Saturday, December 28, 2013

Modi On 2002

English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference
English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My dear sisters and brothers,

The law of nature is that Truth alone triumphs – Satyameva Jayate. Our judiciary having spoken, I felt it important to share my inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large.

The end brings back memories of the beginning. The devastating earthquake of 2001 had plunged Gujarat into the gloom of death, destruction and sheer helplessness. Hundreds of lives were lost. Lakhs were rendered homeless. Entire livelihoods were destroyed. In such traumatic times of unimaginable suffering, I was given the responsibility to soothe and rebuild. And we had whole heartedly plunged ourselves into the challenge at hand.

Within a mere five months however, the mindless violence of 2002 had dealt us another unexpected blow. Innocents were killed. Families rendered helpless. Property built through years of toil destroyed. Still struggling to get back on its feet from the natural devastation, this was a crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat.

I was shaken to the core. ‘Grief’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Misery’, ‘Pain’, ‘Anguish’, ‘Agony’ – mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.

On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other the pain of the victims of the riots. In decisively confronting this great turmoil, I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with.

During those challenging times, I often recollected the wisdom in our scriptures; explaining how those seating in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish. They had to suffer it in solitude. I lived through the same, experiencing this anguish in searingly sharp intensity. In fact, whenever I remember those agonizing days, I have only one earnest prayer to God. That never again should such cruelly unfortunate days come in the lives of any other person, society, state or nation.

This is the first time I am sharing the harrowing ordeal I had gone through in those days at a personal level.

However, it was from these very built up emotions that I had appealed to the people of Gujarat on the day of the Godhra train burning itself; fervently urging for peace and restraint to ensure lives of innocents were not put at risk. I had repeatedly reiterated the same principles in my daily interactions with the media in those fateful days of February-March 2002 as well; publically underlining the political will as well as moral responsibility of the government to ensure peace, deliver justice and punish all guilty of violence. You will also find these deep emotions in my recent words at my Sadbhavana fasts, where I had emphasized how such deplorable incidents did not behove a civilized society and had pained me deeply.

In fact, my emphasis has always been on developing and emphasizing a spirit of unity; with the now widely used concept of ‘my 5 crore Gujarati brothers and sisters’ having crystallised right at the beginning of my tenure as CM itself from this very space.

However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!

For so many years, they incessantly kept up their attack, leaving no stone unturned. What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire state and country. This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal. It ironically also delayed the very justice that these people claimed to be fighting for. Maybe they did not realize how much suffering they were adding to an already pained people.

Gujarat however had decided its own path. We chose peace over violence. We chose unity over divisiveness. We chose goodwill over hatred. This was not easy, but we were determined to commit for the long haul. From a life of daily uncertainty and fear; my Gujarat transformed into one of Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana. I stand a satisfied and reassured man today. And for this, I credit each and every Gujarati.

The Gujarat Government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country. Yesterday’s judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat’s 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace.

I am truly grateful to all those who stood by me in these trying times; seeing through the facade of lies and deceit. With this cloud of misinformation firmly dispelled, I will now also hope that the many others out there trying to understand and connect with the real Narendra Modi would feel more empowered to do so.

Those who derive satisfaction by perpetuating pain in others will probably not stop their tirade against me. I do not expect them to. But, I pray in all humility, that they at least now stop irresponsibly maligning the 6 crore people of Gujarat.

Emerging from this journey of pain and agony; I pray to God that no bitterness seeps into my heart. I sincerely do not see this judgement as a personal victory or defeat, and urge all – my friends and especially my opponents – to not do so as well. I was driven by this same principle at the time of the Honourable Supreme Court’s 2011 judgement on this matter. I fasted 37 days for Sadbhavana, choosing to translate the positive judgement into constructive action, reinforcing Unity and Sadbhavana in society at large.

I am deeply convinced that the future of any society, state or country lies in harmony. This is the only foundation on which progress and prosperity can be built. Therefore, I urge one and all to join hands in working towards the same, ensuring smiles on each and every face.

Once again, Satyameva Jayate!

Vande Mataram!

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Could Kejriwal Be PM?

Arvind Kejriwal’s stunning performance in the Delhi elections has changed equations in Indian politics. The new Chief Minister of Delhi was a key organizer for the anti-corruption Anna Hazare movement.

He sounds like Ralph Nader when he says the Congress and the BJP are not different at all. That is what Nader had to say about the Democrats and the Republicans. But Nader stayed a fringe candidate, Kejriwal has managed to capture Delhi, and is talking in terms of fielding candidates in over 300 constituencies for the parliamentary elections, including in every constituency in Gujrat.

It is a foregone conclusion that no party will cross the 200 mark. The Congress might even hit close to 100. The BJP will likely cross 150. For the first time a large space is being created for the non-Congress, non-BJP parties. And there are several aspirants for the top job in that camp.

Jayalalita and Mulayam Singh have been open about it. I think Nitish stands a strong chance. But the Third Front stays a hodgepodge, and if the Aam Aadmi Party managed to field candidates in more than 300 constituencies and managed to win in even 50 of those, it will emerge as the largest among the non-Congress, non-BJP parties.

If somehow Modi manages to get the BJP past the 200 mark, someone like Jayalalita might be happy to become Deputy Prime Minister. But if the BJP might hit 160 and the Congress 100, you can bet the Congress will join the anybody-but-the-BJP bandwagon. Which would mean essentially the BJP at that point would be considered a party with 60 seats, 100 of its seats cancelled out by the Congress.

Could Kejriwal end up with 50 MPs? How about 100? If he manages to cross the 100 mark, he would most certainly be Prime Minister.

Right now Modi and Kejriwal are the only two individuals who have all India campaigns in mind. Jayalalita is focused on Tamilnadu, Nitish is focused on Bihar, Mulayam is focused on Uttar Pradesh. But 50 MPs for Kejriwal, and 200 for Modi are tall orders. The largest of the non-Congress, non-BJP parties tend to get 30 seats.

The situation is fluid. India remains the most fascinating democracy. And YouTube makes it rather easy to follow the flux.

Modi has a good record economically. But Nitish Kumar’s record is better. Modi has a national party. Nitish does not. On the other hand, the BJP, it can be argued, is also a regional party. Nitish has an Eastern Bloc in mind. West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa are looking to gang up. Each of those states have strong Chief Ministers sitting on top of regional parties. That is a bloc of about 100 parliamentary seats.

I think Nitish is betting on a post-election alignment of forces.

Many Indian leaders like to claim the 19th century belonged to Britain, the 20th to America and that the 21st will belong to India. Well, so far America is still in the lead. And it is China that is giving competition. India has not happened yet. There are so many Chief Ministers in India performing well. Gujrat as an economy is bigger and better than most economies in Europe.

There is a strong anti-incumbency wave in the country. Rahul’s chances are slim. There are many leaders fundamentally opposed to Modi, Rahul and Nitish among them. That makes it hard for Modi unless he managed to get the BJP past the 200 mark. A hung parliament is a foregone conclusion. The leader of the largest among the non-Congress, non-BJP parties will stand to make a claim. Who will that be?

What is obvious is that the run up to the elections are going to be very interesting. And the post-poll scenario is also going to be colorful. I don’t think Mulayam or Jayalalita will be it. It is between Nitish and Kejriwal. But then a scenario where Mamata has more MPs than Nitish or Jayalalita more than Kejriwal could also throw up interesting scenarios.

I like to say India is a European Union that is actually working. There is a single currency. More than six decades after independence the country is largely an amalgam of regional parties.

Overall I remain optimistic. I think India is poised to hit close to double digit growth rates. And so all fermentation in the political process is positive. India is proof democracy works. It takes time but it works.

As for Kejriwal, it remains to be seen if he can manage to get his magic in Delhi to hit a nationwide stride. Howard Dean did not become president. Imran Khan did not become Prime Minister. Anna Hazare did not become a politician. And so it is not a foregone conclusion that the Aam Aadmi Party will emerge the third largest. But if it does then Kejriwal stands a strong chance of getting the top job.

Modi Vs Kejriwal
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Modi Vs Kejriwal

If the Aam Aadmi Party can bag 50 seats in the 2014 elections, Kejriwal could become Prime Minister. It will end up larger than all the non-Congress, non-BJP parties in India.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Narendra Modi's Management Style

English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World E...
English: Image of Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Quora: What is Narendra Modi's leadership style?
Long term planning and clear focus. Modi sets goals and controls manpower to complete individual tasks; he practically, directly supervises personnel even at the very bottom of the pyramid. ..... he does all this all the while making his key team players believe they are indispensable ..... by opening the state. He knows the corporates would do the rest, all he has to do is tempt them in .... An open market model is his bait. .... a thinker. ... an analyzer .... He would constantly make sure that somehow, people keep talking about him .... maintains a brand value like no other. His target is wide and his ways of reaching them are very few...... never lets anybody get their hands on his line of control
Forbes: Narendra Modi: Role Model of Governance?
the person who “redefined politics, performance and principles”..... hazy memories from 10 years ago of the state’s commercial capital Ahmedabad. In memory it was a messy city, like many others—chaotic, polluted and emblematic of all things wrong with urbanisation in India...... one of the better managed cities in the country. The roads were wider and public spaces greener than I remembered. An efficient Bus Rapid Transit System connects the eastern end of the city to the western corner. Another one connecting the other two poles is under construction....... a 76-km-long ring road encircling it .... would take over half their land ... once the project was complete, the other half of the land they would continue to own would be significantly more valuable than all of their land put together...... One by one, Modi has sidelined detractors and made senior leaders of the Sangh Parivar irrelevant...... ”. Under him, industry in the state has grown in double digits. More children are now in school than ever before and agricultural growth is several times the national average. Modi told a farmers’ gathering recently that arable land in the state had increased by 37 lakh hectares. Land covered by micro-irrigation projects alone had increased from less than 1,000 acres to over seven lakh hectares in the decade of his rule. ....... The administration works with clock-work efficiency. .... Radio and TV channels constantly air advertisements trumpeting his achievements...... There are few streets in Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar that don’t have a hoarding with his picture on it—smiling benignly, at times in a traditional turban; at other times business-like in stylish jackets; and yet others in his trademark half-sleeved kurta, hands raised and index finger pointing upwards. Wherever you look, the leader is on extravagant display...... his white beard trimmed to perfection and every hair in place ....... His speech was stellar, and very personal. It was all about My Gujarat, My farmer, My Vibrant Gujarat. His connect with the audience was immediate. ..... “Agriculture in Gujarat has moved from rain-dependent to irrigated. It has moved from subsistence farming to cash-cropping,” he said, listing the steps he took to push up average decadal agricultural growth to 10 percent. He urged those in the audience to dream big—big enough to produce and feed all of Europe....... Choreographed events ..... Modi’s workaholic ways, of how he keeps a hawk-like vigil on everything and everyone, and the efficient e-governance systems he has put in place to stay in touch with ground realities across Gujarat. ...... the days when he was a regular standby at Delhi’s numerous studios, playing second fiddle to BJP’s national leaders such as Murli Manohar Joshi. “He once waited four hours in the ante room to the studio when Joshi was on a panel discussion just in case Joshi left midway and he got a chance to replace him on the panel,’’ the journalist remembers ...... thinks and plans long-term .... knows very well how to position himself .... Since he took over 11 years ago in Gujarat, Modi has managed to convert it into one of the better governed and most aggressively marketed states in the country. ..... At the 2011 Vibrant Gujarat Summit, the state’s now-famous investment biennale, he got businesses from across the world to sign nearly 8,000 MoUs committing $460 billion in investments...... Tata Motors and General Motors already operate out of Gujarat. Ford Motors, Peugeot and Maruti are planning new plants. With so many auto and auto ancillary projects in the pipeline, Modi has gone on record saying he’s done with wooing automakers. He now wants to focus on defence equipment manufacturing, he told the Wall Street Journal recently....... About 12 kilometers from Ahmedabad, one of his most ambitious projects is taking shape. Called the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City or GIFT, it hopes to replace Mumbai as India’s financial services hub........ 1,535-km Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, 38 percent of which falls in Gujarat. ...... they still have to pay “speed money” to get things done ...... The image-conscious administration is primed to actively discourage any criticism of Modi. ..... Another, Gordhan Zadaphia, a former colleague of Modi’s, says the chief minister had personally threatened him if he did not fall in line. Zadaphia left the party in 2007 ...... VHP leader Pravin Togadia is a shadow of his old belligerent self and senior RSS leader Sanjay Joshi, known as much for his organisational skills as his rivalry with Modi, has been exiled to Delhi. So strong is Modi’s dislike for Joshi that he refused to attend the last BJP national executive meet in Mumbai if Joshi was present. The leadership finally bowed to Modi’s pressure and sidelined Joshi. ...... between 2002 and 2007 he created a back-up for party organisation. Modi appointed five gramsewaks in each of Gujarat’s 18,000 villages. ...... “Ministers hardly have a role in this government. It is run by bureaucrats. Even the ministers’ performance is evaluated by them,” the person says. Local administration offices are connected with high-speed internet and video-conferencing equipment. It helps senior officials sitting at the headquarters monitor progress of government projects at the ground level. It also doubles up as the backbone of Modi’s public relations machinery ....... Schoolteachers I met in a village say they are made to do data gathering work. ...... Modi came up with an ingenious way to economise on resources. The government hired people on fixed-pay contracts. Called Lok Rakshak for police constables, Vidya Sahayak for teachers and Vidyut Sahayak for electricity workers, they had five-year tenures after which they were eligible for permanent employment as freshers. They were paid as little as Rs 2,500 per month. Helpers in prisons and courts were paid just Rs 1,500 per month. There are about five lakh such employees...... Malnutrition among children, especially in the tribal belt of eastern Gujarat, is high. A high incidence of anaemia has been reported even among middle class women. Infant mortality rate in the state has dropped to 44 per thousand births from 48 five years ago. But it is much worse than other industrialised states like Tamil Nadu (24) and Maharashtra (30)...... farmers in Jamtha, a small village in the constituency with a voter population of 700, say they have not had power for two months, save two days. “We’ve been singled out,” sarpanch Shobhaji Jumaji says, “because the village votes for the Congress.’’ In the last election, only 18 voted for the BJP. ..... says the chief minister has killed debate in the state. ..... sometimes authoritarian regimes are able to perform better than democratic governments but usually only in the short run and for brief periods ..... Sweden, Switzerland and New Zealand have high levels of economic wealth and greater democracy. Authoritarian governments in China, Qatar and Swaziland have managed to shore up their economies...... Modi’s rule can be best described as personalist, where the state apparatus is geared to do his bidding. One of the main jobs of the apparatus, while delivering governance is also to remind the people who brought it to them. “Modi has no regards for anyone. He has no friends,’’ says Zadaphia, who began his career as a marketing manager with Gabriel and later became an RSS general secretary in Gujarat. The other general secretary was Narendra Modi....... twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar ...... The average Gujarati would prefer to start a business rather than work for anyone. ...... Modi has inherited a relatively well-functioning state and improved on it with his own brand of governance that works without consultation and debate .... Running a relatively homogenous Gujarat like a personal fiefdom is one thing and managing a volatile, diverse country is quite another. That calls for cooperation, compromise, persuasion and deliberation—not exactly qualities associated with Modi. His own party in the state is an example. As Zadaphia says: “In Gujarat, BJP is Modi and Modi is BJP.”
The many faces of Narendra Modi
As chief minister Narendra Modi made a speech from a studio in Gandhinagar, his likeness, in the form of four 3D holograms, was beamed simultaneously down onto stages in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat. The holograms waved and walked forward fuzzily, like ambassadors from the starship Enterprise. ...... a little over a week later, 26 3D Modis addressed audiences in specially constructed theatres around the state ...... one of the few state-level politicians who is a household name all over India. ....... The success of this conflation between man and party adds up to one of the most powerful political brands India has ever seen, and Modi is hyper-conscious and controlling of his image, say some of his colleagues, who are curiously reluctant to take credit for any campaign initiative, instead insisting that every idea came from Modi himself. ...... From Hindutva party man, to aggressor of Muslim minorities, to development guru, to entrepreneur, to tech-savvy changemaker, Modi’s face has come to mean different things to different people. ..... Ahead of the elections in 2002, he toured the state making speeches, some of which targeted the Congress and the Muslim community. In one of them, he allegedly made the much criticized “hum paanch, humare pachees (we are five, we have 25)” remark, in which he referred sneeringly to the large size of Muslim families, further alienating the communities in refugee camps. ....... Modi’s image as a protector of Hindus may have been built accidentally, but it did give him a thumping victory at the polls. His 2002 victory garnered 127 of the total 182 assembly seats, the biggest ever victory for the BJP in Gujarat. However, his Hindutva politics were not sustainable in the long run and Modi was forced to temper his leanings to the Hindu right with a new image. ....... Modi’s politics demanded that he distance himself from BJP politics. From a Swadesi Pracharak arose Modi, the modernizer. A modernist cannot look anti-Muslim,” said Visvanathan. “He cannot look like some right-wing ideologue that belongs to some bygone era.” ...... “In India now, Hindutva is not in vogue and Modi seems to know that. Besides his national aspirations, his image is also keeping in mind that 43% of the Gujarat voters are urban, who want development” ..... Modi is today seen as a clean, efficient and no-nonsense administrator ..... “Modi is a good brand manager and an excellent propagandist. But he is not a statesman; his political philosophy is of majoritarianism,” said Achyut Yagnik, an Ahmedabad-based social scientist and the author of The Shaping of Modern Gujarat. “His development agenda is one-dimensional, profiting many large industries. A lot of small and medium scale industries in Gujarat have been losing ground by his development agenda.” ...... the transformation of Modi’s image from Hindu leader to big-business man happened extremely fast. By 2007, Vibrant Gujarat had become a platform for industrialists to come and shower praises on the chief minister and the work done by his government. Influential business leaders like Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Bharti Mittal and Anil Ambani became mouthpieces for Modi’s development plans. After his easy win in the 2007 elections, Ambani and Bharti both suggested that Modi should be the next prime ministerial candidate and in 2009 S.K. Birla echoed the sentiment. ..... In 2008, Modi boasted that it cost him only an SMS worth one rupee to bring in investment of about Rs.2,000 crore to Gujarat, referring to Tata Motors Ltd’s Nano factory, which moved from West Bengal to Gujarat after Modi sent a text to Ratan Tata ....... Modi has a sense of a messiah about him, said Shah, and is able to make a direct connection with his audience to the detriment of his own party at times. An early riser, Modi, who as an RSS pracharak (propagator) handled media interaction before joining BJP, spends a considerable amount of time each morning gathering and reading what the media has written about him and Gujarat. ...... His PR is tightly handled. ..... While APCO Worldwide promotes the Vibrant Gujarat summit, the agency also works on getting interviews for the chief minister with international publications. He became one of the few politicians in the country to feature on the cover page of Time magazine in March 2012. ........ “Modi has an in-depth understanding of media and how it works” ...... “In 2007, Modi was touring a rural village of Gujarat and was giving a speech in Gujarati addressing local issues. When he came to know that a national channel had come to cover him, he changed his speech to Hindi and spoke on some national issue that was played by the channel throughout the day.” ....... Modi’s oratory skills also have a lot in the making of his image. His rustic humour and puns frequently get laughs from his audience ..... Modi has a team of professionals working on his website that gives regular updates about him and his governance. He has a million followers on Twitter ..... Modi answered questions on topics such as governance, administration and food on Google+ Hangout, a live video chat, anchored by actor Ajay Devgn. ..... Conscious about his dressing style ..... Modi has also had a hair transplant. ...... “Everything else might work, except his body language, which is not pro-Muslim.” ..... The chief minister’s olive branch to the Muslims is purely on his own terms, said Mehta. “So it means that Muslims even today can’t get houses in (a) Hindu locality in Ahmedabad. While the outside world may believe that Modi has changed, Gujarat is still deeply sympathetic to the Hindutva core of Modi. In his list of candidates declared for the upcoming elections, Modi has not fielded one Muslim candidate. The Hindutva ideology is very much there. Modi is trying to blend it with developmetalist politics, including anti-corruption.” ....... Modi’s frequent travels to China cast him as the man who can take India’s reply to its rival .... “Modi does not seem to be democratic enough to lead the nation... his vocabulary does not seem to go beyond two words—security and development. A prime minister’s image is far more complex.” .... “His dictatorial image is against the plural fabric of the nature of Indian society. A lot of authoritative figures like Indira Gandhi have been efficient. But efficiency is not the sole criteria for democratic India today.”
Modi’s one-man rule
Just as there is no Modi model of economics, there is no Modi model of governance, if by model we mean something original that can be replicated. ..... Modi was running a fairly autocratic administration. ..... The strongly individualistic style of Modi’s performance, in which he is uninterested and disregarding of the views of others, is thought to be his key asset in governance. ..... What is happening under Modi in Gujarat is that this consultation has ended. Modi decides something and instructs the bureaucracy to implement it. ..... in no state was the higher bureaucracy as totally disregarded as in Gujarat .... one-man rule ..... the files move faster in Gujarat than they do elsewhere because of the lack of consultation. But the dangers associated with dismissing opposing views remain.
Modi's Management Style Dissected
Even those who do not agree with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's divisive politics, and I am one of them, admire his administrative skills ..... Narendra Modi's Swantha Sukhai programme, where officials are encouraged to go beyond their remit to take up projects that give them self-satisfaction. To ensure the longevity of these initiatives - a common failing in our administrative set-up - Modi encourages the initiator to put in place a local team that can carry forward the work ever after the official is posted out. And from the ambition of a Swantha Sukhai project, Modi says, he can gauge how motivated an official is. ....... Another innovation is the Chintan Shivir to which officials and ministers retreat for a couple of days every year (not so far this year), to which even officials from other states, like, for instance, the chief secretary of Nagaland are invited. The Shivir acts as a clearing house of ideas and enables officials to connect with each other and get to closely know their ministers ....... Modi is a great communicator and likes to campaign not only during elections but also between them. He sees development as a movement because little can be achieved without people's participation. Hence the three-day drive in July to enroll the girl child, the Beti Bachao (save the girl child) Andolan, the Nirmal (clean) Gujarat Abhiyan and the Niyogi Balak (disease-free children) campaign. Modi says each of these programmes is not discrete, but flows from one to the other, so that the gains achieved by the administration are not dissipated but consolidated. ...... Modi sees governance as a public-private partnership where the whole is more than the sum of parts. To encourage delivery in hospitals and check high death rates among newly-born babies and their mothers due to infection, Modi has initiated the Chirajeevi Yojana programme for childbirths with the assistance of private gynaecologists. Critics say the public healthcare system is being undermined, but Modi says he would rather be effective. ...... Modi claims amazing results. The pass percentage of rural students has improved dramatically, he says, after he isolated the grids supply power to rural homes and farms. The farms gets power during off-peak hours ensuring continuous supply to homes at night, enabling students to study. ..... Modi has an extensive grapevine that alerts him to every development in the state. Through Swagat Online he personally redresses grievances on the last Thursday of every month through videoconferences with district officials, keeping the administration on its toes. ..... his message-management skills.
Modi, the management guru
The next time I heard of him was when a professor in the college where I was doing my MBA came out with a report on how NaMo had used masks of himself to spread his message and keep his persona alive and kicking. We had a long discussion over cups of coffee in the canteen over this strategy, and the parallel it had with the world of marketing, specifically, brand positioning ...... a man who did not have much formal education, yet symbolized and stood for many of the principles and theories taught in long lectures and to which many people owe their PhDs ...... It’s a oft repeated statement in marketing that if you keep reminding a customer something over and over again, chances are – he will not forget to buy the product. ...... the 4Ps of marketing – first P would be the “product”. If the “product” is value for money, “positioning” will bring a smile on the face ..... NaMo has made Swami Vivekananda as his own .... a clever association with a well known “brand” ..... Right from day1, his focus has been more towards the women and the first time voters ..... a simple management principle – choose your target wisely and kept on persisting with his promotion ..... businessmen and politicians are the best of friends ..... Each one of them feed off the other. The politician needs funds; the businessmen need the right business environment. ...... Uninterrupted supply of power, almost unheard of in other states of India barring a couple in the North-East, broadband connectivity in almost every village of Gujarat means both large and small scale industry has thrived as well as benefits of mdern technology could be used by the people ....... Corruption has almost been eliminated, setting up business is easier than many parts of India, and the infrastructure (road networks, ports etc) compares to best in the world. Reduced costs and red tape has made investing attractive, bringing down unemployment significantly. This has had domino effects in terms of healthcare, sanitation etc and education. People have more money to buy better agricultural products, thus bringing up agricultural productivity. Higher returns mean they have more money to send their children to school; arrange for more nutritious food and make better sanitary arrangements. ........ Gujarat has entered into a virtuous cycle of higher income -> more taxes -> better quality of life ..... He understood the value of technology and social media ...... helped him spread his message quicker and cheaper .... NaMo has a great back-up team and an efficient PR-team, which not just keeps posted about him, helps spread his message on the social media, but also does great research for him. For example, when he went to China earlier this year, he had his visiting cards made in Mandarin, besides of course, having done solid research on the business environment of the country ........ lesson obviously is have a good back-up team and to be well prepared when visiting a potential client (here he was wooing Chinese investors to Gujarat, and created the simple analogy of being the “two fastest growing economies in Asia” ..... his RSS-background discipline. ..... “take stones thrown at you and turn them into milestones”
The Talented Mr. Modi
India's leading opposition politician and its top contender to succeed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after national elections that will come no later than the middle of 2014. ...... India's most polarizing politician .... For his legion of supporters -- including many of his 1.1 million followers on Twitter -- Modi is the messiah who will rid Indian politics of sloth, corruption, and petty identity politics. ..... no-nonsense management style and inspirational leadership .... the economic development Indians crave ..... the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules 10 states alone or with partners and commands about one-fifth of the national vote. ..... Despite his reputation as the country's best economic administrator and most business-friendly politician, Modi's association with anti-Muslim sentiment makes him ill-suited to lead his party's evolution toward a moderate Indian conservatism, a right-of-center alternative to the left-of-center Congress. Nor is it clear that Modi's top-down management style -- perfected in a state where he holds unquestioned sway -- will work in India's fractured national polity. And finally, given India's tough neighborhood and growing international engagement, the last thing the country needs is a leader who diminishes one of its greatest assets -- a well-deserved reputation for pluralism. ....... that rarest of creatures in India: a politician more interested in public service than in pelf or promoting his progeny. ..... In a land swaddled with red tape, Modi is seen as a go-getter. In a culture of inherited privilege -- where politicians tend to hand down power to their children like a family heirloom -- the chief minister comes from humble stock and has risen through dint of effort. He began his career helping an uncle run a railway-station tea stall in his hometown and then worked his way up the ranks of the Hindu-nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps) and its sister organization, the BJP, before being catapulted to the chief minister's job in 2001. ......... In an era of staggering corruption, Modi also stands for personal austerity. He's one of India's few politicians -- Singh is another -- whose declaration of a meager net worth (about $245,000) doesn't evoke guffaws of disbelief. ..... qualities -- decisiveness and honesty ..... As a bachelor, Modi carries no burden of sticky-fingered children, or their corner-cutting spouses, out to make a quick buck from proximity to power. ..... The state has averaged double-digit growth rates over much of Modi's 11-year rule. With only 5 percent of India's population, last year Gujarat accounted for 16 percent of the country's manufacturing and 22 percent of its exports. The Economist calls it India's Guangdong. ....... While much of India continues to suffer from potholed roads and daily brownouts, Gujarat offers investors modern highways and a reliable power supply. .... Vibrant Gujarat summit .. India's most high-profile investor gathering. ...... Many of Modi's most fervent supporters are hypernationalists who seem to view opposition to him as unpatriotic. ..... Gujaratis have always been an entrepreneurial people -- in the United States they dominate the motel industry ..... while Gujarat has grown fast, other states have grown faster still, and the state's human development indicators are not nearly as impressive as its GDP figures. ..... Most states that have grown faster than Gujarat either are much smaller or are starting from a much lower base. Moreover, human development indicators often lag income gains, and the effects of sustained double-digit growth in Gujarat will likely become evident over the coming years. ..... Jagdish Bhagwati .. credit Gujarat with making greater strides in health and education since independence than Kerala, which is often held up as India's poster child in terms of human development. ........ No other Indian chief minister stands up publicly for the idea of small government, fiscal responsibility, getting the government out of business, and providing people jobs rather than handouts. ..... In short, Narendra Modi may well be India's best chief minister. But he'd still make a terrible choice for prime minister.
Narendra Modi features on Time magazine cover; Congress angry
"Modi means business", along with a strap: "But can he lead India?" ...... "The article says: Gujarat has progressed like never before in Modi regime and is now most industrialised state of India. Right now, Gujarat's growth rate is about 12 per cent growth. Now, in 1992-93, please remember there was no liberalisation and economic reforms at that point of time, Gujarat's growth rate was 16.75 per cent," Mr Gohil said. ..... "Modi alone has been taking credit for Gujarat and its growth when Gujarat has traditionally been the growth centre of the nation. Time or Brookings should have mentioned that," Mr Gohil said.
The Incredible Dynamics of Narendra Modi’s Airlift from Uttarkhand
The relief and rescue mission, it seems, has undergone a dramatic change in its scale and pace with the arrival of Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, in Dehradun on Friday evening, 20 June 2013. .... “Narendra Modi lands in Uttarakhand, flies out with 15,000 Gujaratis” ..... The Gujarat CM, who flew in on Friday evening, held a meeting till 1am with his crack rescue team of five IAS, one IPS, one IFS and two GAS (Gujarat Administrative Service) officers. Two DSPs and five police inspectors were also part of his delegation. They sat again with the nitty-gritty of evacuation in a huddle that a senior BJP leader said lasted till 1am on Sunday. ....... Around 80 Toyota Innovas have been requisitioned to ferry Gujaratis to safer places in Dehradun as have four Boeings. On Saturday, 25 luxury buses transported a bunch of grateful people to Delhi. The efforts are being coordinated by two of the senior-most IAS officers of Gujarat, one currently stationed in Delhi and another in Uttarakhand.” ..... “What cannot be dismissed, though, is Modi’s now trademark style of micro-management, something his supporters say is the need of the hour for India. “It’s amazing what he has done here,” said Anil Baluni, a BJP leader. “If someone doesn’t like it, what can we do?’ .... with 80 Toyota Innovas, 25 Luxury Buses and 4 Chartered Boeing Aircarfts, Mr. Modi flew or ferried out 15,000 (Gujarati) pilgrims who were stranded in the Uttarkhand natural disaster in less than 2 days. ....... Once the claim “Modi rescued 15,000 from Uttarkhand” was brutally deconstructed and the ridicule began to spread, there were attempts to disown the claim, saying Modi never made any such claims, while his PR machinery still tried to give another spin to the controversy.
De-coding Narendra Modi’s Governance and Gujarat’s Development Model
While Gujarat’s growth story began long before Narendra Modi took over and plenty of holes can be blown through Gujarat’s claim to the status of the most-favored industrial state in the country, there have definitely been distinct changes in the way the state has been run and governed over the past ten years. In particular, under Mr. Modi, efforts to enhance state capacity (improve the quality of administration) – at least for the top-tier of public administration – have been undertaken. Innovative campaign-like approaches have become the vehicle to overcome social, infrastructural and economic challenges of governance. Yet, relatively little institutionalization of the public delivery of services is evident. Also, almost all of Mr. Modi’s programs reek of centrism. ......... When Narendra Modi first became the Chief Minister in 2001, in order to compensate for his lack of experience in matters of public administration and the fact that he had almost never held any executive position, he began holding a series of what his bureaucrats referred to as “4 pm meetings.” For roughly five to six weeks, every department’s secretaries and ministers would participate in a four-to-six-hours long session to describe the state of their department, the laws under which the department operated and a possible future roadmap – bolstered by statistics. “Here, he would make everything everyone’s business,” notes a recently-retired bureaucrat. “Soon most would have a general idea as to where the state was going,” he adds. ........ These initial presentations would eventually become precursors to the famed corporate-retreat-like events called the Chintan Shibirs – now often used as examples by Mr. Modi himself to demonstrate the importance of segmenting and analyzing problems of governance. Seven such conclaves have been held up until 2013. ........ “such theoretical exchange of ideas important for any group of administrators.” ..... According to a Harvard Business School study, the average tenure of senior state secretaries in India, during 1980-2000, was a mere 16 months against the recommended three to five years. The practice exists largely due to the fact that the mechanism of transfers remains the best way for the “principal politician” to exert control over administrators. ..... the stability of Mr. Modi’s political tenure .. Most transfers are minor reshuffles or promotions. ...... the institutionalization of the electronic medium for day-to-day administration .... most of the entitlements (subsidies, pensions etc.) and services demanding routine interface with the administration (land registration, birth and death certificates etc.) are processed electronically. ..... digitized land records, e-procurement (that almost wholly digitizes the tendering process for public procurement under the PPP model) ....... Why specific campaigns? .. “many things simply can’t be accomplished by the usual routine machinery, hence they need special attention.” ...... once an initiative gathers critical mass it becomes the business of the entire state machinery. .... like much of India – 55 percent of Class V students in Gujarat cannot read elementary textbooks, and 65 percent of them cannot do “simple subtraction.” ...... While campaign-style governance [initiatives] may be helpful for sensitizing communities, cleaning up a river-bed, or wiping out a disease, when it comes to delivery of substantive public services like job-training programs or education, one needs careful process restructuring to make improvement sustainable ..... the “form and ritual” of the scheme has taken precedence over its “content.” .... Failing to institute systemic changes in the delivery of specific public goods, feel critics, is the central drawback of the initiative-led development model. Also, they feel, festive campaigns have done little for poverty eradication. “Most are simply once-a-year affairs, where bureaucrats hand out stuff. There has not been any development of institutions that process such delivery of public goods” ...... “Often, one would have poor people given things by the Chief Minister which would be of very little use for them.” ........ “My concern is not the number of awards the government’s e-governance programs win, but whether life has improved for the common man while he deals with local officials. And when I think of that, I see very little change over the past ten years” ..... “although Narendra Modi has substantially developed the enabling infrastructure for e-governance, very little training, process restructuring or required cultural development has taken place.” ...... “Unlike other chief ministers [in India], he is able to withstand political pressures from his ministers and his party” ...... “He has definitely played his cards well,” says a retired top bureaucrat, “by making sure everything he does is adequately publicized and attributed to him.” ........... high-octane campaigns are given more importance than serious process restructuring that substantially can improve governance on a sustainable basis. .... “As one drives through Gujarat, there is no escaping Modi. Everywhere there is a banner or a hoarding with his face sticking out in the middle of nowhere. Though I did not hear them myself, many I met swore that Modi’s recorded messages are played in government elevators.”
Narendra Modi wants PM to adopt Gujarat style of governance
The BJP has held the Prime Minister, who then held direct charge of the coal ministry, responsible for what has been estimated as a notional loss of Rs1.86 lakh crores by the CAG in coal block allocations, and demanded his resignation...... The CAG report on coal block allocations states that nearly 150 coalfields were allotted to private and state-run firms without transparency and objectivity between 2005 and 2009.
Narendra Modi's 8-step action plan to woo India
It seems annointing Gujarat CM Narendra Modi the 2014 campaign committee chief was just a formality. The BJP hasn't looked this energetic since the 1999 NDA regime. A day after the high drama that played out throughout the saffron party's national executive meet in Goa, the Narendra Modi band wagon is all set to roll across India, starting at the end of this month. ...... Displaying efficiency and ambition - Narendra Modi style - a comprehensive election campaign plan has already been put in place and is expected to begin over the next few days. This 8-step action plan is how the BJP plans to turn the tide in their favour, with NaMo leading the charge ...... On 17 June, there will be a meeting in Delhi where the names of the other members of BJP's election management committee will be discussed. 6 state units of BJP have suggested names and slogans for this phase of Modi's campaign. ... The title for the yatra will be decided during the meeting on 17 June. .... Starting at the end of June, Narendra Modi will commence a blitzkrieg of rallies all across India. A close aide of Narendra Modi told Headlines Today that Narendra Modi is scheduled to address 75 rallies between end June and September. .... The first phase of campaigning will end on September 25 with a massive rally in Bhopal on the same day, which is also the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Uphadhyay...... With his brisk management style, BJP believes that Modi's appointment as chief of the election management committee is enough for him to start his nation wide campaign. .... A rath yatra at this time has been ruled out since Team Modi believes that Modi will be able to criss cross the country more effectively and reach out to more people by conducting rallies all across India. .... The main thrust of Modi's campaign will be in Uttar Pradesh which is considered key to determining BJP's fortunes in the next Lok Sabha elections. ..... Mega rallies will also be held in Bihar, Maharashtra and Hyderabad in the Telangana region.
India’s Most Admired and Most Feared Politician: Narendra Modi
The world’s largest democracy, India, could elect him Prime Minister. And the world’s leading democracy, the United States, currently does not issue him a visa. ..... Gujarat – a state of 60 million people, about the same size as France, Britain, or Italy, and practically twice as big as California. ..... More than any other state leader in India, Modi is shaking up national politics. In a January survey by India Today, he again ranked as India’s top performing Chief Minister. For the first time, he also was the top pick for national Prime Minister. ...... “India’s most effective public official.” “If given five years, he would transform India’s economy.” “He cannot be forgiven for the riots.” “Gujarat borders on a cult of personality.” ..... Modi comes across as an effective administrator, a proud Indian nationalist, and a committed if not zealous Hindu. He also is a policy maven—introverted, precise, and even passionate about the most technical of subjects. On almost all of these issues, his Gujarat is pushing, not following, New Delhi and India. ......

“I had never run anything before, and I had never run for elected office” he said. “And then the Godhra train incident happened.”

....... On February 27, 2002, fifty-eight Hindus were killed on a train in the Gujarat town of Godhra, returning from a pilgrimage. The next day, Modi called for a day of mourning— which some mourners took as an invitation to riot. Gujarat exploded, with the death-toll reaching a thousand people, mostly Muslims. India has known murderous riots, but had never before seen them live on cable TV in horrific, unspeakable detail. ......... Modi has never apologized. “I was just installed in my position the day before.” He had been formally elected and sworn in on February 26th, having been acting Chief Minister for six months, mostly overseeing response to Gujarat’s 2001 earthquake. ....... Gujarat’s economic performance is without peer in India, growing an average 10% each year for a decade. That is faster growth than almost any place on earth, including most of China. ...... on most key policy matters, he has defied the logic and design of Delhi policy-making ..... “We will not pay any incentives and will not accept any bribes. But I will provide single window facilitation, quality power and water, and will honor my commitments.” ....... pledged investments have grown from 76 MOUs amounting to $14 billion in 2003, to nearly 8,000 MOUs signed in 2011 for $450 billion. ....... “If it does not work in the villages, it will not work in the city.” His eyes light up when discussing infrastructure, agricultural colleges, solar energy, and climate change. “I prioritized four things,” he said, holding up his four fingers, and then pulling each one down in turn: “Water, electric power, connectivity, and distance education.” ..... Against considerable protest by environmentalists— both in Gujarat and in New Delhi – Modi expanded a dam in Gujarat’s north. The arid state’s fields are now irrigated. In three years, he also did what no other state has done: provide reliable electric power. “We now have high quality power all day, every day, in every village.” Modi simply started charging people for electricity’s true costs. They were willing to pay, once they realized that it would be more reliable. “Once farmers had power, they wanted to buy electric appliances.” ....... He also made sure all villages were equipped with roads and high-speed phone connectivity ..... Each spring, in the hottest month of the year, he demands that all his officials join him to work in the fields, helping farmers plant their crops. ..... After asking for a two-day tutorial from Rajendra Pachauri, the award winning head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Modi came up with a comprehensive plan to cut fossil fuel use in Gujarat— including India’s first state-level ministry for climate change. ......... He summed up all of this work in a glossy book called Convenient Action: Gujarat’s Response to Climate Change. Sound familiar? It is directly modeled on Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, though it emphasizes what Gujarat has done, as opposed to what Gore hopes America might someday do. ..... “For me, this is a moral issue. You don’t have a right to exploit what belongs to future generations. We are only allowed to milk the earth, not to kill it.” For Modi-as-environmentalist, it seems, all the world is a holy cow. ....... He made clear that he considers Pakistan (which shares a border with Gujarat) to be a state sponsor of terror. “They provided shelter for Bin Laden, and they continue to support terror. Terrorism is against humanism. In all human societies, there can be no tolerance for terror.” ....... his own economic diplomacy, including trade missions to China, Europe, and Japan ...... he has written Prime Minister Singh, asking whether the states can have their own representatives at key embassies overseas. He expressed great interest in the fact that American states often have their own offices, independent of U.S. embassies. ...... On his trade mission to China: “China is good at making things. Gujarat is also good at making things. We can compete with China or cooperate with them.” He told officials in China that he would prefer cooperation, including Chinese investment in Gujarat. But he also told them that their support of Pakistan, “a state sponsor of terror,” makes him question how committed they are to global norms. “They listened to me and were polite. I do not think it will change the way they behave.” ......... I came away thinking that this was a man America needed to know better. ... he is a talented and effective political leader
Nitish, Modi risk knocking each other out
we've just had our first taste of the electoral battle that is to follow in 2014: Nitish Kumar versus Narendra Modi ..... Nitish and Modi have been positioned as rivals for the big prize ..... a Nitish versus a Modi: the legatee of Mandal politics versus the Hindutva hero is a clash that offers striking ideological contrasts. .... The reality is that both Nitish and Modi are rather similar individuals and, in many ways, represent an identical trend in Indian politics: the regional satrap as an independent power centre. ..... In Bihar, Nitish Kumar is the Janata Dal United. In the seven years in power, he has systematically eliminated all potential rivals within his party. A Sharad Yadav may be the National Democratic Alliance convenor, but has been reduced to a drawing room demagogue while Nitish strengthens his mass leader credentials. No other leader really matters in a party that is now subsumed in the Nitish persona. ...... Narendra Modi in Gujarat is no different. .... No central leader of the BJP has any control over Gujarat; Modi is truly an autonomous monarch of the state. ..... Modi left his home as a teenager to become a full-time pracharak. Not for him the trappings of family life or a desire to pass the baton to a new generation. He is a loner, a hermit-politician solely driven by the single-minded pursuit of power. Nitish, too, has determinedly kept his family away from public life, choosing again to be a political sanyasi with no real attachment to home. ..... Both are OBCs who have dismantled traditional power hierarchies in their state. Rather than rely upon fellow politicians, both Nitish and Modi prefer to work through the faceless bureaucracy. Their trust in bureaucrats and not partymen reflects a mindset which is uncomfortable dealing with political peers who might challenge their authority. It also enables them to reduce their dependence on the party apparatus and deal almost directly with the masses. ..... Both Nitish and Modi have a reputation for financial integrity, administrative rigour and yes, astute brand management. There is little space for dissent in Modi's Gujarat or Nitish's Bihar; the media has been harnessed to build personality cults around the respective individuals. Any questioning of the carefully cultivated image is sought to be crushed with the ruthlessness of an autocratic leader. ..... the political legacy of a Nitish with its strong roots in the JP movement and that of Modi with his RSS training have fundamental differences but that alone cannot explain their fierce divide. .... In a strange way, Modi and Nitish need each other to consolidate their respective vote bases. Nitish needs to pitch the battle as one between a 'secular' Bihar and a 'communal' Gujarat to define his own distinctive appeal. Modi needs to create a conflict between a 'progressive' Gujarat and a 'backward' 'asteist' Bihar to strengthen his own credentials as a 'modern' leader
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Saturday, December 07, 2013

Mandela's Passing

"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." - Mandela

I was at a clinic, not for medical reasons. And Mandela was all over TV, and I asked, “What happened? Did Mandela die?” Mandela has passed away at the ripe old age of 95, and we have seen this was coming for months now: the Obamas paid their respects in person.

Mandela had Pele status when I was at high school. He was this mythical figure behind bars. You never expected the Berlin Wall to fall. You never expected Mandela to come out. But come out he did. Heck, he became president. Prisoner to president was a long journey for this son of a tribal chief.

Mandela, Gandhi, Lincoln. America elects a president every four years, but it has not elected another Lincoln.

Mandela did the political thing he set out to do. And South Africa is a leading second tier economy, but many blamed him for not having taken South Africa through a radical economic transformation. Too many blacks were still unemployed. Too many white South Africans still had too much wealth. What was Madiba thinking?

That economic mantle has fallen to his successors. The least they could do is transform South Africa and give it China like growth rates. That future economic transformation is less challenging than ending apartheid was. Apartheid was downright ugly.

Gandhi inspired MLK. Mandela inspired Obama. All of them will inspire generations to come. This world still struggles with issues of race, ethnicity and identity.

27 years is a long time. It is practically a lifetime. He was behind bars for 27 years. He spent his best years behind bars. Like his daughter said, he was a great leader, but not a great father. An absent father is not exactly a great father.

Gandhi never tried violence. Mandela did not start out violent, but during one phase he was open to violent methods: "There are many people who feel that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and nonviolence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks on an unarmed and defenseless people."

And he never regretted the support at one point he received from Gaddafi of Libya. When much later Bill Clinton showed up to see him as President Of The United States, at the press conference Mandela reminded him of his past ties with Gaddafi with a smile, and said, “If someone has problems with that, they can go jump into the pool!” Clinton could not contain his laughter. Because Clinton knew, he never got to meet Gandhi, or Lincoln, or MLK, but here he was standing right next to Mandela. He was honored. He was touched. He worked hard to become a family friend.

Dick Cheney and Margaret Thatcher opposed imposing sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980s, but sanctions worked. Economic sanctions are a powerful tool, as we are learning on Iran.

I never got to meet him. But you knew he was somewhere there out on the planet. And now he is gone. There is no one like him left. It is like, Michael Jordan was on the courts. And then he was no longer playing. Mandela is no longer breathing. You feel the pinch, the loss. His life’s work long done, he just needed to be. I guess he could have pushed to 100.

"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison," a free Mandela said in 1990. For many his struggle and his imprisonment are easier to understand than his forgiveness after 1990. He never set out to create a black South Africa.

He also knew to retire. Too many African heads of state go on and on and on. Mandela retired in 1999. He passed on the torch to the next generation of African National Congress leadership.

"Don't call me, I'll call you," he said to the world in 2004.

He was also a rabid soccer fan. In fact his last public appearance was at the 2010 World Cup held in his country. He said he felt like he was “15.”

His life is a lesson that there is hope under the darkest of circumstances, and that one must carry on the duties of justice, one must struggle, one must forgive, one must soldier on. His life is a message for equality, and not just racial equality. His life is also a lesson in leadership that can be carried on to other domains like business and sports.

Oh, to be able to say you were on the planet the same time Mandela was.

BBC: Obituary: Nelson Mandela
Wikipedia: Nelson Mandela
CNN: Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies
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