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

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A Tale of Two ‘Gujarat Models’

Walking from Dandi: In Search of Vikas by Harmony Siganporia, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022; pp xvi + 292, `1,495.

Among the narratives of creation of the modern Indian nation, Gujarat has kept a special place for itself. During almost the whole of 20th century, this state was identified with M K Gandhi and his unconventional ways of politics as well as his somewhat innovative experiments in the public life. But with the turn of the century, the identification of this state began to change dramatically. The anti-thesis to whatever Gandhi stood for began to take a concrete shape as years passed by. And as we approached the general elections of 2014, things were being looked upside down. By then, another narrative that was again associated with Gujarat had taken almost the whole of India into its grip.

The story of the Gujarat model (of development) had created a euphoria among large sections of voters. Legacies of truth, non-violence, civil disobedience and sarva dharma sambhava got replaced by this story of vikas (development). Though, as we now understand better, the propaganda of the so-called model of development was just a veneer to hide the real face and motives of politics designed to alter the basic character of the Indian nation.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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