29 March 2009

Robert Kaplan on Modi, Gujarat and India

Robert Kaplan's profile of Narendra Modi in The Atlantic has all the usual lies and myths about the man, the 2002 Gujarat riots and Hindu nationalism. But it also has some interesting facts and insights.

On Modi:

His machine-like efficiency, financial probity, and dynamic leadership of the government bureaucracy have made Gujarat a mecca for development, garnering more internal investment than any other state in India. Migrants, both Hindu and Muslim, from throughout India have been streaming into Gujarat to find work at its expanding factories.

He is so honest that gifts for him are regularly deposited in the state treasury – a far cry from the corruption and nepotism that are so routine in Indian government.

By all accounts, after the riots, he manically dedicated himself to development, sleeping less than four hours every night, up at 5 am to check his e-mail and read the local papers, visiting about 3000 of the 7000 villages in the state, and empowering the lowest reaches of its bureaucracy through his slogan, "Less government, more governance."

On Gujarat:

Gujarat had experienced 10.2 percent annual GDP growth since 2002. It had eight new universities. In recent years, almost half the new jobs created in India were in Gujarat. The state ranked first in poverty alleviation, first in electricity generation.

He rolled off his accomplishments: "modern roads, private railroads with double-decker containers, 50,000 km of fiber-optic networks, 2200 km of gas pipelines, 1400 km of drinking-water pipelines to 7000 villages, 24-hour uninterrupted power in rural areas, the first Indian state with private ports, a totally integrated coastal-development plan, two LNG [liquefied natural gas] terminals and two new ones coming on line."

On India:

The British, by contrast, brought tangible development, ports and railways, that created the basis for a modern state. More important, they brought the framework for parliamentary democracy that Indians, who already possessed indigenous traditions of heterodoxy and pluralism, were able to fit to their own needs. Indeed, the very Hindu pantheon, with its many gods rather than one, works toward the realisation that competing truths are what enable freedom. Thus, the British, despite all their flaws, advanced an ideal of Indian greatness. And that greatness, as enlightened Indians will tell you, is impossible to achieve without a moral component.

(And that moral component is, of course, Dharma)


Dr. Munish Raizada said...

Dheeraj ji:

I would suggest you to add the gadget "Followers" to your blog so that people can follow your blog.

Anonymous said...

I second that. Please do as Dr. Raizada suggests.

- Gary

Anonymous said...

The congress party is the greatest enemy of India and Hindus.

Anonymous said...

If this guy can be our PM, we will be able to catch up with China.

He is a RSS pracharak bhai - not some ordinary person. Of course such dedication is expected from him.

Imagine if he and Advani can be top 2. Both RSS pracharaks.

Indian said...

Done :-)

Anonymous said...

If that happens Dheeraj, it will be a great day for India. I am waiting for the day the anti-national, corrupt, immoral filth of the congress and the left is cleaned out of our motherland's power centers and replaced with dedicated swayamsevaks who have long ago ceased living for themselves, but live every breath for Bharat Mata alone.

How did this congress and left filth get this way. They are modern day rakshasas. A Shri Ram is required to rid the earth of their evil burden and save the common man from their daily harassment.

Jai Hind, Jai Dharma

chipo-pro said...

Interesting read, tonight on NewsX at 10.30pm they be airing an interview on the progam Poll Talks with Narendra Modi.

Some excerpts from interview:
Q. So how confident are you about the number of seats Gujarat will deliver to the BJP?

Ans- Not only Gujarat, but, I am confident of good results from all over the country.

Q. What according to you are the differences between the 2004 and ’09 elections?

Ans- The major thing is that Atal ji is not at the forefront. Back then we were facing anti-incumbency, this time the Congress is facing it. That time NDA was united, however this time the UPA is divided.

Be sure to tune in!

p/p NewsX