Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why I support Narendra Modi 4 PM

Most of my friends know that I was born in Gujrat but very few that I was born in the same district as Mr Modi was, seperated by around 35 years & 35 kms. Even though my father relocated to Delhi, my grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces all still live there. So even though most of my education has been in Delhi, I have had a chance to explore Gujrat very closely having been a regular visitor.

I grew up with the fact that my birthplace, Unjha had the biggest spice market in Asia for Jeera, Sounf and Isabgol with my family involved in processing and trading. The fact that inspite of our family being fairly popular in Unjha, there always used to be a divide between Gujratis and Non Gujratis living in Gujrat and my father had to fight it out against the frequent violent attacks & lawsuits when he first setup base there. Also, every other house had relatives settled outside India working from US to Africa at various levels. Aspiring doctors in Gujrat, who failed to get a entry into an MBBS seat. got degrees from Russia and come and practice here with ancestral setups. Meanwhile a typical gujrati lived a very humble lifestyle but was a hardworking and shrewd businessman. A lot has already been popularized on that but the one fact that stood out was Gujrat was never very strong on education. The word IIT never existed in their dictionary and IIMs were only known for a supposed campus in Ahmedabad. People used to send their young kids to work as interns to learn the trade of business rather than on a reputed higher education outside state. Electricity was fairly regular except on Wednesday's when it used to celebrate its weekly load shedding.Whenever it used to rain heavily it used to flood in our house with roads and holes washed up.

Years rolled by, I got older and didn't much visit there. It was probably during my college vacations that I went again after many years, since then visits have been irregular but richer. Somethings had changed, some didn't. My uncles were working in partnership with local gujratis. Most of the staff of our family business working with us since I was born were still there. The Russian doctor was finding it difficult to build base compared to local ones. Electricity was fairly regular. Roads were proper and an excellent highway was built there that lead me to a place where I had my first go karting experience near Ahmedabad. Cousins were gaming online on a fairly good network speed. In ways more than one it felt better than Delhi. One of my cousin was planning to go Kota to prepare for engineering. Years later his younger brother prepared for JEE in our hometown and yesterday gave his exams with the center in the same district.

Yes, Gujrat was better earlier but it's a less discussed fact that Gujrat was slowly being let down by poor govt.  for many years. They had stopped thinking of any scope for improvement. When Narendra Modi was made CM in October, 2001, Gujrat was plagued with abuse of power, corruption and ineffective administration. The earthquake of January,2001 had not been properly handled and with a year to go to elections BJP was looking at saving face. Narendra Modi, famous for being a diligent worker took the challenge. Matters became worse when in barely 2 months, Gujrat Riots came as a rude awakening to him. Both the earthquake and riots had completely wreaked havoc in Gujrat and it was facing a severe downfall. Critics always argue & make images about an already developed Gurat in the 80's & 90's but ignore this important timeline of 2001-2 that changed everything.

Massive rehabilitation program to those affected both by earthquake and riots was taken swiftly. He knew if Gujrat had to grow it had to develop and retain its talent. Those gujratis who earlier used to flock to go abroad now were encouraged to build a strong manufacturing base in Gujrat itself. Testimonial to this fact is ask any purchase manager of any manufacturing plant in India, chances are he might be sourcing some thing or other from Gujrat. Several hubs for manufacturing and numerous startups have been setup in Gujrat. Several companies have setup bases for research and development there. All this has happened because simplification in clearances and removal of red tapism. Doing business in Gujrat is easy and lead time to set up & get it working is lowest in India. Moreover the exchange of money is transparent and has business reliability of fulfilling orders very high. Women safety is unparallel and my wife can vouch on that. Having worked in Baroda for three years as a sales manager she had no hassles travelling alone in night, where as in Delhi its impossible. Gujrat is probably the safest state where women are treated with utmost respect.

We crib every time when rains happened and Delhi roads are filled with potholes. In Gujrat preventive development takes place now instead of reactive. Highways and roads are build before their need arises, similar is the case of infrastructure for residence and office spaces. Water, electricity & road connections are put up before the industrial site develops. You don't have statistics for such things but these are the things that maximize the chances of growth & development. The people then need to worry about work and their own business rather on basic needs. The biggest positive is no scheme in Gujrat is carried out with the intention of giving advantage to a particular religion, community, sect. Opportunities are open to all and that's when real development happens. To build & maintain these standards consistently for a decade is no mean feat.

Narendra Modi has done all of this with practical, executable steps. He has applied the simple principle of problem solving by walk through and eliminating the wastes. Encouraged the companies in Gujrat to expand and setup bases not only for local market but exports also. Amul Dudhsagar setup a factory in Manesar and added another in Dharuhera is a perfect example. A cooperative movement has been given impetus to explore and move beyond the comfort zone. I know this because we are currently vendors to both the plants. At a time when I see manufacturing sector literally being finished up in Haryana with visionary policies of Hooda and Manmohan Singh, every CEO is discussing with us how to relocate to Gujrat.

In my view I think by far the smartest thing Narendra Modi has done is when he focused on tourism. I have traveled almost the whole of Gujrat and it didn't excite me much as a holiday destination. But the way he has packaged the whole Gujrat Tourism is spell bounding. The roads are good, it is safe to travel with women and finally the maintenance of all the key tourist locations is amazing. Jain Tourism is a big draw in Gujrat now. Temples have been renovated and Ambaji, Somnath and Umiya Mata look grander everytime I visit. The wildlife attractions at Gir have been modernized and you chances of sighting are visibly increased with the pre-decided routes unlike the disappointing Jim Corbett. Places like Daman & Diu also have benefited though largely because of prohibition in Gujrat. It is this vision that India desperately needs today.

We need a man who can do the unthinkable. To ideate, innovate and EXECUTE the ideas. UPA has lead us back by 20 years we need to catch up. From plushy, air-conditioned offices in service industry most of us think we need a revolution aka Kejriwal but what we currently need is a man with a head who doesn't confront the system creating more distrust. Kejriwal brought down the govt because Jan Lokpal was not implemented but still he says that he brought the corruption down in 49 days. This whole points fails logically because if the corruption has fallen in just 49 days without Jan Lokpal then how much impact it could have done even if it was not implemented.

Demographic dividend advantage will not last long. If nothing is done as of now, it will come back to haunt us, similar to what China is facing currently. We need someone with a rationale mind who uses the system and brings accountability and efficiency in it to get desired result. Modi has never been a selfish man but a patriotic person who has challenged things the way they are carried out. 12 years of peaceful rule and he has turned Gujrat back into a formidable force. We need something similar to happen in India. Its the manufacturing sector that is the only hope for creating jobs and reviving the economy. Slowly and slowly Indians are becoming trader puppets in the hands of Chinese companies. Most of the business is currently just importing manufactured goods from China and branding and selling here. We need to change that to run our economy and give jobs to people. India needs to progress, generate jobs before the Services bubble bursts and slowing Agriculture disappoints us.

Narendra Bhai Modi's speech at the Manifesto release says it all. " Main aap sabhi ke unnati ke liye sab kuch karuga, apne liye kuch nahi karuga, badle ki bhavna se kabhi kuch nahi karuga"

Hope that happens and we earn our place in world which we deserve.

1 comment:

  1. On corruption, I yesterday paid 1k on got caught with a few grams of G***a (and happily paid). I think corruption is not the biggest problem of this country(tell me percentage of total money you paid bribe in your life to total money you have spent). Unless it is like 2G and coal gate. biggest challenge is to make the country progressive(in percentage growth term) amongst all countries in world.