Thursday, January 15, 2009

India Inc. vs. "Mera Bharat"

Few News Items which came out during last couple of days:

Modi PM material for Anil Ambani, Sunil Mittal

...As the fourth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit drew to a close at Ahmedabad on Tuesday, corporate India, shedding its usual reticence, hailed the BJP leader’s (Narendra Modi's) stewardship and went to the extent of putting the "prime ministerial class" stamp on him.

ADAG chairman Anil Ambani, while addressing the valedictory session of the meet, was effusive in his praise of Mr Modi’s leadership. "Narendrabhai has done good for Gujarat and what will happen if he leads the nation," he said. "Gujarat has seen progress in all the fields under his leadership. Now, imagine what will happen to the country if he gets the opportunity to lead it," he said and added, "Person like him should be the next leader of the country"....

Bharti Group CMD Sunil Mittal also showered encomiums. "Chief minister Modi is known as a CEO, but he is actually not a CEO, because he is not running a company or a sector. He is running a state and can also run the nation," he said.

....Both Mr Mittal and Mr Anil Ambani described Mr Modi as the "future leader of the country," given his "capacity to dream with open eyes" and "drive to achieve the results." The younger Ambani asserted that Mr Modi’s achievements in leading Gujarat to an industrialised state had made him "a proud Indian and a proud Gujarati." He said the way he had transformed Gujarat, he could change the complexion of the country as and when he takes over its reins.

Tata Group boss Ratan Tata led the corporates in lauding Mr Modi’s track record. "I have to say that today there is no state like Gujarat. Under Mr Modi’s leadership, Gujarat is head and shoulders above any state," Mr Tata...

Modi’s ‘Taj Mahal’ to displace 35,000 families, says IIM-A study

They say its Modi’s ‘Taj Mahal’, but the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project, which is expected to attract maximum attention during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2009, will displace around 35,000 odd families from the riverbed and the surrounding areas, according to a study conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Navdeep Mathur, a professor at IIM-A, said: "We conducted this study as part of the PGP-PMP course on displacement and rehabilitation issues in the governance. According to the interaction with community leaders and activists, we came to know that nearly 35,000 families will be affected".

Mathur’s team visited the riverbed area in October, followed by a field visit two weeks ago in January. He added: “There is no clarity on the counting of project affected families. We found out that the there was little or no communication with the communities”.

The survey of NGOs ­- Action Aid and Sabarmati Nagarik Adhikar Manch - and social activists stated that about 35,000 families will be affected, which is in stark contrast to the 4,400 figure given by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) initially. The locals of the riverbed, with the help of activists, had filed a petition against the AMC in the Gujarat High Court.

Elsewhere, a news item - Half of Vibrant Gujarat Goes to Sleep Empty Stomach mentions some statistics:

  • According to International Food Policy Research Institute’s 2008 Global Hunger Index, Gujarat is ranked 69th along with Haiti, the nation infamous for food riots. The state is placed in the ‘alarming’ category.

  • The M S Swaminathan Research Foundation has identified urban Gujarat as ‘moderately food secure’ while rural Gujarat remains ‘severely insecure.’

  • The National Family Health Survey III (NFHS-III) conveys that 42.4 per cent of children in Gujarat are suffering from stunted growth due to malnutrition. Also, about 47.4 per cent of children are underweight in the state.

  • NFHS-III also points out that more than half of Gujarat’s population is Anaemic, with a percentage as high as 80.1 for children aged 6-35 months.

  • NFHS-III further states that nearly one-third of adults in Gujarat have their Body Mass Index (BMI) below the normal, 32.3 per cent for women and 28.2 per cent for men.


    Postcript: A couple of friends wrote back on the above post that it would be fairer comparison if Gujarat's hunger record is placed along side the national average.

    That is a legitimate query, and will certainly help in forming a more balanced view about its growth or otherwise. The India State Hunger Index from IFPRI report is as below. Among 17 states, Gujarat ranks 13 - above Chhatisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh


    csm said...

    dear madhukar,
    please check the latest ASER 2008 ( report on the status of education in rural india.
    the most 'developed' states are very much at the bottom quartile - TN, Kar, Guj.
    it would be an interesting study to see the relationships between core development parameters and the level of industrialisation.

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    senlin said...

    Dear Blogger,

    Dont you think you should highlight some good things also when you are highlighting bad things. I agree with all the research you have done to show gujarat in a poor condition but do mention how many MOU's were signed during vibrant gujarat and it has resulted in employment of many people.

    Ofcourse our country is at developing stage, i guess we should all come together and appreciate the work which is done towards development, if we cannot contribute towards the same.



    The Theme said...

    Dear Senlin

    thanks for visiting the blog and for your comment..

    I guess the issue is about what you call "development"

    If a state govt is not able to provide
    - food to its people
    - education (please see CSM's reference) to its children
    - is known for its communal slant

    dont know how one can call it a "developed" state... in spite of the MOUs (since no info is shared about the fine prints)

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    Anonymous said...

    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

    Industrial Society is destroying necessary things [Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land] for making unnecessary things [consumer goods].

    The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

    The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature[Animals, Trees, Air, Water and Land].

    "Growth Rate" - "Economy Rate" - "GDP"
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    Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment

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    Yawar said...

    Dear Madhukar,

    Thanks for showing the reality. This does not mention the genocide of more than 2000 people who were his own constituents in 2002 and his Gaurav Yatra. This was his proving threshold for the Mittals and Ambanis and Tatas. He was immediately invited as Chief Guest at the CII National Convention thereafter and honored. The sole dissenter who stood up and shouted, "Mr. Modi you have blood on your hands," was thrown out on the orders of Adi Godrej who was in the chair. While that happened an entire hall of people sat silently and watched including all our corporate goons. The facistization of India is complete. We are a fascist nation not because fascism has been imposed on us but because we have embraced it wholeheartedly. That is how in Sariska, tigers were murdered from helicopters, with senior Forest Department officials accompanying our corporate heads who did the shooting and then we are invited to sign some silly petition to save tigers. Ask what happened to those who shot the tigers in Sariska? The same thing that happened to Modi and his goons who slaughtered their own countrymen and women. This is our nationalism. This is our patriotism. Jai Hind.

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