Sunday, September 29, 2013

Why should I vote for BJP?

Why should I vote for BJP?
A vote for BJP is a vote for Narendra Modi - a leader with a difference. A man who has risen from the ranks - a tea seller to a prospective Prime Minister. A vote for BJP is also for a vote for the NDA which has provided great governance in the states in which it rules. Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and now Goa.

Why should I vote for Narendra Modi?
Narendra Modi is a 3 term Chief Minister in Gujarat. Gujarat has progressed very well under his leadership. Gujarat over the last few years has shown some stellar development numbers. And received numerous awards in governance from the Central Government much of it under UPA, not NDA. Here is a column written on 26th October in the Indian Express using some of the latest NSO data, which is really a follow up to his earlier article in 2012. Here is one more written by Arvind Panagariya in the Business Standard, comparing Modis record in Gujarat to Congress in India.

All states have developed, not just Gujarat.
True in general - a rising tide lifts all ships, but Gujarat has shown growth in some interesting areas. Like agriculture for which Gujarat is not traditionally known for. Like tourism which was not a big deal. Gujarat also has 24 hour electricity - which apart from some big cities in India is practically unheard of. Another thing - Gujarat does not have growth engines like the big cities nor is it a traditional tourism destination like Kerala or Rajasthan and yet has shown growth in tourism as well.

What about human development indicators?
Human Development indicators show a lag behind other development indicators. But having said that, Gujarat has shown improvement in almost all areas - and this is because of the focus of the government and incentivizing the right behaviour. Like ensuring 100% enrollment of eligible girls in school - each year the government of Gujarat goes down to the villages and ensures attendance.Here are details of some schemes!

Oh, well, all politicians are equal. Modi is just a good marketeer.
Ah, well, they are not. Think of a politician and I will show you a scam. Whether it is Laloo Prasad or Mulayam or Mayawati or Oomen Chandy or Sonia G or Rahul G or PC Chidambaram. Modi is uncorruptible - na khaave na khaava deve. Unlike your integrity personified Manmohan Singh who has let numerous scams occur under his watch and despite knowing them done very little about it. This is not marketing, this is reality. Think about it - Modi under the watchful eyes of a biased press and a fairly biased government (Centre has not passed GCOCA after all these years) can do well with just marketing? And if you want to read paid news, do read articles about Rahul Gandhi and his genius though it is as apparent as the abominable snowman.

But what about Gujarat 2002?
Gujarat 2002 was not the first riot in India nor the last. Indeed just a few weeks big riots occurred in Muzafarnagar in UP - coming after about 100 odd riots in this year. Last year, Assam had big riots. The year before that it was West Bengal. Why are these not talked about is for you to think - there are reasons - but the prime reason is that these are under Congress or their allies rule. It is convenient for everyone to talk about 2002 - despite being exonerated by an SIT under the countries highest court. 2002 is the only riot where persons have been convicted - unlike 1984 which has been a slow dance of denial of justice.
There has been evidence enough fabrication of evidence around 2002, as noted by the SC. Sure, you can chose to not believe your own Supreme Court, but if that is the case, there is very little faith you have in your own country.
And did you know a lot of Congress corporators and members have been convicted (including Haji Bilal - prime accused) for both Godhra and its aftermath? Ever cared to ask how come Modi could not prevent Godhra from happening?

But Gujarat under Modi is all about majoritarianism.
Really? Do you have any data points around it? Gujarat, even as per the questionable Sachar committee has done better on almost parameters than other states. The only major case of majoritarianism in India is in Jammu and Kashmir where it is institutionalized and resulted in the forced exile of Kashmiri Pandits in the 90s. I would urge you to read more about it.

What about secularism?
Secularism in its purest definition is the state staying away from religion. Which is what Gujarat does in practice - does not discriminate in favour or against religion - after all which god you worship should not come in the way of poverty benefits or scholarships no? Did you know that the Congress with MIM in Hyderabad - which has an actually despicable communal agenda - do hear the speeches of MIM worthies in Parliament and out of it to know what they think. Then we can talk about communalism and secularism. And the only definition of real secularism is, Nation First.

There is more, but this is just for starters...
Have started adding links to the story, so this will be a live page...

Growth, Poverty and Modi

We got independence in 1947. For nearly, 66 years since then, we soldier along trying to get basics right. One of the only countries where after independence from a colonial power, it still follows the same laws that the British created to exploit the natives and the land. This is a unique case btw, not seen in almost any other country.

So, the British left and what we are left with are natives exploiting natives. With titles like collectors and such like. But the British did not leave their honesty. Why is this important. I will join the dots a little later. Bear with me.

The situation we find ourselves in after these 66 years is best explained by a term 'inclusive suffering'. First we suffered through the socialist years - a failed experiment - that saw other countries surge ahead - despite starting from approximately the same baseline.  (See this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaCcXfap9X4)

We often hear this argument in India - Development versus sustainability. And it is usually asked by those ostensibly in the side of human growth. And they seem to imply that no development is the answer to sustainability. Or that development and sustainability is a zero sum game. What they do not see is that both are eminently possible and can go hand in hand.

And usually these arguments come from those who enjoy 24 hour electricity and piped water. Arguing how others do not need it.

Again, let us park this aside.

Rajiv Gandhi famously said that out of a rupee, 10 paise reaches the poor. Means, our delivery is a leaky bucket. Starting from the top - at the governance level. And then as the middlemen chew away at the deliveries, nothing much reaches the end.

We have experienced this. Sort of. Try going to any government office and see the trouble you get to get basic information. An encumbrance certificate - on your own apartment. Any information that you need - about your own land. Why should these things not be available to anybody? This is what Gujarat has done. First, strenghtened delivery. From the top - na khave, na khava deve. Second, make information available - put it online, on the internet. WTF is a right to information? The NDA had come up with Freedom of Information - basically, it is your goddamn information. Do I need a right to it. See Gujarats record on it.


Second, vision. This is not tough to see. We live in Bangalore. A beautiful city that is networked by lakes. Blessed with beautiful weather. Any idiot, like me, will tell you that the logical thing is to ensure that the lakes and their catchment areas are protected that treated sewage flows into them. That the weather of the city allows for walking and cycling. The city receives enough rainfall each year to sustain itself. Every house should have rainwater harvesting. How difficult is it to implement this? Bangalore (and many cities) have a problem with garbage disposal. How difficult is that. If cities composted waste, farms would not need fertilizer. (Modi refers to this in his SRCC speech and he started it in the GIFT city project).

Rainwater harvesting, composting, taking care of the lakes channels, building good public transport (like volvos and metro). Is this rocket science. No.

Which was the last leader we had with any vision? Vajpayee perhaps. And perhaps PVNR. Modi has vision. And Implements it.

Sonia Gandhi and Rabri Devi are just about the same - but see how we treat the former with deference and the latter with contempt. If Sonia G has vision, we have not seen it, much less heard it - not in the last 10 years. About Rahul, the less said, the better. And see the development indicators of Amethi and Rae Bareily  - which have been the family pocket borough for many decades now. I rest my case.

It is this combination that makes Modi magic work. He uses the existing bureaucracy to make Gujarat work, whatever liars say.
By the way, when was the last time you heard Gujarat officials transferred. Modi does not transfer his people - he gives them time. To work. In the place they are posted. Net result? Nobody hankers for transfer from one place to other. And they have their skin in the same.

How does he measure - he gets them to report on what they did - not what they did not. He gives them the equivalent of google 20% time - do what you want - regardless of department. And there is this story of how a revenue officer built a water supply to the Ambaji temple - despite it being under the purview of the forest department. (He said this in a speech - I think this was the speech at FICCI or one of those.)

Each year, his entire team goes into the villages to enrol girls and they are got 100% of eligible girls in school. Educate a girl and you educate the family. And they actually took the kutumbasree idea from Kerala - so he is not held up on his ideas. He focuses on delivery of the best idea possible given the circumstances. He focuses on motivating his people - his 6 crore Gujaratis.

He makes that stupid English system accountable and makes it deliver.

Much of our ancient systems had its own watershed management - in the form of tanks, bunds, check dams. We have screwed it in most areas. Gujarat has built a system around this. He has also linked rivers - which we drastically need in our country - even as China is eating away the glaciers in Tibet - which feeds our rivers.

Electricity. This is simple enough. Did you know that Gujarat has the largest operational solar power plant in Asia? And when it is fully completed - it will be the largest in the world. And the question on sustainability is simple enough. Think, if people will use electricity they pay for or steal? Logically - for what they pay. So, paid electricity means, yes, sustainability. In general. Second, eliminate leakages - both leakages of transmission and leakages by stealing. Why argue for shortages?

Shortages in any areas is a bad idea. The present system is about equality of outcomes - what we need is equality of opportunity. Why does one need reservations when there are enough seats? Why does one need electricity for only dalit households (Rahul promised a light bulb in every dalit household during the UP campaign), when the electricity does not see any god or caste?  Why discriminate on the basis of religion for scholarships - when everybody is poor regardless of which god they worship?

Lastly crops. A kilo of potatoes costs us about 30 rupees at retail. At a wholesale it is about 30 rupees for 10 or 50 kgs. A small packet of lays costs us how much? 20 rupees for 100 grams. Work out the value addition yourself. By providing opportunities for companies to buy products, farmers make more money. Gujarat grows pomegranates. Ladyfingers. Potatoes, quite obviously. And a desert state with water shortage makes rapid growth in agriculture. People are not deserting farms. Why? Because there is opportunity. They are making money. Therefore, migration is lower. Whereas in Karnataka and TN for example, people are not available to work in farms. First due to migration. And in TN they dont work after 10th when they get their 25 kgs free rice.

Growth has to be in all sectors. Agriculture. Manufacturing. Services. Small business. Entrepreneurship. Handicrafts. Tourism (kuchch din to guzarie Gujarat main)

And by the way, Gir forest has reported a large increase in lions - community policing ensures that they are not harmed. And greenery cover has also gone up.

And actually this is not all about Modi - almost all NDA governed states fare better - Chatissgarh, MP, Goa. More on this later.

Growth at what cost? Surely some of this is answered above. Here are some data links!
Poverty at what cost?