra Modi will only intensify but that in the end, he will prevail because India prevails.

  • http://rexzilla.livejournal.com Rex

    Dr. Goebbels is supposed to have famously said that a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth.
    Witness the comments section of any story about Modi on the mainstream media websites – primarily TOI, HT and Rediff – and you’ll see this principle in action.

    To hear it said, Modi woke up one fine morning and decided it was time to get rid of all Muslims in Gujarat, and then set forth inciting the people to do so. Of course it had nothing to do with the burning of a coach full of Hindus by a Muslim mob. And the Muslim mob could hardly have been ignorant of the repercussions of their act on innocent Muslims when the inevitable retaliation occurred. That’s how mob behavior works – grouping people into ‘us’ and ‘them’; therefore Muslims across Gujarat are to pay the price for what a handful did in one small town.

    And to make things worse, there is the apathy of the supposedly educated middle class – see this report on voter turnout during recent Pune municipal elections.

    Atanu, your UVI was a great idea, but how does one enthuse these people to get off their butts and vote?

    Narendra Modi is the best example of a leader who can deliver. However, there may be others like him, educated people who want to make a difference – and yet have no hope of winning against the usual bunch of lumpens and chargesheeters simply because nobody from the middle class cares.

  • virtual presence

    “any more than a map determines the destination” how very apt. analogies couldn’t get better.

  • Hemant

    http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/16/10427642-solar-panels-atop-a-canal-in-india-aim-to-make-power-while-preventing-evaporation

    Solar panel over huge network of canals in Gujarat….work progressing at much faster speed than I thought. Hats off for Modi..

    Multiple benefits, single effective solution.

  • Roshan

    Can you be more objective about Narendra Modi’s achievements or can you point to articles about his achievements, which you recommend reading?
    I agree with your view here, but I would have liked it more if you had been objective about his achievements, than just praising him.

  • ND

    I understand all your sentiments but I do believe that you are wrong.
    India has been held to ransom by demons that have raped and pillaged the land and continue to do so. And sadly the people of India have looked the other way or whole heartedly participated in the sick desires of the crooked few.
    Narendra Modi is now a tired soul – tired of all the crusading, tired of being the only one to challenge these bastards – no one has stepped up to the plate anywhere to deliver anything of significance – the BJP in Karnataka failed to live up to its promise.
    Therefore I see an even bigger decline for India – perhaps in about 50-80 years someone like Modi may yet step up and deliver when China is a super developed nation, when most of Africa is far ahead of India etc, Indian people may yet wake up and decide to do something about killing the fruit of the Nehru loins.

  • puri cp

    ND is right about the enemies of india who are scattered and disguised especially in the form of politicians.Most of these are busy acquiring wealth for themselves. They haven’t got time for India’s progress. Unless these rotten apples are tackled and eliminated properly India cannot progress as fast as it should.

    Come On Anna’s Lok pal bill.

  • nikhil

    I am surprised that we specially the newspaper make it sure to advertise the year of Godhra riot every year but conveniently forget to mention the massacre of innocent Sikhs at Jamuna colony, or the year the Shah commission report just vanished in thin air , it clearly shows that they are hand in gloves with powers to willify NM and make sure that they are awarded by the high up in delhi, I would recommend the papers who publish the anniversary of Godhra also make it a point to mark at least this two occasions

  • Pranav

    Stop subscribing to the news papers.stop subscribing to the news channels.Do not buy Indian magazines.As such also they are trash.no honest content.mediocre reporting,poor language and infact if you see these news channels for few hours in a day you will remain riled for the remaining whole day.

  • http://themmindset.wordpress.com/ The Mindset

    For my job I had to travel between Gujarat and Maharashtra. When I pass through the towns of Maharashtra I find they are in contrast to towns and villages of Gujarat.
    I know certain localities of Maharashtra where there is 8-10 hours load shedding.
    On the other hand just 30 kms away the towns in Gujarat get 24 hours electricity and have got better roads.

    Leadership DOES brings a lot of difference and if you want to see it pass through Gujarat Maharashtra border.

  • allwyn

    so many different views – here’s sanjeev sabhlok on modi. Sanjeev appreciates modi’s work but in the “choose the lesser evil” kind. He says India can be twice as rich by adopting gujarat’s policies under modi, but is nothing close to what India can actually achieve with the right policies i.e become 10times rich!!.

    here I mention some posts down you can find more on his blog. I’m not trying to market anyone’s views just giving everyone a counter view.

    The foolish glorification of Narendra Modi.
    http://sabhlokcity.com/2010/10/the-foolishglorification-of-narendra-
    modi/

    Pick Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi for the SAME result. For genuine change you need FTI
    http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/09/pick-narendra-modi-or-rahul-gandhi-for-the-same-result-for-genuine-change-you-need-fti/

    Narendra modi loses all credibility
    http://sabhlokcity.com/2011/04/narendra-modi-loses-all-credibility/

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  • Hitesh Kumar

    @allwyn:- Writing :)

  • Abhiha Marathe

    Atanu-da,

    I hope RSS & BJP have initiated discussions about administrative reforms to be carried out when they come to power. During Vajpayee’s days, a lot of good work was done. However, the mindset of “high-command control” did not seem to change a whole lot. Here is a list I would like to suggest to (hopefully) start a discussion:

    Make CBI and judiciary independent, with their chiefs approved by open vote in the Rajya Sabha.

    Direct election of the president, state governors, and mayors.

    Runoff votes where the winner does not receive at least 50% or more votes.

    Mandatory primary elections.

    Thanks
    Abhiha Marathe

  • Ranger

    Atanu Sir, I am afraid you underestimate the ability and propensity of the people of India to self-destruct. It will be a miracle if Modi becomes the prime minister. It is more likely that he will go to jail. The Maino dynasty owns everything – ministers, journalists, police, judges – everything. They can do what they want, and people of India will just watch and vote for them.

    Policies of the Maino dynasty like NREG, Food Security Bill, Right to Education etc. have already created a society based on entitlements rather than one based on enterprise. These policies will ensure that the Maino dynasty will always be in power as the majority of the people of the land will always be devoted to them with the devotion of a beggar towards an alms giver.

    India is done for, Sirji. You are at least lucky you are living in USA. Those like me who live in India and have no intention of leaving (guess we are self-destructive too) or are unable to leave, will have no choice but to drown with the rest of the lot.When the people of this country finally realize what utter fools they have been, it will be too late.

  • Jagadish

    The problem here is one of strong leadership. We often compare ourselves with China’s corruption. Yes, there is a lot of corruption at all levels of government, but their leaders have the cojones to cut through that, plan and implement policies and actions that benefit the nation in the long term.

    Two examples – the Beijing Olympics and their current status as the world’s factory. Both are the result of critical planning and sustained action, and both these must be driven from top down for even a hope of success.

    Most western nations have laws that hold their leaders accountable for their actions or crimes. China is a communist country, but the fear of committing a huge crime against the party’s wishes and being persecuted is enough to keep their leaders in check.

    Our problem is that we have neither a sound legal and political framework, nor a mechanism that instills fear into the leaders.

    Modi is one man against an evil asura army of millions of criminal politicians and ministers. I can just picture them in my mind, with pointed teeth, tongues hanging out, with evil eyes, baying for blood like crazed rabid dogs.

  • Krish

    Doubts are now creeping in our minds whether India really deserves Modi. His own party-men and even the RSS seem to have disowned him.Or he may have made too many enemies in his own family, so to say.Even Advani wants to be seen to be distancing himself from Modi. Advani’s own selfish ambition to be PM is compelling him not to allow any leader in the BJP grow into PM material.

  • kautilya

    @Krish your ability to bull crap amazes me. it’s just slightly lower than sanjeev sablok’s, who’s talent to BS has no limits.

  • allwyn

    @kautilya

    maybe sanjeev’s views regarding modi are wrong but i don’t think his idea of creating a liberal party are. It seems very ambitious and hard but as Atanu wrote in one of his articles “easy things are not worth doing.”

  • Krishna

    @Allwyn , Sanjeev Sablok is a typical libtard and will always qualify an ounce of praise of Modi with a ton of criticism.

    I have not been to Gujarat, but my son was there in 2005-2006. There were floods in Vadodra and the Govt ensured that boats were sent out to the flooded areas to provide food, biscuits etc. and some cash as well. This is in contrast with Mumbai where people got no help from the Govt at the same time.

    Since then, the development and progress that Gujarat has made has been tremendous. Modi is one of the brainiest persons in administration, forever thinking of ways and means to improve the lot of people. While the only fault I find in Gujarat is the cultivation of BT Cotton, you cannot fault even that when it has led to so much prosperity for our poor beleaguered farmers. Let us understand that no praise is too high for the standards of corruption free governance that Modi has created.

  • Hemant

    KrishnaJi,
    Being an agriculturist I can tell you few things about BT cotton:

    1. Cotton is a non edible crop that means- genetic modification (its not modification, just addition of two genes to a genome which comprises thousands of genes) is no way bad at all.

    2. All modern vegetable/cereal/fruit crops are genetically modified…over the period of millennial but naturally. e.g. Modern sugarcane (just few hundred yrs back) was a grass species with low sugar, when naturally crossed with Sorghum species it became uniquely high sugar crop.

    3. BT cotton prevents spraying of ALMOST all pesticide, saving on which itself farmers save ~30% of cost. MORE THAN 50% OF FARMERS SUICIDES ARE DUE TO COTTON CROP FAILURE AND EXORBITANT COST OF PESTICIDES. NO OTHER CROP REQUIRES SUCH A HIGH LEVEL OF PESTICIDES.

    4.Gujarat leads cotton production ~35% of India, and most of the area is under BT Cotton, farmers make up to 1.5 lakh/ha, 3 times higher than regular cotton.

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  • Krish

    Solar panels over a canal is a truly path breaking thought.But is it a viable, self-sustaining proposition ?

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