Skip to main content

Growing resentment among people of Gujarat points to failure of much hyped slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’

By T Navin*
Gujarat till now had been projected as a unique model of development, which needs to be replicated in all other places. The Prime Minister in his speeches during election campaigns in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and Assembly elections in other states had sought to state that he would turn the country and other states into Gujarat. Gujarat was emulated as a model which was to be replicated in all other states. In recent times, however the vocabulary has changed to state how the other parties in power at the center had been biased against Gujarat and prevented and blocked Development in the state.
The resistance of the people that is taking place during Assembly election campaign of party in power does point to something that has changed in the political landscape in Gujarat. The resentment of the people is becoming more open. ‘Vikas’ is being ridiculed through pointing instances such as potholes on roads and essential commodities becoming more expensive. ‘Vikas Gando Thayo Che’ (Vikas has gone crazy) has spread in cyberspace. People have started questioning the popularized term ‘Vikas’ or ‘Gujarat model’. A consensus that has been reached by all sections of people is that ‘Gujarat Model’ is something that has failed to benefit them despite all the hype that was created around it.
Recently ASHA workers gathered in a meeting in Kapurai village of Vadodara district and pledged to campaign against “the anti-women, oppressive, Hitler-shahi and tyrannical State Government”. In a meeting organized by Jignesh Mevani, the villagers of Gujarat pledged not to vote for BJP. In a meeting on 2nd October, Patidar youth shouted “General Dyer Go back” during the inauguration of the Gaurav Yatra. Residents of two villagers in Valsad district put up banners saying that they would boycott elections as a company is contaminating waterbed in the area.
The boasting which was taking place in the name of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’ has only turned out to be ‘Sabka Doka, Sab Barbaadh’. It is not surprising that people across all castes Jignesh Mevani representing Dalits, Alpesh Thakor representing other backward castes and Hardik Patel representing Patidars have come together to overthrow the present regime. This only shows that the poor from all the communities have been left out in this development model. While the three may represent their own social constituencies, but the broader issues of employment and development benefits not reaching them have brought them together. They only point to the vanishing job market. Coming together of Jignesh, Thakor and Hardik, also represent the unrest and resentment of youth in their own social constituencies. While the voices of minorities and adivasis may not be heard in this resistance, it also points to the level of political marginalization they have been through.
Growth of disillusionment could also be seen from among the traders, who formed a major support base of the party in power. Haphazard implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) had an effect on their business. The double stroke of demonetization and GST hit the textile industry in Gujarat. Production in Surat dropped by half and sales during Diwali drastically declined leading to losses. 90,000 looms were shut and 50,000 laborers lost their jobs.
According to the former chief minister of Gujarat Suresh Mehta, “Gujarat Model is nothing but a jugglery of words”. In this model, Gujarat’s debt has increased drastically to Rs. 1, 98,000 crore. While agricultural subsidies to farmers have declined by 80% i.e., from Rs. 408 crores to about Rs. 80 crores, on the other hand subsidies to corporates namely Adanis and Ambanis in petrochemical and energy sector has increased to Rs. 4,471 crores. Food subsidies have reduced by 60% from Rs. 130 crores to Rs. 52 crores. Industrial growth was hardly able to generate jobs. TATA Nano project did not create enough jobs.
Gujarat model points to the missing human dimension and inclusiveness. It is based on higher emphasis on accelerated infrastructure development of roads, highways, dams and a spike in foreign investment. Focus on human development continued to be the least. While the corporate and the rich classes benefitted, the poor were hardly beneficiaries of this model. While Gujarat continues to be among the high performing states in terms of growth rates, it stands low in relation to inclusiveness and human development. Among states ranked from lowest to highest rates of poverty, Gujarat ranks 10th among 20 major states. In terms of mortality it is ranked 11th. In life expectancy, it is ranked 10th. In overall Human Development Index (HDI), Gujarat is ranked 10th.
The growing resentment among people of Gujarat only point to the failure of the much hyped ‘Gujarat model’ or the slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. It is true that ‘Vikas’ has gone crazy, but it is for the Corporates at the cost of the large majority of the Gujaratis. It is a “Development model for the 1% at the cost of the 99%’. Has Gujarat’s moment of a different version of Occupy movement arrived?
---
*Researcher, works in an NGO. Source: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/11/gujarat-a-hyped-and-failed-development-model/

Comments

TRENDING

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.