Opinion » Lead

Updated: November 30, 2012 00:31 IST

Poverty amid prosperity

Atul Sood
Comment (58)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

While Gujarat’s GDP growth in the last two decades has been notable, it is not reflected in employment, wages, health or education

There is a widespread belief that Gujarat is a shining star on the Indian growth horizon and that all other States would do a great service to Indian masses by emulating the model of development that Gujarat embarked upon under the stewardship of Narendra Modi. A recent study, Poverty Amidst Prosperity: Essays on the Trajectory of Development in Gujarat (Aakar Publication, forthcoming), by 10 independent researchers (including this author) suggests that when it comes to Gujarat, we have not one but several things to worry about. Carefully reviewing the cardinal principles of the development experience in Gujarat through the analysis of data and information provided by official sources, the study tells us how goals like social equality, sustainable livelihoods, access to education and health, justice and peace have been abandoned in the race for growth in the high-speed lane.

GDP growth in Gujarat has been notable in comparison to the all-India level in the last two decades. Other States that have grown at similar rates in the last decade are Maharashtra, Haryana and Tamil Nadu. Unlike these States, the high growth rate in Gujarat is more balanced; it is the result of enhanced performance of almost all sectors, particularly the agricultural sector. However, only a careful look at the performance figures, in terms of employment, wages, consumption, poverty, inequality, and outcomes in health and education, reveals that this broad based growth has resulted in worrisome outcomes.

Biggest casualty

The biggest casualty of the ‘successful’ growth in Gujarat (and least discussed) is employment. The aggregate employment in Gujarat has remained stagnant (NSSO data shows growth in employment for the period 1993-94 to 2004-05 was 2.69 percentage per annum, whereas for 2004-05 to 2009-10 it came down to almost zero). The stagnant employment growth in the last five years in Gujarat is better than the decline in employment experienced at the national level but lags far behind Maharashtra, for instance. During the last 17 years (1993 to 2010), growth rates of employment for rural Gujarat and rural India have been on a par, while urban Gujarat performed slightly better compared to all-India. In the last five years, employment in rural Gujarat has declined in spite of exceptionally high growth in the rural sector. The loss in rural employment has occurred along with reduced participation of small farmers in the fast growing, high value crops and reduced access to cultivated land because of changes in the norms for sale and purchase of land. Marginal growth in employment in recent years has occurred mainly in the services sector, especially in the urban areas. Mostly, this job creation is casual in nature.

Gujarat’s contribution to India’s manufacturing employment has also remained almost stagnant over the three decades, in spite of doubling its share in Gross Value Added. In addition to poor gains in employment, the manufacturing sector in the State is also characterised by slow growth in wages (1.5 per cent in the decade of 2000 when the all-India wages grew by 3.7 per cent), increasing use of contract workers ( from 19 to 34 per cent between 2001-08), and overall reduced position of workers in the manufacturing sector (with the lowest share of wages in Gross Value added in the decade of 2000 in comparison to Haryana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu). Paradoxically, this worsening condition of workers in the manufacturing sector is accompanied by increasing profitability and growing investment in the sector. While there is a growth in the manufacturing sector, Gujarat’s Scheduled Tribes’ dependence on agriculture has increased, particularly during 2005-10 period. The share of STs in regular employment remains stagnant — it was 7 per cent in 09-10, same as in 1993-1994 and, for Muslims it is 14 per cent today, while it was 15 per cent in 1993-94.

In the last five years, the rural and urban per capita monthly consumption expenditure in Gujarat grew at much lower rates, compared to the national average and growth in other comparable States. In 2009-10, the average monthly per capita expenditure in Gujarat was Rs. 1,388, much lower than Haryana (Rs. 1,598) and Maharashtra (Rs. 1,549) but higher than the national average. The relatively superior position that Gujarat had in consumption levels in 1993 was lost by 2010.

Rural poverty

The decline in rural poverty, at the rate of 2.5 per cent per annum in the last five years in Gujarat is better than the national average but slower than Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. By the end of 2009-10, the number of poor in rural Gujarat was still higher than Haryana and Tamil Nadu, and the relative ranking of the State vis-à-vis other States has not improved much compared to its position in the early 1990s. The changes in urban poverty levels in Gujarat are also lower compared to the national average and other States between 1993-2005 and 2005-10. The situation in inequality levels is also not superior. Reduction in rural inequality in the last five years has been much slower in Gujarat as compared to Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana. In urban areas, inequality increased in Gujarat at slower rates than the national average but increased nonetheless.

Gujarat today is a rich State with poor education and health outcomes. An evaluation of key education indicators over time reveals that the improvement of Gujarat in literacy rates is sluggish as compared to the rest of India. Gujarat’s ranking in terms of literacy rate deteriorated from the fifth to the seventh for both 6 years and above, and 6-14 years age group among 15 major States between 2000 and 2008. In terms of proportion of the people who are currently attending any educational institution, Gujarat’s rank has deteriorated from the 21st to the 26th (6th to 10th among major 15 States) for the age group of 6-14 years during this period and the gender gap in literacy levels of 20 per cent and those currently attending school (13.3 per cent) in the age group of 11 to 14 is also higher in Gujarat in comparison with other States. Furthermore, in Gujarat the disparity in literacy rate (and among those currently attending school) of the general category and the overall literacy rate is higher than the national average; it is also higher than other States of comparison, namely, Haryana and Maharashtra, though marginally less than Tamil Nadu.

In health, Gujarat ranks 10th in the rate of decline in infant mortality. The rural-urban IMR gap remains unbridged with no change in the ratio between 2000 and 2010. The gains in reducing the gender gap in IMR are poor and the disparity ratio between the SCs, the STs and others has actually increased between 2000 and 2010. Incidence of under-nutrition in the State for the year 1998-99 was lower than the national average across all social groups. Disturbingly, in 2005-2006, under-nutrition in Gujarat worsened in comparison with the national average. The level of under-nutrition for the SCs in Gujarat is close to the national average and, for the STs, it is higher than the national average. Immunisation of children in Gujarat was above the national average in 1999 and, also in 2006. However, between 1999 and 2006, the social gap in ante-natal care increased. The State ranked 9th in 1990-95, it ranks 11th in 2005-2010. All this when the overall growth rate continues to soar!

It is significant to note that the State expenditure in social sectors, both as a percentage of GSDP and as a percentage of total expenditure, has declined more than the average decline in other comparable States and stands below the national average pointing to a clear shift in the priorities.

Exclusionary growth

How do we explain these socially exclusionary outcomes of growth?

Gujarat provides a window to understand the limits of market-led growth and an insight into a policy regime that does not attempt to mitigate the most brutal consequences of this specific mode of production. The paradoxes of this development model are writ large. They are a precursor for things to come in other parts of India unless there is a change in policy direction at the Centre or, alternatively, the States begin to negotiate the growth agenda in a substantially different manner.

(The writer teaches at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.)

More In: Lead | Opinion

Mr. Shiv Ganesh S: My gripe against the against the Modi school of development is that it comes at great costs to people who are excluded from it. A single, albeit important indicator “un-interrupted power” cannot be sole yardstick used to assess human development. But the bulk of the middle Indian class sees that single variable as
the bellwether of development and embraces Mr. Modi - ignoring the other
dangerous aspects of his record. No less than 6 readers - including yourself - have
harked back to it - Messrs. Shashwat, Sridharan Iyer, Mohan Narayan, Abhinav &
Prakash Deshpande. Mussolini, allegedly gave the chatterati “trains that ran on
time” and quelled further criticism. It is that descent into fascism I rail against,
particularly given Mr. Modi’s RSS affiliations.

Indeed, I would like to cite Mr. George Kurian who says: “...Tamil Nadu with its
stress on health, education and harmony among religious communities is a better
example of what a State should be...”

from:  V. Suresh
Posted on: Dec 2, 2012 at 19:19 IST

NO surprises at all !
This is the what India's middle class has been beguiled to call "development". All development for a few and all travesties for the the vast majority.
It is only OBVIOUS that those who benefit from market economy will praise it, despite its anti-poor nature. And in India, the ones with access to internet and English belong to the above class.
This is why always opinion surveys in English language media give wrong - as happened with the "India Shining" in 2004.>

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Dec 2, 2012 at 17:09 IST

British PM Disrelli rightly said "there are lies, damned lies and
statistics" (this quote is in Maths textbook for Class 10th of NCERT)
I strongly urge the author and the editor to read all comments given
by readers.
I am deeply anguished to see an esteemed paper like Hindu stooping to
such levels.
Maharashtra has higher per capita consumption, what does it have??
Power cuts and farmer suicides (which were brilliantly brought forward
by P Sainath of Hindu, which is why I started reading this paper in
the first place). Haryana has higher per capita consumption, what does
that get, girls who are raped, Khap panchayats who execute 'honour
killings', gurgaon- a city with no urban infrastructure.

from:  Shashwat
Posted on: Dec 1, 2012 at 13:29 IST

The author admits that poverty ratio is reducing by 205 % per year for
the past many years in Gujarat. This shows that Gujarat is in the
right path.

Can the author suggest precise alternate polices to replace the
current ones ? Does he want India to reverese LPG and get back to the
good old days of controls, licenising and a closed economy ? Should
the tarrifs and tax rates be hiked to pre-1991 rates ? do FDI and FII
be reversed and India once again beg IMF for dollar loans ?

The issues in in delivery of services by corrupt and inefficient
govts. not in the growth story which ushered in a huge tax revenue and
wealth creation for the nation.

from:  K.R.Athiyaman
Posted on: Dec 1, 2012 at 11:25 IST

it is sad that the achievements of gujrath are portrayed like these by
these so called left minded intelectuals who are having other state in india has achived what gujrath has
achived.we are living in dark inchennai and tamilnadu without power and
gujrath is having excess power even villages get 24 hrs uninterrupted
power because of infrastructural investments by modi and not appeasing
voters by freebies like tamilnadu and people are living in dark

from:  sridharan iyer
Posted on: Dec 1, 2012 at 09:45 IST

It'll be interesting to see more such reports and studies from
"independent" researchers given the timing of their release.

from:  Manu
Posted on: Dec 1, 2012 at 08:06 IST

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts"- Albert Einstein.
The author has provided an unbalanced/lopsided view towards analysing the administration of Gujrat by emphasising more on numbers.Gujrat is one of the states having total ban on alcohol. How many other states in India has the guts to do so. Self can also provide facts and figures which are contrary to the view of author.

Readers would doubt the authenticity of the Article ,whether it is politically biased/sponsored, as it is been realeased on the wake of elections in Gujrat.

from:  Amar K
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 23:58 IST

I am amazed that people still want to quote Gujarat's example as the
developed statand give all the credit to Narendra Modi. Gujarat was
always a very industrious state under various governments and Modi 's so
called developement is just part of the trajectory.
I think Tamil Nadu with its stress on health, education and harmony
among religious communities is a better example of what a State should
be. Tamil Nadu in addition has a better scale of developement.

from:  George Kurian
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 23:14 IST

I would request the author and his esteemed colleagues at JNU to develop a "corruption and
waste" index to measure the performance of different states including Maharashtra and

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 22:52 IST

We can always look at a glass of water as half full or half empty. The author appear to have chosen the later.

from:  Laksh
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 22:39 IST

Atul sood has tried to compare the growth related statistics to
prove that GDP is not comprehensive. If we analyse the growth pattern
of India as a whole, there are many areas that needs development. GDP
can only reflect the broad spectrum of growth and wealth creation and
the extent to which the poverty is eliminated. but for the gruesome
incident at Godhra in 2003, in which Narendra Modi was implicated but
not proved conclusively, he has excellent track record of good
administration and orderliness. People in the state are able get their
needs and are a satisfied lot. More than this one cannot expect modi to
do anything more. Another election is coming up in Gujarat and we are
all going to see the result.It is the duty of the people to demand
their share of the pie if it was not delivered.The locations and areas
not received the required development is to be taken up with the
government by the concerned MLAs representing the area.

from:  E.Sivasankaran
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 22:09 IST

At a time when governements are led by polititians with malafide intention, it is seen that merits of a worty polititian are ignored. For instance, Mr. Modi who has led the growth story of a state with crippling economy in congress era, is not facing any charge of corruption or amassing public wealth. But, irony of the Indian Situation is that worthy people's "unreal" weaknesses are pointed. We all should learn from Mr. Modi of being pro-India and not just pro-Gujrat. Moivating these leaders brings desirable result and can be emulated by other states.

from:  Shubham Sodhani
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 21:40 IST

"The relatively superior position that Gujarat had in consumption levels in 1993 was lost by 2010."
1) The author does not take into account cost of living
2) The growth of population
It is hilarious that write uses consumption as a measure of growth. Lower expenditure means that the cost of living is low, it does not imply that the people cannot afford to consume more.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 21:08 IST

Can author give exact number of immigrants from other states getting employment in Gujarat in last 10 Years when he writes that Gujarat`s contribution to India`s manufacturing employment has remained almost stagnant in last 3 decades? Such a rubbish comment is unexpected from a highly esteemed newspaper.leave aside 3 decades,Around 20,000 new job opportunities got created in a single location of a single company in last four years.Moreover,All I get in this article is ''this is more and this is less'' but not a single concrete data from an authentic source.It would be highly appreciable if author provides detailed data and broader comparison.

from:  Manish
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 19:43 IST

It is well known that The Hindu has a strong bias against BJP and Modi but they probably think of themselves as fair and independent. Similarly, the writer of this article has a strong bias against Modi but he calls himself independent. Gujarat has made good progress and Modi should be given credit for it. The writer started with the idea of finding problem with Gujarat and sure enough discovered some issues. Even when Gujarat is doing well, he compares it to somebody better and comes to the conclusion that Gujarat is doing poorly. Instead of this biased analysis, the writer should state his criteria upfront and measure all to see how the Central government and states are doing and go after the worst offenders rather than write against a highly successful state administration.

from:  Arun Maheshwari
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 19:35 IST

I have been reading THE HINDU for 30+ years, but I find more biased ,
articles being published in it, which I consider unfair to it's

India has 28 states, some of which have more poverty, unemployment and
other issues like water and power shortage than Gujarat. I do not see
so much criticism or abuse of any other state, except Gujarat. The
Hindu sees Gujarat as a half empty cup, than a half full one.
I understand that the editors of THE HINDU disagree with & dislike the
BJP & Narendra Modi. Is that reason enough to keep picking on Gujarat
and its chief minister?
The Congress party ruled Gujarat for many years. All we saw was abject lawlessness, corruption, nepotism & abuse of power. It is not the articles like this, but the people who will decide whether Mr Modi should get another term. I am sure they will vote him to power again.
You have tried to sway public opinion, but that will not work. People are too smart to be carried away by biased articles like this.

from:  Mohan Narayanan
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 19:34 IST

Excellent article. The so-called Gujarat growth story is pure PR hype;
the only area in which the Gujarat government has truly excelled is in
using taxpayer money in false advertising. It is easy for anyone to
verify using publicly available information that the so-called
economic growth in Gujarat has not translated to any improvements in
quality of life for the common people in the state. The easily
gullible may continue to believe the tall claims of the state
government - it's good that responsible media organizations like the
Hindu are investigating and exposing them.

from:  Mithun
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 19:08 IST

It seems the author is opinionated and critical of Gujarat's growth.He
has succintly pointed to some social indicators in which Gujarat is
lagging behind.But even he has not stated unequivocally any indicator
in which Gujarat is among the worst performers except education.No
state can hold monopoly in showing the way to development in "true
sense".But to say that other states should not emulate and should
employ a violently contrasting model of development is a bit too far
fetched conclusion.Gujarat certainly is the forerunner in terms of
inclusive growth.The author himself acknowledges this.Gujarat has
outwitted other states in agriculture,the backbone of Indian
economy.It surpassed many states in terms of GDP,a strong indicator of
development.We need to recognise that there is scope for improvement
in the existing model.It can be set aright if there is constructive
criticism of the state.Rather the author has set this article in a
scathing tone.

from:  Shaik Rizwan Ahmed
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 18:23 IST

I respect the author and the time he has and others have put to come up with an exhaustive research that too sector wise, but seeing the economic and financial environment across the subcontinent and over the world, the Gujarati guys have done well. I understand the reason behind writing an article on Gujarat; reason is that they are progressing. I want an article on Jharkhand which is crippling even after 11 years of its formation, compared to other states in the coming days.
The article does not meshes well with the heading “Poverty amid Prosperity”. The better would have been Gujarat: Peaks and Trenches.
The comparison with different states is non-sense too, policymakers and planners have an understanding what is happening in the economy of the country, operations have been run on hand to mouth state with bare minimum inventory.
As I read, I see Red lining Gujarat’s progress was an attempt to write something different and get acknowledged.

from:  Sachin R Bhagat
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 18:21 IST

Mr. Abhishek, The author has presented both sides of the story. Rate
of change of an indicator has been compared with national average and
other states. Hence your argument of 'statistical presentation' does
not hold good. Gujarat seems to be lagging in most of these indicators
in comparison. Hence, the claim that Gujarat is best among the others
is not right. Furthermore, OUTPUT is not important in developmental
discourse. OUTCOME is what makes the difference. The article provides
clear evidence in no uncertain terms that growth of Gujarat has not
reached to masses, but has been limited to few in the state. Hence
OUTCOME has been poor, in comparison with other states. This is no
development. Perhaps, Gujarat has been better than many, but certainly
not as it seems to be made out.

from:  Dr.Himanshu M.
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 18:19 IST

I congratulate The authors and THE HINDU for presenting an evidence
based analysis of Gujarat state. Analysis of trends is on par with
international standards of developmental analysis. Similar trends are
noted in all regions (& nationally) that have experienced neo-liberal
economics model of development. This analysis adds to solid evidence
that pin-point pitfalls of neo-liberal economics. Unfortunately,
developmental discourse is driven by 'BIG NUMBERS', 'GLAMOUR' and
biased cross-sectional analysis. Surely, such time trend analysis,
influencing voters is still far away.

from:  Dr.Himanshu M.
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 18:13 IST

I think it is an one sided view to say that the growth of Gujarat does
not reflect in the employment and eventually reducing the poverty.
With out reading much into the statistics, one can easily argue that
growth comes from investments. Which means it has got to be
industrial and agricultural. If the industry has grown in Gujarat,
how is it that the employment has not grown? All most all the top
industrial houses have invested in Gujarat. Have they not provided
employment to the people of Gujarat? If agriculture has grown
remarkably, is it with out employment? It takes years for a state, to
totally become self sufficient given the complex structure of our
Country. Under these conditions Modi has performed remarkably well
and let us not fool the people by coming out with such unreasonable
articles. Finally go and see it for your self. The proof of the
pudding is in eating.

from:  ravishanker harikrishnan
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 18:09 IST

How can the Author compare Maharashtra with Gujarat that too in poverty? Their is something absolutely wrong with the statistics here. Maharashtra is the "Somalia" of India. A state where people are dyeing of poverty,hunger, malnutrition and thirst. This is a state where lakes of farmers commit suicide every year.A state where townships like Lavasa is been build "exclusive for the rich" after grabbing land of poor adivasi.A ride just on the outskirts of Mumbai and Pune it self will show these things.I am from Maharashtra and I know the conditions here."The Hindu" journalist P.Sainath had reported these matters in his writing time and again.It seems the author of this article is having malafide intention when he compares Gujarat with Maharashtra.

from:  Arun Nair
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 18:02 IST

Without even reading the article I knew the conclusions.Now take these for facts:Gujrat has provided living to a huge unskilled and skilled manual labour from Bihar,Jharkhand,Orissa and UP.Where would you absorb this labour force if it were not for the economic growth of this state.People talk of Kerala,its labour force has been working all across the country for years. Thus socio human development alone doesn't achieve anything but frustration. Gujrat model is certainly not without flaws,however I 've sided with the state,which won't be battered for the last time.

from:  Abhishek kumar baranwal
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 17:28 IST

Its sad to see Hindu is giving lead place for these kind of article. Author is biased and presented the detail in negative manner . even statics are placed in such a way that doesn't give clear cut picture to the reader.
Author should also present world bank, fores and times view regarding Gujarat.

from:  Alok
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 17:11 IST

I am quite young but am reading THE HINDU for the last 8 years daily and I am yet to find one article which analyses the condition of a Congress Ruled State by a Person associated by JNU. I do not understand why educated people like you Mr Sood are so keen on painting Modi in a dark light... look at the districts from where Sonia Gandhi has been elected... the number of malnutritioned Kids are highest in concentration....
Dear Editor... Please understand the impact of every article you publish... try to be neutral please... we have great respect for you.

from:  shekhar
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 16:54 IST

Another jaundiced article from a JNU intellectual. Why is it that JNU-
wallahs can never compliment a leader of the non-Left variety? It is one
thing to offer constructive, unbiased criticism -- but such articles
wreak malice and mockery.It is obscene for the author to rate TN in a
more favoured light.Does he believe that thousands of crores spent on
freebies over several decades by the Dravida parties (while still
removing poverty!!!)bring in prosperity?

from:  Jay Ravi
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 16:43 IST

Seems the critics would've happy if the state remained in the earlier conditions of undergrowth and poverty. One thing is evident from the reports (b/w lines of this too!) that Gujrat has come up in many sectors and it could set an example for the rest of country and millions from other states are working over there. Offcourse, every development model is having its own merits and demerits. Unless someone has the guts to implement that, we will never come to know about them. Also this is more or less rectifiable in the course of time if the state shows same will in identifying them.
Nobody talks about development situation in North East States of the country as they are of no news value ! But when we try to analyze the pitfalls of Gujrat model it will gather attention and then facts and figures will come into play. Its better to leave the issues to people the state to decide what they want rather than confronting everything with some reports.

from:  Arunchandran S R
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 16:33 IST

ABHISHEK, you have put out it beautifully. How statistics can befuddle
people! It is sad to note that such an excellent newspaper as our "The
Hindu" should continue to belittle Gujarat's achievements instead of
identifying the positive aspects and present it to many other states
riddled with umpteen problems.

from:  Mallikarjunan M M
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 16:26 IST

Gujarat model of development which was predominantly market led is
exposed. It calls for active policy intervention by the state. Market
forces will maximise profit but state should intervene through policy
measures to redistribute this profit and Gujarat's Modi govt. failed on
this count where as Harayan succeeded (almost half of Haryana invest in
speculative real estate and wealth creation is speculative) to some
extent. Thank you Prof Sood and his research colleagues for exposing the
truth behind glorious Gujarat.

from:  Shiv Sidh
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 16:18 IST

@ Mr.V.Suresh: I agree that everyone is entitled to their own views.
You don't like Mr.Modi to be projected to be a great leader amidst all
these inequalities in Gujarat. Fine. I am not asking anyone to worship
him either. All I am trying to say is that these kind of inequalities
are prevalent in all the states in India. Why single out Gujarat
alone. At least that state has done well in certain fronts which the
other states haven't. And I am not a fascist supporter who lauds the
fact that trains arrive on time. I don't know if you have come to
TamilNadu or not. Believe it or not so many farmers and labourers are
living in hell without electricity to do anything. Go to Tirupur which
is the textile backbone of TN. All the textile mills there have been
shutdown due to lack of power leaving so many labourers jobless. God
has blessed me with enough money to buy an inverter for my house but
these poor farmers won't be able to afford that. I don't know how this
can be called fascism.

from:  Shiv Ganesh S
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 16:17 IST

The State expenditure in social sectors, both as a percentage of GSDP and as a percentage of total expenditure, has declined more than the average decline in other comparable States and stands below the national average pointing to a clear shift in the priorities. [This is the real reason for the dismal state of affairs in Gujarat. Growth of Adanis and Ambanis is portrayed as the model growth. Growth of Ambanis and Adanis is to be looked in relation with declining wages of the workers. 1% at the expense of 99%.]

from:  Roopesh P Raj
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 15:45 IST

No state can improve as long as Central Govt is not the same as the
one in power.
Also most of taxes the states pay is used to develop Delhi under one
pretext or other (CWG, capital city etc etc). The balance is used to
buy Defense equipment from outside India & petroleum which we import?
So given all this, no state can improve any parameters. If any state
does well, the central Govt will take more money under the pretext of
state doing well & not give back the share the state needs.
Given all these facts Gujarat is doing well compared to other states.

from:  Gopinath
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 15:41 IST

I agree with the nuanced economic analysis of the author. The economic policies
that Modi has pursued has led to a very skewed distribution of benefits with
increases in poverty, landlessness and health issues such as malnutrition.
Unfortunately, the Indian middle class adulation for Modi and the belief that he is
a Gujarati incarnation of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew is not borne out by facts as this
article so clearly demonstrates.
But then, the only yardstick for prosperity for this class - going for instance by the
views of Mr Shiv Ganesh S - is the absence of power cuts. Reminds one of the
apologists for the fascist leader of Italy Mussolini, who was lauded because he
“made the Italian trains run on time”
Perhaps the middle classes will even agree with Mr. Modi’s assertion to the Wall Street Journal where he claimed “malnutrition in Gujarat is a result of girls not eating so as to remain slim”

from:  V.Suresh
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 15:18 IST

Ask the people, has the employment, education, improvement in living standards is stagnant or improving.
The power supply is uninterrupted in Gujrat, all other states have power cuts, this is an achievement worth emulating.
The leaders of a state can bring light into your house, he cannot make you study.He can bring water to your house, he cannot make you wash your hands and practice hygiene. News papers must educate the readers, that citizens themselves have responsibility and should take them.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 14:58 IST

A lot of effort has gone in separating the wheat from the chaff!
HOwever, If we pick of variety of parameters with variety of bench marks then it will never be that each of the parameters would show a distinct pattern to support or falsify the hypothesis. Nor is is possible to make an aggregate judgment on the performance of a state or leader based on this labyrinth of parameters and benchmarks. However it would be interesting to
a) List the goals that Narender Modi set for himself for progress in Gujrat with timelines.
b) What measures he took in what proportions to achieve those goals?
c) What is the final score n those goals?
d) are there any unforeseen significant factors operational for
achievement or failure to achieve those goals.
Such an exercise would bring some sanity and orderliness in the current ethos of "pro" or "anti" Modi sentiments.

from:  Rajiv Khanna
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 14:45 IST

The article is published at a time when the state goes to polls within few days.This is nothing but to confuse the voters.Your claim that GDP growth did not generate enough employment in the state is not true. Employment data released by ministry of employment of govt of India says gujarat has least unemployment in the country during last 2years.Thus this report seems to be biased and not authentic.The writer seems to have a dislike for Modi and this is reflected in the write-up.

Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 14:41 IST

The stats shown by author in argument is not as alarming as compared
to other states in the description of article. In HDI of Gujrat ranks
11 out of 28 states, that is acceptable. Apart from intrinsic nature
of Gujarthi people, stable Government has contributed to high growth
during past 2 decades. This has been missing in many states which are
performing very badly due to lack of Governance. I agree with author
that Gujurat needs to do more to in terms of Education, SC/ST
development, Child development. But we cannot take away the positive
side of Gujrath development. Every one has to remember that Gujrat is
only state in whole India where there is electricity to all houses in
rural India. Also only state which has shown high growth in
Agriculture sector inspite of many limitations of resources. Owing to
diversity of India, one model of development may or may not work in
another states. We need to give it some more time to judge Gujrat
development model.

Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 14:33 IST

Nice article indeed. However, when the author was ranting over the
exclusionary growth in Gujarat, I wonder why hasn't he considered
about the exclusion of weaker sectors in other Congress led states.
Unfortunately, the highest farmer suicides has been from the Congress
ruled states. Even in the centre, the beneficiaries of Congress's
policies were the cooperates not the people. Ex. Mr. Iyer was shunted
out of Petroleum Ministry to favor Reliance, FDI to favor Walmart
(which has accepted to have offered bribes), 2G, etc, etc.
So, I wouldn't jump the wagon of Modi-bashing, which is becoming a
fashion now, but instead would urge him to address these issues in the
forthcoming elections and work toward it. He had displayed both acumen
and sincerity for the prosperity of his state and, apparently, the
least corrupt of political bunch...

I'll think of joining the Congress wandbagon when UPA clears
corruption and adhere to democratic principles (Section 66A is not

from:  Bharat
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 14:25 IST

The analysis provided is very much satisfactory and directs the state governments and the center governments to stop policies leading to the job-less growth in the GDP. But still most of the figures are compared with only three states that are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Haryana. This analysis is also forgetting the market downfall in the 2008-09. The much comparison is with 1993 level when the policy of LPG was just initiated, that time governments were mainly targeting the social sectors and only during that time the Hindu rate of progress was just broken. No specific alternative is proposed by the author so that the social sector progress and the state GDP progress can be done side by side. No specific alternatives that can be borrowed from the other states are listed by the author. This article can be very much in help for the voters of Gujarat to decide their leadership on 6 Dec if it includes all the alternatives.

from:  Amit Kumar
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 14:06 IST

If one follows a capitalist model, there will be people left behind while the high end of town will flourish. 'Trickle down effect' is generally a myth but many argue for it. Socialism as a rule stymie private growth and investment on account of the 'greed factor' having been curbed leaving the State with a smaller cake to cut. Probably, a better solution to this conundrum is a mixed economy of private capitalism being promoted and supported while a socialist Government in office arranges a better distribution of the wealth so that the low end of town does not have to wait for that elusive 'trickle down'!! Modi needs to become a bit
more welfare minded in it and a move in that direction, that would also help him with his ambitions of going to the 'centre'!

from:  Sartchandran
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 14:02 IST

"Gujarat provides a window to understand the limits of market-led growth ... "
In similar words: This article provides a window to understand the limits of expert-led analysis. Experts in universities such as JNU invariably seem to be sold on an ideology, even at the expense of rationality and uniformity.
The most interesting subject of this article, to me, was the author.

from:  Pratyush
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 13:17 IST

I have resided in Gujarat as an outsider for one full year as outsider
just an year ago .....working in social sector as a student in most
south part of it which is mainly inhabited by tribals/economic backward.

And, I found this article just playing with statistics and not observing
the reality.

from:  Vineet Kumar Singh
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 13:09 IST

There is two to three times load shedding in Bangalore city every day and my native place which is a remote village in North Karnataka gets electricity just four hours a day. What I heard about Gujarat is, it is able to provide round the clock electricity to all its remote villages and not only this, Gujarat is also selling surplus power to neighboring states. So this much information about Gujarat is enough for me to rate its Chief Minister.

from:  Prakash B Deshpande
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 12:47 IST

I can just laugh at this article nothing more because the writer seem to forget the difference between basic percentages and numerical data. It is obvious the percentages increases the least when numerically the entity has reached its zenith. The percentage increase of 50 to 80 percent would always be more than percentage increase 90 to 92 percent. So I think our beloved congress's hands have reached the pockets of "The Hindu". This article has written congress all over it. It is well known that you cannot expect inclusive growth without proper infrastructure which Gujrat has. What is the use of industry if there are no proper roads leading to it. I pity "The Hindu" which I place so high has stooped so low. And these kinds of article just before elections should be generally avoided by newspapers before elections otherwise be ready to branded for paid or shoddy journalism.

from:  babu
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 12:19 IST

I will tell you what. People in India are not poor because they do not work or they do not have jobs. They are poor because industrialists/government do not pay them what them what they work for. Ambani's are rich because they are giving less salary to their employees by a margin of 30-50% same is the case everywhere. What is our minimum wage? Rs 150/day or Rs 4500/mo. I man needs a minimum of $900 in US. That is $30/day or Rs1650/day. That is 10 times difference. I know plain conversion is not the point but the difference should be more like 5 times instead of 10 times. All industrialists and governmet not only Ambanis (they are an example) pay a lot less than what people deserve for their hard work. Therefore this imbalance is there. How can you justify an actor taking crores for a few month movie and a labourer putting hard work making few thousadns in same period. This imbalance is because we devalue work of majority otherwise celebrities wont be celebrities.

from:  Shiv Shankar Dayal
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 12:14 IST

I dont think any Gujarati will buy these arguments. Author may mislead people who never visited Guajrat, but just heard. Is this all for 2014 or for 2012 the Congress is doing?

from:  Raja
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 11:34 IST

The datas that shown in this article may be correct in a stastical
viewpoint but it is contradicting with the ground reality of gujrat.
Today gujrat has became one of the model state in India that other state
also want to adopt the measures that initiated by gujrat,the mode of
harvesting solar energy through the canal top solar energy project is
one of best example.

from:  pavithra raj
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 11:23 IST

A closer look at the numbers and data provided shows that Gujarat is among the top 3 or 4
states in the country in both economic and social parameters. How then could the author
claim that Gujarat is not doing good. This is a very misleading article which seeks to make
a Mockery of the readers intellect.
Sorry, a very sub standard article, low on content and analysis. How is it The Hindu does
not publish articles about other states- Maharashtra , tamilnadu etc.
Lastly, i request the author not to write dubious articles on a state's development simply
because he does not like the state's CM

from:  Malathi
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 09:48 IST

What is the use of the much hyped high growth in Gujarat if the basic problems of people continue to be neglected? No wonder that now people are lukewarm towards the economic reforms. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

from:  Hema
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 09:15 IST

The writer has awesome skill of putting data and proving his point.
However let me frame a scenario: A students gets 60 marks in a subject
which is too less. He works hard and makes it to 80 second year, then
90 third year, then 95 fourth year and then 92 fifth year. In all the
cases we can simply put our analysis as the growth rate was 33% after
1st year, 12.5% after second year, 5.55% after 3rd year & then -3.3%
after 4th year.
Mathematics and data analysis gives you a very vague picture of
reality. In real world analysis, it is as easy to jump from 60 to 80,
challenging enough to jump from 80 to 90, sheer luck can get you to 95
and sometimes if questions are tough and you are still maintings 90's
it should be considered awesome.
It looks like even our Congress has made his reach to our great news
daily The Hindu. Only one part of story has been projected here. It
doesn't mention how a state which was in debt once has deposited 1 lakh
crore in world bank. No one is perfect !!!!

Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 08:48 IST

I find it very disappointing that a very prestigios nespaper like Hindu and a reputed Journalist like yourself continue to paint Modi in a negative light. This has become a rule rather than exception amongst the English media to rail against Modi despite his solid record in terms of governance ?
My common sense question to you would be why is it there are close to 1 million Oriya and probably another million Biharis who are currently employed in Gujarat if the employment situation was as bad as has been highlighted in the article. Ahmedabad has superior infrastructure today compared to Chennai or Mumbai .
I will be happy if Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra the two states that are mentioned in the article come to the same level of Infrastructure development as Gujarat.

from:  Ram Suresh
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 07:21 IST

Statistics is a tool, can make a good looking woman ugly, just by
changing the scale of comparing. This article is such an example. The
timing of publishing this article further corroborate this article as
false and fishy.
Why this article is published in The Hindu, is the utter surprise to me.

from:  Vikas
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 06:53 IST

The author says: "While Gujarat’s GDP growth in the last two decades has been notable, it is not reflected in employment, wages, health or education."
Perhaps the author can tell us whether in those states that have not seen notable GDP growth, there is an increase in employment, higher wages, better health and better education.

from:  Ashok Chowgule
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 05:01 IST

Some states like Kerala have scored consistently social welfare have
very mediocre growth rates, while Gujarat's stark contrast of economy
growth which doesn't translate into welfare is at another end of the
It will take quite some time for Gujarat to catch up with the likes of
Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra; two states in my opinion have balanced
welfare measures with growth. Meanwhile, it is up to the Centre to
introduce measures to bridge the harsh disparity between the states.

from:  Eric Selvaraj
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 04:38 IST

Need to negotiate the growth agenda in a substantially different manner
is the need of the hour! The tenets of neo-classical economics,
declaring that single-minded concentration on output and technology was
dehumanizing and is brutally visible in highly successful economic
zones. It is the fault of the conventional economic thinking that
“growth is good” and that bigger the better. Schumacher an economist of “Small is Beautiful” fame faults conventional economic thinking failing to consider the most appropriate scale for an activity, blasts notions
that "growth is good," and that "bigger is better," and questions the appropriateness of using mass production in developing countries,
promoting instead "production by the masses." He questions the
appropriateness of using gross national product to measure human well
being, emphasizing that "the aim ought to be to obtain the maximum
amount of well being with the minimum amount of consumption." He held
that one's workplace should be dignified and meaningful first,
efficient second, and that nature (like its natural resources) is

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 04:36 IST

I can't understand as to why all the intellectuals are so keen to
ridicule the growth of Gujarat. They are so obstinate to prove that
the growth story of Gujarat is a mere eyewash. And to achieve this
they take refuge under a complex web of numerical data and statistics.
No one's saying that Gujarat is as developed as the UK or Germany.
Everyone knows that there is still a lot to achieve. But at the same
time we have to give credit that it is advancing at a faster pace than
all other states in India. The author has quoted TamilNadu's
statistics in most of his arguments. I am from TamilNadu and I know
the situation here. Except the capital city of Chennai, all other
districts including major cities are reeling under more than 10 hour
power cuts every day. Is this even remotely a indicator of
development? Let's not try to demonize a state just because the leader
of the state is not in the good books of the intellectuals. This kind
of negative publicity will just hurt the image of India.

from:  Shiv Ganesh S
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 03:20 IST

Dear Mr. Sood,
Its a great article written by you. THe only thing is that common people may not understand the outstanding jargons used by you and the implications of those numbers. As I have observed, a lot of authors have periodically given correct numbers but with the criteria that doesnt show absolute growth of a state. I can buy the fact that state of literacy, health and even probably wealth in Gujarat is less than national average. But definitely I cant buy that there has been no improvement. I think if you write an article that clearly explains what is stagnant, where things need improvement, then that would be great! Hope te see your new simple article soon!

from:  Prayag Pathak
Posted on: Nov 30, 2012 at 02:42 IST
Show all comments
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor



Recent Article in Lead

Talking trade and peace with China

From India’s standpoint, attracting Chinese investment is imperative for reviving growth. Besides, its deepening ties with Japan, Australia and Vietnam have opened up more room for manoeuvre in Asia »