Skip to main content

Modi's "core governance": Influential Gujarat scribes close to power structure ignore human rights, social sector

By Our Representative
A book eulogizing Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s “core governance” was launched in Ahmedabad amidst key speakers, while praising the Modi model, refusing to recall once how the man who ruled the state for the last 13 years has handled Gujarat riots or “fake” encounters. The speakers consisted of right-wing columnist Gunwant Shah, Times of India group’s Navgujarat Samay editor Ajay Umath, and author Uday Mahurkar, editor, India Today, Ahmedabad. They seemed not keen to recall why the riots continued for three long months in 2002, what all Modi did (or did not do) to “stop” them, and how he has confronted – effectively or ineffectively – the post-riots impact on Gujarat society.
While introducing the book – “Centrestage: Inside the Narendra Modi Model of Governance” – Mahurkar said he had three sittings with Modi, who further put him across to a few bureaucrats for more facts, and later he was in touch with ministers like Saurabh Patel, who has looked after industry and energy portfolios. Neither he nor those who commented on his book said there was any other source of information other than the official one. Among issues sought to be introduced at the book launch included the huge Modi claim of 24 hour power in villages, “successes” in tourism, and e-governance.
It seemed, human development index, social sector or human rights – towards socially and economically backward sections – were not part of any governance exercise. Mahurkar insisted, he was “impressed” by Modi’s critique of votebank politics. Modi’s ideal, the view at the book ceremony launch was, was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. And what was so special about Sardar Patel? Mahurkar was quite specific: “His ability to tell Muslims straight what they should do”! There was applause from the audience.
His book, said Mahurkar, was of an insider, who knew Modi since 1986, when he was “quite impressed” during the very first meeting. Among the examples of good governance he gave included how the Gujarat CM would return phone calls from him in eight out of 10 occasions when he would leave a message. During “interactions” with Modi, he would often “advise” Gujarat CM on issues he thought he should give a feedback. “I once told Modi that he shouldn’t be too preoccupied with his publicity through hoardings. His reply was: If something good was being done by publicizing his image, what’s wrong?” Mahurkar was impressed.
Among other “governance” issues he was impressed included Modi’s effort to take Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations to different districts. “I am sure, as Prime Minister of India, he would take these celebrations to other states, say, in Mizoram. This would unite the nation”, he predicted. Mahurkar said, this was perhaps his 116th book on Modi, though adding, this was the first book on Modi about his style of governance. Others quoted Modi as saying that already 150 books on Modi were released over the last six or eight months.
Columnist Shah, in his “keynote” address, while praising Modi, found in him something of a Morarji Desai, who was allegedly a great follower of Sardar Patel. He recalled how once Desai castigated some villagers who had come to see him in a small town in Maharashtra. “He first refused to meet them, told them when he saw them as he walking out, that they had wasted time and petrol to reach up to him, telling them that they had better meet his secretary instead. The next day, I learnt, their grievance was addressed. This is very similar to Modi”, he said.
Shah, who all along kept showering praises on Modi, seemed keen to tell the audience that he was a free man and if he found something lacking in Modi he wouldn’t mind criticizing the Gujarat CM in future. A keen observer at the book launch told Counteview, “Shah’s parting kick was a reference from one of the Ramayana versions, in which Dashrath was described a drunkard, a womanizer and a gambler, albeit a great administrator." Someone who knew Shah well claimed the “reference wasn’t to Modi” and it was being “misunderstood by the audience.”
In his invitation for the book launch, Mahurkar said, “The book has a forward by eminent economist Dr Jagdish Bhagwati, preface by Dr Bakul Dholakia, former IIM-A director, and introduction Dr Jagdish Sheth, known business marketing expert in the US.” He added, “Amongst those who have appreciated the book are economist Bibek Debroy, spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, political analyst Swapan Dasgupta and Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur.” Those present on the occasion were several of Modi’s babus and three ministers, Saurabh Patel, Nitin Patel and Bhupendrasinh Chudasma.

Comments

TRENDING

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

How huge crowd at Mukhtar Ansari funeral is comparable to BJP's 'people's court' talk

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The massive crowd at the funeral of Mukhtar Ansari in Mohammadabad reflects the power and influence that his family wields in the area. One can't deny that he had enormous power in Ghazipur and Mau districts. But the crowd that came and chanted slogans in his favour does not exonerate him of his conviction by the court.  It is important that we understand this. 

'Critical for cultural and ecological security': Ladakh women seek statehood, self-rule

By Our Representative Six Ladakhi women from different organisations in the region, who concluded their 10 day fast, have told an online press conference that it is necessary to provide statehood to Ladakh, even as declaring the region under the 6th schedule, for “deepening democracy, preserving ecology, and for survival.” Feminists across India joined the media meet in solidarity with the Ladakh movement “for 6th schedule, statehood and justice.”