If you are not a fan of Modi to start with, please spread these facts widely. His marketing of development is pure hype and has been allowed to go on for far too long without a challenge. (please find FB and twitter share buttons, and shortlinks at the bottom)
Disclaimer for Modi fans: This post is not to put down Gujarat or to glorify other states. It is merely to expose Modi’s marketing machinery that has been hyping him by planting economic figures that are either false or half-true. I want to prove that Modi is only as good as CMs of many other fast developing states of India. So, this post is aimed at that those who are willing to forgive him for his complicity in riots, thinking that his handling of economy and administration is so great as to compensate for his other shortcomings. Well, it is not as you will see. The second part of this series points out established facts (not the usual heresy hate mongering) of Modi and his govt’s complicity in corruption, riots and murders.
GROWTH RATE :
source: Planning commission data (last 2 columns)
|2004 – 2011 (a%)During Modi||1994 – 2001 (b%)Before Modi||Improvement by Modi, (a-b)%|
The table shows that there is a clear mismatch between reality and the kind of over-hype that Modi and his PR brigade have been trumpeting regarding his development. Under the column 2004-2011, you can see that Modi’s growth rate has been trailing Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamilnadu. Bihar might have had a lower base to start with, but Maharashtra and Tamilnadu have started with bigger GDP bases. So, “base-effect” cant be an excuse for Modi. Before trashing this data as a conspiracy hatched by central congress government, note at the very bottom of the planning commission data source reference above: “Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics of respective State Governments”
Modi’s trumpet sounds flat if you also observe (in the last column) that his contribution to the increase in Gujarat’s growth rate, over his predecessors in the years 1994-2001 (ie. between fiscal years 1994/05 and 2001/02), has been less than the improvements shown by other CMs in other states! Gujarat was fastest growing state even before Modi took over, and Modi’s improvement over existing rates are not as much as some other states.
A reader pointed out that the last two columns in the planning commission source, cited above, was missing two years – that of 2002 dnd 2003. Lets include those years (which fall under Modi’s time period, and work in his favor actually) from the other columns:
|2002 – 2011 (a%)
|1994 – 2001 (b%)
by Modi, (a-b)%
By this table, Modi’s Gujarat once again comes out with highest growth rate, but as was pointed out earlier (and as this table also shows) Gujarat was fastest growing state even before Modi took over. Now, when we once again compare how much growth he has added (last column) over preceding governments of Gujarat, he still doesnt come out shining the way Modi’s marketing agencies would like us to believe. A typical reaction from the Modi brigade is to point out to the two tables above and say – “see! statistics cant be trusted at all, and so, all hail Modi!”. To them, I say: Of course statistics gives an undeniable fact. In the case of two tables, the undeniable facts are that, Modi’s growth rate slips down if you dont include the first two years of his rule, and raises only when you do. This is a fact. But how these facts are interpreted is left to individuals.
|For year 2010-11
to total GDP
Interest paid on debt
to Total expenditure
As you can see, Gujarat has a high ratio of total debt it owes to its total GDP. This, by itself, is not such a problem if Modi has been using debt to create more revenue opportunities, but that doesn’t seem to be the case: Modi’s government does not look too good on the fraction of its total expenditure that is paid out as interests alone on the debt that it owes. Seems like a Ponzi scheme to me! Also note that Gujarat’s debt has tripled during Modi’s 10yrs of rule. Modi’s excuse is that debt/GDP ratio has been coming down but the fact is debt/GDP has been reducing for almost every state in India, and for India as a whole too!
GDP alone cant be a criteria to judge any government. So, let us give Modi the benefit of the doubt and widen the indicators…
Poverty percentage for Guj, Maharashtra and Tamilnadu for 2004 and 2009:
|States||2004 (a%)||2009 (b%)||Poverty reduction (a-b)%|
This shows that, inspite of high growth rates, the gains have not percolated all sections of society (as compared to states with similar GDP and GDP growth rates), and have been cornered by just a few.
Gujarat added 10.17% to its literacy count between 2001 and 2011. But the national average also increased 9.21% in this same period (from 64.83% to 74.04%). So, the state’s performance ended up being not very different from national average. To add to Mr. Modi’s glory, the ranking of gujarat in literacy actually fell from 16 in 2001 to 18 in 2011 ! Also, percentage of enrollment of women in higher education actually reduced in Modi’s Gujarat, and this reduction is the highest among all states!
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT :
In overall HDI, gujarat is placed 8 in the 2011 report while it was placed 6 in 2001 (as published in the 2004 report given below). So, gujarat has once again slipped down under Mr. Modi! In health too, Guj is placed 10 in health-based Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (I-HDI)** for 2011. All the socio-economic indicators so far have shown that the economic policies of Modi are not just non-inclusive, but have actually made it worse for the lower sections. This is a typical case of cronyism and an extremist form (not the usual form) of capitalism that even USA is trying to avoid!
Source 1: UN Development Programme’s “Inequality-adjusted Human Development Report 2011” (Table-3 on pg-18 under “Rank HDI” column)
Source 2: UN Development Programme sponsored and Gujarat government supported “Gujarat Human Development Report 2004” (Table-5 on pg-267 under “HDI rank, 2001” column)
**I-HDI was not calculated in 2004, and hence only HDI is comparable between the two
source: Census 2011 – Source of lighting
With 90.41%, guj ranks 14 in a rank list of states under “Percentage of households using electricity as their primary source of lighting” (source: National census 2011). But, Mr. Modi goes around trumpeting that guj is 100% electrified – may be he has an excuse that gujaratis traditionally prefer diyas over bulbs all through the year. On the other hand, states like TN, kerala, AP, karnataka, haryana, punjab etc all rank higher. Also note that, for the same question, TN increased its percentage from 78.2 to 93.4 between 2001 census and 2011, while Gujarat increased it from 80.4 to 90.4
Also read Meera Sanyal’s (a doyen among Indian bankers) balanced blog entry on her personal experiences in rural Gujarat. You should ask yourself why she observed that those villages got only 8 hrs electricity per day, if Gujarat is energy surplus! A reader pointed out that the NFHS-3 survey shows that Gujarat is 100% electrified. If Gujarat is 100% electrified but ranks 14 in the list of people claiming to use primarily electricity for lighting, it can only mean one of the two: (1) They cant afford the cost of electricity, which is understandable given that Modi’s business-friendly policy is not really known for inclusive growth (2) They might have the lines, but not enough hours of electricity to say that electric bulbs are their primary source of light (this again blows a hole in Modi’s ‘energy surplus’ tag). A third reason that the Modi brigade usually cites is that people in Gujarat customarily prefer non-electric lamps over electric. But this reason is as silly as Modi’s own excuse (for the abysmal malnutrition figures prevalent among large sections of the tribal and rural population of Gujarat) that middle-class people are more beauty-conscious than health-conscious!
Another hype about Mr.Modi is that he is the only clean-energy visionary of India, citing guj’s lead position in solar energy (~650MW). Well and good. But, when you compare with TN that is leading (~7000MW, as of today) in wind energy, Mr. Modi fades into the crowd.
CRIME AGAINST WOMEN :
source: National Crime Records Bureau’s “Crime in India 2011” (Map on pg-82)
Another hype is how safe Modi’s guj is for women, in comparison to states like Delhi and Haryana. Well, how about we compare with other states? When we compare rate of crime against women (number per 1 lakh population), Guj falls in the same band as Maha, Karnataka, Himachal, chattisgargh, and even UP! In fact, states like TN, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, and even states like Bihar and Jharkhand, all fall in a lower (better) band as compared to Mr. Modi’s Gujarat.
Gujarat has always been one of the fastest growing states in India, and after Modi took over, he increased it by a very modest amount (smaller than even some other states). On the other hand, far from maintaining their ranks, almost every socio-economic indicators from literacy to human development index have all actually slipped down in ranks during Modi’s rule. It is these facts that you should compare against his murderous and communal sins of his past [read].
A typical reaction that I get from some even well-educated, otherwise-logical and scientific-minded Modi supporters is that statistics cant be trusted irrespective of whether it is from Directorate of Economics & Statistics (which collects every economic data from monthly consumer price index for inflation to GDP) or Census (which is a massive 2200 crore national exercise that meticulously covered 2.7 million houses). To them, I ask this: Even if you undertake a ground report, can you cover the same number of villages and houses that these massive statistical and census depts cover, and that too once early in Modi’s rule and once again now (to get the % change)? Can you do the same exercise for other states too (so as to see how Modi’s changes fared in comparison to changes in other states during this same period)? How can you be so blindly enamored by any person that you are willing to completely discount even simple logic and refuse to accept undeniable facts that are staring at your face?! Remember another fact: Even within Gujarat, his vote shares have been reducing over the years. While the Modi brigade had made sure that the news of his appearance on Time magazine cover has reached everyone’s ears, they have also suppressed the news that Modi was the most-hated, by getting the maximum number of ‘No’ votes, in Time magazine’s online voting of influential world figures. Read here (note that you can rearrange the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ columns)
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