The NDA, in its previous avatar, had launched an election campaign on “India Unshining”. Unfortunately, NDA’s India lost and Congress’s Bharat won. Here’s hoping something similar does not happen with the NDA’s and Narendra Modi’s present election campaign, largely based on ‘Gujarat Shining’. BJP and Narendra Modi himself have already self crowned themselves. This is largely dependent on Gujarat’s performance in the last decade or so. The achievements tom-tommed are Gujarat’s economic performance: Law and order under control, good roads, no power or water problems, comparatively honest and responsive administration, booming industries etc. In short, good governance. However, running a State involves political, social and economic management. Except economy and some administration, the performance on the political and social aspects has been conveniently glossed over. In fact, studies have shown that while Gujarat scores on the economy aspects, it has poor showing on most social indicators. However, Narendra Modi has given a vision of a vibrant and glorious India and the hope and confidence of fulfilling it.
Besides, running a State which is a homogeneous entity and hence easier to govern, is different from running a large, diversified, multi-religious country like India. Mr. Modi or BJP have yet to reveal how they propose to extrapolate the Gujarat model to the whole of India in every aspect of governance. It is not clear if Mr. Modi and BJP have thought through this. Both have been in election mode for about two years now, and Mr. Modi has been projected as PM in waiting for about a year. Yet, as of April-06, 2014, even the Party Manifesto has not been announced. With polls starting on April 07, it means the electorate would start voting without even knowing what they are voting for.
BJP and Mr. Modi’s election campaign to date has been largely negative, poking holes in the functioning of various parties, specially Congress in terms of policy paralysis of Congress, or failure to control riots in UP. And apart from repeatedly talking of the successful Gujarat model nothing has been elaborated. So, let us consider what we can decipher from their propaganda.
— Ankit Lal (@ankitlal) April 6, 2014
Conditions throughout India being vastly different from Gujarat, it will be of interest to know the steps planned to kick start the economy. This should be in some detail and cover various sectors involved, including subsidies and various socio economic programs already underway.
India is a federal structure under evolution and hence comes frequently under conflicts/strain. Further, we have various religions, castes, ethnic groups and tribes. All these have to be taken care of. In addition and very importantly, we have political parties based on regions, religions, caste, economic and political ideologies. It needs to be spelled out how these are proposed to be tackled.
Actually, in a country or society, all decisions: economic, political or others are supposedly taken with the aim of improving on the social indicators. But, more often than not, they end up worsening them, because they are interdependent – an aspect often overlooked.
Other aspects covering defense / foreign affairs etc. are not considered here but hopefully will be taken care of. Also, Mr. Modi will have to ensure that he harmoniously takes along supporters, colleagues and even the opposition in this endeavor.
— Sardar Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) April 3, 2014
To end, here’s hoping good riddance to both BJP and Mr. Modi in the ensuing elections as well as in governance. Also, I expect that in the remaining campaigning more clarity will be forthcoming. Mr. Narendra Modi has already come far enough in raising expectations based on his Gujarat Model. And let’s raise two cheers for that. The third cheer will have to be earned by him by fulfilling the vision of a vibrant and glorious India as raised by him. I hope, he will raise our status among all the nations to a level it deserves.
By Deepak Palsule