Narendra DamAnodar Das Modi is an ambitious man. There is nothing wrong about being ambitious. One cannot reach anywhere unless one entertains an ambition to reach beyond it. An American who interviewed Modi in 2004 predicted that Modi was planning to be the Prime Minister of India. Those were the days when he was under fire by the rest of India, the Western media, most of Indian media and the intellectuals and secular-minded people everywhere.
In 2005, just as Modi was getting ready to travel to New York to address the Indian diaspora. United States revoked his visa. Modi was the only person ever denied visa by the United States on an obscure law, Among those who recommended the banning of Modi from entering the US soil was “Prof. Dr. Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Pakistani-American political scientist and former State Department official who was born in India” George W. Bush signed the ban on Modi.
Today Modi is received in the United States with much fanfare and gusto. He is meeting the corporate honchos of the world – many of them Indians, educated in ordinary and prestigious schools, Institutes of Technology engineering colleges and Institutions of Managements established and nurtured by previous governments. Modi, whose favourite subjects are the Vedas, Suryanamaskar and 500 Sanskrit axioms which he learnt in RSS discourses now basks in the sun of praise of these high-tech men and women.
Much is made of Modi’s assertion that he was a tea-stall owner’s son and used to sell cups of tea to train travelers. If that be true, his growth as an individual, his alleged qualification of Master of Arts are commendable achievements. Gujarat University refused to answer a RTI (Right to Information) about the bonafides of his claim, but has listed him among the eminent men who were alumni of the University. He was not a great student in school, said a teacher of his , but had great talent for drama and theatrics. An early gift for rhetoric in debates was noted by teachers and students. That is one talent, apart from an ability to twist a seeming disadvantage to advantage has stood him in good stead through his political career.
In a moment of his party’s misfortune, while campaigning for elections to Parliament in 2014, Congress leader Mani Shankr Aiyar said : ““I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. …But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him,” He was referring to the alleged past of Modi as a tea vendor. Aiyar’s party paid dearly for that remark. Modi took full advantage of it. At every campaign meeting thereon, he said : Chai pe charcha ho jaye – let’s discuss it over tea. To the allusion that he was less qualified, he repeated : “They are Harvard, I am hard worker” Aiyar was a graduate from Cambridge, not Harvard, but the rhyme made his audience laugh. .
A member of the RSS ( (short for Hindi version of National voluntary Group- a militant Hindu right wing organization) and a Balsanchalak (child organizer) even in his pre-teens, Modi was wedded to the militant organization’s ideology. He was ambitious, as any young man should be, and ready to work hard. Perhaps his capacity for rhyming rhetorics shone through. Modi’s status grew fast in India’s somewhat milder version of Ku Klux Klan, and after a brief period of absence from the scene (immediately after his wedding, he abandoned his wife and was said to have launched on a three-year pilgrimage). On his return, his enthusiasm for the Hindutva (Hindu Path) doctrine endeared him to the RSS leadership; he became the backroom strategist for the political face of the organization – Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
On the political scene, Modi supported ageing Keshubhai Patel against shifty and rebellious Shankarsinh Vaghela (who broke away to form his own party and later switched allegiance to Congress). When Patel was accused of corruption ad incompetence, Chanakya-style, Modi suggested getting rid of Patel.
Now Patels were a large and powerful community, and the leadership anticipated rebellion. LK Advani, then party chief, offered Modi the post of Deputy Chief Minister so as to keep Patel in good humour, Modi seized the opportunity :I will t take the Chief Minister’s post, he said, or nothing.
Eventually, the party leadership relented and Advani had the first taste of the manipulative talent of the man whom he thought inexperienced. Keshubhai gave in, offering Modi a sweet by way of congratulation.Twelve years later, Modi would push Advani into a corner of the stage to sulk and sit in Parliament like Mahatma Gandhi’s Three Monkeys. .
Once elected, Modi let lose his talent for self promotion. He outdid Jayalalitha of Tamil Nadu and Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh – huge framed photographs of his came up on corner of .Gujarat. Gujarat, once Gandhi’s home State, had a soft corner for RSS that was instrumental in his murder. There was also a palpable animosity between the Hindu and Muslim trading communities
A few months after Modi took over the mantle, Godhra train burning and the murder and arson of Muslims in Naroda Patia became the turning point in Modi’s life. We do not know for sure whether Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Bhatt was present at a meeting of Senior Police officials (all of them Hindus) as he alleges, but we do know that Gujarat’s home minister Haren Pandya, a Keshubhai Patel man, told the “Concerned Citizens Tribunal “that Modi had organized a meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence on 27 February 2002, after the Godhra train burning, in which over 50 Hindu pilgrims died“. According to Pandya, in this meeting, Modi had asked the police officials not to come in the way of “the Hindu backlash”. Though this is exactly what Bhatt claimed, whether by oversight or othewise, Pandya did not name SP Sanjiv Bhatt in the list of those who were present at that meeting. Pandya reportedly told the tribunal (chaired by the legendary former Supreme Court Justice VR Krishna Iyer) that the post-Godhra massacres were orchestrated by Modi, his officials and members of the Sangh Parivar (Sangh family). In the end, suspended and persecuted, a year after Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India, Sanjiv Bhat twas thrown out of his job.
The communal rage that flared up did not spare Chrisitans either. A priest, Fr. Chackochen and his companion were stoned. A Catholic school named after Mahatma Gandhi was attacked. The Tribunal’s finding tells how Modi’s men repaid a Muslim community for supporting his candidacy and their role in electing him:
“Chief Minister Narendra Modi was elected from Rajkot, through a by-election held in February 2002, barely a week before the Godhra incident. Statements of witnesses placed before the Tribunal stated that during his election campaign the community of Dawoodi Vohras had contributed generously, in lakh of rupees, to his election fund. The Bohra community had felicitated him and wished his political career well. Young Muslim girls had fed him ice cream. These gestures were only repaid by the targeting and burning down of all the major Bohra owned factories in Rajkot, amounting to a staggering Rs. 300 crore”
In the next section of this serial blog we would see how Modi suddenly becomes a friend of Muslims prior to elections.
Hiren Pandya did not live long after he made the statement against Modi’s role in the genocide. He was shot and found dead in his Maruti car on 26th March, 2003. A minor thug named Asghar Ali from Hyderabad and eleven men of the Muslim community were prosecuted by CBI on charge of murdering Hiren Pandya. The High Court threw out the convenient and ridiculous case of murder against Asghar Ali and his associates as unsustainable for want of credible evidence. Within a minute of his release, Asghar Ali was arrested in the name of another alleged crime, reminiscent of an instance described by Nelson Mandela ( I am only comparing the instances, not the personalities). This time the magistrate who was to frame the charges acquitted him. Like Indira government, not to mention CIA-FBI of the US, BJP government in Gujarat had its own hit-men and it spared little thought for scapegoats’ lives.
Those who tried to get justice for the victims of murder and to have the guilty punished are still being hounded by the government. Teesta Setalvad, a founding member, along with eminent men of literature, journalists and film personalities of the “Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)” is still being hounded by the Government of Prime Minister Modi. A book by Siddharth Varadarajan, and Indian-American journalist and former editor of Hindu ( a prestigious newspaper from the South), gives a gripping description of the events of the February-March-April, 2002 events in Gujarat in his book, Gujarat, The Making of a Tragedy. A recent charge against Setalvad and her husband was of collecting Rs 1.51 crore (Rupees 15.1 Million -US$ 228,000)) from donors in India and outside but of misusing the money for personal purposes – such as buying ear buds and eating at restaurants
“The “Prosecution” of those supposed to be involved in the riot and massacre in a bakery was such an eyewash that the Supreme Court Chief Justice VN Khare said in open court:
“We do not have any trust in your prosecution agency. There appears to be some collusion between government and prosecution and it is a case where 14 people were burnt alive.”
Shortly after his retirement as Chief Justice of India VN Khare told Hindu : “I found there was complete collusion between the accused and the prosecution in Gujarat, throwing rule of law to the winds. The Supreme Court had to step in to break the collusion to ensure protection to the victims and the witnesses. I was anguished and pained by the turn of events during the trial of the riot cases but was determined to salvage the criminal justice delivery system.”
Khare told veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar: ” Had I been an ordinary citizen, I would have filed an FIR against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.”
Witnesses were made to change statements alleging that the initial statements were made under duress and torture, records were manipulated, and some involved with the case conveniently died. Modi and his henchman Amit Shah came out winners. The latter was involved in a serious case of murder and was acquitted after Modi government came to power in the Centre.
Maya Kodnani was a member of Modi’s party who was accused to have led the massacre of Naroda Patiya which ended in the gory death of 97 Mulims. Kodnan’s role in the massacre was well known. “A mob looted, stabbed, sexually assaulted, gang-raped and burnt people individually and in groups“. Shortly after the incident, Modi inducted the perpetrator to his cabinet.
“Who gives you this information? I thought you do your research well, but what is this? There were no charges against Maya Kodnani when she was made a minister. Then the UPA II came in. And then the SIT was formed, the charges were framed then… let the judiciary do it’s work.” Modi was implying that Kodnani’s arrest was a handiwork of the Congress-led central government. The court, on the other hand, had described Maya Kodnani as the kingpin of the dastardly crime. She is said to have gone around town in her car exhorting Hindus to stab, shoot, rape and set alight Muslims in the area.
The judiciary did its work and sentenced Maya Kodnani for 28 years since a ‘Life sentence’ would have said her free after ten or twelve years.Nonetheless, Kodnani is now on bail for reason of ill health. The judge Jyotsna Yagnic who sentenced her continues to receive threatening phone calls and letters.
Babu Bajrangi, another convict for life among 32 convicted for the same crime, has obtained bail for three months for an “eye operation”. Bhajrangi’s proud confession to inhuman crimes recorded by investigative publication Tehelka in a sting operation and the not-so-serious punishment awarded to him are described later below.
As late as 24th July, 2015, two judges hearing an appeal in the same case – Justice M R Shah and Justice K S Jhaver – recused themselves from the case on the ground that influence was being exerted on them – or that the accused had “approached them”. How, and through whom, the approach was made and why the judges did not let the world know. “We are not bound to disclose this but some accused persons tried to approach us. Therefore we cannot hear this case now.” ..The judges made it clear that someone adopted “a wrong way and conveyed the wrong message in a wrong manner”. Now it is anybody’s guess who could have conveyed that message in that wrong manner.
No higher court conducted a suo motto enquiry as to who tried to influence the judges and how; nor did any “concerned citizen” file a Public Interest litigation. Prime Minister Modi’s capability for vengeance was too well known.
Going back to early 2002, Narendra Modi put the blame on Muslims for burning a train compartment in which Hindu zealots returning after a celebration in Ayodhya on the tenth anniversay or demolition of Babar Masjid. While state-appointed Nanavati-Mehta Commission found that the burning was a conspiracy, Railway Minister-appointed Banerjee commission reported that the fire was an accident.
On February 2011, the trial court convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 others, saying the incident was a “pre-planned conspiracy”. It is not clear what happened to their appeals. The supreme Court decried Modi’s failure to visit the site to ensure calm.
Even if we discount Banerjee Report, the train burning was either spontaneous (in response to the taunting slogans by those inside, or a ‘planned conspiracy ‘ by an enraged mob. The retribution was at the hands of the government under Modi who was sworn to protect all the citizens without discrimination. The girls who were raped , the children who were stabbed and the men put to fire and charred under burning tyres (watch Bhajrangi’s boastful description in the video below) were not responsible for the crime.
The riots that followed caught attention of the world. The loud outcry (mostly from outside the State and by Muslim leadership) forced Modi to resign. Prime Minister of the Country at the time was AB Vajpayee of the same BJP party believed in the culpability of Modi. He wrote:
“From Godhra to Ahmedabad, in so many places, there are so many incidents of people being burnt alive, including helpless women and children. This is a blot on nation’s forehead and has grievously harmed India’s image in the eyes of the world”. —Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India’s statement on March 3, 2002, from the PMO’s website
Two years later in 2004 Vajpayee blamed his party’s defeat at the Centre on Narendra Modi’s doings. Vajpayee and his party-men were sure of winning a second term with their “India Shining” slogan and serial testing of nuclear weapons that made India proud (notwithstanding that Pakistan followed suit by even more tests). Congress Party under Sonia Gadhi snatched away victory from a highly respected Vajpayee and, fearful of a backlash on account of her foreign origin, handed over the mantle of Prime Ministership to economist Manmohan Singh. Thanks to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s performance, the party won a second term in 2009.
Back In 2002, however, Modi’s sun was rising for the same reason as what the Tribunal headed by eminent judge Krishna Iyer indicted him of. Prime Minister Vajpayee thought what Modi did (or didn’t do) was a blot on the Nation, but Modi’s home state believed otherwise. In the re-election that followed his overthrow, Modi won 127 seats out of 182 in Gujarat – Just as Congress party’s Rajiv Gandhi won a thumping majority in 1984 after the genocide of Sikhs and his notorious statement that it was nothing; “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes“.
In India, as elsewhere in the world, genocide of minorities bring rich dividends – for a time. Modi stated that reprisal killings of Muslims that year as a simple “reaction” to an “action,” namely the deaths of the Hindu train passrengers — and has said he felt as sad about them as would a passenger in a car that accidentally ran over a puppy. His only regret, he once told a reporter for this paper (Tehelka), was failing to manage the media fallout.
Managing media fallout was Modi’s forte; he failed to understand how he failed in that instant.
Modi’s provocative election speeches were blatantly anti-Muslim. Again, the tapes conveniently disappeared from the government stores. Nanavati Commission, which enquired into the allegations, stalled the submission of the tapes that contained the recordings of the sting operations by Tehelka publication and gave the Chief Minister a Clean Chit.
Babu Bhajrangi was an active participant in the Naroda Patiya carnage along with Maya Kodnani. Click the triangle on Bhajrangi’s photo in the image alongside if you have the stomach to sit through Bhajrangi’s description of the gruesome killings, how the police assisted his gang, and how he only needed to call the “Minister” after each murder. The courts that allowed the hanging of Yakub Memon for his peripheral role in the 1993 case had no compunction in bailing out this boastful heinous mass-murderer for three months for an eye operation.
Central Minister Priyaranjan Das Munshi’s (Congress) is an example of how politicians of all shades flock together when it comes to a serious charge. Priyaranjan Das Munshi, a minister in the Congress government at the centre, defended Modi thus:
THE GUJARAT MODEL
What the supporters of Modi flaunt is the Gujarat Model of development. Modi himself is a showman; adept at projecting the best profile of his small achievements on a large canvas. To make a display of the Gujarat Model of development, Gujarat’s achievements are projected against the national average. With laggards such as , Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Rajastan, the national figures indeed appear in a poor light while the Gujarat figures sparklie under the spotlight. However, when compared with better-off states in their respective fields, Gujarat under Modi does not appear to have done too well.
- Gross National Product : A statewise assessment of GDP during Modi regime, where Maharashtra figure way above Gujarat would be unfair to Gujarat since there is a wide difference between populations of the two States.. per-capita GDP growth would be a sure indicator of economic growth.How well has Mr. Modi done in this regard? You find that Delhi under Sheila Dixit of Congress did a 150% better job than Modi in this respect.
- AGRICULTURAL GROWTH
While Modi is said to have done much for improving land and infrastructure, this improvement did not translate into agricultural progress during his ten-year regime. The statistics published by the Planning Commission has not be denied by the Gujarat Government.
- OVERALL ECONOMIC GROWTH
Today Mr. Modi has a growing fan club within and outside his party though the numbers are dwindling and there are a number of sulking seniors nursing their wounds behind their smiling faces. One of the claims of Gujarat Model is fast industrial growth during his reign in the State. If one compares the economic growth of the state set against the average national growth (which was still impressive enough and put India second only to China), Gujarat was fourth in the list; not first.
Being fourth in development is no achievement of Modi rule. One needs to remember that Modi took over a State that was already on the high-growth trajectory. Seen against the chart taken from a Guardian report, we notice that Gujarat’s rise in growth rate was relatively flat vis-a-vis many other States, particularly the lame Old Lady Bihar who ran the race with gusto (and the sharpest curve) under Nitish Kumar, who was later to become Modi’s nemesis.
- FARMER SUICIDES.
India is supposed to be an agri-based economy. Farmer suicide is rampant across the states. While banks are prepared to wrtie off bad loans or re-schedule them (with even more loans) from Corporates, no such mercy is extended to farmers. A crop fails, the farmer – usually a peasant with a small piece of land on his name which is mortgaged – faces the sure-fire possibility of losing his land, hisonly life line. Already in penury even when the crop yield is average, the bloke goes and kills himself. The figures given by a Modi-apologetic blog is interesting :
“12.5% of those 135,445 suicides occurred in Tamil Nadu, 11.9% in Maharashtra, 11.0% in West Bengal and 10.5% in Andhra Pradesh. Gujarat’s share was 5.2%. These are figures for 2012. However, even if you drag the series back, you will find that some States account for most suicides and these are Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.”.
So, admittedly, Gujarat, with much less dependence on agriculture than most States listed above it, is sixth in the list of Farmer suicides in a Country of 29 States. This is not a laudable figure when you consider that 55% of the large population (112 Million) of Maharashtra is engaged in agriculture while only 27% of the population (60 Million) of Gujarat is engaged in the same occupation. If you take the trouble of computing farmer suicide per 100,000 you would actually find that per-capita farmer suicide in Gujarat is greater or at least comparable with that of Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra.
There is a twist in the tale to the Times of India blog on farmer suide.I quoted above. The paragraph on the subject continues thus :
Why do people commit suicide? Notice that 25.6% is because of “family problems”, 20.8% because of “illness”, 2.0% because of “bankruptcy or sudden change in economic status” and 1.9% because of “poverty”. While a suicide is tragic, one does need to realize that there are limitations on what any government can do to prevent suicides. What can any government do to prevent the 4,166 suicides that occurred because of “love affairs” and the 9,465 that occurred because of “insanity”?
Note the twist. What is stated in the paragraph is not why Farmers, rural folk with traditional marriage and family system, commit suicide, but why PEOPLE (largely urban) commit suicide. This is a deliberate attempt to fool the reader, and when it comes to making a statement in the Parliament, the elected leaders. While farmer suicides are seasonal and every interview done by journalists of the wife and children of a deceased farmer had a sad tale of economic failure due to crop damage, loss, drought and/or pressure and threat from a bank and/or money lenders, However, the central Minister of Agriculute Radha Mohan Singh under Modi amplifed this twist in the tale when he answered in writing in response to the accusation by the opposition of the Government”s lack of sensitivity towards the plight of farmers, thus:
“According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), causes of suicides include family problems, illness, drug abuse/addiction, unemployment, property dispute, professional/career problems, love affairs, barrenness/impotency, cancellation/non- settlement of marriage, dowry dispute, fall in social reputation and unknown causes.”
Note that the Minister was quoting the NCRB report on suicides IN GENERAL, not farmer suicides. This is a typical example of how Modi administration and its supporters distort figures to present a false picture on its show-case. I would challenge the Minister to show ten cases of farmer suicide in Modi’s own state due to love affairs, impotency and non-selttlement of marriage all of which are urban occurrences. It would be elucidating to read the government-sponsored study, Suicide- an Indian Perspective to give the lie to this heartless interpretation of the tragic occurrence of farmer suicides.
Radha Mohan Singh had apparently learnt this techique of twisting true figures in abject false hood from his boss, Mr. Modi, as we shall continue to see.
- FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
Much ballyhoo was made by Mr. Modi during his twelve-year regime as the Chief Minister of Gujarat in this regard. He claimed that over 17,000 MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) for the investment of 874 Billion (about 50% of India’s best GDP figure then) had been signed by his government with overseas investors.
Behind the envelope calculations show that if the State had implemented even 60 per cent of the investments promised, it would have left the dragon (China) behind. But, as it were, the latest figures of FDI inflows for the financial year 2012-13 up to January this year indicate that Gujarat ranks sixth in the country with Rs. 2,470 crore or 2.38 per cent share.Maharashtra continues to top the FDI numbers with FDI of Rs. 40,999 crore or 40 per cent, followed by Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.Gujarat was slightly ahead of West Bengal in 2012-13, which got FDI of Rs. 1,934 crore.
The FDI figures actually headed Southward during Modi regime, as the pillar chart shown here would show.Darshan Desai reiterated this fact in the Hindu dated 13th April, 2013 from Ahmedabad:
- CHILD NUTRITION AND DEVELOPMENT
Within four years of Modi taking over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the percentage of undernourished children in the State grew (if that can be called growth) from 45% to 47%. The figure for Sub-Saharan Africa whose rib-and-skin pictures you see often enough on television is 24%. The figures was so shocking that many experts thought there is a serious error in the survey. There was none.
Child Mortality rate of Gujarat is worse than average and 450% of the Congress-Communist (alternatively) ruled Kerala during the period..The disgraceful figure is higher than nearly all the smaller states and compared rather more with the so-called backward states and certainly not with the then Congress-ruled Maharashtra.
A joint study conducted by the Government of India with UNICEF came out with encouraging figures for the Nation as a whole, but incredibly alarming – almost at the bottom – fall in child health and growth in the case of children of Gujarat.
” the national percentage of underweight children below the age of five has fallen from 42.5 a decade ago to about 29 – gains that Unicef’s nutrition adviser for South Asia, Victor Aguayo, has been quoted as terming “unprecedented”. (However),
In Gujarat, the figure has dropped from 44.6 to 33.5 per cent, which is worse than the national average. Gujarat also lagged the national average at 42 per cent for “stunting” (when children are unusually short for their age), 18.5 per cent for severe stunting, and 18.7 per cent for “wasting” (when children weigh too little for their height).”
In other words, while the then Chief Minister of Gujarat boasts of a 56 inch chest, the children of the State were the most Stunted (41.8%), undernourished (33.5%) and stunted by a shocking 56.9%! The report was out in October 2014, but the Central government under the same Mr. Modi kept it concealed as long as it could – the cat is now out of the bag under social and political pressure.
In October 2013, Modi’s twelfth year as the Chief Minister, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India reported : “Every third child in Gujarat is undernourished“.
In October 2013,The Hindu further reported: “According to the government’s own figures, produced by Women and Child Development Minister Vasuben Trivedi in a written reply to the State Assembly, there are at least 6.13 lakh children in 14 districts who are malnourished or extremely malnourished as of August this year. Not to speak of the rest of the 12 districts, for which the numbers are not available”.
There, you have it from the horse’s mouth: Gujarat Minister for Women and Child Development.
On Mr. Modi’s record as a Chief Minister of Gujarat in relation to health and nuorishment. Rupa Subramanya reports in Wall Street Journal:
“The NFHS-3 found that more than 36% of women in Gujarat have a body mass index below 18.5 – the official cut-off point for acute undernutrition and thinness – slightly higher (meaning poorer) than the national average. Gujarat fares worse than other prosperous states such as Punjab and Haryana and is roughly on par with poorer states such as Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
On severe anemia among women, Gujarat’s record o disgrace is at 2.6%, above the national average of 1.8%. It is worse than just about every large state except Andhra Pradesh and Assam. Gujarat also ranks poorly on the hunger index. According to the India Human Development Report 2011,Gujarat ranks 13, well below other high income states such as Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, just behind the poorer state of Orissa and ahead of Chattisgarh”.
Over 55% of women in Gujarat in the 15-45 age group are anaemic. Asked by an Indian Correspondent of Wall Street Journal to explain the situation of rampant anaemia and malnutrition, Modi explained :
“The middle class is more beauty-conscious than health-conscious-that is a challenge,,”If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they’ll have a fight-she’ll tell her mother, ‘I won’t drink milk. I’ll get fat.'”
Mr. Modi continued wisely: “But these things are such that you see a sudden change in a child after the age of 13-14 years. They grow up so fast – from zero to 13 you don’t come to know how they got so big. ”
Wow, that’s a very pragmatic observation. So how did that explain the situation that the child of the lower ages are among the most malnourished and stunted in India? Even Wall Street found this claim ridiculous.
It is interesting to recall that thanks to the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), established by its founding chairman Late Verghese Kurien, and no thanks to Modi, India became a milk surplus Nation starting 1998.
At the right is a picture of Sheth Vadilal General Hospital and Sheth Chinai Materity Hospital l that gives free hospital facilities and treatment to poor patients. Take a look. How many of these women could be dieting for a ‘Zero size’ so they could attend a fashion parade?
Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning that there was an attempt to demolisth this hospital to make way for a commercial hospital by Modi’s government as part of his development project. As a special favour, Modi’s government was prepared to set aside a 120-bed portion for charity in place of this 1200 bed charity hospital !
Mr. Modi also explained. :Second (reason for anaemia and malnutrition) is vegetarianism.
India might not be an entirely vegetarian Country, but it is one where vegetarianism is lauded. In Singapore and Malaysia I was looked upon with pity when I said I only eat vegetarian, but in India my trait is admired and viewed with feigned respect.
I might as well mention that my two sisters are vegetarians who shun meat, fish and eggs, while I have been a vegetarian for the past 35 years (after a break of 20 years in Nation’s Defence Service) who shuns meat, fish and milk. We look quite well-fed, thank you, nobody would call any of us anemic, only slightly overweight. Nearly all Brahmins except those from West Bengal and towards further East are vegetarians, and they are no more anemic than the Muslim population that are almost entirely non-vegetarian. In the animal Kingdom, the largest and strongest are vegetarians – Elephants, giraffes, hippos, horses, buffaloes, antelopes, Kangaroos. Unlike women and children of Gujarat, none of them is anemic unless denied of their grass leaves or fruits.
Was Modi suggesting that Gujaratis should shun vegetarianism if they do not want to be anemic? Possibly not. Mr. Modi, who says he is a vegetarian, but also claims to have a chest girth of 56 inches. Bristling with energetic narcissism and showmanship, he certainly does not look anemic.
Needless to say, Modi was lying and exaggerating,as is his wont, Modi’s current Central Government concealed the UNICEF-GOI report about shunted children of Gujarat until forced.
- GUJARAT MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT? GIVE ME A BEAK
As late as 2013, eleven years after Modi began to rule over Gujarat State, a panel of economists headed by Raghuram Rajan,, now Governor of Reserve Bank of India, reported that Gujarat was the Eleventh most underdeveloped state among the 29 states of India. Orissa, as one would expect, and certainly with no claim, was the least developed.
To read the full chart in text-table format, Click here,
The so-called Gujarat Model was a blatant lie; it was hardly worth emulating.
- HUMAN FACTOR
Family Planning : Modi definitely is a man of vision who tries to realize it by impulses, not planning, brainstorming or consulting experts. Enthusiastic about limiting the population of the State, Modi hit upon a novel idea that occurred to actress Sunny Leone a decade later – selling condoms with his own photo and that of his health Minister Ashok Bhatt on the cartons imaginatively named Kalyan Chhap (Stamp of Welfare). Indeed, Who could be better models for such a project than the CM and the HM? Condoms were packaged iin condoms that bore the photographs of Mr. Modi as well as Mr. Ashok Bhatt. Hundreds of crates of these condoms were sent to government-controlled fair price shops for free distribution with the instruction that the cartons should be opened in the presence of those who came to get their weekly ration and the condoms distributed thereupon. Unfortunately, the plan backfired. Customers, particularly women, thought the practice distasteful and soon enough the experiment was dumped.
Population Growth : Modi’s efforts at marketing Modi Condoms (as they were known) notwithstanding, drop in population growth fell below national average. Between 2001 and 2011- the Census period that coincided with much of Modi reign -, Gujarat population grew from 4.93% of National population to 4.99%. showing that Gujarat fared worse than the National average,let alone other advaced States in the South which keep a tight control on their population.
The map published by Census India (2001-2011, coinciding with Modi regime) shown alongside goes to show that Gujarat’s population growth was nearly at par with the most backward states in the Country and nowhere near such States as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Sikkim or Punjab – not even the neighbouring State of Maharashatra.
Literacy rate. At 78.3, marginally better than national average of 74.04. Gujarat performed better than most others in sending more children to school. More importantly, female literacy improved by 12% whereas male literacy only by 6% because females started at a much lower base level in 2001. Overall, however, Gujarat’s ranking in literacy rate fell from 16 in 2001 to 24 in 2011 Is this the development that Modi and his henchmen beat their drums about? In comparison, Bihar’s status grew to the 10th in the Country with a hopping improvement of 74.83%. Of this, female literacy rose by more than 53%.
While Modi was tom-tomming the ‘Development” in his State, Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar who brought about this miracle, said:
Predicted for the five-year period 2011-2016, in the light of performance during a decade of Modi Rule, life expectancy of Gujaratis hovers just above the national average and far below Kerala, Eastern belt of Mizoram, Nagaland,Manipur, Uttaranchal,Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in that rough order – the variation being as high as 6 to 9 years. Sadly, A teeto-taller Gujarati stands a chance of, God forbid, dying at less than 70 years while the brandy & toddy-guzzling,,beef-eating Malayali can hope to touch
80 before he goes back to his Maker.
Female Sex ratio : Modi’s harangue on female empowerment and quality of sexes did not translate into reality during his 12-year reign of Gujarat State. In 2011, the ratio stood at 919 to 1000 against the National average of 940. Modi’s Gujarat was only better than Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab where it is internationally known that gender selection, feticide and infanticide are rampant. . Gujarat was 5th worst out of 29 states (not including the Union territories). Bihar was almost the same as Gujarat at 918. An interesting thing you note that with progress, female sex ratio declined, albeit marginally, in both states.
- MODI AS A FAMILY MAN
I would not have brought up this personal matter if Modi did not lecture on the needs of a wife in his bureaucrat subordinates lives:
“Don’t be robotic…. “It is not that your life should become like a file. If a government is there, files will be there, there is no alternative. It (file) is your 2nd ‘ardhang’ (better half). If you do not care about life, it will get stuck in files,”
Mr. Modi, who claims that he had wandered in the himalayas and had been visiting Hindu Ashrams during the three or four years after his marriage, can lie through his teeth to suit his convenience : Modi did not mention his status as a married man while fliing his name for elections in Gujarat State., Indian Express Reported:
“Modi, who is fighting his fifth election from Gujarat, in his affidavit filed before Vadodara returning officer Vinod Rao Wednesday, declared Jashodaben as his wife. So far, in the four assembly elections that Modi has fought, the column on ‘spouse’ in his affidavits used to be blank. The BJP prime ministerial candidate filed his nomination for the Vadodara seat, which goes to polls on April 30. He is also contesting from Varanasi…Sources said the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951 mandates the declaration of assets and liabilities of the spouse of the candidate running for Parliament, failing which the candidate could be disqualified. Returning Officer Rao’s office took 12 hours to release Modi’s affidavit, unusual for a candidate of his stature. Several meetings preceded the declaration. Hours before making public the affidavit, Rao, when asked about rules regarding declaring of spouses for candidates, told The Indian Express, “I am not sure of the exact rules. We will have to look up the references.”
Adam Taylor of Washington Post explains why Modi lied through his teeth:
“What led Modi away, it seems, was the teachings of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a strict Hindu organization that is reported to require a vow of celibacy. Modi’s time with the RSS eventually led to his leadership of India’s second largest political party, Bharatiya Janata Party”
Modi married when he was 18 and his wife 16. Considering the actual marrying ages for young people of Gujarat State. If he thought he was too young, he didn’t seem to have raised his objection before joining the barat (bridegroom procession) to wed the young girl. Then, he claims, he went on a pious tour of Himalayas and Ashrams for the next three or four years to come back and join the violence-propagating RSS, not his peaceful young bride. Abandoned, she continued her education and became a teacher. Now retired, she says she would have loved to attend his inauguration as Chief Minister if she was invited. Modi went to seek his Mother’s blessings before taking on the mantle, but not for a tilak (a red vermilion mark Hindu wives place on their husbands’ forehead when they launch on a new adventure) from his wife.
So what did he do with his ardhang – half of oneself? India, who praises family life above everything has a man who not only abandoned his own family life, but left her to fend for herself, and never even thought of inviting her to his inauguration though he invited his opponents and sworn enemies. There is none in politics more hypocritical than Narendra Modi, present Prime Minister of India.
His Finance Minister, Lawyer Arun Jaitley proved to be a liar when he recently announced that Gujarat was No. 1 and Bihar No. 21 in India.