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Opinion: Is Narendra Modi really a man of development? A trip to Ahmadabad unravels the truth

Sunday, 9 December 2012

After reading endless eulogies on the Modi-model, I decided to fly down to Ahmadabad from Mumbai where I live to see for myself what this man has done. After the huge hoopla that is being created around this man, I was expecting a swanky town with clean roads and prosperous people milling around with happy faces, no garbage, no beggar, no traffic jams, no traffic rule violators and no visible poverty and disease.

Man, what a shock I got, it was one of the pathetic towns that I had visited in the past year. This year alone I visited Mangalore, Udupi, Mysore, Bangalore, Chennai and Patna; the only city that would compete with Ahmadabad for pathetic conditions would be Patna.

Ahmadabad was like any other north Indian city, filthy, crazy with no sense of discipline and nothing and believe me, the number of flyovers and underpasses that dot Chennai and Bangalore are nowhere there.

And there is this huge proportion of population, which just lives by the road side and sell their wares with dirty children playing around, and the worst was the quality of roads – yes some parts have good roads – but most of the roads are so-so and yes, there seems to be no regular clearing of garbage anywhere, except in posh areas, and you guessed it right – a horde of cattle milling around every garbage dumping locations and it was real crazy.

As I moved around Ahmadabad  what shocked me the most was the apparent success this man has achieved in portraying himself as a man of development, when development seem to have missed a huge number of people. Unfortunately those are the people who may not have the means to come and troll here or just do not have the time to indulge in such luxuries.

Yes he has created two kitsch – the beautification of the Kankaria Lake and the attempt to create the riverfront along Sabarmati. The beautification of Kankaria lake is a testimony to the hollowness gujarat’s development agenda – garish lights lit around the lake’s banks giving it an appearance of MGR movie set. And yes there is a picnic train that runs around the lake – grown up men and women with their noisy children sit and marvel at the wonder Modi has created for them. This is the class which will blow up Rs 1000 on a weekend and will definitely vote for Modi. but then there is a whole lot of people who do not have the time to even come to the lake.

The lesser I say about the RiverFront project, the better. It seems to be going on and on and on… and Modi will keep on projecting the riverfront project as his achievement.

It is really sick to see the non-stop propaganda portraying him as a development guru when the main city of Gujarat is pits! I am convinced many of the trolls who support Modi as a development guru have never ever visited Gujarat or have been paid by his media managers or have become deaf, dumb, blind and senile or all of them together.

If this is the state of the biggest city in the State after 12 years of rule by Narendra Modi, I can only imagine how bad the other cities and villages in Gujarat would be…

Being someone from Chennai, I can only compare Ahmadabad with Chennai and utmost Bangalore – absolutely no comparison, not that these cities are great but Ahmadabad stands no chance.

Discussions with my drivers were a case in point- the first day I had a Muslim driver… when I asked him who would win, he said ‘wait for Dec 20, you will come to know’… the next day I had a Maharashtrian Hindu driver and when I asked him the same question, he said, ‘Modi will win because he will become the PM.

I realized that this whole hoopla of him being projected as PM is a deliberate ploy to essentially win the Gujarat polls as otherwise all the warts and wounds of his regime and his fake development agenda would be up for discussion… to camouflage this pathetic failure, millions of rupees are being spent to market him as a development guru and also to project him as a PM candidate! How pathetic!!

But then what intrigued me was how does a Gujarati perceive development – I asked an acquaintance about his views – He said, under Modi, a number of malls have come up and hence the State has developed… I asked my Maharashtrian Hindu driver – He said, in the last 10 years, lot of apartment complexes have come up and prices of apartments have gone up – this is development for him.

So development is viewed by different people differently and I am damn sure that a whole lot of people would not have seen any development at all.

When I left Ahmadabad yesterday morning, I was convinced that I would not be surprised if all the pollsters and trolls will be proved wrong because, even as a whole horde of noise-makers are crying that Modi will win, there seems to a silent majority who does not talk much but could completely upset Modi’s applecart.

For a man who is such a megalomaniac and so successful in marketing himself as a successful developer – why the hell should he campaign like this – attend 10 meeting in every corner of the State and also have 50 3D shows everyday. If he is so successful and if there is a Hindu unification, he should just be sitting in his office and win the elections.

Of late, he looks frustrated and scarred, it is on his face. He is unraveling and it is good for India!!

Written by Srinivasan J. >>

Chennai based entrepreneur. Liberal and Ardently Secular. Likes to travel. Father of twin boys. Fitness enthusiast. Write about politics and technology. Chooses to stay non-aligned with political parties.
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