Friday, 2 August 2013

Narendra Modi and the Gujarat Model : Facts behind the overhyped, over advertised beliefs.

Narendra Modi - This man is seriously in the news. Media makes sensational news even if he sneezes, every politician in this country comes up with their own interpretation of the sneeze and enlighten this country about how secular or un secular his sneeze was, depending on whom they support.

Apparently no day passes without seeing him in newspapers or in news channels.

Without doubt he is the most controversial and famous/infamous prime ministerial candidate this country has ever seen. Surely Modism is making some noise.

There is no shortage of people who criticize him or those who admire him.

If we ask his critics, why they don't like Modi, we surely expect them to talk about the 2002 Gujarat riots.

So much has been talked and written about the riots, how he should have acted or not acted during the riots, how his poster boy image of Hindutva is going to affect him becoming
the prime minister of this country where Muslims form more than 13% of the population. So let's leave all these things.

Looks like even the man himself don't want to talk about those things.

And if we ask his admirer or follower who likes and shares pro Modi posts in Facebook, he'll tell about the economic developments Modi has done in Gujarat over the past decade.

One aspect which even his critics agree is the development. The splendid economic growth of Gujarat compared to other states.

The Gujarat Model of governance, The Gujarat Model of growth. Development oriented mind set of Modi and the way he works towards improving the economy.

This is wonderful. Let's see some of the claims of Modi, his followers, Gujarat government as the achievements over the years.
  1. In last 10 years, the agriculture growth rate of Gujarat is higher than every other state in the country.
  2. Gujarat is one of the most prosperous states of the country, having a per-capita GDP 3.2 times India's average.
  3. If it was a nation it would have been 67th richest nation in the world above many European and Asian economies like China and Ukraine .
  4. Gujarat accounts for 15.14% (USD 114.52 bn) of the total investments in India; Highest amongst all States in India.
  5. 7936 MoUs, worth Rs.20.83 Lakh crore (450 billion US Dollars) signed at Vibrant Gujarat 2011.
  6. 2,573,213(2.5 million) likes for his Facebook page, 1,974,996(2 million) twitter followers @narendramodi, 54,751 YouTube subscribers to his channel.
You must have read, heard and seen these things over and over again, in social media, in news channels, in news papers, Modi's speeches, in his own Television channel NaMO TV (it has gone offline after last election), in his own website, in his tweets, in his YouTube channel, in his Google plus page, in his Pinterest page, in his stumbleupon page, in his own Ipad and Iphone app, in his own Android app, in his Tumbler site , in his Flicker page, in his Facebook page, in his pages shared by your friends, his fans. what's left ?

But are these claims valid ? What is the ground reality ?

Well, what can I say? If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.


7936 MoUs, worth Rs.20.83 Lakh crore (450 billion US Dollars) signed at Vibrant Gujarat 2011.

This is the only thing Modi tells you which doesn't give you the true picture.

Lets give some thought to it, an amount like $450 billion doesn't make much sense to common people like you and me, who almost always deal in thousands or lakhs at the most !!

The number will make more sense only when we compare it with similar investment numbers.

How much do u think did India got as FDI for the complete year 2010-11 ?
Going by Modi's figures, if Gujarat can get $450 billion, then India should have got anywhere around 10 trillion dollars ? I'm being modest here!!

The actual FDI into India, according to RBI for the year 2010-11 was $30.38 billion !!!

Finance minister, Chidambaram even after coming up with so called second set of economic reforms and raising the limit on FDI to maximum level of 100% in many sectors like telecom and retail and trying to wove investors like never before, literally standing in the middle of the road selling India to the investors, by throwing away all kind of hurdles, India is still to get $50 billion FDI in an year.

What's the share of Gujarat in India's FDI ?
According to latest report by RBI, it's just mere 2.38%.

Modi called Gujarat as the "GateWay to India". Interesting to know what  he calls Maharashtra, as it accounts for 40% of India's FDI.

From 2000 to 2011 Gujarat received just about $7.2 billion in FDI, Maharashtra got $45.8 billion and Delhi got over $26 billion.

Fact of the matter is, 10 trillion dollars is more than 5 times the GDP of India, which stands at 1.87 trillion dollars. Modi's $450 billion is nearly one third of Indian GDP.

Now are you getting a sense of Modi's figures and how much does 450 billion dollars really mean?

The catch is, if I write on a white paper that I'll buy you a nice Mercedes car for you on your next birthday, that's also a MoU.
The beauty is, you can go on telling everyone that you'll get the car, but that doesn't mean that I'll actually buy you the car. If someone asks you where is the car, you can tell them to wait for another 10 years, that you'll get birthday every year.

This I'm afraid, is what Modi tells the nation every two years in vibrant Gujarat meets.

Facts suggests that, out of the total MOU’s signed under these successive summits, the share of projects implemented and under implementation have continuously declined from about 73% in 2003 to 13% in 2011. No one knows what happened to more than 80% of the MOU's signed. As expected neither Modi nor his followers talk about this truth. All they tell you is wait for another 10 years!!

The state’s share in investment intentions in terms of IEMs ( Industrial Entrepreneur Memorandum), letters of intent (LOIs) and Direct Investment Licences (DILs) has declined from early 20’s in percentage in  2005 to less than 10 % in 2011.

If this is the case, how did he even manage to get MOM signed of such insane amount ?

Well it's simple, he shells out crores to the US lobbying firm "APCO Worldwide" just for this job.
He is allegedly getting image make over service from this PR firm at the expense of tax payers money.

As given in their own website, APCO has former elected leaders; journalists; ambassadors; business and non-profit executives; government officials; market researchers; and communication and Internet experts, diplomats and policy experts who lobby at the highest level to influence public opinion and government policies in the favour of their clients.

APCO has, as given in their website, successfully done the make over of many politicians and dictators.

Modi in his website and in his government website claim that they have got whopping 889 billion dollars  MOU's signed from 2003 to 2011, which makes mockery of the total FDI inflows to India in its entire history. In fact it is way more than the FDI china received from 2003-11.

 Modi claims that 25 lakh jobs were generated in 2009, thanks to vibrant Gujarat 2009 and said it'll generate 52 lakh jobs in 2011.

Planning Commission Employment report, page no 126, suggests that, number of people employed in major sectors has come down from 25.3 million in 2004-05 to 24.65 million in 2009-10.

So, forget about creating 25 lakh jobs, Gujaratis in major sectors are losing job, thanks to Modi who scraped all regulations which required 85% of the jobs in the Gujarat industries to be given to Gujarati people.

An alarming number of Gujarat's working population  are employed in the informal sector . They usually earn low wages, have poor working conditions and low social protection. This is why Gujarat stands at 14th place in men's and women's wage rates among the major 20 states.

All these flaws are reflected in the growth rate of Gujarat compared to other states.
                           Source : Planning Commission state wise growth rate report.  

As we can see, Gujarat stands at 8th position in the list of top performing states.

In fact during Pre Modi period, Gujarat did better than all the top 5 states except Delhi.

Gujarat always performed better than India on an average, even before Modi, so the claim that he transformed Gujarat into a developing state is itself a lame one.

Also, interesting to see that all these states except Delhi have completely outperformed Gujarat in terms of growth in Modi years over pre Modi years.

I have left out many states like Assam, which have grown at the rate of 160% in last 8 years over the pre Modi years.

In fact if we leave out two dry years(98 and 99) , Gujarat grew at nearly 10% per year, which is exactly what Modi tells he has achieved in his period. So, less 98/99, Gujarat hasn’t shown even a one percentage point growth rate improvement in the Modi era.

We understand that FDI is not the only form of investment which flows, there are domestic investors as well. But surely FDI forms the bigger chunk, and when it goes for a toss, you can imagine whether domestic investors can invest more than 800 billion dollars in Gujarat.

Want more proof ? Check the growth rate GSDP in Industry sector, if so much of investment is chasing Gujarat, obviously you expect it to be number on right ?

                                           source: Planning Commission report on state wise GSDP.
 Here also, Gujarat vibrate only in Modi's speeches. It is haplessly placed at the 9th position.

Had at least half of the MOU's turned into actual investments, Gujarat would really had been the gateway of India and would have outperformed every other state or even complete china by a huge margin, as Modi claims.

This embarrassing fact might be the reason why Modi refrained from announcing the MOU's signed during 2013 vibrant Gujarat meet.

I tried to find this info in official Gujarat government sites, official Vibrant Gujarat site and Modi's website, but failed to get figures. I Could only find MOU's signed till 2011 summit.

But most newspaper articles suggests that, value of the MOU's has come down to 10 lakh crores from 20 lakh crores of 2011.

Clearly, Modi has realised that, he just can't go on feeding the nation with some insane numbers without any substance.
It's pretty conspicuous that Gujarat is heavily vibrating only because of the special effects of Modi's well paid PR agencies. But in ground reality, nothing special to speak off.

Don't think Modi tells half truth only to the people, he sees corporates no differently. Just take a look at his claim in vibrant Gujarat summit 2013,

         " Gujarat has lost zero man days due to labour unrest (strikes, lockouts etc.) "
Is it true ? You bet it's not.

Check the annual report of Union finance ministry - The Economic Survey for the year 2010/11

(page no. 235 - 236), It clearly shows the "maximum incidences" of strikes and lockouts were recorded in Gujarat. Wage and allowance, bonus, personnel, indiscipline and violence were the major reasons.

In contrast Labour unrest in the country declined by 81%.

TOURISM : Under Modi, Gujarat has turned out to be the visitors favourite destination in India.

This is a quote from Modi's website,

         "In the last year Gujarat got over 22 million tourists and witnessed a tourism growth rate of over 16%, which is double of the national tourism growth rate. From Rs. 30 crore in 2005-2006, the tourism budget today is Rs. 500 crore. "

As recorded in official tourism website of Gujarat,

Number of tourists during 2010-11 = 19,811,936 (19.8 million)
Number of tourists during 2011-12 = 22,354,665 (22.3 million)

Anyone who can do simple calculation would find out that, increase is around 13% (12.8% to be exact) and not 16% as Modi tells the nation.

On the other hand, according to the ministry of tourism, overall tourism of India grew by more than 19%. I don't understand how 13% or even 16% according to his calculation is double of 19%.

If it is unfair to compare the Gujarat's tourism growth with National tourism rate, lets see how it has done compared to other states,

Gujarat stands 9th in the top 10 states list of highest domestic visitors.

Leading the list is Andra Pradesh with 207 million visitors, followed by Tamil Nadu(184 million).

Of course if we remove Tirupati from AP, it doesn't even feature in top 15, so lets compare Gujarat with Tamil Nadu.

In terms of absolute numbers TN got 184 million visitors as against Gujarat with mere 22 million.

In terms of percentage increase also, Gujarat is no match for TN where tourism grew at 32% in 2011 and 34% in 2012.

Lets see how much TN is spending yearly,

According to official TN Tourism report, TN allocated 42.6 crores in the year 2011-12 to grow at 34%, compared to Gujarat which allocated nearly 500 crores, more than 10 times the fund to attract nearly 10 times fewer tourists.

According to Gujarat Tourism department, 70% of the required capital for this year will be funded through long term borrowing.

Surely, a thing to get noticed.

Lets keep development aside for some time and see how Gujarat model of governance is working.

Gujarat model of governance - Clean and corruption free.

This undoubtedly the best one, standing at the top of all his claims.

Well there are two ways to achieve this clean and corruption free status,

1. Make everyone from top politician to common man clean and corruption free. No one asks any bribe, commission, nobody misuses his powers and misuse public funds.

2. Remove anyone who could possibly find out that you are corrupt. Create false statistics, Heavily publicise it in all the rallies, use social media, use your followers, use you advertising PR machine, lobbying agency, making everyone believe that you have eliminated all the corruption.

Never in the history of mankind, with so many super heroes coming in, able to make our society - corruption free and politics - clean, leave alone Gujarat model and Modi, however supernatural he may seem to his followers.

Modi is left to adopt second choice, and have to say he is quite successful in it.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has come up with many reports on
How Modi government gave undue benefits to corporates resulting in several hundred crores loss to exchequer.
How his investments from borrowing is turning bad and how he doing excess market borrowing to finance the fiscal deficit. in it's recent annual report.

While writing this article, report is not updated in official CAG website, but you can find the copy of full report here.

There are many allegations against his government in allocating lands to the corporates at cheap throw away rate, as less as 1 Rs per square feet to Adani group.

This is the reason why, Infosys and other companies also asked the land for Rs.1 per square foot.

If you see corporate leaders like Ratan Tata praising Modi, you now know why.

Man, you give me hundreds and thousands of acres of land at that insane price, I'll completely turn my article in favour of you. What else can a corporate leader with business mind, getting undue benefits from you can say about you ?

Department of Information Technology (DIT) report prepared after assessment of e-governance projects, suggests people in Gujarat have to pay bribes — around Rs184 on average — to get services from government departments which have been computerised.

It shows, Gujarat is the only state where bribery cases in this department have gone up after computerisation under the central government’s e-governance project.


It was not because he was paid from Congress that, one of the most renowned and respected Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare said, Modi is not worthy of being PM candidate .

He said , Modi created hurdles in setting up Lokayukta. People are tossing his (Modi's) name for the PM's post. If he is so good a candidate why did he not bring a strong Lokayukta bill?

Anna Hazare's comments are not baseless, lets see why.
Gujarat doesn't have a Lokayukta since SM Soni retired in 2003. Thanks to Supreme court, on July 2013, Gujarat has now got a Lokayukta.
There was never a period in history where Gujarat didn't had a Lokayukta from 1988, the year when its Lokayukta took his office.

In Gujarat, the process of appointing Lokayukta was as follows,
Governor on consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court and Leader of the opposition party.
Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers can just aid and advice the Governor in the exercise of all his functions. However Chief Minister has to formally request Governor for the process of appoint to start.

Mr Modi recently changed these steps to suit him, we shall see it later.

For now lets see some of the interesting game plans of Modi against bringing Lokayukta.

(I have extracted important sequence of events from the High Court judgement copy and have made some part bold, you may read only that, as I feel it has become a bit lengthy.)

1.Chief Justice Shri Mukhopadhayaya recommended retired high court judge R.A. Mehta for the post of Lokayukta.

This is the part of letter written by the Chief Justice to Modi and to The Governor Kamla Beniwal,

         " I consider Hon'ble Mr.Justice (Retd.) Ramesh Amritlal Mehta suitable for appointment to this post. I accordingly, recommend the name of Hon'ble Mr. Justice (Retd.) Ramesh Amritlal Mehta, for appointment to the post of Lokayukta, Gujarat State, which carries more responsibilities."

2.Accordingly Governor asked for a formal request from Mr. Modi, writing

           "May I request you(Modi) to kindly get the matter processed expeditiously at the Government level in accordance with the provisions of the Gujarat Lokayukta Act, 1986. The same may be submitted to me formally for consideration at the earliest possible."

What follows is interesting,

Modi writes back to the chief justice, objecting the recommendation of Justice Mehta.
Can you even imagine the reasons he gave for the objection ? Look at the extracts from his letter,
  •  I have perused the bio-data of Hon'ble Justice (Retired) R.A.Mehta. He has crossed the age of 75 years. Looking to the arduous nature of duties and responsibilities attached with the post of Lokayukta, Gujarat State, he may perhaps not be a suitable candidate for this job at such an advanced age.
  •  R.A. Mehta is associated with a few NGOs, Social Activist Groups and he has also given services as a panellist for them. It is obvious that because of his association with the NGOs, Social Activist Groups, etc. he may be in a fixed frame of mind on certain issues relating to the governance in the State.
Seriously Mr Modi ?

For your information, the current Prime minister of India is 80 year old, President Pranab Mukharjee is 77 year old, During his last year as the PM, Vajapayee was nearly 78 years old.
Youth favourite as you and your advertisements call you, is 62 year old. 75 too old ?

Of course the real reason is the second one.

Associated with NGOs and Social Activist Groups ?
Are NGOs and Social Activists are terrorists ? If you are so good, then why are you afraid of NGOs ?
why is your PR machine, not working well to impress NGOs and Social Activists ?

3. Chief Justice replied back to Modi saying he found nothing wrong.
              "During the last one and half months, I tried to gather the details about the activities of Mr. Justice (Retd.) R.A. Mehta and I find that there is no such activity, which makes him ineligible for appointment to the post of Lokayukta."

               "According to me, he is a man of high repute and integrity and always maintained high reputation while he was in Judiciary and still he is maintaining high standards in the Society.
Justice Mehta has never made any public statement, which is detrimental to the Society, nor has he shown any aspiration to any Government, whether State or Central."

              "It cannot be said that he is associated with one or the other NGO as there is nothing to suggest that he is a member of an NGO or he is asocial activist cannot be treated as a qualification for his appointment to the post of Lokayukta."

              "On the contrary, it would show the ability of a person who knows the ground reality of the society even at the age of 75, which is prime requirement for the post."

                "I, therefore, request you to take up the matter with the Council of Ministers and to forward the name of Mr Justice (Retd.)R.A. Mehta to Her Excellency the Governor of Gujarat for his appointment as Lokayukta of the State of Gujarat."

4.As expected Modi did nothing. Governor and Opposition leader sent letters to Modi asking him to send formal proposal to Governor.

Look what opposition leader wrote to Modi,

                 "I am pained to inform you that since last seven and half years, that is from 24.11.2003, the Lokayukta's post has been vacant in Gujarat. Since you became the Chief Minister you have in a blatantly illegal manner ensured that the Lokayukta's position remains vacant."

5. Instead Modi writes letters to Chief Justice and Governor not to consider Justice Mehta.

6. With no other option left, Governor issued the impugned warrant of appointing Justice R. A. Mehta as Lokayukta.

7. As expected, the same day Modi went to High Court stating that Lokayukta was appointed without his consent.

8. He also wrote to Prime Minister asking to recall the Governor.

9. On Jan 2012, Gujarat High court while delivering, rejected Modi's petition and harshly criticizing Modi's moves.

               Justice Sahai said, a “constitutional mini-crisis was sparked off by the Chief Minister” acting arbitrarily. The Governor's action, appointing Justice Mehta the Lokayukta “with or without the advice of the Council of Ministers, was for “preserving our democracy from being beleaguered and to prevent tyranny.”

             "The Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister had shown a “hostile attitude towards the primacy of the opinion of the Chief Justice. The Chief Minister acted under a false impression that he could turn down the superiority and primacy of the opinion of the Chief Justice which was binding. The spiteful and challenging action demonstrates the false sense of invincibility,”

10. Without any surprises, Modi shamelessly takes this case to the Supreme Court.

11. Supreme Court on Jan 2013, rejects Modi's plea to re-examine the High court verdict.

12. He didn't stop here, he filed a curative plea a to review the judgement, which was dismissed by Supreme court last month.

In between he did the most intelligent work,

This April, he passed a new bill, The Gujarat Lokayukta Aayog which allows him to
1. Choose the Lokayukta of his own choice.
2. Block Lokayukta from investigating any cases against himself or his cabinet ministers.
3. Remove the primacy of high court chief justice and the governor in the appointment of Lokayukta.

What great Gujarat Model of governance, what great deceive leader against corruption!!

Is this what you call a strong Lokpal, when you criticize central government in bringing strong Lokpal Mr Modi ?

If this is what you call a strong Lokpal, then all corrupt politicians would have backed Anna Hazare for this bill.

Lets go back to the economic developments and check the facts behind some of the other half truths.

Claim : In last 10 years, the agriculture growth rate of Gujarat is higher than every other state in the country.

As we can see, Gujarat stands at 6th position in the list of top performing states in Agricultural growth.

Just see the kind of improvement, the top 5 states have shown, on an average of 300% compared to mere 15% growth of Gujarat over the 10 years period of comparison.

If you consider only last 10 years performance, even small states like Jharkhand have completely out performed Gujarat.

How lame and baseless are the claims , that Gujarat’s agricultural growth rate is higher than every other state in last 10 years, when statistics show a completely different picture?

There are some things which Modi doesn't tell you. In social sector, Gujarat is one of the worst performing states in the country.
                     source: Planning commission report on state wise population below poverty line.

If we consider only urban area statistics, there is an increase in the number of urban population below poverty line in Gujarat.

Surely MODIfication of poor into poorest is working like charm.
                       source : Planning Commission report on state wise average tariff per unit

Gujarat is the most costliest state for electricity for domestic and agricultural use in the country. This is shocking, considering Gujarat is a power surplus state.

In 2007-08, tariff was 1.20 Rs/kwh, by 2011-12 it has been raised to 1.76.

This is the consequence of giving all powers to the corporates to decide the tariff as they want.

Education Sector :

It's better not to look at the education sector, Gujarat has one of the most pathetic record in this sector.

State has school drop out rate of 62. We can't even compare this with Kerala, Chandigarh or Delhi. Overall India has lower dropout rate than Gujarat.

This doesn't mean those who are sticking to schools are getting any quality education.

Statistics show that, Gujarat is the worst state in the country , when we look at the reading, writing and math skills of the rural students.

This is as ridiculous as, only 7% of Gujarat's class 5 kids can read English sentences, way below all India average and it's better not compare with other states.

ASER survey released Jan this year reiterated this fact, exposing more bitter truths about Gujarat's dismal education system.

Read DnaIndia's report extracting the major contents of the survey here.

Looks like Mr Modi is too busy in building roads and providing cheap loans to the corporates, ignoring the next generation. Of course, he is very well aware of the fact that kids can't vote.

Situation in higher education is not improving either, According to Ministry of Human Resource Development 2011-12, (Page 317), Gujarat has the worst record among all the states by leading the reduction in number of woman enrolment percentage into higher education.

Gujarat Model of Debt Management : If you are in debt, don't worry, borrow more to show that you are rich.
Outstanding liabilities of Gujarat government (public debt) as a percentage of GSDP is higher than the all India average.
Internal Debt of Gujarat is one of the highest in the country, Budgeted estimates for the year 2011-12 stood at Rs. 209 billion increased nearly 20% from the previous year. This is an alarming increase.
Out of Rs.209 billion, Rs.146 billion is market loan.
The debt has more than tripled since Modi came to power. Somebody is seriously spending lot of borrowed money, which will eventually hurt not only Gujaratis but also Indians in the long run.
Obviously you will never hear this thing either from Modi, in his uncountable social media interfaces or from his followers or from the opposition, as they are doing nothing better. 
When Mr Modi is busy feeding so many half truths to the nation, how can his followers be left behind ?
  • A picture of Chinese city Guangzhou’s bus transit system was viral on social media few days back, showing it as Ahmadabad's BRTS.
  • Ridiculous claims like, the next Modi becomes the PM, petrol prices will become Rs.10 per litre.
Of course these are not as ridiculous as the claims of the leader himself.
I can go on giving, hundred more stats to support that there is nothing special in Gujarat Model as it is made to believe.
On a lighter note, let us see one last point.
Apart for all the things mentioned above, there is one more reason he is more famous in social media by the name FAKU.
There are plenty of sites available to check the fake twitter followers and paid Facebook likes, just Google, you'll find many.
One such technology firm, came up with a report that only 10% of the 2million twitter followers of the decisive leader to be genuine. It's no different in Facebook also.
Of course he is not the only one doing it, many celebrities and politicians use this trick around the world for publicity.  
                                NDTV: Truth vs Hype: Narendra Modi - The grand illusion?

Using marketing PR firms to for publicity is not bad, but how good is creating half truth statistics and information and spreading it to the nation ?

While I agree that Gujarat has made some good strides towards development in his tenure but making mountain out of a molehill called the decisive leadership you talk about Mr Modi ?

When you suggest the Prime Minister to implement Gujarat Model for India, Is this model of cult and hype you were referring to Mr Modi ?

How true are the words of Adolf Hitler's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it".

Life would have been so simple for Modi, had we been living in 17th century, without any access to genuine data, believing whatever Modi and his PR machine says is the truth.

Disclaimer : This article is not written to defame any political party or a person, or to support any other party or person. Also I'm not paid by any political party either.
Intention of this article is just to share publicly available data, in the process examining the wrong information circulating around us.