Part 8: Modi phenomenon: Propaganda or Reality?

In part 7 of the case study, we looked at some of the policies initiated by Modi Govt in the aspects of women security & Empowerment in Gujarat.

Link to earlier parts of the cases study:

In this part, we shall look into the controversy surrounding the land acquisition in Gujarat model.

Of late, a lot has been talked about the Gujarat model and it’s land acquisition policies all over the main-stream-media and social networks. Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi also joined the bandwagon recently and called it a “toffee model”, alleging that it “steals” land from farmers and generously “donates” it to rich industrialists.
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While on one hand, Congress and it’s allies have been mocking at Gujarat’s land acquisition policies, on the other hand, Narendra Modi and his supporters have been claiming that land acquisition in Gujarat is fair & transparent, and even go on to praise it as one of the best models. Since this is intended to be a case study from a psychological perspective (to understand if the Modi phenomenon is a propaganda or a reality), going into fine details of the land acquisition policies of Gujarat would run into hundreds of pages, and instead would end up as a case study for land reform act.

To keep it straight to the point, it is basic human tendency for anybody to praise himself and hence it might be the case with Modi as well. One should not believe that Gujarat model is best just because Modi says so. However, what is more important is the appraisal or acknowledgement one gets from his competing/rival entities & neutral bodies and it is precisely such data points which helps an analyst to strengthen his case.

Talking about competing entities, it cannot be denied that every State Govt is a competing entity with each other. For example, the Govt of Punjab & Maharashtra run parallel to the Govt of Gujarat and in a way try to compete & outdo each other. In such a scenario, if one of them praises the other, it would be only because it is indeed praiseworthy and hence it becomes substantial and cannot be ignored.

Way back in 2007, when Narendra Modi was not even in national political scene and Gujarat model was unheard of, Govt of Punjab & Maharashtra had already acknowledged it and had intended to “ape” it in their respective states as well. Looking back in hindsight, it might come as a surprise to find that they had even showered praises towards “Gujarat model” of land acquisition.
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Back in 2008, when conflicts like the one in Nandigram were on the rise across the nation, Ravi Saxena, who was the Ministry of Commerce (Govt of India) and Development Commissioner had praised Gujarat SEZ model for land acquisition and even asked the Centre (UPA Govt) to direct other states also to follow the same system.

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In 2011, Supreme Court of India compared the policies of several states and praised Gujarat Govt for the excellent work in terms of land acquisition and even went on to suggest that officers from Gujarat must train counterparts from other states to achieve similar feats in their respective states as well.

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In 2013, Ministry of Urban Development (Govt of India) under Congress at the centre praised Modi’s Govt as one of the best models to be followed and highlighted effective use of land in the state projects.
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On 6th May 2014, Commerce & Industry Ministry (Govt of India) under Congress at the centre sponsored a report which showcased Gujarat model fo land acquisition as the best practice and even went on to suggest that it must be replicated across other states as well.
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On 9th May 2014, the Planning Commission, which is part of the Govt of India under Congress rule at the centre, reported that Gujarat has been among the best states having business friendly environment with regard to granting land approvals.
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Note: This case study is not to support or criticize any politician/party/govt but to dig out the reality and to quash false propaganda, if any. This article will be updated based on more inputs & unearthing of further facts.

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