Capital New Delhi witnessed addresses from two non-congress ruled state Chief Ministers. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi spoke at an India Today conclave, an address that was followed by millions across the world. Nitish Kumar CM of Bihar addressed people from Bihar at a local rally – for most part a “whining pep talk” to milk more benefits from center for the ailing state of Bihar. Modi boasted “Gujarat is growing, follow us to prosper”, Nitish threatened “Bihar is devastated & hungry, feed us (else await consequences)”.
There’s a saying that you don’t compare apples with oranges, however one can’t help to draw comparison between two addresses mainly due to the fact that one tried to delude the audience and even nation about others development in an attempt to hide his own incompetence to grow. Nitish Kumar alleged that Gujarat is growing because of a special status given by the center and a similar status can help Bihar to grow as well. If Bihar hasn’t grown in decades even after being blessed with special status from Nature (abundance of natural resources) what makes Nitish thinks that special status from center can turn the tide?
Gujarat’s Special Status (of Neglect)
Let’s see the Gujarat case first and what the state has earned in the name of special status. In 1960 the state was created with empty platter, losing Mumbai a major business hub along with major Gujarati entrepreneur to sister state Maharashtra, Gujarat started with almost a clean stale. In next forty years no major industrial investment from center; a thriving industrial city of Ahmedabad, once a textile capital of Asia was crippled due to lack of interest from motivation from center. What was supposed to be the lifeline of Gujarat, Narmada Dam Project was stalled by center under the pressure of vested interest groups; all under congress rule both in State & Center. Longest cost line of India was in a state of despair for most part. IPCL (Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd) was one venture that was eventually taken over by Reliance. Contrary to the preached notion by Nitish, the states like Punjab-Haryana in North, Maharashtra in West, Tamil Nadu in south & West Bengal in East have consistently earned “most favors” from center; mainly due to state leadership making effective pitch at a right time. So to sum it up the special status that Gujarat has earned from Center is “ignored & snubbed”. Can Nitish really afford that for Bihar? It’s the Gujarati entrepreneurship that kept the economy alive amidst all the neglect from the center; and under Modi Gujarat found favorable grounds to grow & prosper.
Gujarat Miracle – simple idea
You don’t need special status to grow; you need special (inner) strength, you need special mind-set to grow. The Gujarat Miracle was possible due to the NaMo-Mantra – “desire to do something against all odds versus aspire to be something at any cost”. Modi magic lies in converting challenges into opportunities (chances to improve & grow). Compare the handling of natural disaster by the two statement governments and the answers seem to be obvious. 2001 Gujarat Earthquake and 2007 Bihar floods! Simple ideas were implemented to bring revolutionary changes in Power, agriculture, education, water management and women empowerment. None required any special grants from center. Modi has a unique ingenuity to think out of the box and draw synergies through existing initiatives. Take two examples from his last two Delhi addresses; 1) “Five F Funda” for Cotton – Farm to Fiber, to Fabric, to Fashion to Foreign. Not only this helps cotton growers by bringing a local market and better appreciation for their product, but also develops a parallel industry that can thrive on readily available raw material!! 2) Insisting a tire manufacturer to grow rubber trees in state’s tribal belt. A win-win situation – manufacturer gets local raw material, and at the same time offers an opportunity of growth for tribal belt. Need driven two distinct approaches, bottom up & top down; both bringing comprehensive development bridging the supply chain gaps.
Earning special status vs. seeking one
In terms of development, special status is not something you seek; it’s something you earn by reputation. Modi created a business friendly environment in Gujarat that earned him a special status form businesses not just from India but from abroad as well. The saga of Tata is an epic, how a Rs. 2.00 SMS to Ratan Tata created a new hitherto inexistent sector in the Gujarat! Vibrant Gujarat is not a center sponsored summit, it’s a brain child of visionary NaMo. Modi developed Gujarat to a degree that gave a sense of pride to every Indian, Nitish & company devastated Bihar to an extent that ashamed every Bihari.
Nitish Kumar when became CM of Bihar, blamed Lalu et al for the destruction of Bihar, later he blamed economy for lack of development in Bihar and now he’s playing the victimhood card to seek federal assistance. Nitish’s Bihar Model resonates more to a neighboring country’s coercion model. Run down your state to a complete anarchy and then seek aid from superpower, threatening them “you help us to protect your interests”. Sounds pretty much like an extortion from an organized crime gang. I must admit though that one special aid that Nitish can put in place right away is a shipment of contraceptive to control the unchecked growth of Bihar population; only thing that is growing in Bihar above national average. People of Bihar are very industrious, and intelligent. They are the prodigy of the Chanakya and Nalanda institutions. We see Biharis doing exceptionally well in civil services exams, are very competitive in public &private sector jobs. They do not need special status; all they need is a right environment to flourish. I hope people of Bihar makes a right decision in coming elections
The Comparison (Raja Bhoj vs. …)
So let’s compare the mood, message and mentality of both the addresses, comparing diamond vs. coal.
One breathes air of optimism, other exhales pessimism. One is patriotic in his message other is parasitic. One showed us a dream; other scared us with a nightmare. One offered ideas to prosper, other begged to survive. One shows us a path to flourish; other spreads a sense of despair.
Here’s one leader who has a vision to take nation forward, who believes in a comprehensive development and who preaches India First, and there’s other who cries foul and promotes vested interest at the cost of national interest. It is clearly evident who is divisive & who’s cohesive.
If aid drives development, all the aid recipient nations would have become economic super power now.
It’s not an aid; it’s the idea that breeds development.