Gujaratis abroad make the biggest Indian diaspora and also the biggest contributors of funds to political causes.
Celebrating its 57th Foundation day, the state of Gujarat presents an interesting histroy of political study. There is no regional party, which has been at the helm of affairs. The state, after its formation in 1960, had a long Congress rule for 14 years. 1960 to 74 was a politically stable time, with Congress at the helm of the government.
The late 70s were mired with political unrest. The 80s saw caste disturbances, communal upheavals and political unrest when Congress came up with the KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim) strategy to strengthen its vote bank.
This caste arithmetic kept the Congress strongly in power until the mid-1980s. Congress continued to rule till 1995 after which it lost the state to BJP. Keshubhai Patel led the first BJP government in Gujarat but the tenure was cut short after two years when Shankar Singh Vaghela split from BJP and won the subsequent polls.
2001 onwards, the state has been under BJP rule. The period after that has seen Narendra Modi’s spectacular rise as the CM of Gujarat and then as the Prime Minister of India.
The politics of the state has been shaped and come under fire by a number of crucial events. These events not only changed the state but also had far reaching effects across the nation.
Fight against corruption
The Navnirman Andolan against corruption in public life was the largest public protest post-Independence and it changed the landscape of Gujarat politics. The movement started in late 1973 against rising food prices and later turned into a student rebellion.
The situation soon got out of control with middle class joining in and the agitation consumed about 100 lives, leaving thousands injured and an equal number in jail. The movement was supported by AVBP and RSS.
Click NEXT to read full story