“TRANSFORMING the nation into a developed country, five areas in combination have been identified based on India's core competence, natural resources and talented manpower for integrated action to double the growth rate of GDP and realize the Vision of Developed India."
These are APJ Abdul Kalam’s words in his book India 2020. When I first read the book in 2002, I felt that Kalam had an over ambitious and unrealistic expectation from our country and its politicians who simply don’t want to improve. Come 2012 and I suddenly feel that things are falling in place. It now seems that Kalam’s prophecy will come true. The reason: A resolute man called Narendra Modi. If he stays as the PM from 2014-2020, Kalam’s dream could well be a reality.
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi completed an emphatic victory in the third consecutive Gujarat Vidhan Sabha elections. The Gujarat 2012 elections, one of the most keenly fought and observed political event of the year saw the BJP getting 115 seats in a house of 182, while Congress managed to get 61 seats.
This victory is extremely significant as it was dubbed as the Semi-Final before the 2014 elections. While most political observers are wary of an anti-incumbency factor against a government in power for 11 years, this win saw a wave of pro-incumbency backed by the various reformist measures of the Modi regime. With Gujarat winning, a lot of Indians want him to become the Indian Prime Minister and serve the country just like Gujarat.
Here are some reasons why Modi could easily become the Prime Minister in 2014.
Good Governance - While most parts of India are crippled by a policy paralysis, Narendra Modi leads by example. While the national agricultural growth lags at 3 per cent, agricultural growth in Gujarat was 11 per cent in the past 10 years.
Gujarat government encouraged the drip irrigation method for farming. Gujarat attracted a large amount of foreign direct investment through the Vibrant Gujarat summits. Gujarat also has the lowest unemployment rate of 1 per cent in the nation.
Modi also showed the way to the country by investing in alternative sources of energy. The Solar Park at Charanka in Gujarat is the single largest installation in Asia. Gujarat also accounts for the maximum amount of energy derived from wind energy.
Solid Infrastructure - It is this sound infrastructure, which plays an important role in attracting a lot of industries. Gujarat has emerged as a new auto-hub with many auto majors lining up for setting up plants. Gujarat provides round the clock electricity with the benefits reaching 18,000 villages.
The World Bank was pretty appreciative of the Gujarat roads recently, which exceeded the global standards. The Narmada water reaches distant corners of the state through an efficient canal network. Thus Gujarat solves the problem of Bijli, Paani and Sadak which have been perennial headaches for most states.
Non-Corrupt Regime - This is the season of scams in India. Scams run up to astronomical figures and these figures if added up could surpass the GDPs of a large no of countries. To say that the common man is fed up of the scams would be an understatement. At such times, political figures like Narendra Modi with in an incorruptible image act as a ray of light in the darkness of corruption. His entire family lives in modest homes in middle class localities. Such a scenario is a mammoth anomaly in the current Indian political fraternity.
Law and Order - The crime rate in India increased by 12.8 per cent in the past five years, this rate was just 2.9per cent in Gujarat. While the nation has been outraged at the recent rape cases and the roads are flooded with protestors, Gujarat is a safe haven for the women.
Communal Harmony - Though critics have blamed him to be intolerant towards Muslims, the largest minority in India, the communal harmony prevailing in Gujarat since 2002 is much a fact as the riots in 2002. The Sachar Committee also claims Muslims to be well off in Gujarat. It is worth noting that Modi led BJP won 24 of 32 seats, which had a sizeable number of Muslims in the recent elections.
So don’t be surprised if you see him as the PM the next time you visit India. Remember, you first read it here.
* Nirav Shah is an Auckland dentist with a passion for writing. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org