Monday, April 15, 2013

Who is a better leader? Modi or Rahul?

Media is obsessed with comparing the 2 future PM candidates from Congress and BJP even though both parties haven't officially declared them as the candidates.

However, every day there are many articles written and published about good and bad characteristics of these personalities.

In my assessment, any day, comparing the two, Modi comes out stronger and more fit for the post. Rahul is sincere, clean but very amateurish. When you hear Rahul he portrays himself to be more philosophical, less substantial in content and weak. He doesn't carry any baggage as per many, but according to me he does. He has been in power with his mother for 9 years now, but yet he doesn't speak out his mind. What he thinks about the existing problems, solutions he wants to implement and most importantly his control over his party - all are deep mysteries. 9 years is a long time for such mysteries to remain so. Recently, he gave a speech to Industries and it was a philosophical speech. Why despite being  9 years in power the philosophy hasn't been converted into reality? It's a simple question a common man must ask. This current government has faced enough crises and put the country into enough crises and no where Rahul has been visible. Chidambaram appears to be the only tough leader in the government who takes tough decisions and implements them. He doesn't depend upon anyone and neither does we wait after taking a decision.

How long can this country wait for undecisive leaders to continue? Whenever our country has seen tough leaders it has progressed. Toughness may or may not co-exist with corruption. Narasimha Rao was corrupt but was very tough. Vajpayee was tough and non-corrupt. Indira Gandhi was tough and had corruption baggage. Manmohan is neither corrupt nor tough. The time has come for tough leaders not just sincere ones.

Modi comes with 15 years of experience. Experience where he has led, where he has implemented tough decisions, taken out of box solutions to the ground. He neither exhausts himself nor reduces his stamina when it comes to saying what he has or wants to do to address problems.

Lot of people think industries are mushrooming but farmers are not under Modi. If that was the case what explains the growth of agriculture. Look at some of things Gujarat has seen. Check dams are built that replenish ground water tables, soil health cards are given to farmers that accurately help them know what to grow and when to grow (leading to very less crop failures), contract farming, continuous water supply, allowing farmers to sell produce directly to buyers saving costs on transportation and enduring physical pain. This is not what I am speaking. Here is an article from Forbes that proves this. Here's another business article that explains that even dry areas have become rich and arid land is no longer an inhibitor.

Here are some startling stats: (As of 2013) (Source)
  • Drip Irrigation Area:  Increased from 12,00 hectares to 7 lakh hectares
  • Cultivable land: Increased from 108 lakh hectares to 148 lakh hectares
  • Horticulture production: 350% growth through crop diversification
  • Milk production: 85% increase due to animal hospitals, better animal care, eradication of 122 cattle diseases
  • Water: 6,50,000 water harvesting structures that help retain water and let it reach underground so that recharging takes place. Without this recharging there cannot be water recycling.
  • 75% Gujarat has pipeline/water connection unlike India's 30%  - HERE"S UNICEF WEBSITE TALKING ABOUT THIS. - a mechanism by which amount of fluoride, nitrate, salt content has reduced making water truly drinkable.
  • On its way to implement largest water grid in the country
  • Gujarat uses 85% surface water and only 15% underground water whereas in Bangalore underground water has become the only source of water.
  • Institutional baby delivery has increased from 45% to 95% (2005-2012)
  • Here's UNITED NATIONS WEBSITE DESCRIBING use of technology to address common man's problems through CISCO developed SWAGAT mechanism where all districts, sub-district offices are connected using video conferencing directly interacting with Modi. Here's Indian express article confirming the same.
  • 2800 km statewide Natural Gas grid helping industries.

Aren't these farmers common people, poor people? Isn't this an inclusive growth? Which state in India has these many programs being strictly and regularly implemented for farmers?

Each time Modi keeps telling "minimum government maximum governance" and that is what he has implemented in Gujarat. It is very true that just having a government doesn't help anyone, but a government that delivers governance can make all the difference. We keep talking about GDP. Newspapers are flooded with articles explaining Bihar is growing faster than Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh is growing faster than Gujarat and so forth. But GDP is not just numbers. GDP is true growth with respect to roads, electricity, water and initiatives taken that go beyond just solving problems. How many villages in India have electricity? According to an article there are still about 80,000 villages without it. However, Gujarat's 18,000 villages have continuous, uninterrupted electrcity. Not only that Modi has ensured that Gujarat becomes surplus in electricity but also ensured the same is exported the same to other states. Not only does Gujarat lead the solar energy production, it accounts for nearly 80% solar energy production in India. So, there is not only an emphasis on current electricity, but its future. Now, all government offices have been asked to have solar panels and very soon they can transfer this to the grid. Just think of this. Farmers in almost states struggle to get electricity, while in Gujarat they do not.  Here's CNN-IBN article on the same.

Now, coming to roads. The Planning commission headed by Congress itself has praised Gujarat's roads. World Bank's own report confirms that Gujarat has 20,000km of district roads and 16,000 km of highways and all roads are close to international standards. While Mumbai still suffers roads with potholes as like any other major city, Gujarat is not like that. Gujarat has lot more well planned and well implemented district roads connecting all villages.

Aren't roads, electricity, water - symbols of progress that reach every section, religion and caste of the society? 

Here's a well known journalist Madhu Kishwar who wanted to do a reality check in Gujarat and conclude if it is just hype and she wrote a well documented article which can be read here.

Gujarat stills lags behind several parameters in Human Development Indices. However, it is important to note that the number of development initiatives visible from the ground are far more than any other state.

I do not intend to go on writing more than these 3 basic things in this article. But these basic things are so much lacking in most parts of India. We have a highways revolution, airways revolution but electricity and water revolution are far from reality. Should we wait for another 100 years to see these or allow Gujarat's model to be replicated across the country.

One thing is for sure. It may be misfortune for India not to see this leader head the country, but Gujarat will continue to be fortunate to see unseen heights of glory. Gujarat will soon be the only state that can compete with China and its growth. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good analysis and detailed description. However, I cannot comment much as I don't closely follow Indian politics