ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Retrograde Politics

This is with reference to the article “Modi’s Gujarat and Its Little Illusions” by Neera Chandhoke (EPW, 8 December 2012). Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power in Gujarat since 1995, the state does have an effective two-party system. If one is in doubt, then please look at the results of previous assembly or Lok Sabha elections. The BJP has not been able to sweep the polls in any way as it is being claimed by a section of the media. What we are witnessing in Gujarat is happening in other states too. Gujarat’s case has been amplified and that is why it is so “visible”.

Due to the events of 2002 Modi knows very well that it is do or die for him. If the state apparatus was not with him, he might have been prosecuted by now. But Narendra Modi did his makeover. He appeased the business community by providing them with everything that they wanted and at their own conditions. The business community has unfettered access to everything that it wants: land, water, tax holiday, etc. Clearly, this is the model which Manmohan Singh and his economic advisers have/had envisioned for India. A cursory look at the proposal to constitute a National Investment Board underscores this point. But Manmohan Singh could not deliver in this format as ruthlessly as Modi has. Needless to say, this retrograde economic philosophy of the ruling combine will prove disastrous for the country in the long run. So, Narendra Modi has delivered, but in a format which is least acceptable for a country like India.

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