FEATURES/Boardroom | Sep 24, 2012 | 199152 views

Narendra Modi: Role Model of Governance?

Gujarat's growth story is an expression of the chief minister's authoritarian power
Narendra Modi: Role Model of Governance?
Image: Getty Images
STANDING OUT Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP's National Executive meet in Mumbai on May 24, 2012. The Gujarat CM had threatened to skip the meet if his rival Sanjay Joshi was present. The leadership relented and Joshi was exiled to Delhi


arly in August this year, I called somebody I know advises Narendra Modi, the powerful chief minister of Gujarat. Is there really any merit, I asked him, in all the fawning over Modi? “Yes,” the advisor replied without hesitation. “I’ve seen the man in action. He is a visionary. Go to Gujarat and see. He has cleaned up the administration. Investments are flowing. He is transforming the state.”

My question had its roots in a now-familiar narrative. It begins from the glowing testimonials. “Modi’s leadership is exemplary, Gujarat will provide leadership beyond country,” India’s most respected tycoon Ratan Tata is quoted on the website of the Gujarat government’s flagship event, the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Media magnate and chairman of the Zee Group Subhash Chandra considers Modi as the person who “redefined politics, performance and principles”.

In my mind, like in that of many Indians, Narendra Modi is inexplicably linked to February 2002 when mobs murdered, raped and burnt hundreds of Muslims, including women and children, in an inhuman orgy of violence on his watch. Then there are hazy memories from 10 years ago of the state’s commercial capital Ahmedabad. In memory it was a messy city, like many others—chaotic, polluted and emblematic of all things wrong with urbanisation in India.

But journalism is the kind of business that demands you trust nothing but your eyes. So a month later, I was in Ahmedabad. Without doubt, it looked like one of the better managed cities in the country. The roads were wider and public spaces greener than I remembered. An efficient Bus Rapid Transit System connects the eastern end of the city to the western corner. Another one connecting the other two poles is under construction.

The Sabarmati river, which runs through the city, used to be dry and surrounded by slums. Instead, fed by Narmada waters, it was in full flow between the newly-built 10-km-long promenades on either side.  

I could see the city was growing with a 76-km-long ring road encircling it. That road was conceived and built in record time and with minimum fuss under Surendra Patel. He used to be chairman of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA), which supervised the project. In his office where I met him, a detailed plan of how the riverfront would look like was pinned on a soft board. “I still follow up on the project,” he says. “It started during my time.”

Over the next one hour, he talked passionately about Ahmedabad; of how he transformed AUDA from a small office with a few people and barely any revenues into a modern city developer; and of how land was acquired for development. AUDA first got the Town Planning Act amended to notionally acquire all the land and regularise their uneven dimensions into geometrically even shapes. Then he told the landowners of a plan he had in mind.

AUDA would take over half their land. A fifth of AUDA’s share would go into building roads and the rest developed for commerce, residence and parks. He told them that once the project was complete, the other half of the land they would continue to own would be significantly more valuable than all of their land put together. “My promises weren’t empty ones. I used to take contractors with me to show them we meant business,” he says. And he delivered.

By then, it was obvious Patel’s heart was in urban development and he had a knack for it. It was inevitable then that I asked him why he quit AUDA for the Rajya Sabha in 2005. “Because Narendrabhai asked me to,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I told him my heart was here. But he insisted I go. I cannot say no to him.”

This was strange. Here was a man who was good at what he did; he was liked by the locals; and was a respected leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Why, then, would Modi insist he leave? I called Jagdish Thakkar, Modi’s public relations officer, for a meeting with the chief minister. “Send me an email with probable questions and I will get back to you,” he said. Thakkar never responded to my email and remained elusive on the phone.

There were other things on my mind as well. For instance, the clamour of voices asking Modi be crowned prime minister is mounting. Modi has so far maintained a stoic silence on the subject. But to an observer from the outside, every action of his indicates he is manoeuvering himself to a point where ignoring him for the job would be difficult. His ambition will be put to the test in December when Gujarat holds elections. Modi wants to capture 150 seats, up from the current 122 in the state Assembly of 182, to seal his reputation as one of India’s most popular political leaders.

That said, the ghost of 2002 continues to loom.

On August 29, I was scheduled to meet a BJP MLA and former minister in the Vidhan Bhavan, the seat of the Assembly. I ran into the legislator in the parking lot itself. He looked tense. The chief minister had called an emergency meeting. “I cannot talk to you,” he said and walked away.

It wasn’t entirely unexpected. Even as I was getting there, a special court in Ahmedabad had delivered one of the rarest verdicts in the history of India. Special Judge Jyotsana Yagnik convicted Maya Kodnani, a former minister, and 31 others for rioting and murdering 97 Muslims, including a 20-day-old infant, in Ahmedabad’s suburb of Naroda Patiya on February 28, 2002. Modi’s government was bracing for the fallout of the verdict. Nobody knew what the repercussions would be. Cases are still pending and the heat could singe even Modi.

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Comments (79)
Dr.a.jagadeesh Apr 25, 2014
Very exhaustive article.
No doubt Gujarat advanced industrially. A parallel can be drawn between Gujarat under Narendra Modi’s regime as Chief Minister and Andhra Pradesh under N.Chandrababu Naidu’s regime as Chief Minister. Both concentrated on High Tech. In Chandrababu Naidu’s case Monsoon played havoc. Lack of rains and too much concentration on IT, ignoring Farmer’s welfare cost him the power.

India is basically a Agrarian country with Agrarian economy and Gujarat State cannot be an exception. Side by side with Industrial Growth, Farmers prosperity should be ensured.
Let us first look at consumption expenditure, or spending on goods and services. The percent of people in poverty (below the cut-off) decreased from 2004-2005 to 2011-2012 in all states except three, according to the planning commission's data and based on its definition of the poverty line for different states.

State 2004-05 2011 – 12 % point decline % decline
Andhra Pradesh 29.9 9.2 20.7 69
Kerala 19.7 7.1 12.6 64
Tamil Nadu 28.9 11.3 17.6 61
Punjab 20.9 8.3 12.6 60
Rajasthan 34.4 14.7 19.7 57
Maharashtra 38.1 17.4 20.7 54
Haryana 24.1 11.2 12.9 54
Gujarat 31.8 16.6 15.2 48
But the extent of the decline varied across states, and here, of all big states, Gujarat ranked 8th in percentage decline (column 4) of the percentage of people below the poverty line.
Here are some People's Policies for prosperity for your consideration Narendra Modiji:
There are millions of acres of waste land in the country. In this vast land care-free growth plants like Agave and Opuntia can be grown. Both are CAM Plants and regenerative. Being CAM Plants they can act as Carbon Sing when grown on a massive scale.There are several uses of these plants. Agave thrives in desert regions and is traditionally used to produce liquors such as tequila in Mexico. It has a rosette of thick fleshy leaves, each of which usually end in a sharp point with a spiny margin. Commonly mistaken for cacti, the agave plant is actually closely related to the lily and amaryllis families. The plants use water and soil more efficiently than any other plant or tree in the world, Arturo said. "This is a scientific fact—they don't require watering or fertilizing and they can absorb carbon dioxide during the night.The plants annually produce up to 500 metric tons of biomass per hectare, Agave(Americana),Sisal Agave is a multiple use plant which has 10% fermentable sugars and rich in cellulose. The fibre is used in rope making and also for weaving clothes in Philippines under the trade name DIP-DRY. In Brazil a paper factory runs on sisal as input. A Steroid HECOGENIN is extracted from this plant leaves. Since on putrification,it produces methane gas, it can be cut and used as input in biogas plants. Also in Kenya and Lesotho dried pieces of Agave are mixed with concrete since it has fibres which act as binding.
Agave Competitive Advantages:
Thrives on dry land/marginal land. Most efficient
use of soil, water and light.
Massive production. Year-around harvesting.
Very high yields with very low or no inputs
Very high quality biomass and sugars
Very low cost of production. Not a commodity,
so prices are not volatile
Very versatile: biofuels, bioproducts, chemicals
World-wide geographical distribution
Enhanced varieties are ready
Biofuel,Biogas and subsequent power generation as decentralised power utilising local resources and resourcefulness is the need of the hour. About 10 acres of waste land can be given on lease to Unemployed youth and 10 such youth can form a CO-OPERATIVE. This way vast wasteland can be brought under use and provides employment in rural areas.

More than energy generation energy conservation yields immediate results. Enormous wastage of power occurs in Agricultural pump sets which are old. These are inefficient. A scheme can be chalked out to replace the old electric pumpsets with more efficient ones. A 5 HP Electric motor costs about Rs 20,000. A subsidy of Rs 15,000 can be provided to each Farmer. When for a large Solar Pump which costs Rs 6 lakhs,subsidy of Rs 5 lakhs provided,Rs 15,000 is peanuts. On the other hand the electricity saved from Advanced electric pump sets will find use in lighting,computers ,industry etc. as Electricity is a High Grade Energy.
The agricultural sector accounts for about 30% of electricity consumption in India. The largest population of inefficient pumps and systems is also to be found in this sector. Two factors that adversely impact electricity consumption are, efficiency of the pumping system, and inadequate standards for motors and pump-sets.
ICPCI{ International Copper Promotion Council (India)} is involved in several initiatives targeted at improving the equipment and distribution system efficiencies in the Agricultural sector. They have expertise and experience in :
1. Propagate the use of Energy Efficient Motors for energy savings, in Industries.
2. Promote the use of high efficiency motors and pumps in the Agricultural sector.
Expertise from organisations like ICPCI can be availed by Government of India and State Governments in going in for high efficient agricultural Electric Motors. Even a 10 to 20 % efficiency in Electric Motors contributes much to the power demand in the country

In the Schools and Colleges Occupational Skills can be taught. NCC/NSS should be made compulsory in Private Educational Institutes also.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
Renewable Energy Expert
Vishaka Apr 19, 2014
let us put our hands together to see NAMO as our PM.. we as INDIANS must contribute...
Amitesh Apr 16, 2014
Modi ranks at the top of social media... I am sure it's difficult to stop him this time around...
Anita Jan 5, 2014
Had been to Gujarat recently.this man has really done a lot for Gujarat .as India's P.M. He wld do a fantastic job.
Chirag Joshi Aug 23, 2013
modi P.M Banane chahiye tabhi des me mahengai ghategi
Anita Aug 10, 2013
Raja Harishchandra, the name always bonded with Truth, Sacrifice and Commitment. At the cost of these qualities he had to suffer through lots of agony. Not only he but his family also experienced calamity. Hence he was dignified as “Satyavaadi” Raja Harishchandra.

But in today's 21st century, nobody either bothers about lie, false commitments or keeping words. We commit many betrays just sake of own fulfillment. We reiterate breaking as many promises as we can to afford self pleasure. Difficult to believe we are born and grown up on the same motherland on which Raja Harishchandra ruled once.
Nikhil Jul 6, 2013
He is best bet in the present situation for India... I admire him a lot for his dedication for the nation and I dream of a strong forward moving India that takes on China under his rule .. ! Ur write up is very very precise about a persons character .. Probably if u are scrutinised by someone they can write many negatives. Please see positives. He is the best for the nation now
Deepali Dhanotia Dec 20, 2012
Narendra Modi is the leader of the nation's best. Not only the state, for the development of the country and need to get rid of looters.
Nilesh Dec 5, 2012
I like to say that Narendra Modi is only a person who deserve the place for PM of India. No one can do this job better then him. He is person who make Gujarat well developed state.
Being a part growth and being a part of Narendra Modi
Ksp Nov 21, 2012
There is not a single instance where in you have appreciated Narendra Modi's good governance. You have been mentioned it as other person's view, as if you have never witnessed it. This is one of the instancees where in media is trying to fill one sided negative opinions in the minds of the people.

Also there is not a single instance where Modi's governance compared with UPA's governance - because in all the areas Modi easily outplay UPA which has more power than him and overall Modai undoubtedly out plays the UPA government.

Atlast all the author had praises for ex-CMs which are from Congress and Keshubhai Patel who is a anti Modi. But not a single instance of appreciation for Modi.
Rutuparna Karandikar Nov 20, 2012
In my mind, like in that of many Indians, Narendra Modi is inexplicably linked to February 2002 riots...sorry we disagree with you...we see him as an ideal leader and reminds to us the development that he has done to the state of gujrat..
Draksharam Nov 10, 2012
That authoritarian power is being given by people of Gujarat through successive election 2/3rd majority mandates. So, it's not authoritarian(crushing people's mandate) but decisive, result-giving rule's laurels won from it's people. So, please mind your 'word' usage.
P.satyanarayana Reddy Oct 29, 2012
i wish to see Narendra modi ji as prime minister of india.
Nand Kishore Bagdi Oct 27, 2012
In the present senerio Narendra Modiji is the most capable to become the PM.This should be the wish of every indian citizen
Vidhan Oct 27, 2012
He is very good Chief Minister of Gujarat
Nand Kishore Bagdi Oct 26, 2012
Indians have to unite for country's devlopment
Harsha Bennur Oct 23, 2012
It is very apparent from your narrative that you have begun the research for this article with a pre conceived notion. You seem to be oblivious to the fact that similar/worse practices exist in all other states in India. You are specifically looking for exceptions in the Gujarat growth story than look at the bigger picture. In the veil of a researched article, this is another bold case of sold out journos dancing to the tunes of their political masters. Wake up! All political parties have their Achilles heel. But Modi has more strengths than weaknesses.
Krishnom Oct 18, 2012
Journalists like you always talk about violence against Muslim like a parrot. But you rarely talk about violence against Sikhs (Congress leaders got about 10,000 killed mercilessly; rape and murder of children in larger scale), or massive violence against Hindus.
Avedesh Kumar Sharma Oct 18, 2012
ham sab chahte hain ki next p.m. narendar modi g hi ho .good luck
Anonymous Oct 17, 2012
Modi deserves the post for pm, he made Gujarat the fast progressive Country in India. when he was appointed as a chief minister there was nothing in Gujarat but with so many missions like Sabarmati riverfront, Balam Sukham and many more Gujarat has retain heights in the field of development....
Arun Sharma Oct 16, 2012
Are you telling a story of your visit to Gujrat ?

By the way, I find your heading totally meaningless . Moreover, I'll advise to rename it to " My visit to Gujrat " .
I request you tell me the purpose of writing this article and I will you what it actually served.
Gajendra Oct 15, 2012
Hame swarajya kab milega or kaise?
Kaliprasad Mishra Oct 13, 2012
modiji we Oriya people gladly accept you.our people are gating job in Gujarat, staying at Surat are very happy in your administration. for that thanks
Kaliprasad Mishra (odisa) Oct 13, 2012
narendra modi is real indian hero.
NaMo Oct 13, 2012
Awesome article, to convey a message to the people of our society that how politics influence our society. 11 years ago Gujarat had no name in the history of development, when modi became CM he make drastic changes in Gujarat. Modi has nothing to do with the peoples votes, money of government, all he has to do is to serve his country and people of his country.
Ajay Ks Oct 12, 2012
What is wrong with authoritarian power as long as it is focused on development. None of the examples give above are in the right context.

Media's role should be to objectively put forward a well conceived perspective based on logic and facts. Unfortunately, the above article doesn't do so.

It definitely seems like a paid article for benefit of particular political party.
Vivek Oct 12, 2012
After reading this article, I can be sure that media is heavily influenced by the politics.

I don't want to say anyfurther., I am definitely not subscribing forbes printed edition and I will try to cancel my current subscription if possible because I don't want to fill my mind with biased perception created by a paid article.

I always verify the details before believing.
Response to Vivek:
Aakash Surana Jun 10, 2013
If you want to cancel your subscription because the author took pains and went to Gujarat to verify what he had heard and is now giving us a beautiful narration of it, you are most welcome to do so. People like you can go to any extent. Go verify from the people of Gujarat.
Shubham Oct 10, 2012
You know what, in current day politics and situation of India he is only person who can bring change. One more thing some times king has to take tough decisions to save his country.
Vijendra Kapur Oct 7, 2012
Why it generally happens with Media to chase a guy who is chasing the development. I stay in Delhi, and still visiting thrice in last decade we can see the impact of Modi and development in Gujarat.
Vishnu Oct 5, 2012
The guys who are telling Modi dont have friends are those who arent allowed by Modi to milk the system as they were accustomed to.. A CM of a state is ultimately responsible to people not to any one particular chosen minister or a businessman who didnt get his way.

Seriously whats wrong with this guy to write such a biased article. Walk on any street in Indian cities and you invariably step into a poodle of sewage. The authour has seen from his own eyes in Ahmedabad the new promenades, the river being filled with clean Narmanda water and more spaced roads but for his blinded eyes all that has come without Modi's initiative. So many Indian cities are in shambles, cant you have a word of praise for someone who has turned the indifferent system upside down?

Sending AUDA chief to Rajya Sabha can be seen as a reward by Modi to work done well. But you try to insinuate to suggest something more sinister without any iota of proof whatsoever.

"arable land in the state had increased by 37 lakh hectares. Land covered by micro-irrigation projects alone had increased from less than 1,000 acres to over seven lakh hectares in the decade of his rule"- can you appreciate how Gigantic these achievements are juxtaposed with 0.1% increase in irrigated land for Rs70,000 crores spent in the neighbouring state?

The author seems more than jealous at Modi's stupendous success, he somehow wants to belittle him at any cost. otherwise whats the point of bringing Modi waiting at the studio during his early years etc. Every self-made great man started from humble beginnings and they say it proudly. Obama was an unknown first time senator just a very few years ago, does that make him punier as the President? But it seems this topic is brought up here to belittle Modi's stature
Praveen Oct 5, 2012
Seems a mud slinging article on NAMO
Vishnu Oct 5, 2012
this writer trying to create a spin has tied himslef up in knots.. on one hand he says Modi publicity is to remind people who brought the benefits and then other places he gives credit for Gujrats develoment to every Tom Dick and Harry but Modi..just cant imagine how freaking this is to compare Gujrat to China and Qatar.. comparing one party rule and dynasty to an electotral democracy..shows how much they want to malign Modi
Som Sengupta Oct 4, 2012
Can any progress be achieved in a country like India without a generous dose of authoritarianism? Look at the shambles that is coalition politics which tries to satisfy every political ego and achieves nothing. So what is the author going on and on about Modi being authoritarian? Would you prefer to have electricity in your home or a leader who is trying to please everyone most of whom are not remotely competent as he is. Modi's achievements are extraordinary in a country like India and he has ignited hope midst millions even outside his state who have grown cynical after decades of rampant corruption and incompetence from the Congress. Unfortunately this article is biased and small minded, highlighting petty failings which are statistically insignificant. Does Forbes really have to publish such third rate journalism?
Response to Som Sengupta:
Vishnu Oct 5, 2012
cant agree more with you Som. I had lot of respect for Forbes, now I have my doubts.. even stooges of opposition party couldnt have written a more biased article!.. instead of praising the progress made that has bettered millions of peoples lives, this author is harping on personality quirks quoted by anaonymous persons as if hes juding a Big Boss show!.. just loads of BS in this huys head
Ritika Khanna Oct 4, 2012
BIGGEST ENEMY of Narendra MODI is NARENDRA Modi HIMSELF. He is Arrogant to partymen, Cheap towards political opponents, Mischievous towards sensitive issues, Autocratic in democratic setup, Back-stabber within organization, Liar to the core, Servant to the Corporates, Over-ambitious in Politics, Friends to none, Enemy to many, Wrong-doer to his wife, Faker at Sadbhavna stage-managed shows, Self-centric, Publicity-hungry, (to be continued). Please do not consider anti-Modi being automatically pro-Congress. Congress is equally pro-rich, pro-corporates, anti-poor, tactfully communal and goonda party. Time to think beyond both these parties. Gujarat has got no strong and better options against these two equally ghatia parties but rest of India is not yet so unlucky.
Neeru Oct 3, 2012
I would prefer an autocrat instead of scamsters in india...this article truly reflects that congress person has bribed the journalist to write all this.....we are not blind that we cant see the progress of the state. And a leader has to lead like this only. he has to have his own opinion and he should know ways to get his plans implemented for the betterment of the constituency or the state. And it should not be like our other leaders who leave the implementation part to babus and keep on announcing new plans without caring whether the last one was implemented or not.
Krishna Oct 2, 2012
Very cunningly written paid-media article.

One simple sentence: No politician after independence has done for the common man what Narendra Modi has done for the people of Gujarat.
Response to Krishna:
Neeru Oct 3, 2012
Totally agree with you. Sonia Gandhi seems to have bought this magazine. She appears among the top 500 woman in this magazine god knows for what reasons. And Mr. Modi who does so much work is criticized by this magazine. Paid media..paid media and paid journalist. And one more thing Mr journalist at one point you say Mr. Modi is a very media friendly advertiser etc but you are not able to get appointment with him. Please decide whether he speaks and talks to the media or not and whether he is media friendly or not.
A Shivananda Pai Oct 1, 2012
Media should give vide publicity about how Mr Modiji has transformed Gujarat so that all the other State Governments will follow suit, and thus making our County prosperous
Henry Smith Oct 1, 2012
C grade journalism.
Ronald Oct 1, 2012
This Journalist comes to us under the guise of Neutrality. Yet he only interviews "anti-Modi" people.
He chooses a village with Electricity problem but ignores the 99% others with no problem.
But, the letter urges recipients to use public transport to save fuel and reduce pollution; and that when they do use their own cars, to observe traffic rules carefully.
So this neutral journalist wants us to believe that urging people in a Chaotic India to drive carefully and lower pollution is a bad thing. Its propaganda.

Local administration offices are connected with high-speed internet and video-conferencing equipment. It helps senior officials sitting at the headquarters monitor progress of government projects at the ground level. It also doubles up as the backbone of Modi'€™s public relations machinery, says an official

SO this journalist wants us to conclude that the efficient delivery of government services is a bad thing because it reinforces the good image of Modi. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater !!!

Come on Mr. Narayanan, I would have respected you even more had you shown your true color rather than come as someone with your argument already made just looking for the people to support it.

Shameless, typical left-liberal type.
Shreyas Puranik Sep 27, 2012
The article first presents a rosy picture of Modis's governance and follows it up with its shortcomings. Not Bad!!! But every time it comes back to GODHRA riots. It was a bad patch and the law is taking its due course in that case. Why look at something with only antagonistic view? Gujarat state is definitely a role model state and other states should follow the course. It is amply correct that democracy benefits in the long run, but why say Modi's rule is authoritarian only because it has shown development?
Satish Sep 27, 2012
When you are measuring Modi's performance, compare it with the performance of other indian CMs. Dat way, it helps the reader understand who stands where and how modi fares against others. When you are talking about development or under-development, compare it against the level which modi inherited... Remember its impossible for any one to make an Indian state reach the level of development of US in a span of 11 years... when writing articles, please be unbiased...
Ab Sep 26, 2012
What are the yardsticks for assessing a chief minister. I have been an avid reader of Forbes since its launch in India but I am disappointed to say that instead of doing an objective assessment of what Gujarat or Modi have acheived, Forbes has published a politically inspired story. It is a pity!
Response to Ab:
Pixie Sep 28, 2012
I agree . . . . Forbes is a BIG thing , and this report is unmatured stretching discussion against a DESHPREMI. . . .
he says to youngsters, "we are India , Why should we compromise ?"
Sanjeev Nayyar Sep 26, 2012
Dinesh I have number of comments to make so will do so one by one. How could a story on Gujarat miss talking about the Power Sector Reforms which are widely appreciated. More so in a country plagued by power shortages. Mention to Jyoti Gram Yojana is in the passing n a small part of the reforms. Here in MINT editorial titled 'Electricity lessons from Gujarat'.
Response to Sanjeev Nayyar:
Dinesh Narayanan Sep 28, 2012
Thanks for the comment Sanjeev. I did mention the Jyoti Gram Yojana only in passing. That is because each issue in Gujarat can be debated in as many words as this entire story is written. But just to give perspective to the power surplus status of Gujarat: The state has about five lakh applications for power connection pending. It is not really an achievement to say that you give 24-hour power to everyone when you are depriving so many people of power. See link below. It is a report from the assembly.
Response to Dinesh Narayanan:
Gujarati Oct 1, 2012
Dinesh your link has no analysis of who is not receiving power and why. Electricity is not free and among the first thing of many that were done to make elecricity effecient in Gujarat was to cut off electricity from people who were stealing it and many of those were farmers and even high profile ppl like keshubhais son in law for his factory. Criticism or policies can be debated but do you really think that people of Gujarat are that stupid to keep modi in power if all he is doing is marketing?
Response to Gujarati:
Dinesh Narayanan Oct 2, 2012
Dear Gujarati,
Thanks for the rejoinder. The data is not about whose connections were cut off. It is about pending applications for new connections. The issues raised in the house that day included power producers in the state selling power outside at high rates when so many applications were pending in Gujarat.
Anyways, the point I was making in the story was not that Jyoti Gram Yojana is not functioning. On the contrary, it is one of the best innovations the state has made in improving efficiency. My point was about the perception in some villages that they are targeted because they do not vote for the ruling party.
Response to Dinesh Narayanan:
Neeru Oct 3, 2012
Mr Journalist, can you please let us know how many applications are pending in UP, Delhi, Haryana and other 26 states of the country.
Manjunaath T Sep 25, 2012
It so happens that when 2002 riots are mentioned, no reporter talks about the hindus killed in the train. And the reporter who doesn't have the moral courage to mention it, should not write at all. Shame. Complete bias by Forbes, seriously makes me think, "Is Forbes this cheap?"
Response to Manjunaath T:
Yash Sep 29, 2012
Exactly! These pseudo-secularists and 'intellectuals' somehow are only about how the Muslims were killed, but never once do they name the aggressor. Muslims are described as brutally murdered, but never once do they remark that Hindus were brutally burned by the Muslims and exactly how that happened or that there was no provocation. Either they are actually that intellectually dim, or they think they can fool people by loudly saying one thing over and over. My solution is that I simply stop reading such magazines.
Ajay Sep 25, 2012
For me it simply looked like nothing more than a report from Modi's opposition!! No one can be good to all...if that happens, it merely shows the administration is compromised. He had to take some tough decisions being a leader. No one can solve all problems...atleast he is on his way towards the progress of the state. For me, all above negativity can be easily overlooked by the progress he have made with his projects! Surely, he has a long way to go!
Sonu Sep 25, 2012
Rajeev Sep 25, 2012
Nothing new in these five pages, a business writer attempting a political profile does not work. there is no conclusion here, lot of old tid bits of info on Modi, but nothing concrete . The only reason presented is than he cannot become a PM because he is an authoritarian CM .
Nothing new in this argument too.
Narayanadas Upadhyayula Sep 25, 2012
Grudging admiration for Narendra Modi. Cliched criticism. Projecting Congress' viewpoint. Commissioned by Congress? Isn't Congress dictatorial/dynastic?

BTW what does this mean: "This article appeared in Forbes India Magazine of 28 September, 2012"? Is this an advance copy?
Sanjeev Sep 25, 2012
Same old rehashed information. Talk to three detractors, look at the BRT corridor in Ahemdabad, Gift, weave in a few quotes about the agriculture, malnutrition, GDP growth and you have a cover story.
Very loose story, absolutely no insight a lot of rehashed information.
Forbes should keep away from Political covers as they don't have the expertise. Remember the covers on Rahul which was again so wrong.
T90 Sep 25, 2012
so con(gress) has greased forbes as well... Sonia Gandhi is the most controversial Italian-Indian ever... any article on her? Doe you have guts/intelligence to report on her black money?

Do read this:
Gujarati Sep 24, 2012
"I wondered why businesspeople consider Gujarat to be their Mecca. I could think of a few reasons, none of which had anything to do with Modi. Gujaratis, it is well known, are enterprising people."

So the enterprising smart self sufficient Gujarati's did not benefit from Modi's Autocratic, highly marketed machine like undemocratic government, YET the same Gujarati's are too dumb to see this whole marketing ploy and keep voting Modi back to power with huge majorities and might just give him a bigger majority once again. Wow.
Response to Gujarati:
Pg Sep 25, 2012
You need Good Leadership to run and build State effectively. And Modiji is doing the same with streamlining energy of people of Gujarat.
Response to Gujarati:
Rohit Sep 25, 2012
Because Gujarat did not have auto industry before, it was mainly chemical, pharma, diamond etc. majority of which were pollutive. There was corruption in public sector which is now removed and all (GNFC, gsfc, gspl etc.) are making profit. There was no 24 hr. electricity in villages. Farmers were not earning in lacs. So many Japanese companies were not investing. So if govt. or Modi has no role in this you are mistaken. Remember it is harder to achieve more than 10% growth in developed state like Gujarat than in Bihar. Of course Gujarati people have contributed to this but they are enthusiastic due to able leader and hateful Congress and media which protested Amitabh Bachchan becoming ambassador of Gujarat tourism.
Response to Gujarati:
Pixie Sep 28, 2012
dear , do you work 18 hours in a day .. . . ? ? ?
at age of 62 he does . . . .
nd yea, gujaratis are not dumb.
As you are opposing him, either u havent studied anything , or you are from Congress
Sachin Sep 24, 2012
Again a journalist who is praising Modi solely becuase he had few roads laid down, few buildings put and few schemes put on the paper, what the author is not doing is look at the holistic picture all the developing and under developed nations are developing including in Africa, it does not mean that one lay heaps of praises on a Mass murderer, by that yard stick one would eventually lead to praising another mass murderer in the history i.e Hitler, the "development" projects that the Indian media and journalists are so crazy about were much more ahead of time and better than Narendra Modi's.

In short being agnostic to the crimes perpetrated by a criminal like Modi who has been denied visa by the US state Department and his ministers have been arrested for their involvement in the genocide against Muslims is tantamount to approving his agenda of hate i.e of Hindutva seeking the destruction of religious minorities like Muslims, Christians and evetually the Sikhs in India.
Response to Sachin:
P Gandhi Sep 24, 2012
Sachin ji, where do you find his name in any FIR. Even after crores of rupees spent by the rivals via many pseudo secularists, human rightists and subservient media-men against Modi, nothing has come out against him. Do you not rely on Hon'ble Supreme Court under whose supervision all the SITs worked ? It is a matter of legal process, whoever has done wrong will get punished. But have you ever dropped a tear for the kar-sevaks who were roasted alive in the train burning at Godhara ? You are wrong. There is no difference between Hindus and Sikhs. It was Bhindrawala who was patronised by the ruling party and created a demon against Hindus. Again thousands of Sikhs were massacred all over India. At whose behest? And who has been punished so far.
Response to Sachin:
Rao Sep 25, 2012
what are you talking ? just because there is theft in your family can i bash your father, brother etc? you should have been in pakistan, Bangladesh and other middleeast nations where people thrive for good governance and you will know what reak democracy gujrat has, if your argument is correct then is india democratic ? Cartoonists has been jailed in other states , did modi ever did it? then you will realize the greatness of modi! Except for your hate on modi i don't see any concrete stuff in your argument.
Response to Sachin:
Sn Sep 25, 2012
Mr. Sachin, you seem to vote for the mass murderers of the Sikhs and the people behind most of the communal riots till now. You are not to be blamed, you seem to have less knowledge of history as such. You need to read up a lot on Indian History since India has become a republic. Politics and Economics never went well together for India. Even the manmohan singhs reforms has made the rich richer and the middleclass borrow more loans. Today we have sold nearly all of India. I hope you are aware that Sonia gandhi is the fourth richest politician in the world which is about 9.25% of our budget for the nation. Still our prime minister comes out and says money does not grow on trees. Where is the money growing.
You said about minorities, can you get the justice for sikhs killed in 1984? I dont know whether you were born also then.
Response to Sachin:
Avinash Dutt Oct 3, 2012
Last line of the mail is clearly abusing Hindutva. It is not like Pakistani state ideology, which after occupying one-third of Indian land via Partition eliminated 99.9% of minorities - Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Jews from newly created Pakistan via rape, riot and genocide.

Genocide means elimination of a race - as it happened with Hindus after creating Pakistan out of Indian lands. What happened in Gujarat after slaughter of Hindus in Godhra is a riot where Hindus also died when attacked by Muslim mobs and, where police killed over 100 Hindus in lethal firing to curb riots. In fact, one in four killed is a Hindu - by your definition of Genocide, it was also genocide of Hindus.
Gujarat riots are not even 0.000001 per cent of what was inflicted on Hindus
Mohan Sep 24, 2012
This is another anti Modi journalist who is unable to pin anything on Modi! Does congress practice democracy? Is there leaders in congress who can win on their own?
Rohit Sep 24, 2012
Who says there is autocratic rule in Gujarat, it may feel like that to corrupt ministers, bureaucrats, media owners but people and honest officers are very happy and free. Shreyansh Shah, owner of Gujarat Samachar is dubious and blackmailing character and his business of blackmailing has got dented by Modi Govt. Also since Modi allowed new newspaper of Divya Bhaskar which has eaten up half business of Gujarat Samachar, he is always anti Modi. Don't forget it was Gujarat Samachar and company which published highly communal reports of Muslim gangs and goons killing, abducting, raping, harassing etc. and did create lot of anger in Hindus all round state who did retaliate in 2002 due to that anger.
Biswadeep Rath Sep 24, 2012
A reason that Narendra Modi comes across as Authoritarian is because we Indians are used to policies that are meant to appease and not necessarily achieve any more mileage than that. Appeasement that is sometimes meant for a plotical ally, sometimes for a foreign country and sometimes for an internal community. A man who has a vision, has an iron will (and an iron hand) to make that vision come true, will undoubtedly seem undemocratic and totalitarian.

The epidemic of scandals that has plagued New Delhi for a while now, makes me say only one thing - "Desperate times call for Desperate Measures". Modi might not be someone who will go down in textbooks as a hero (even though he might wish to), but he is the leader India needs "at the moment" to set our house in order!
Siddhit Sanghavi Sep 24, 2012
You've balanced the article well by beginning with the negatives of Modi and then focusing on his achievements. But why are you trying to show it as some sort of redemption for past actions? When you mention riots, why do you media people always forget the Hindus murdered before the riots occurred? Is it because it's too small a number? Or because Hindus should have unending magnanimity and tolerance towards minorities. There's no dearth of partisan magazines in India so please be objective. The people who you call up for subscriptions are intelligent enough to understand politics.
Response to Siddhit Sanghavi:
Bharat Gohil Sep 24, 2012
Totally agree with you.Media always show post riot.what about who died in train.
Sachi Mohanty Sep 24, 2012
Clearly Mr. Modi is a lightening rod in Indian politics.

Is it the fate of India that we have to hail Hitlerian leaders if we desire merely to have honest democratic politicians?

Do we really need rulers in a democracy?

Are we so infantile as a nation?

I have written about him often.

Twitter: @sachi_bbsr
Response to Sachi Mohanty:
Vikram Kopppikar Sep 24, 2012
the answer unfortunately, seems to be yes!!
Saumya Gupta Sep 24, 2012
I am reading such a well-written article in an Indian magazine after such a long time. The article reflects how much research and hard work has been done. Also presents both sides of the story, so very unlike other journalists. Thanks Mr. Narayanan, for restoring my faith in journalism. :-)
Kishan Kalal Sep 24, 2012
lot,s of mimister in narendra modi goverment including in corruption no dout narendrabhai waste 200rs carore in sadbhavna
Response to Kishan Kalal:
Dhruv Sep 24, 2012
Rs 200 crore in sadbhavna??..dude .... ITs not wastage ... u will never know what is the problem in "aam Janta"..until u interact with them directly ... this is the unique way where they interact and Get the problems from the people and solve it out ... yaa agree Marketing was there .. but just think if he can't do it u will never know what kind of changes done ... or what kind of facilities improved ... How we got the best e- governance in the world ... I request you first get the knowledge of Business, Marketing, Politics, CRM then enter ... sadbhavna is Public relationship ... and without relationship never understand the problem.... Just think what will you do if u r there ... "Even pan galla wala advising Sachin that you should play like this ... i am still wondering how they can make point on that .... " thats what you are doing here ... first be the player
Response to Dhruv:
Arpit R Sep 25, 2012
Dude this guy is congress PR. He's commenting randomly on every article about modi in every publication. Don't take him seriously.
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