The ‘vibrant state’, as Gujarat has come to be known under Narendra Modi’s reign, has been a flourishing and prosperous state from pre-Independence times. BJP did not develop Gujarat to the extent it is promoting to its credit.
As conflicting as it may sound, BJP inherited a prosperous Gujarat from Congress. To say that all the development in the state happened in the last two decades would be undermining the spirit of Gujaratis, who are noteworthy for their dynamic entrepreneurial spirit.
Keeping aside the recent industrial and economic growth, most of which has happened as a reward for political favour, Gujarat is not picture perfect as it has been shown to the entire nation.
A little patch up job at making the state look lucrative to investors and leading the entire nation to think of it as a model state, shows how the lure of power can lead to mistaken goals and agendas. The state fares low on many crucial human development index aspects.
Malnutrition torments the economically progressive state of Gujarat at a time when the state’s development model is being replicated across India.
According to the latest UNICEF survey (Rapid Survey on Children-RSOC) conducted for the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Gujarat is battling malnutrition, with around 10.1% children in the state being grossly underweight and 41.6% of children showing stunted growth. The survey conducted across 29 states reveals that the state ranks 21 in terms of health and well-being of children.
The model state of Gujarat is at the bottom of the primary-level education rankings in terms of providing access to schools to children. A report published by the Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) put Gujarat at 33 rank among 35 states and union territories in 2013-14.
Repression of Dalits has been rampant in Gujarat and the state also ranks high in terms of atrocities against them. The “untouchability index” is very high in the state. The socio-economic condition of tribals has worsened in last few years.
Crop failure leading to increase in indebtedness and debt burden is pushing the farmers to take extreme steps. Though the numbers given by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Union agriculture ministry and state government do not seem to be on the same page, according to estimates, about 7,000 farmers and agricultural workers in the state have committed suicide during last 15 years of BJP’s rule.
No matter how many rainbows are seen on its surface, a bubble does burst. The Gujarat bubble is also waiting to explode, but first, it must grow bigger and bigger.
The road ahead
While the nation was battling the December 2016 demonetisation, BJP was charting its victory route in Uttar Pradesh. After hoisting the saffron flag in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, the party has set its focus on the battle in PM’s home state. After the UP elections, Gujarat elections are going to be the most watched polls. It will be the biggest test for BJP.
Click NEXT to read full story