Source: News Bharati English12 Jan 2016 13:59:48

Idea of Development and its administration: Modi’s Gujarat growth model

Dr. Sharad Khare analyses the vital points which give a concrete foundation to Narendra Modi’s Gujarat growth model 

Idea of ‘development’ itself is a constructive idea as well as a psychological boost to the needy, poor and neglected lot. It creates an idea of energetic dreams of hope and aspirations for them.

Development is interdependence of several independent factors. If it is a natural process it is a long process requiring several decades or even centuries. Along with the society or the community, invariably the individual develops.

Development is a concept involving economic considerations and its subsequent execution which entails growth of material plenty. The individual is satisfied therefore he says that development has occurred.

Development is an idea. It is in the mind. It is an expectation of satisfaction of needs. The State endeavors to function to satisfy as maximum individuals as possible. Therefore, it is submitted that satisfaction is the keyword of development. It will not be an exaggeration to state that the very existence of the State is for the satisfaction of the individual and his material needs to enjoy a comfortable life.

The State accords several facilities to realize the individuals’ needs .In modern times, the individual has to lead a statutory life which necessitates him to abide by several odd regulations, at times against his volition. This is a typical Thomas Hobssian approach; he is bound by umpteen numbers of preconditions. On his own volition he accepts to live in a pluralistic society.

Development and cultural erosion:

The State however finds itself incapable of satisfying the individual. The plethora of demands of the individual throws the machinery of the State out of gear. The list of demands becomes unending and challenging for the State. It is interesting to note the long journey of the idea of development in the past. With every generation since a long time, the quantum and the demanding nature of needs of the individual severely cost him dearly- his individuality, his family, his community and most importantly his moral value system.

The context of whatever happened around him kept changing. The context, in which he lived, was subjected to multidimensional impacts. Increasing greed gradually supplemented itself with unscrupulousness of the means and mindless execution.

One can always note the difference between the Wild West and dogmatic orientalism. Life became more and more statutory which bequeathed circumscribed growth, perhaps a lopsided one. The “human face” seemed to have lost from the contents.

Religion and family were the first to be beaten. Religion? .Religion is not confined to worshipping God and several other rituals, of temples, mosques and churches. It is essentially an emotion. Emotion of being related to a pious hope!

One has to understand that for those who live life with a scientific temper and rationalism, for them the life is not a problem .It is for those who are devoid of scientific temperament; religion is the first and perhaps the only hope in their life. It is inhuman to ignore and rule out such of millions and millions peoples, it will amount to irreligious disdain.

The second casualty in such a development process is the “family”. It has started appearing to be an endangered species. The modern individual appears helpless in this regard. The nemesis emerged with a consequent weakening of the institution of marriage. This led to social unrest in the society. The State could not remain a silent spectator. What followed was a vicious race without an ending finishing line. It is a debatable point, but will it be an exaggeration to submit that the social facts such as  mother, father, son, daughter,  wife, brother, etc seem to be left merely as ‘ ideas’ ?

Development theme is required to be studied in the light of above.

Points for discussion on developmental administration

There are three important imbalances which characterize development all over the world: (i) imbalance between finance and real economy, (ii) macroeconomic imbalance between major economies, and (iii) ecological imbalance as a result of pattern of economic growth. (Source: Guj.Govt Socio-Eco Review, 2010-11).

Behind these generalized conclusions are the shrewd ideas of planning and its further execution by the pragmatic Gujarat planners. An outstanding feature of the planning process in Gujarat is the united, devoted leadership with a mission of that of the Gujarat Government. The Government there seriously means development when they announce it. The bureaucracy there in the Government, the top officers, the political leadership and even the participating beneficiary needy citizens all and every one vows for the development and its fruits for real.

In view of the global features, the Gujarat Government carefully drew a programme in which the serious constraints experienced by the beneficiaries such as availability of financial credit for the applicants and cash components in hand were resolved much in favour of the beneficiaries thereby strengthening the status of the needy applicants. The Gujarat Government made the credit available to the needy on a simplified procedural method and the taxation at a bit reduced rate. There is a school of thought on planning process in India which believes in that the entire planning process in India has been a faulty beginning and devoid of mission – both at the national and the state level right since 1950. The concept was highly dominated by Western styled programmers whereas the ground realities in the Indian context were quite a different one.

While referring to the abovementioned source it  is submitted that the Gujarat Government  confronted itself with-- (i )inflation control, ( ii ) increased consumption spending, ( iii ) adequate liquidity, ( iv ) industrial development  and ( v ) educational infrastructure. At the policy making level, it was made problem centric. Such an attitude itself boosted the morale of the needy to deploy his energy to the development.

The political leadership on the other hand made arrangements to make the administrative machinery aware of the ground realities by organizing their ‘chintan meets “and “Karmayogi Abhiyan “to galvanize them. A recently completed research survey claims that these devices have a tremendous support amongst the voting citizens.

The legislative intentions to the development were also clear when the Gujarat Legislature took care to facilitate the entitlements of the citizens while empowering the bureaucracy to ensure efficient public service.

Depoliticization of the implementation of the official programmes, restoration of due authority to the bureaucracy, inducting the principle of political intervention for fair, legitimate and purposeful implementation of the development schemes have definitely shown signs of inclusive development in Gujarat. This needs a wide national debate. Such a debate on development need not form a basis for political mudslinging with political calculations aiming at political vendetta.

The behavioral pattern of those involved in the planning and implementation  of the government  policies and programmes  too has decisive relevance in the success of the programmes.The world has witnessed  how an honest socio-political  leadership and the bureaucracy can bring about a change in the lives of the citizens as evidenced in Gujarat. 

Preponderance of political agenda:

The Gujarat political leadership confronted itself with  a challenging task of identifying  issues and problems faced by the citizens and their  just expectations .The most important ones were identified  as –

(i) Gyan shakti, (ii) Raksha shakti, (iii) Jal shakti, (iv) Urja shakti, (v) Jan shakti, (vi) Deploying wealth to ensure health, (vii) evening courts.

The political leadership concentrated on these issues and pragmatically programmed their implementation taking into the following planning considerations.

  • Principle of prevention
  • Principle of integration
  • Principle of public participation
  • Sustainable development
  • The precautionary measures
  • Economic development as an objective of policy
  • Motives for development
  • Impact of discontent
  • Crisis of underdevelopment
  • Growth economics / development economics
  • Principle of education
  • Principle of human capital in development
  • Role of government in the process of development 
  • Foundation of agriculture
  • Foundation of power supply             
  • Principle of water management 
  • Factor of population growth 
  • Domestic industry 
  • Small and medium industries
  • Principles of cottage industry and unemployment
  • Principles of development administration through institutional arrangements 
  • Principles of surplus economy 
  • Principles of marginal economy 
  • Principles of labour and employment 
  • Principles of legal frameworks
  • Principles of democratic entitlement of the individual citizen
  • Principles of public policy approach 
  • Role of training and education 
  • Principles of social stratification

The expectations and demands of the voters are articulated in party-manifestos and electoral promises of the political parties. The economic considerations are not ignored or overlooked leave alone undermined. A good political leadership weighs all pros and cons while arranging political party and governmental programmes. The political parties are entitled to take such measures.

Communal Harmony and Peace – a corollary of economic development:

An outstanding feature of the development in Gujarat initiated by the political leadership there is the remarkably maintained communal harmony and peace in the State. The peace there has contributed a positive role in bringing about economic growth. Except a couple of internationally designed terrorist attacks on the innocents, there has been a fairly solid and lasting communal harmony and peace. Moreover, the traditionally riot-prone areas in Gujarat have witnessed all round peace and calm along with their individual upliftment of standard of living. The government has a rational approach in policy making and programmes-implementation in which neither any community is preferred nor any body discriminated on communal grounds. It is not tenable even constitutionally. The political leadership seems to have infused political self-confidence amongst all the subjects. The majoritism is dissuaded from arrogating its political leverage and the minoritism too is dissuaded from claiming favourable and privileged   treatment in the State. Majority of the minority communities believe that the Godhra episode was a media hyped ‘ story’ which was sold like a hot cake only to fatten the media-owners’ bank balances.

However, apart from the rhetoric, the fact emerges that communal harmony and peace has come to stay in Gujarat. A careful research study of all those riot affected areas is required to be undertaken to ascertain the contention that there has been an economic growth in the concerned areas despite the adverse communal challenges which existed there. Ordinarily, every Gujarati citizen is supposed to be industrious by nature. He constantly thinks of business, growth, expansion and peace. On the whole, he is considered to have imbibed a cooperative attitude in his behavioral pattern. A Muslim person is in no way different from this description. This would appear to be a sweeping generalization about Gujarati person.

The events which happened in Godhra in 2002, needs to be treated as accident in the past. Godhra like skirmishes were not the first ones in the human history.  In the past in Gujarat several of this kind of unjustifiable killings took place with even bigger tolls.

 The ‘30 years wars’ in medieval Spanish and European history, massacre of the Red Indians in the early history of USA, Portuguese massacres in Goan –Indian history, the massacres during the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, massacres during the birth pangs of Bangla Desh 1971, 1984  Delhi riots, 1992 Bombay blasts riots, Godhra 2002 riots, decade-long Iraqian skirmishes, Syrian uprising , Yemenian uprising , Central African massacres in countries there , Hungarian rebellion against the then Soviet Union for human rights and the killings of several thousands protesters that followed,  massacres of thousands of youth aspiring for democratic rights in the central plaza in Beijing-China and several other killings  are certainly  disgraceful stigmas in the history of humanity. Many of these massacres were reported to have been State sponsored. Riots do not have religion or faith. The Indian media has overdone in hyping the unjustified Gujarat events citing the principles of rule of law fomenting hypocrisy rather than concern.

Is communal harmony and peace which entailed the aftermath of Godhra episode an accident or justifiable planned efforts of the political leadership and the Gujarat government? It has to be studied by way of academic research .Unbiased studies are required to be undertaken by the academia in the Universities, not only from Gujarat but all over the world.

The political leadership, the bureaucracy, the citizens and the planners, all of them need unitedly involve themselves into the development task. Development is not the responsibility of the government alone, public participation in it at each stage is required. The secret of the considerable success of the Gujarat  Government planning  is that the political leadership there in Gujarat succeeded in galvanizing the ruling party workers, the voters and the entire governmental machinery, even the opposition parties-  all aiming at –one point programme of upliftment of the poorest of the poor in the process of nation building.

Narendra Modi, then in Gujarat and now in India, is busy in articulating several of these ideas and programmes.