When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri. Ajay Bishnoi* had aptly referred him as “Sir Winston Churchill” of the Indian politics. “Shri. Modi also has an impeccable character like the one Sir Churchill had. He is a tough hard driving person who works for Gujarat round the clock. He never retires or is tired. He has a firm belief that Gujarat is his destiny. He does things in his own ways and he loves to put on a show. He talks of development and development only.
Shri. Bishnoi in his write up maintains,
“The biggest challenge which Shri. Modi had to face when he took over as the chief minister was the reconstruction of the earthquake affected areas. Bhuj was a city of rubble. People were living in temporary shelters without basic infrastructure, Earthquake recovery became his first priority. His dynamic vision quick decisions have put Gujarat Reconstruction Programme as one of the best reconstruction programmes on the global map and set a benchmark for reconstruction and disaster recovery, not only in India, but also in the entire Asia. Earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation in Gujarat achieved global recognition. Shri. Modi as soon as he took over as the chief minister focused quickly on integrated overall development. Along with industrial growth and economic development, he also focused on rural development, improvement in education, education of girl child, development of the deprived, agricultural development, science and technology and disaster management.”
Gujarat had always focused on industrial growth, but Shri. Modi made an attempt to correct the imbalance in development by focusing appropriately on social sectors, integrating social and economic growth. He put Gujarat on the road to integrated development with a special focus on five sectors namely- education, water, energy, human resources and safety and security.
Attention and priority given by Shri. Modi to education as compared to any other past chief minister of the state is also noteworthy. His realization that no amount of economic, industrial or commercial resurgence can be sustained on a long-term basis without the foundation of proper academic and professional education has made him re-work the whole system of education in Gujarat State. The concern of Shri. Modi for education of the girl child is reflected in the fact that he has specially created a fund called “Kanya Kelavani Nidhi”. Now it is a well-known fact that all the gifts received by Shri. Modi are auctioned and the funds are credited to this account.
Shri. Modi had been constantly innovating for improving the efficiency and productivity in various sectors. One such innovative step was the decision to involve private sector for development of huge wastelands. Another innovative step was celebration of traditional festivals, and converts them into events of major tourist attraction. In a mobile world in order to make citizens really mobile, roaming ration cards and roaming school cards were introduced. Provision of soil health cards to the farmers was another innovation to help farmers improve the land quality and ultimately agricultural productivity “Sujalam Sufalam” scheme launched to create a grid of water resources in Gujarat was another innovative step towards water conservation and its appropriate utilization.
Vibrant Gujarat Global meet was an innovative bi-annual summit organized by Shri. Modi to attract investment from rest of the country and abroad, Shri.Modi in his five years of rule ensured all round development of Gujarat in all areas including agriculture, rural development education and industrial development. His vision is to make Gujarat emerge as the leader, not only in the Indian sub-continent, but also in the entire Asia to compete with Japan, Taiwan, and China, Shri. Modi looks beyond the immediate gratification for the purpose of getting votes.
The programmes such as Krushi Mahotsav, River Grid, Chiranjeevi & Matru Vandana schemes, schemes for reduction in infant mortality rate, Beti Bachav campaign save the girl child), Jyotigram, Karmayogi Abhiyan etc, aim at multi-dimensional development of Gujarat in the long-term. The vision concept and implement of such programmes make Shri. Modi rise as a statesman, who thinks of the next generation in the backdrop of politicians who think about the next elections.” (*Source: http://www.merinews.com/share Article.do?detail=Print&articleID=1... )
An important characteristic of Shri. Modi style and attitude of administration in Gujarat was that Shri. Modi did not disbelieve bureaucracy. He had a firm conviction in its abilities and competence of the administrators in its governance. He perhaps thought that the present democracy esp. parliamentary democracy was slightly overplayed or exaggerated. The model of governance which Shri.Modi believed in was based upon performance and not appeasement. He always relied on the advice tendered by the administrators. He always accepted and went by the professional advice given by the administrators. He always believed in facts. He always believed in statistics and figures. He always believed in law. He always went by rationalism and not emotions.
The then Gujarat government endeavored to bring about development of the state in an all inclusive, all nourishing and all pervasive manner. He treated the state machinery of something like corporate management system where results matter and not passions.
Developmental Initiatives taken by the Leadership in the dynamics of development strategy and administration:
The government assumed power with a clear parliamentary mandate in the general elections for the State Assembly, had considered the plight of the socio-economic condition of the state and decided to launch several developmental schemes keeping the individual citizen in view. The focus of all the policies was to be kept on the individual citizen who was economically poor and socially discriminated in the social organizational setup of the society. The poor man in the street had neither personal ambition nor any special expectations. All that he needed was pure drinking water, sufficient amount of electricity public power for domestic and/ agricultural activities and a comfortable receptive state administration (such as securing record of right of his land, ration card, application for electricity connection and / or redressal of any personal grievance ).
The Chief Minister of new government was a person who very thoroughly understood these necessities and personal individual requirements. Therefore, he appeared very keen on correcting these ordinary lacunas.
The new government under the Chief Minister Shri. Modi decided to use State and its machinery to eradicate poverty of the downtrodden, fulfil the necessities of those in needs of assistance, and protect the poor who appeared defenceless against the mighty bureaucratic apparatus. The entire Council of Ministers under his leadership was unanimous in formulating several policy initiatives to usher in economic advancement of the individual citizen. Political conviction for economic development was to become the undercurrent of dynamism of developmental administration.
A brief review of some of the developmental schemes in Gujarat:
Deploying Wealth to Ensure Health
Improvement in the health and nutritional status of the population has been one of the major thrust areas of the social developmental programmes in the state. Over the years, Gujarat has developed good health infrastructure and human resources.
The State initiated a wide variety of Public-Private Collaborations, involving NGOs/Private Sector practitioners. No wonder, Gujarat is now emerging as a global medical tourism destination.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has appreciated Gujarat’s school health program, under which 10 million primary school children are medically examined every year.
The state has recently initiated a novel scheme involving private gynaecologists in providing services related to safe delivery of pregnant women primarily from socio-economically weaker sections.
The scheme called the Chiranjeevi Yojana was launched in December 2005. The beneficiaries under the scheme are the mothers from poor families. The scheme bagged an international recognition in the form of Asian Innovation Award at Singapore from Wall Street Journal and the Financial Express.
Under “Matru Vandana” private Gynecologists provide free services to antenatal mothers on 9th day of each month. Almost 1000 gynecologists were working as Matru Vandana Doctors.
The piling up of court cases is a nationwide problem and everybody, from the poorest man to the highest authority, talks about justice delayed is justice denied; but it is only Gujarat that came out with an innovative way to improve the situation by starting Evening Courts since November 2006.
The initial response has been overwhelming. Using the existing infrastructure, 67 such courts have already been made operational and in a span of about 6 months, more then 1,16000 cases have been disposed off.
The evening courts do not imply only additional working hours but also a system which enables the common man to seek justice without wasting his working hours during the day.
In addition to this, the experiment of Lok Adalat (People’s Court) is also gaining ground. More than one million cases have been disposed off during the year 2006. Another innovative approach is the Nari Adalat (Female Court).
Women groups have organized themselves into these informal judicial forums in order to redress the grievances and cases of women through consultation and negotiation.
So far, 19 Nari Adalats have been set up and are functioning.
The government organized a program of overview and evolution of the needs of the state. Panchmrut Yojana for overview and impact assessment was formulated by the government with a view to overseeing the most important core areas viz., Gyan Shkti, Raksha Shakti, Jal Shakti, Urja Shakti and Jan Shakti.
Gyan Shakti- Emphasizing and using the power of knowledge
Raksha Shakti- Enhancing Security: Physical, Social, Economic….
Jal Shakti- Harnessing and Management of Water…
Urja Shakti-Making Energy the Power of the State
Jan Shakti – Empowering the people
Parliamentary Democratic Performance:
2007 General Elections in Gujarat:
In the year 2007, general elections to the Gujarat Legislative Assembly were held on 11/12/2007 and 16/12/2007 the results of which were declared on 23/12/2007 in which the ruling party and government retained power. The statistics was as following.
2012 General Elections in Gujarat:
The results of the general elections held in November 2012 for the State Legislative Assembly and the subsequent by-elections held in May 2013 were as following:
(The party membership in the State Legislative Assembly as on 9-6-2013)
The analysis of the above elections results puts forward some important points to ponder over.
The electorate remained unfazed by the criticism made by the media.
The electorate did not agree with the points of views put forth by the opposition political parties.
The voters had received benefits from the developmental schemes by various developmental schemes launched by the government.
The citizens were pleased with the administration at the village and taluka level by the performance of the government servants.
The citizens seemed to have instilled political confidence in their minds on account of the government’s scheme like SWAGAT on line.
The citizens felt the existence of the government as they found cordial behaviour on the part of the government servants at the village and taluka level.
The citizens realized that their applications to the government on various subjects/matters were replied/responded promptly and positively.
The citizens realized that several administrative procedures to meet the demands of the applicants were simplified which resulted in quick resolution of the problems.
The electorate showed satisfaction over the fulfilment of the three basic requirements of human beings viz. water, power and shelter, effectively.
The electorate in the state was satisfied with the performance of the Shri. Modi government’s fulfilment of election promises made before elections.
The electorate witnessed magnamity of the BJP in the selection of the candidates for elections, as several new faces were brought forward and a wide spectrum of weak, backward and minority sections of the established social stratification, were given opportunities for their respective political careers.
Above all, the image Shri. Modi, his honesty, sincerity, broad-based outlook, personal integrity and modern attitude, honest intention for the upliftment of the poor, mattered and weighed most while voting.
Shri. Modi’s for the governments pro Hindu bias did not come in the way of the voter while voting.
The ordinary voters appeared to have preferred development to any particular ideology of social or religious appeals.
The principal opposition party in Gujarat i.e. Indian National Congress had become ineffective, scattered, disunited, leaderless, without agenda and programs.
The national election and its conclusions followed in May 2014 were in no way different from the earlier Gujarat scenario. The oldest political party which ruled for the longest period in the country along with other parties which too ruled intermittently in different regions were trounced in the electoral battles. After a long period of several decades, a single majority party i.e. BJP was installed at the central power. It was a sort of wisest move by the Indian electorate which was fed-up by the coalitional messes, one family dynastical reign and an unwilling political leadership thrust on the national governance. It was a definite and a viable option chosen by the Indian electorate. A strongman , a willing , a knowledgeable leader whose political abilities are substantiated by well entrenched social roots , and a leader with a vision and mission was needed . Narendra Modi footed the bill. He was not prepared to waste time after assumption of power.
Narendra Modi is an ‘idea’.
He sells ‘idea’. He has ideas on growth. He seems to have drawn ideas on growth from the social roots in the society. His political skills emanate from his keen and minute understanding of the society and the nation he adorns very much. In fact he belongs to a social group, from where he received all his skills and training.
There is a need to study Narendra Modi as not merely a political leader, but also as a social planner, who is planning economic development taking the individual and the society along with him , by involving the society in the growth process.
The ‘Left ‘criticism of Modi is certainly meaningless, absurd, prejudiced and inexcusably malicious. Such criticism by these disgruntled forces erupts from the realization of having been uprooted from the political power positions. The Congress , CPI and its several shattered shades, other dejected regional political outfits must realize that they were trounced handsomely by the Indian electoral avalanche in the May 2014 General Elections and therefore for the time being must prefer complete silence and yield to acquiesce for the political change around . Their silence would teach them the lesson of clarion call of parliamentary democracy.
The intellectuals of all schools including most respectful Professor Dr. Amartya Sen, Professor Ramachandra Guha and others need to introspect and review their positions when necessary, on the thought of growth and the society in India with unnecessary reference to the new Prime Minister. There is nothing wrong or unnatural in revisiting their respective positions. Revising stand is not defeat or meek submission or surrender. All that is required is wider amicable vision, defying one’s ego. The colonial intellectual tendencies must cease to exist in them. The intellectuals in India should prefer global view to bygone colonial one.