The movement from poverty to prosperity is a fascinating journey. The economic and social transformation is one of the themes of India Unbound.
Why did an Industrial Revolution elude us? Marx had predicted that the Railways would usher in an Industrial Revolution. Nehru, along with this planners, did attempt an Industrial Revolution. They did not encourage private enterprise. Instead they built public enterprise.
Gurcharan comments, “ they failed and India is still paying for their follies”. Interestingly, we had an agricultural Revolution, and we were not able to usher an Industrial Revolution. Gurcharan points to six things that have contributed to this failure.
- We have inherited an inward looking, import substituting path.
- We have set up a massive inefficient and monopolistic public sector
- We have over regulated private sector
- We have discouraged foreign capital and denied ourselves the benefit of technology
- We have over pampered organised labour
- We have ignored eduction, particularly girls/women who make up 50% of our population.
Gurucharan Das rightly contends, “ When Individuals blunder, it is unfortunate and their families go down. When rulers fail, it is a national tragedy”.
Hundreds of entrepreneurial successes have been born after reform. The new entrepreneurs have risen on the back of their talents, hard work and professional skills. This is reflective of the spirit of the age.
Liberalisation and Information economy work to India’s advantage and raise the hope that it may finally take off and transform the country.
Gurucharan Das contends, “India is like an elephant that has begun to lumber and move ahead. It will never have speed but it will have stamina. India might be more stable, peaceful and have a negotiated transition into the future. Although slower (than China), India is more likely to preserve its way of life and its civilisation of diversity, tolerance and spirituality against the onslaught of the global culture. If it does, then it is perhaps a wise elephant”.
In Chapter 6, Lance Price’s contends that Modi had the much sought after ‘Big MO’ – the momentum to carry him forward and upward.
Although the BJP had lost two elections, the prospects of winning 2014 appeared bight.
- Firstly, the Congress lead government looked vulnerable more than ever before. The disenchantment with it was that it was poor in delivering on the promises.
- Secondly, it was associated with corruption. In fact, the lists of scams and scandals was bewildering The 2G spectrum and Coalgate did a lot of damage to the image of the Congress party, and in particular Manmohan Singh.
- Thirdly, Anna Hazare’s tirade against corruption and Baba Ramdev’s protest against black money spread the spirit of dissent across the Nation.
To the growing fanbase both within and outside the BJP, Modi was not merely the favourite but the only candidate to lead the party into the general elections.
In August 2013, the RSS threw its support behind Modi. In 2013 the BJP parliamentary board formally announced Mod as thePrime Ministerial candidate.
Chapter 4 – Behind the Mask
In Chapter 4 ( Behind the Mask), Lance Price outlines how Narendra Modi used the 2012 Gujarat State Elections to push his bid for National power in 2014.
The first hint of his candidature was popped up in an unknown Facebook post in Oct 2010 under the heading “ Narendra Modi as Prime Minister? Why Not?”. A good number of New Age volunteers had initally helped Modi with the push through social media.
By 2012, Modi gathered a special team. Team Modi used the 2012 state elections to push his bid for the PM. The Gujarat campaign themes were very much a dry run for 2014. The positive appeal was a mixture of development and Modi’s strong approach to leadership.
Price contends that the dramatic success of Modi to win the Gujarat State Elections was due to
- His willingness to embrace new ideas. For example, the Modi Mask
- The recognition that his own image was a crucial selling point and therefore, the Media campaign to craft his image.
- Team Modi, which consisted of professionals, helped produceTV, support Social Media Campaigns and even set up private companies to push the Modi’s image. Efforts were taken to improve the image of the State of Gujarat and along with it, the image of its chief minister.
- Fortunate sequence of events [ a) the appearance of his picture in the cover page of Time ( 2012) ; b) Tata Motors moving its Nano project to Gujarat; c) ASSOCHAM’s report that Gujarat’s emergence as the preferred investment destination; d) The visit of Sir. James Bevan to Gujarat in Oct 2012
- His use of high tech campaigning methods [ a) Launch of his own State wide Television Channel Namo Gujarat; b) Name – Youtube Channel; c) Facebook and Twitter accounts; d) Google + Hangout discussion; e) The use of hologram technology.
Modi won a decisive mandate in the State elections in 2012. From then on, it was much easier to project himself as the PM candidate.
Chapter 4: Behind the Mask: This chapter describes How Narendra Modi used the 2012 Gujarat State Elections to push his bid for National power in 2014? For a brief summary of chapter 4 Click here
Chapter 5: Big Mo This describes how Modi had the much sought after ‘Big MO’ – the momentum to carry him forward and upward. For a brief summary of the chapter 5 Click Here