Surprisingly, perhaps as estimated by very few intellectuals and as expected by some and against the wishes of others, we have seen the rise of Modi’s Gujarat and of course Mr. Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP and perhaps NDA. Credit may be attributed to the well-devised policies, strategic investment of physical and human capital and mass marketing program undertaken by Mr. Modi of his policies, philosophy, development and growth achieved in Gujarat in the last decade.

For many Hindus, who perhaps are not as religious as the world might think, Mr. Modi is the ‘new face’ of India and saviour of Hinduism. India which, as advocated by many, is bound to rise like Gujarat (as marketed by NaMo Team). Allow me the liberty to mention that a common man’s perception in India is largely based upon and guided by the Media- what they hear and what they see in the Television programmes and speeches. Seldom our choice of opinion is based upon intellectual differentia and a reasonable rationale. The choice of electorate has always been governed by emotional charge and the electrifying waves of affluent, captivating and masters of common man’s emotional quotient generally sweep the elections.

Emotional quotient, the constituent elements of which are ‘Hindu identity’ or ‘Islamic threat’ or ‘Islam in danger’ or the said EQ may be governed by regional or caste identity or at times- roti-kapada-makaan philosophy which bestows huge subsidies (which never reaches the ground) and at times largely based upon the relations of the candidate.

Modi, now a master of marketing world has no precedent in the political history of India and especially Gujarat. Modi has till now successfully harnessed the loyalties of his people in Gujarat and many leaders and satraps outside Gujarat, a large section of the population expects Modi to come to their rescue and indulge himself in the industrial growth of their respective regions. Perhaps, Modi is partly right when he attributes his success to developmental politics, now it will always remain a question of debate whether such attribution is attempted to rid himself of the stains of Gujarat riots or is there a additional reason that people from other less developed parts of the country should see and resonate their hope in him this time. Matters of debate! Hence I leave it open to the readers.

However, there are certain facts which the intellectual voter need not ignore about Gujarat’s development : which are as follows :

There are certain other imbedded lies in the Gujarat as against marketed by Mr. Modi :

The Vibrant Gujarat Summit conveys to the Aam Admi and Aam baniya of this Country that Gujarat leads the country in Foreign Direct Investment- a blatant lie carefully strategized program. The truth is in past 12 year Gujarat has received only 5 % of total FDI in India. Maharashtra and National Capital Region of Delhi are far ahead.

Gujarat Gas Corporation : A success story lost in time :

You may try to open the website of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, if you open it in the first go, then I must say you are lucky enough to disguise through the intentions of it Lords. In June 2005 Mr. Modi declared on behalf of State Government that GSPC discovered more than 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, valued more than $ 50 billion, at the distant Krishna Godavari Basin off the coast of Andhra Pradesh. It was pertinent to see the Gujarat State Officials pointing out that the said discovery was more in quantum as compared to the one made by Reliance Industries Ltd., which was only 14 tcf.

Eight years later, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, which independently evaluates such discoveries, had figured out that the find was not worth 20 tcf but only about 2 tcf, which was otherwise too difficult to extract at such higher costs.

So is the longs list of success of State enterprises, development of infrastructure in Gujarat, excepting Southern part, the so called 100s of MoUs signed in Vibrant Gujarat Summit with various MNCs, TNCs and other companies. One must visit Junagadh, Kutch and other areas of Gujarat to see if there is any substantial change in Gujarat as claimed by NaMo and not just base our opinion on South Gujarat.

Modi : Voting Pattern

Also we need not ignore the voting pattern and EQ which will cent percent govern the ballots, as it has always done in India.

Let me present an analysis of other sates like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, all of whom have a strong identity of their own.

It is a well accepted position of Marathi Manoos and Marathi Asmita in Mumbai who have after long struggle and bloodshed at the Hutatma Chowk (Fountain, fort) have kept Mumbai intact within the fold and dominion of State of Maharashtra, to the surprise of many, the development of South Gujarat and rapid industrialization of Surat-Wapi belt and its increased connectivity with Mumbai is a assumed threat by many Marathi speaking as a device to snatch Mumbai from Maharashtra and integrate it in Gujarat. Well, for the rationale mind the situation is quite hypothetical as the Maratha satraps will never allow Mumbai to integrate in Gujarat, however, its liberation from Maharashtra and conversion in to a State or Union Territory or any other independent region like National Financial Capital Territory/Region, is still a greater deterrent for the Maharashtrians across the state and may play as a deterrent against voting for BJP-Shiv Sena as the same would ultimately amount to weakening of Marathi asmita and emboldening Gujarati Modi. Congress and NCP may well harness upon and exploit the position at the ground level. The second governing principle perhaps may be the fear of rising Marathi business houses for whom the traditional gujarati businessmen has always been tiff-tuff competitors, who out-number the Maharashtrian business houses even in number and also in skills. The credit for Gujarati success perhaps to a large extent may be attributed to they being culturally and traditionally businessmen and discredit for Marathi fall out may be bounced on the warrior clan of marathas who delayed their entry into business world and remained happy with their depleting resources and royalty, which was falling apart layer by layer, since the democracy had set its foot which was then flavoured by Liberalisation Policy of 1991.

It is germane and appropriate to note here that inspite of economic liberalization and subsequent development in Maharashtra, most of the opportunities made available by Open Economy were taken by the Non-Maharashtrian business houses and a common Marathi manoos remained engulfed in his vain pride thereby binding himself to the farming, service and labour sector. The only best harnessed opportunities by Maharashtrians were Sports (Cricket), Film Industry, Literary and Scientific excellence, Banking sector; but seldom the same thing was experienced in the business which was the need of the hour under the new capitalist regime.

To conclude advent of Modi may be portrayed at the ground level in Maharashtra as a Gujarati threat- for Mumbai, for rising Marathi Business-men across the state, and of course for farmers who may fear the alienation and acquisition of their lands by a pro- Development leader who favours all industrial houses, perhaps the same may come at the cost of farmer’s bread and butter.

Whatever is mentioned above, are all myths which will be circulated amongst the electorate before elections, some might get the idea from this article itself and some of the myths might have already been passing from lips to ears.

The choice of the Marathi-Hindu electorate would be between a Marathi leader or a non-marathi Gandhi or the prevalent Gujarati threat under the garb of Hindu resurrection, in the absence of the Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thakare who would have protected them from Modi too, which perhaps will conquer everything from the ramified Marathi plate and palate. What the voters will ultimately choose is big question, however let us put the same to the test of time.

Another major factor which we must consider here is the Muslim votes in Maharashtra, their loyalty to Congress and NCP, and other spoil-players like MNS, RPI and the independent candidates.

The moment for an average Marathi voter identification of Modi will be synchronized with identity of advent of Gujarati Modi, the Marathi voter will shift towards the Marathi Leaders mostly of NCP and Congress and to a certain extent MNS, Shiv Sena a long lasting champion of both Marathi and Hindu cause in Maharashtra and in the absence of its Supremo Balasaheb Thakare, may loose the bargain this time. Let me put a disclaimer that abovementioned myths will be one the mis-playing factors to decide the voting patterns perhaps prejudicing or perhaps without prejudicing the other factors which are not the subject matter of this article.

Second most important consideration we must contemplate upon before deciding the Modi effect conclusively in India is small lesson from Andhra Pradesh- Hyderabad once ruled by the dynamic Chandrababu Naidu who perhaps had the same potential and pro-developmental and industrialization agenda as the NaMo has today.

Co-incidentally even threat of Gujarati Modi may affect the voting pattern in AP, if not to the same extent as it would in Maharashtra, but certainly to a considerable extent. Modi built cities like Surat, Ahemedabad and is rightly focused on IT sector. Even Naidu established Hyderabad on the World IT Map, industrialized the state massively and marketed it well.

The point here is why pro-development Modi was successful for three consecutive terms in Gujarat and pro-development Naidu failed in Andhra Pradesh. Both had massive marketing program. Modi had a hindu identity which perhaps could have gone to his disadvantage to a certain extent, but Chandra Babu by and large was a secular, at least was not that big a hate figure for Muslims as Modi is. The answer lies in the difference of societal fabric and political conundrum of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

Gujarat as a society is a business society, whereas Andhra Pradesh is not. Pro-business policies with Hindu identity card has been playing well in Gujarat, because that itself is the call of the masses in Gujarat, but same is not the case in Andhra Pradesh. Hence, Modi is successful in Gujarat and Chandra Babu failed in Andhra Pradesh alternatively, pro-farmer YSR rose to power, who knew the buttons of farmers and thereby successfully gave them subsidies in health and electricity. Another factor to be considered here is that Andhra Pradesh is part of the Red corridor hence the Naxal effect and philosophy which is generally against industrialization of the state has had a major say on polling booths, the same is not the case in Gujarat.

Most importantly, we must consider whether considering the Muslim population in Andhra Pradesh, rising influence of Akbar-ud-din Owaisi on Muslims and the past experience of Naidu with his industrialization policies will Modi effect survive. Will the farmers in Andhra Pradesh take Modi as another Chandrababu who will snatch away their lands, or will the farmers and populace in Andhra accept Modi and decide and rely upon the growth story of Gujarat thereby expecting the same miracle to take place in Andhra.

Question here is what will ultimately and conclusively decide the voting pattern in Andhra :

Factor 1 : Modi : Hindu face with pro-industrialization agenda.

Factor 2 : Past experience with Chandrababu Naidu and reaction of farmers

Factor 3 : YSR lead Congress policies which are/were pro-farmers and subsidy oriented.

Factor 4 : Naxal philosophy and opposition to industrialization.

Factor 5 : Existing split in Congress (I) and son of YSR.

Factor 6 : Increasing influence of Owaisi on Muslims.

Perhaps voting pattern would be decided somewhat on following lines :

–       Modi for Hindu (a small pro-development urban section) against

–       Owaisi for Muslims

–       Congress for rural masses

–       Naxal’s working on different tangents deciding local satrap

–       Or will farmers accept Hindu Leader as their savior against the rising threat of Owaisi.

Such conundrum does not exist in Gujarat, hence Modi’s straight jacket formula worked there; will it work in Andhra Pradesh, or the ball game will be affected by abovementioned factors is something which we have to see through the lens of the Time.

(to be continued….)

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