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Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Short Background to the 'Vibrant Gujarat' and 'Gujarat Model' slogans

A Short Background to the 'Vibrant Gujarat' and 'Gujarat Model' slogans
Foreign Diplomats and Journals were all Praise for the Gujarat Model
Courtesy:India Elections 2014|Learning Politics

Alienation of Politically Active Sections

Middle class

By 2012, scams, Supreme Court/CAG observations, Declining Growth Rate, Falling Rupee etc., have made the middle class genuinely turn against the UPA.

Agony of the Corporate Sector

For the corporate sector, many of their leading lights were facing court cases, and IT or CBI scanner. In addition, the socially inclusive acts like the Land Acquisition Act are seen as Industry unfriendly. Also, the Govt did not listen to their long pending demand for amending the ID Act to make 'hire and fire' easy.

The scams and the movements against corruption, have virtually brought the functioning of the Govt to a standstill. Bureaucrats were afraid of taking decisions, for the fear of being hauled up later in theri life. The Opposition have made use of each and every occasion, to rile the Govt and the response of the Govt was weak and meek. Govt and the Party, seemed directionless in the face of the relentless onslaughts. In short, the Corporates could not get things done as they used to do earlier. The corporates preference for Modi has come out clearly in an internal Poll.

Vulnerability of NRNMNP sections

For the Non-Rich Non-Middle class Non-Poor classes-who were   the creation of the liberalised economy, who are not in the organised sector, who are in fact form the large chunk of voters today-the situation is one of uncertainty of retaining the newly acquired living standards. They are the most vulnerable to the downturn in the economy, and are the most vehement in their opposition to the scam tainted UPA.

Condition of the Poor

Millions have been uplifted above the poverty level by the UPA's socio-economic policies. However, the fate of those who were left out of the 'trickle-down' effect is pathetic. .They continue to live in abject conditions for decades now. In fact, the gap between the rich and the poor have become wider and wider.

Anna Movement
The Movement Started by Anna was Taken Advantage of by Modi/BJP
Anna Hazare

It was in this background the Anna launched the movement. The Movement against Corruption and for enacting an effective Lokpal Bill have received wide support especially from the middle class. Though the Movement was against the political class as such, we could find BJP and the wider Pariwar, taking advantage of the anti-establishment sentiments by participating in the movement or providing logistics or sometimes form the major part of the audience in many events.

Takeover by BJP/Modi

Anna's movement started losing steam after a few fasts, and with the parting of ways with AK. However, the momentum generated by the movement, was carried forward by Modi/ BJP and their associates to their advantage. The shrewdness of Modi should be acknowledged, in exploiting the atmosphere prevailing in the country, especially amongst the middle class,  against the Political Class, though they(BJP) also are part of the very Class.

Internal situation in BJP

Perhaps, the failure of the 'Iron Man' Advani in the 2009 elections to show results, and the already strained relations between RSS and Advani, provided the internal background for Modi to emerge in the BJP as the 'leader'. The Gujarat Model and Vibrant Gujarat slogans, aggressively promoted by the Modi camp, helped in clinching the issue in favour of Modi.

Role of Social Media and Publicity Agencies

The social media was used and misused to achieve this end.The sting operation by.Cobra Post   exposed how the social media was used for a fee, to serve the purpose of promoting Modi.Scams were blown out of proportions, imaginary negative aspects of UPA, and its leaders were highlighted, and the Gujarat Model, and Vibrant Gujarat were promoted in all fora.

And to give a complete make over for Modi, and for lobbying with foreign agencies and government an American lobbying company APCO was hired.


The media, being part of the Corporate sector, has been a willing partner in this Modi promotion efforts. BJP and Modi, has been editorially favourably commented, and widely covered in the news items.The comment section of most of the on line news sites, have been virtually taken over by BJP activists. Individual columnists and editors have been advised to toe the line. The case of Sagarika Ghose of CNN_IBN is a pointer.

The success of Modi and BJP to create the anti-UPA sentiments, is not simply because of the corruption charges. Its the scale of corruption that the media and political opponents have projected about the scam. In 2G, the 'presumptive loss' amount worked out by the CAG(which amount itself was corrected subsequently by CAG itself), has been slyly equated with scam amount. This 'huge amount' ,was supposed to have been looted by the rulers and it was this 'size of the scams' that generated unprecedented anger amongst the people. The UPA was stumped, and through its inept handling, failed to correct this wrong perception, may be because of coalition compulsions.This in turn made things easy for Modi and BJP, to pose themselves as the alternative, which they really are not.

An Objective Study of Gujarat Model 

Though much have been written and spoken on the Gujarat Model of Development(GMD), we intend to study independently the veracity of the claims and counter claims from the angle of a concerned citizen.We welcome contribution in this also.Now, with the emergence of AAP on the National scene, and with  the General Elections  nearing, more and more voices are now heard questioning all that has been projected in the name of Gujarat Model and Vibrant Gujarat.

The debate on GMD has helped Modi and BJP to focus on the economic issues, away from the Godhra and other related issues.

It is in this context, we also thought of chipping in, and  find out how vibrant Gujarat is, and for whom the Gujarat Model of Development actually works.

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