When one is hit by paralysis, even a specialist doctor will throw up his hands, he says in remarks critical of Manmohan

The Manmohan Singh-led government has pushed the country into a “policy paralysis,” Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday.

“When someone is hit by paralysis, even a specialist doctor would throw up his hands. It is the physiotherapist who comes into play in such situations,” he said at the launch of the Ahmedabad edition of Business Line.

“I felt happy that my glass example has touched the Prime Minister very deeply. I had given the glass example in my speech at Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi, in an optimistic context, and now the Prime Minister said he got the glass empty,” He said. “I do not know what he means, but in the last nine years, the glass is filled with so much corruption that there is no room for trust and confidence. Even if the common man has to take something from that glass, it is full of corruption.”

The Chief Minister spoke of the growing importance of social media in the news world.

He pointed out that even the 24X7 electronic media were forced to have their online editions, alongside daily newspapers and magazines. “This is because the reader will not wait… All this shows how the world is changing. There was a time when the impact of the share markets in Mumbai took 12-15 hours to reach Gujarat, but now even news of the New York markets impacts us in a matter of seconds.”

And then he touched on censorship imposed on media. “With all the facilities at hand, I have never blocked anyone criticising me online, and there is so much of criticism against me, but there are also people who with their comment reaffirm that I am on the right track.” There were leaders in power who were intolerant of criticism, and they had time and again blocked people on the social media. “They are not willing to listen to any voice against them or any criticism. If there is no criticism, how can democracy be strengthened?”

Executive Co-Chairman of Infosys and CII president S. Gopalakrishnan, who presided over the function, applauded the impressive growth Gujarat had made in various fields in the past decade.

“Modi is one of the few Indian leaders to have featured on the cover of Time magazine,” he said, describing him as a “global leader” of a State whose model of development was sought to be emulated by other Indian States.

He urged the Gujarat government to leverage information technology for a better, cleaner and faster dissemination of information. “IT has given unprecedented power to individuals. We can’t ignore the march of technology; we should leverage it.”

He also lauded Mr. Modi and Business Line for using technology. “Here we have a newspaper and a leader who both understand the power of technology.”

Earlier, D. Sampath Kumar, Editor, Business Line, narrated the growth of the daily over the past 20 years. Known for its balanced and objective approach, the financial daily, like business, followed a liberal and non-parochial policy, standing for overall journalistic integrity.

He also spoke about how Gujarat’s silk weavers and glass artisans, who settled down in Tamil Nadu, had contributed to the southern State.

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