सोमवार, 31 जनवरी 2011

Narendra Modi’s Gujarat is not developing, Maulana Vastanwi

By Soroor Ahmed, TwoCircles.net,

With due acknowledgment of Ghulam Mohammad Vastanwi’s contribution in the field of education in Gujarat and Maharashtra, one needs to remind him, that no country in the 20th century developed as fast in the six years period, between 1933 and 1939, as Adolf Hitler’s Germany. And in the next six years––between 1939 and 1945––all what he did was destroyed because of the senseless war in the world, for which he too was largely responsible. About five crore people perished and his country, and many others, were thrown back to the Stone Age.

So, before opening one’s mouth on development, one needs to understand, what development actually means––who are the beneficiaries and who the victims. One should also be cautious of the pitfalls of development and be aware of the policies which may, in the long-run prove counter-productive.

Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanwi at a Madarsa in Bihar last year [Photo by Jamiatulqasim.com]
Not only that: in the 21st century world, one just does not need to understand the definition of development from an MBA––Vastanwi has that degree––when renowned scholars and Nobel Prize winners are coming out with entirely different meaning of the term. By their yardstick, Wastanvi’s Gujarat may be ranked among the least developed states. Why go so far. According to India State Hunger Index 2008, Gujarat is shockingly ranked worse than Orissa. Gujarat is ranked 13th in the 17 big states which were calculated. Vastanwi’s Gujarat, is only above Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, which are globally equal to the hunger situation in Ethiopia.

Hold your breath and listen: in this post-industrialized, computerized and mechanized world, a region, state or a country with less number of industries is categorized as developed. The service sector expands very fast there; the people rely on organic farming and want to live in pollution free environment in the rural suburb. Instead they are trying to shift all the iron ore, aluminum, asbestos, chemical, ship-breaking plants etc as well as other poison emitting factories to elsewhere in the world, especially in Asia and Africa, where labor is cheap and rulers have no regard for environment. Our leaders grab such industries with both hands to boast before the people that look we have brought so much Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

Vastanwi’s Gujarat and Maharashtra are among the few states which are the ‘beneficiaries’ of these so-called investments. When new concept about development is coming up, we are still categorizing those states as developed ones, which have maximum number of poison-gushing chimneys. We are not at all ashamed to say that almost all of those 16,000-odd farmers, who are officially committing suicide in our country every year (since 1997 when the compilation of data started), come from these very industrialized states––Maharashtra topping the list. In contrast Jammu and Kashmir has almost negligible farmers’ suicide rate.

These states have industries because here semi-arid land is available and can be easily acquired from the farmers. In contrast farmers of West Bengal, Bihar and east Uttar Pradesh, where the land is extremely fertile would lay down their lives for every inch, whatever be the compensation. Because of this reason and not because of Narendra Modi, Nano got land easily in Gujarat while West Bengal failed in spite of so much bloodshed. 

In contrast, the governments of these industrialized states have done little for the survival of their agriculture sector; therefore, the farmers are either committing suicide or famishing.

To know, how the concept of per capita income, growth rate etc are becoming less relevant in measuring the overall development of any place, one does not need to read big philosophical books of great scholars written on development. Just go through the CBSE Class-X book of Economics. Why Kerala is rated high on developmental index than Punjab, though the latter is agriculturally, even industrially and per capita income wise, ahead of former? This is simply because the definition of development by the United Nations Development Programme is more acceptable now than the old one of the World Bank.

Vastanwi must understand that his talent lies in running institutions and for this very purpose he was appointed as the Rector of Darul Uloom, Deoband.

But being a public figure he will have to understand that politics is a different ball game, for which he, and honestly speaking, many of our Muslim clerics are perhaps not suited. He must understand some basic facts about his own state and should not go about equating it with others abruptly. Being a state with largest coast, Gujarat as well as Maharashtra attracted largest number of big European companies in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Larsen and Toubro, Unilever, WIMCO, Britannia, Siemens and many others landed up on their ports and so was the first railway line, laid between Thane and Bombay.

The entrepreneur culture in Gujarat developed in 19th century itself and man like Abdullah took Gandhiji to South Africa. So far entrepreneur culture is concerned; Gujarat can never be compared with other hinterland states of India.

So, even according to his own definition, whatever development had taken place in Gujarat, is not any thing new. In fact, under Narendra Modi the growth rate––if this is again used as the lone yardstick of development––is less than in early 1990s, when there was no Modi around.

Two decades back, the growth rate of Gujarat was something between 12 and 13 per cent. The national average was six to seven per cent then. Today, Gujarat has the growth rate of 11 per cent when India’s rate of growth is 10 per cent. This is not the figment of anyone’s imagination but the official fact.

Vastanwi will have to understand that the saffron brigade is master in changing goal-post. Since Modi is responsible for what has happened in Gujarat in 2002, he is now being painted as the man of development. The media machinery of the BJP works overtime to project their chief ministers as the developmental-minded ones, even if men like B S yeddyurappa is out to ruin Karnataka, which owes its development to the non-BJP rulers.

Instead of falling into the trap of the corporate media and the Hindutva brigade, who are now projecting him as a hero and an open-minded Maulana, Vastanwi must concentrate in the field he has been involved.

Lastly, he must understand that many criminals-turn-MPs (or MLAs) are ‘much better’ people’s representatives than honest and upright ones. They carry out more development works in their constituencies and are more responsive to the voters’ problems. Then by that logic, their achievements should be highlighted and they should be exonerated of all the crimes and dubbed as development-minded politicians.

Link:- http://twocircles.net/node/237126  

Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, January 12, 2011
Hardly 25% of the deals signed during the Gujarat investors' summits since 2003 have been successful. The rest have remained on paper. 

This has been the finding of an audit done by former chief minister and BJP leader Suresh Mehta. 

"Of the 9,326 MoUs inked in the last four summits, only 844 translated into projects commissioned so far while 1,432 projects are under various stages of implementation," Mehta told HT. "This means only 25% of the MoUs have materialised."

During the summit in 2009, 8,660 MoUs were signed but only about 543 projects materialised while 1,238 are under implementation, the audit says. 

One big project (Rs1.8 lakh crore) that did not materialise was supposed to be of a consortium of Hindustan Construction Company and Universal Success Enterprises, led by NRI Prasoon Mukherjee and the Shabir Bhatia group. They were to develop a township, power plant and port near Ahmedabad. 

However, Mehta said Gujarat had traditionally been at the forefront in attracting moneybags, getting more than 20% of the investment in the country at any point of time, and that continued irrespective of whether such summits were held.

"In the early 1990s, Gujarat had become a front-ranking state, replacing Maharashtra in getting investments in industry. During that period, work started on the Reliance Industries refinery in Jamnagar, Essar's refinery, the expansion of the Hazira industrial area in south Gujarat near Surat and the General Motors manufacturing facility at Halol near Vadodara."

"Very good rainfall in the last seven years and the robust economy in the country have resulted in industrialised states like Gujarat achieving higher growth rates than the national average," he said.

An IIM-Ahmedabad professor, who did not want to be named, said, "The Vibrant Gujarat platform is meant for marketing the government's achievements by inflating figures of investment," he said.

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