Thoughts on economics and liberty

The foolish glorification of Narendra Modi

I've been extremely critical of all Indian political leaders we have today, whether they are our Prime Minsters (MMS) or Prime-Ministers in waiting (Rahul Gandhi) or instigator-in-chiefs of communal hatred (Advani).

What saddens me is the extremely low ethical standard displayed by most middle-class Indians (even some of those who claim to be lovers of liberty!) who are quick to glorify corrupt and incompetent people without any harsh questions being asked. Truly abysmal moral expectations we seem to have!

Consider the new-found tendency to glorify Narendra Modi. 

It appears that Indians have indeed got the governments they deserve (and want!). If their standards are so low that even Narendra Modi now appears great to them, then that's what they'll get! A country never gets better than what it deserves.

Let me ignore Modi's deep communal hatred and his role in the Godhra riots. Such things are, in the end, relatively minor matters. The harm caused by Indian politicians through such direct killings is relatively small. The greatest harm they have caused (thousands of times greater) is through their incompetence and mindless corruption, thus reducing people's longevity, killing off children through high infant and child mortality, having the worlds' highest road accident death rate, and blocking off our people's potential.

Mukul Asher (whom I otherwise have a high regard for) wrote this article about Modi.

I find this a grossly unsatisfactory approach to the evaluation of Modi's performance.

True, for many decades now, Gujarat has been relatively better managed than most sates in India, and true, Modi appears to be a relatively good administrator and has introduced relatively better policies. But Gujarat, in my view, scores merely 2 out of 10 on the good goveranance scale, while other states of India get 1 out of 10 or 1.25.

So what, in my view, is wrong with Modi? Well, everything! What is good about him? 

In BFN I showed clearly the pathway to good governance in India. The current systems of school education, health, infrastructure and local governments in Gujarat simply can't deliver world class governance. Modi even continues with tenured services like the IAS which are totally incompatible with good governance. Poverty therefore continues in Gujarat, but also HUGE amounts of corruption. How much black money does Modi personally make use of during elections? Does he comply with electoral funding laws? Can he comply with these laws and win? Please conduct a genuine survey and show me that corruption and poverty has been eliminated in Gujarat. These are the BASIC requirements of governance.

Clearly Gujarat doesn't even come CLOSE to a score of 10. 

The only way for Gujarat to get  close to 10 is for Indian liberals to step into politics and radically transform the nation. We need a dramatic change in governance. 

If Indians REALLY want to achieve world-beating standards of governance, then they will have to REJECT all sub-standard leaders and rise to lead personally.

I have deep self-respect and don't accept third rate standards of ethics and competence from anyone. So I only offer first rate stuff through FTI and my writings.

If Indians don't want world-class ethics and governance, and if Rahul Gandhis and Narendra Modis are good enough for them, so be it. People ALWAYS get what they deserve. As for me, I do have MUCH HIGHER standards and will have to decline to go anywhere near our major political parties.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

View more posts from this author
63 thoughts on “The foolish glorification of Narendra Modi
  1. Vishal

    The problem with us Indians is that we get into hero worship very soon.
    Be it Nehru or Modi. This is expected from a society which absolutely has forgotten what good governance is. Any thing marginally better is seen as the most perfect design. Indians do not dream big. Their expectation is very low. We are waiting for God to deliver us out of the mess and in process we pick Gods from time to time and get disillusioned with it after some years.

  2. Ajay

    Sanjeev: I strongly disagree with you. The 'in the end, minor matters' approach  you take to Modi's invovlement in the communal pogrom and his devastating and enduring contribution to the extreme polarisation of the Gujarat, and Indian, society has done very long lasting damage to society – much more than bad governance which other chief ministers have done.

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ajay

    I wish I could have devoted more time to this communal question, but I’m quite tired of it. I think everyone in India is. I have read much about Godhra and the misdeeds of Modi’s government and I condemn all such things (to the extent they are true) in the strongest terms.

    But for every 1 person killed in mindless communal violence there are 1000 killed by non-violent corrupt means. I am NOT praising Modi, far from it, that’s why a scorecard of 2/10. His better governance might have saved 2 persons out of 1000 for every 1 person killed or harmed in communal violence. Don’t know. All that is academic.

    What we need is a clear CONDEMNATION of ALL current political parties and leaders and a revitalisation of INDIA.

    As I wrote to someone on Facebook who was praising Modi to the sky, “I am not working against Modi. I’m working FOR India. I’m an INDIAN with SELF RESPECT”.

    This person (a young man of 22), who claims to love liberty (!) was very condescending in response: ” It’s so nice to read a blog that has such a low regard for the majority of Indians, yet claims to be working for the best interests of those people! It’s also nice to know that you are the only truly self respecting Indian.”

    Not many self-respecting people who can ask harsh questions about the reality of India. People are threatened to their core when their low moral standards are exposed. They hide behind the “majority”. What matters the majority? We stand or fall on our own, as individuals.

    I suggest we leave aside the Godhra issue. The point is to ensure that the INDIAN LIBERALS who respect themselves and want genuine good governance, should rise. We can’t bring back the dead. We want the RULE OF LAW. That’s what India needs.


  4. VINAY H M

    Can you please revisit to the real and practical approach . 
    Okay the GOI – Congress led govt. conducted the survey wherein which state govt. ensure the maximum end user benefit , by the programms launched for poor , that too for Muslims , and in that gujarath stands.
    secondly , just have a look the irrigation projects , wherein the no of bunds were created to preserve the natural rain water and there by keeping up the promise given to agriculture sector.
    you mentioned Godhra , from how many years these issues all are talking because no other issues or news makers or nobody can cook something new hence this issue , if that be the case , is that people of gujarath is not wise to think .
    Is that is appears so bad that if he says i am an Hindu ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Beyond all modi keep up the promise that he made to the poor all of sudden as per your rank it will not reach 8.5 rating , its progressive but the one state that will reach to that position its modi led govt

  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Let’s raise our standards is what I’m saying. If you are happy with low standards, you are welcome to have them. I don’t tolerate this kind of shabby governance with 100 times better governance can be provided.

  6. VINAY H M

    I am not mean that i am happy with it .. we are moving in .. You shabby governance, but govt of INDIA , okay for the SWAGAT  grievances addressal  program launched by the Gujarath ,  wins Unites Nations Public service award , which shows we are moving in , not in words ,  

  7. Surya

    Gujarat is definitely one of the more prosperous states in India. But is that really due to Modi?Gujaratis have showed an entrepreneurial spirit for several generations.  If Modi is able to bring prosperity to one of the states in the Hindi belt, then we can praise his policy making and administrative skills. In that sense, Nitish Kumar deserves more respect for managing to bring some changes in Bihar ( Again I am depending on media's coverage. I cannot vouch for this too )
    There is a deeper problem with accepting Modi as the leader of Indian Right. He has a strong authoritarian streak. The way he has crushed all opposition within his own party demonstrates this. That mindset is suitable for a centrally commanded society, not for a democratic capitalist society that we aspire to create. The recent bill the Gujarat assembly attempted to pass that makes voting compulsory demonstrates this. To ensure participation in democratic process, they must show something on the table first. They cannot force people to choose between various degrees of evil. 
    Even discounting for all this, the image of Gujarat riots still haunts us. He may not be directly responsible for the killings. Maybe the left liberal media is exaggerating. But still he was the Chief Minister of the state and he had taken an oath to protect the lives and liberties of the people of the state. He definitely failed in his RajDharma as Vajpayee himself conceded. If he had displayed even an iota of regret somewhere, middle of the road Indians would consider supporting him. But he has not. 
    It will be a great tragedy if India is forced to choose between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi in the 2014 elections.  And strangely after having said so much about Modi, I might have to force myself to vote for Modi too. Voting for Rahul Gandhi is like voting for a return to Indira Gandhi's India.

  8. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks Surya

    Well said.

    In 1998 I had committed to being part of a group of leaders that offers India liberal governance. The liberals were nowhere to be found. I left India.

    In 2004 I “hunted” them down and organised a workshop. They agreed to support Sharad Joshi’s Swatantra Bharat Party but no one wanted to contest elections. They finally voted either Congress or BJP – but refused to offer themselves in the 2004 elections.

    Then, in 2006 I proposed a different method, FTI. In 2007/2008 some people joined but it was grossly insufficient for 2009. So that opportunity came and went.

    The next one, 2014, looks like being the same. FTI has had some uptake, but just not enough. Everyone in India complains about misgovernance but then they jump on to either the Congress or BJP bandwagon.

    No spine. No one willing to say, “Stop this! This is MY country. You can’t do this here. I WILL LEAD.”

    Where are the leaders? I am loathe to keep thinking about India in my spare time. But I know I must. Instead of offering Indians a choice between the devil and the deep sea, let’s offer them a SERIOUS governance platform that will ensure their liberty and prosperity.

    2014 is fast passing by. I don’t see the wave of support for good governance that I was hoping to see. My purpose of writing is not to waste my time on Rahul Gandhis or Narendra Modis, but to FIND GOOD LEADERS.


  9. Vijay Mohan

    Dear Vinay,
    You need to understand the standard of Governance What Sanjeev is talking about , I have done a lots of debates with him …before accepting his methodology .
    Please go through "BFN"  Its difficult to make you understand what is wrong in India and what should be done on blog … 
    Once you go through it , You will give Modi 2 out of 10 on World Standard.

  10. Bhagwad Jal Park

    All things being said and done, I prefer incompetence to craziness or fanaticism. I've heard some of Modi's speeches against Muslims and unless he's changed recently, I want him nowhere near a position of authority in the country.
    Let's not forget that Germany prospered financially under Hitler. When he took office, the Weimar republic was in tatters, and the Mark was devalued to an almost useless piece of paper. Hitler improved things dramatically.
    But he was insane. Like everyone else, I would like competent and sensible politicians if I can lay my hands on them. But given a choice between "incompetent and sensible" and "highly competent" and crazy, I would choose the former out of sheer fright of what damage the latter can do.

  11. raj

    @ Vinay: Show the statistics. Just because the United nations gives some award, it doesn't mean anything as long as each and every Indian. Let's face it: No politician in India have kept their promises. All are corrupt scums.
    Modi is anti-muslim,anit-chrisitian. he does not think of a secular India. I personally view him  him as right-wing nutjob who believes in inciting communal violence. What worries me is, you literally praise that whacko. Don't get blinded by your beliefs. Listen to what he says and decide yourself. As long as clowns like him, be in power… we will always be a third world country and might even become the fourth world.

  12. Sharad Bailur

    One reason why I have never gone near any political party has been precisely this over the decades since1968. For one, I don't agree with ALL their policies. It restricts my freedom to differ. Second, given the chance to govern they have all been uniformly worse than useless.

  13. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Sharad

    We have to take the politics of India in our own hands. Join FTI and work out an agreed position to fight these forces. In no political party can anyone’s views be 100% reflected. But FTI has a democratic (one person one vote) process for deciding policies so the best ideas are most likely to be picked up.


  14. anup

    Do you seriously believe people living in India even have a rudimentary understanding of what liberty is; of what it means to be free?
    You, of all the people should not criticise any Indian leader be it MMS, RG or NM because you were found lacking in courage when you had decided to forego a criticism of Nehru in your own book. Yet, you think you can articulate (which you don't) the reasons for your criticism of all the other leaders!!!
    I think you are simply trying to create an image/ build a political space for yourself rather than actually do something worthwhile.

  15. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    I am very clear – I am in politics although not in the traditional way. Yes I’m building a clear political space for myself and others like me: leaders who will take India to integrity, prosperity and true greatness, premised on the principles of freedom. I am a politician in relation to India, no doubt about it. That’s why I left the IAS, for I didn’t want to either work from within the bureaucracy nor join existing parties.

    Now, what do you mean by I ‘foregoed criticism of Nehru’? The entire book, BFN, is anti-Nehruvian socialism. And yet, Nehru remains dear to me in many other ways. He was a true patriot. I can’t say that about many of those who rule India today. They have looted India and taken its wealth outside. At least Nehru did not loot India. He made a Himalayan blunder in choosing bad policies, but his heart was in the right place. I don’t see that with people like Modi.

    If you clarify your points further maybe I can address your concerns more precisely.

    Let me be very clear on this: it is ONLY the policies that I advocate that will do something “worthwhile” for India. All else is destined to fail, and has failed already in every way. So my project is truly worthwhile. It is not traditional. I don’t touch black money unlike Congress or BJP. I have self-respect unlike people who join Congress. I have the best wishes for all Indians regardless of who they are or whom they believe in. I am your true friend. It is up to you to recognise that when you begin to understand me better.


  16. raj

    @ Anup:
    Sanjeev is not an Indian citizen, so that means he can do whatever he wants, but he can never take part in India's democracy(i.e right to vote and contest in election)
    So there is no use for him to be focusing his time on reforming India. People do it because they like their country and not for political motives.

  17. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Raj

    Let me provide the correct position on this. I can and WILL take back my full citizenship to contest elections and lead India once FTI has fully assembled and done the necessary preliminaries. All it takes is 12 months of living in India to reclaim my full citizenship.

    I am into Indian politics. Let that be very clear! And I promise to lead India to unprecedented prosperity and success.


  18. raj

    sorry. that was an assumption based on reading in some history class that a person has to stay for 5 years in India to become a citizen. Anyway, I am glad to know that you have political motives

  19. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    Under the Overseas Indian Citizen FAQ (here), Question 29:

    29. Can a person registered as an OCI be granted Indian citizenship?

    Yes. As per the provisions of section 5(1) (g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, a person who is registered as an OCI for 5 years and is residing in India for 1 year out of the above 5 years, is eligible to apply for Indian Citizenship.

    Since I’ve almost completed five years of OCI, all I need is to live for 12 months and become an Indian citizen.


  20. Hardik

    SO you agree its 2 of 10 for Gujarat and 1/1.25 of 10 for other states. Thats 100% better than other states. I also agree with you that 2 of 10 is not good enough. But you cant suddenly jump from 1 to 8 or a 9. It has to be 2,3,4..and so on…. It taken Modi a decade of hard work and great governance for you to give him a 2. It would make sense to give credit and chance to someone who has taken us from 1 to 2…rather than wait and find "IDEAL" somebody. It wont be practical. We have not found one such politician in 60 years.!!
    It would be almost impossible to disregard the whole system of wrong doings and start afresh in a democracy like ours. To do good governance with one step at a time is what Modi has done. Like all Indians even Gujaratis were paranoid while interacting with any government office. Thats no more a case now. The things are faster, better and comparatively less corrupted. The system's working. Why would we Gujarati's lie? We want the same things that any Indian would want. If we have a better experience, we will acknowledge it.
    Request you to just visit Gujarat once and you will know what I am talking about. Honestly, we are fine if rest of India doesnt understand him. Never seen so much of prejudice. Media has not looked at his positives at all. Definitely there are many more evil politicians than him.
    Everything in life is on comparative basis and Mr Modi will definitely have a higher place "comparatively"
     You will never get a ready made "LEADER" who could offer world class governance from day one. Not even you, if you intend to. What is important is a political will to deliver world class governance. We Gujaratis have started experiencing it and will prefer to experience it improve step by step instead of dreaming that one fine morning that ideal leader will deliver us a world class governance.

  21. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Hardik

    Gujarat ALWAYS had better governance than the rest of India. I’ve visited Gujarat well before Modi and it was way superior to, say, Rajasthan. So Modi doesn’t get all the credit for what has happened in Gujarat. Look at its history and you’ll find he simply improved it a bit.

    The key problem is not that I am against Modi, but that I’m IN FAVOUR of a dramatically better governance that I KNOW can be offered and delivered in less than five years ACROSS India. Read BFN ( if you have any doubts on that.

    The platform to offer such DRAMATICALLY BETTER governance is already assembling. FTI ( Please explore it at your leisure.

    If your goals are very low (as they seem to be) then you’ll get what you want.

    If your goals are much higher (as they should be!) you’ll get there as well.

    India has to choose. I can only offer. Don’t want to succeed? – doesn’t matter to me.


  22. Ketan

    It is good to see you at least try to get out of the "communal Modi" point and express at least some degree of skepticism towards criminal charges against him.
    I have been a strong critique of how Gujarat riots had been portrayed by the media, and which to many almost looks like defense of Modi, which is merely incidental. However, in all of this, I was very uncomfortable with one trait that I noticed in others who support Modi (even I do, in that I still think of Indian form of *representative* democracy as a choice of the "lesser evil", in which terms I believe you will have little problem believing that he easily wins over most of the contenders) and that you named quite rightly – "hero worship". Hero worship is wrong because of several reasons:
    1. We might be unwittingly surrendering our sovereignty to a "Hero".
    2. We lose our objectivity if it is a Hero that we worship.
    3. Lastly, if a Hero fails, which any Hero in India is doomed to, then it raises the pessimism quotient several fold.
    The last point might seem insignificant. But I feel a general "feel good" factor has a positive contributory role to ethics. Grumpy people are more likely to be inefficient as well as unethical. So let us say, some day, a huge financial scam breaks out involving Modi, then, perhaps, the generalized cynicism might start affecting the society's entrepreneurial and enterprising tendencies also. Of course, what I suggest here is way too instinctive, but it seems to be the case.
    However, I also do not agree with your assessment that there has been only minor improvement in Gujarat's condition. I am not even going into the figures of growth. I am only talking of changes that have taken place in Gujarat under his administration vis-a-vis changes that have not taken place in the neighboring Maharashtra. And again, I am talking of the rural places. It would be a different matter, as to how much to credit Modi for all the positive changes and how much the bureaucrats and advisers he might have chosen.
    You must be much more of an expert in matters of Constitution and economics and governance, yet, I think the basic problem faced by India is of population density. We are not even admitting that the generalized level of ethics in India is very poor. I had done a blog post wherein I had demonstrated how people are alright with even the gods they worship to be corrupt, megalomaniacal, insecure and amenable to bribing and flattery, so why will these people expect better of their politicians. In a very convoluted way, I think all that is related to India's resource crunch, which in turn is fundamentally because of high population density. This makes thieving and deceiving lot more paying compared to practice of ethics, which in current circumstances actually brings us harm (except for some narcissism that gets served that we call "conscience").
    But there is another problem – there is something wrong with the Constitution of India itself – it is too "representative" – with no possibilities like "right to recall". However, the greatest problem with Indian democracy is the election process itself! It is heavily stacked against those with brilliant minds and perhaps good integrity (which is actually impossible to judge, till a person assumes a position of power – so still electing a legislator with hope of his/her being good is actually a gamble and nothing more). Because, in politics, expertise is one issue, which we do not lack with brilliant bureaucrats as advisers, but it is the intent that matters. And there is no way that can be reliably judged.
    Lastly, Indian Constitution has allowed the government to wrest too much (economic) power from its citizens (that oft-quote license-quota thing) that needs to be changed. But how can it be changed? It practically cannot be changed, because those in power as of now actually benefit from the same arrangement.
    So, if my view appears too pessimistic, it is for reason. :) I think the only way India will gradually improve is when a few decades from now India's population stabilizes and then starts falling.

  23. free_verse


    I have seen many a Modi bashers, but you are by far the worst. There's nothing you have said to substantiate your ludicrous claim of Modi being a second-rate leader. Your "rating" of him counts for ziltch, in the absence of not an iota of evidence of the progress (or lack thereof) under the Chief Ministership of Modi. You take a general argument of what all things are supposedly "incompatible" with good-governance and you pick a random example in the form of Gujarat and proclaim that you are applying your general thesis to this case. And wham! – you use that to discredit everything Gujarat has achieved under Modi. And the most idiotic thing is your complaint that Modi has not done anything to dismantle the bureaucratic structures in the form of "IAS" – as if the dismantling of a Constitutionally-prescribed all India service can be done away with under the whim of a State Chief Minister.

    For all those who believe in FACTS rather than RHETORIC, here's why MODI's Gujarat is the epitome of Good Governance:

    Over the last few years, Gujarat has made excellent progress on all fronts and had received various awards. Be it infrastructure building or water distribution, economic freedom or environmental protection, e-Governance or energy conservation, health accessibility or heritage protection and sanitation or software development, the state has made amazing progress in a short time. The agencies conferring these awards include International bodies like the United Nations (Sasakawa Award for outstanding reconstruction work in disaster risk reduction), World Bank (Green Awards for excellence in environment consciousness during post earthquake rehabilitation), UNESCO (Asia Pacific Heritage Award for reconstruction of a Gurudwara damaged during the earthquake) and various Ministries / agencies of Government of India like Ministry of power, Ministry of non-conventional energy services and institutions like India Tech Excellence Foundation (2005, for the most progressive and dynamic state in power sector reforms) and Computer Society of India (and Nihilant Technology Citizen Facilitation Award for the Best e-Governed State).

    Gujarat ranks number one in The Economic Freedom Index as per the research conducted by none other than The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

    Gujarat has only 5% of India"s population and 6% of its geographical area, but its contribution to India in terms of "Value of Output" is 16.10%; in terms of exports it is 16% and in terms of stock market capitalization it is 30%.

    Gujarat is one of the most industrialized states of India. Gujarat has a 16.2% share in India"s industrial production whereas the percentage of man-days lost in Gujarat due to labor strife is just 0.52% – the lowest in the country.

    Gujarat surpassed the target of 10.2% set by the Planning commission for the 10th five-year plan compared to the average of 8.2% for the entire country, achieving a growth rate of 15% in the first year itself.

    Gujarat accounts for 54% of India"s onshore crude oil production; 50% of India"s natural gas production; 46% of India"s installed refining capacity and 60% of India"s total crude oil import facility. Modi"s vision for a need of an institution for energy research and studies lead to the birth of GERMI – Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute.

    Gujarat today has one of the best infrastructures in the country comprising of 11 airports, 1 international airport, an extensive rail network and a robust road network of over 74,000 km. A total of 17,763 out of the 18,028 villages (98.53%) of Gujarat are connected with pucca roads (concrete roads), the best in the country.

    Gujarat coastline of over 1600 km, the longest in the country, is dotted with 41 ports, which handle over 25% of India"s total cargo.

    Not only limited to industry development and productivity, Modi"s Gujarat is able to boast of meeting the basic requirements of its population in terms of education and health accessibility, clean drinking water and electricity. On the education front there have been 11 new universities, 400 new colleges, 1.25 lakh new teachers, 38,000 new schoolrooms and a doubling of seats for technical courses. Campaigns for universal education, emphasis on girl child education, total enrollment and maximum retention of children in the schools has resulted in a massive reduction in the drop out rate at all primary levels. The Gujarat government has set 2010 as the deadline to ensure a 100 per cent enrolment and zero per cent drop out rate.

    Thanks to a systematic approach to different health issues like rural and urban health, school health, maternal and child health, mental health, preventable diseases and a wide variety of innovative program with Public-Private Collaborations, Gujarat is now emerging as a global medical tourism destination. The WHO has appreciated Gujarat"s school health program, under which 10 million primary school children are medically examined every year. Another scheme involving private gynecologists in providing services related to safe delivery of pregnant women primarily from socio-economically weaker sections, called the Chiranjeevi Yojana, recently bagged international recognition in the form of Asian Innovation Award at Singapore from Wall Street Journal and the Financial Express and was appreciated in UNICEF"s report " State of World Children 2009.

    Water management has been Gujarat"s one of the best success stories. Modi"s mission of "Water for all" has been a revolution. Agriculture sector has been hugely boosted through harnessing of rain water and scientific management of water, interlinking of 21 rivers of the states, linking the villages with a State Wide Water Grid and introduction of Micro-Irrigation Techniques. The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project, making the waters of Narmada river flow all across the state through canals and water transmission lines, due to be completed will further add by providing the benefits of water and electricity up to 500km away from the dam.

    A statewide drinking water grid is also being established for providing drinking water to more than 14,000 villages and 154 towns. The result is that earlier about 4,000 villages needed to be provided water through tankers which has now reduced to less than 185.

    The Jyoti Gram Yojana to provide 3-phase, 24-hour, uninterrupted power supply to all the 18,065 villages and also to the 9,680 suburbs attached to these villages has been described as the single initiative that has brought a revolutionary change in the life-pattern and economic activities of rural Gujarat, promoting development of small scale industries and generation of additional employment. Implemented in a record time of 30 months, the Jyoti Gram Yojana has enabled Gujarat to become the first state in India to achieve 100% electrification of villages.

    On the judiciary front, there are now 22 lakh cases pending against 45 lakh cases in 2005. By 2010, Gujarat"s golden jubilee year, the state aims to achieve zero pendency of cases. Part of this success has been the functioning of 67 Evening Courts, which have enabled the common man to seek justice without wasting his working hours during the day. Similar success has been achieved with the experiments of Lok Adalat (People"s Court) and Nari Adalat (Female Court). In the latter, women groups have organized themselves into informal judicial forums in order to address the grievances and cases of women through consultation and negotiation.

    Gujarat ranks first in the country in the implementation of 20 point program for poverty abolition for the last four years in a row. The government has already provided Housing to 46,263 below poverty line families at the cost of Rs. 13672.94 lakhs.

    Gujarat is the first state in the country to have made e-Governance functional in all its municipalities and municipal corporations and also the first state to have framed a comprehensive urban health policy. Gujarat is the only state in Asia to have an e-connectivity network in all 590 village councils. Around 207 village community centers have started operations. So far, 13,693 panchayats or village councils have computers and sarpanch and village secretaries are trained to operate computers.

    Modi and his government have proved once again the age old proverb, where there is a will there is a way. Imagine all these things happening in the same country where Rajiv Gandhi, as Prime Minister of India, once lamented helplessly that out of every rupee spent for development only 17 per cent actually reached the poor. There has to be some difference and it is this difference of vision, commitment and conviction that distinguishes Modi from other politicians.

    When other Chief Ministers accumulate crores of personal wealth as birthday gifts, Modi deposits each and every gift / souvenir received by him in the government treasury (toshakhana) for the cause of girl child education (Kanya Kelavani). He has deposited Rs.287.37 lacs in a period of 5 years and started the movement where people, being touched by his commitment for the cause of female education, instead of felicitating him by gifts or souvenirs have started donating checks for Kanya Kelavani Nidhi. For this benevolent cause, they have voluntarily handed over more than Rs.11 crores to their beloved leader. This only vindicates the fact that when the intentions are noble and the commitment total, support flows from all directions.

    Since 2003, every year in scorching summer heat of the month of June, the Chief Minister along with his team travels to remote villages to encourage parents to enroll their children in schools. It is a three day long statewide drive covering all the villages and the urban areas in where an atmosphere of festivity and celebration is created to attract young children who now wait keenly to get themselves enrolled into schools. To ensure higher retention rates, another initiative is Vidyalaxmi scheme, introduced in villages where female literacy rate is lower than 35% and in the urban areas for the girls belonging to the below-poverty-line families, where the Vidyalaxmi bond of Rs. 1000/- is given to girl students who take admission to the 1st std and 8th std, to be received with interest on completion of std 7th and 10th respectively.

    The vision, concept and implementation of such programs make Narendra Modi unique. While other politicians think about the next elections, Modi thinks of the next generation. Thus said industrialist Anil Ambani "If Gujarat was a separate country, it would stand in a different league among some of world"s most flourishing and prosperous countries"

    It is no wonder that he has been recognized as No.1 Chief Minister by the people, thrice in last five years in India Today – ORG MARG Survey, a unique recognition ever achieved by any CM in the country.

  24. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Free Verse

    You are victim of the glorification disease from which you can’t see the reality clearly. Let’s be very clear about this – that Gujarat was one of the best administered states in India BEFORE Modi came on the scene. After he came he got embroiled in deep controversy for mishanding a deeply communal situation (which was not of his making, but his party’s (BJP) – of that there is simply no doubt).

    Modi has NO THEORY OF THE STATE, and NO theory of governance – for if he had, he would have tried to influence BJP’s policies. But BJP continues to SUPPORT SOCIALISM in the Indian Constitution; its economic and political philosophies are illiberal and divisive. So long as Modi remains in BJP, he has to share the blame for BJP’s miserable ideologies.

    Modi is currently trying to follow advise from so-called experts, and to an extent that will work. That’s what is happening. But MODI IS NO LEADER. He has NO THEORY OF HIS OWN.

    Let’s be clear – Modi CAN’T reform India’s goverance because he has NO CLUE about what such reforms mean.

    When I hear about Modi’s clearly articulated theories of the state (in which case he may have to leave BJP immediately), then I’ll review my views on Modi.

    Second, it is IMPOSSIBLE to claim that Modi is not corrupt. The entire electoral system in India is UNDERPINNED by black money and fraud. I CHALLENGE anyone to prove that Modi did not use BLACK MONEY in his election. Hence Modi is as corrupt as anyone else.

    I trust you’ll review your claims and realise that Modi is NOT the solution for India.


  25. RC

    Dear Mr. Sabhlok,
        I think you are missing the basic point that leaders are not created in vacuum. When you ask for leaders only, you seem to completely miss the point that you dont just wave a magic wand and someone becomes a "leader". Also, a true leader of men does not need to be a philosopher. A great leader just needs to be discriminating enough to listen to multiple thoughts from thought leaders and pick the thought and strategy thats most practical and tenable. 
    You cant make someone a leader by having them read a stupid book or take a course.
    Leadership comes from life's work and being able to getup and address people and being able to get them to do what you want them to do.
    Real leader is one who when speaks it speaks directly to the people he is leading. Being a great orator is almost a necessity for a good leadership, reading someone's stupid philosophy is NOT.
    True leader also leads by example. Modi is an excellent example of leading by example.
    You probably dont speak Gujarati thats why you havent seen what a powerful orator Modi is. Even upper middle class retired people (like my Dad and his friends) go to listen to his rallies.
    True leader is someone who takes decisions and doesnt punt (or postpone) then follows thru' with execution. Many times taking a decision means offending one group, yet a real leader takes the decision. Modi took a decision to go after those who were stealing electricity, it was not an easy decision but he took it and executed it causing many people to lose their electricity connection. Today GEB (Gujarat Elec Board) is one of the only profitable state run Electricity board in the country and most of the state has 24 hour electric supply. Per capita electricity consumption of the state is orders of magnitude higher than national average.
    True leader has a few core beliefs that forms his way of operating. Modi's is .. "Minimum government Maximum governance". Beautifully sums up what's needed all over India.
    Lastly, your charge of complicity in riots towards Modi is unfair, I think and also discounts the ground conditions in Gujarat. Entire decades of 80's and 90's (mostly ruled by Congress) were rife with almost yearly instances of Hindu-Muslim riots. It was a routine. So, there was a history of grievance between the communities. In such incendiary situation the provocation of burning alive of mostly women and children could not go away without reaction. (After 9/11 even in the US Sikhs were attacked because they were mistaken for Arabs. ) You should listen to clip of Modi's his speech (in Gujarati on Doordarshan)  asking for restraint following the riots.
    Having said that, you could have a policy disagreement with Modi and his administration but your claim that he is not a leader shows that your idea of a "leader" is flawed.

  26. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear RC

    We are talking a different language. ANY DEMAGOGUE can be a ‘leader’ on the definition you offer. But only someone who has a vision and a clear theory of freedom and justice can be a genuine reformer.

    Modi’s calibre as a speaker is not the issue. I’ve made a few simple statements that no one wants to refute:

    a) Gujarat was India’s best administered state well before Modi came on the scene. His contribution is incremental, not a quantum shift.

    b) Modi is corrupt – just like any other political leader of India today. All of them perjure on their statement of election accounts. All of them use crores of rupees of black money.

    c) Modi is tainted in the eyes of many people (I won’t go into details) because of the role he played in Godhra and beyond. He is part and parcel of the Hindutva gangsters of BJP. No minorities can feel safe under such regime. He must renounce Hindutva claims and must leave BJP if he is to be acceptable across India.

    In other words, he is one of the relatively more efficient people who FULLY ACCEPTS the Indian socialist system with its colonial form of governance. He is not a solution to India’s many problems, just a temporary band aid.


  27. raj

    Modi is corrupt. It would be SAFE to call every Indian politician corrupt. Even if the concerned individual is not corrupt, he or she most likely is a member of a gang(congress, BJP, CPI) that is hell bent on destroying India. They celebrate the death of millions of children and  poverty . And that does not mean Gujarat is excellent. It might be best among the gutter.

  28. VINAY H M

    where the rest of the INDIA and Gujarath , it is on par with China .
    okay let me come to your point , @ least first reach to the level of gujarath , then you think the rest .
    I think we are still under colonial mind set , so you couldnot able to digest the fact .
    When gujarath minority are not feeling anything , why those who not concerned making noise i dont know.
    and the so called your liberal perspective already there , its nothing like you should dig for it.
    anyways  i saw your chat box , i am very sorry the way you addressed the sandeep is not @ all way .
    I think as visionary , the leader , wtever you call , I strongly believe this is not something which is not acceptable .
    Anyways you are an IAS right , so upto you your thinking is right , but it is not [ Some aspects ]
    First of all if you say foolish glorification of modi , then gujarath people are foolish in turn it says the same.
    Hope in future you will take care of this

  29. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Vinay

    Let’s be clear, I’m not calling the Gujarat people foolish! You are doing that. The people of India – I have always said this – are doing the best GIVEN the shoddy quality of leaders that our system currently throws up (because all good poeple are driven away from politics by our law and systems).

    Re: Sandeep B. You are entitled to your views. If you still consider me an IAS officer (LONG after I resigned that colonial bureaucracy meant to serve our most corrupt and incompetent people), that is your problem as well! What in particular bothered you re: my comments to Sandeep? I have only the highest of regard for him but I expect him to stop making excuses. Is that a problem? Should I pat him on his back for constantly wriggling out of the need for leaders to step forward. He was blaming the PEOPLE of India. I don’t think that makes sense. What’s your problem with my criticism of Sandeep’s lame excuses?


  30. raj

    Anyone who is praising or defending Modi may want to read this.
    Of course, you would most likely argue this figure is not as bad as poverty in Bihar. Indians need to aim for high standards. Our country is literally a mess in everything, yet people "defend" their country. Running away from the truth will not help. Compare our poverty levels with the rest of the world and suddenly our country looks bad. It's not just poverty. There is simply a big need for change in India. Gujarat may be better than many other states, but that doesn't mean it's good. 

  31. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks, Raj, just the point I’ve been making. Very well said.

    The day Indians will set HIGHER standards India will change. Today we are always comparing with the bottom of the dung heap of the world. So what if Gujarat is better than Bihar? I DON’T compare with any existing country. I know India’s condition is deplorable against most countries, but I have MUCH higher standards. I compare India against what it can be. That is a level 10 times higher than what is presently found in US/Australia/UK, etc.

    I therefore look at what India CAN and SHOULD be, but people keep telling me that India is great as it is! I find I’m constantly speaking a language that many Indians simply don’t understand. Having been a slave ‘race’ under the Muslims and British for so long, they are happy with PATHETIC standards. I’m NOT. I expect and demand the highest standards, because I know that we can deliver them with the right set of leaders and right policies. And Modi is not one of them.

    I’m not going to settle for Modi’s Gujarat for India. I want 100 times better. And I know what can make that happen – you! You the educated people of India, once you understand what I’m saying.


  32. anup

    To use your own words from the BFN book, “But we must speak the Truth. Obfuscation is not my style.”, here’s something I will say to you:

    If you stand for classical liberalism, then how is it that you can state this about Nehru, a champion of socialism?

    “I know about the hallowed place that Nehru commands in the Indian pantheon of heroes, and I too hold him in high esteem in many ways.”
    “Many of us feel deep admiration towards Nehru almost verging on veneration; I am almost there myself, holding Nehru in high esteem for a number of things he did.”
    ……… and scores of such obsequious references to Nehru in the book. You have no problems with the foolish glorification of Nehru that you do by way of such obsequious references backed with no data yet you have a problem with the glorification of Modi even when backed with concrete data.

    Why is it that I find you completely lacking in courage even when you make a great show of wanting to change India? Perhaps the reason is that you are very afraid and do not have the stomach for a battle with the established power elite (read the Gandhi dynasty). While you never fail to remind that we must not reject Nehru despite the billions of mandays of misery he has caused in India over the last 63 years, you are very quick to denounce Modi for doing what exactly; improving the lot of people in Gujarat? I wonder why; perhaps it’s the done and expected thing to do, isn’t it?

    I suggest that you grow a spine and not whine about those very things that are part of the few things that are good about Indian polity today. Even as I say this, I am in line with your argument that things can be 100 times better even in Modi’s Gujarat. 

  33. Free_verse

    Dear Free Verse, You are victim of the glorification disease from which you can’t see the reality clearly.
    Dear Sanjeev, you are a victim of a presumptuous mindset that looks down upon those who do not prescribe to your (in my opinion, ludicrous) views. You sit on your high horse and spout your self-righteous attitude on others. For not agreeing with you, they become “diseased”. As for seeing reality, it’s out there for people to see and believe on the roads, villages and towns of Gujarat. You are welcome to continue to sit in your LazyBoy chair in a posh room and to read pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-liberal books and sermonize.
    Let’s be very clear about this – that Gujarat was one of the best administered states in India BEFORE Modi came on the scene.
    Yes, Gujarat has traditionally been better off than the rest. So what? What’s your point? Modi came and propelled it further onto the trajectory of growth. If he had made no difference from status quo, why has he been re-elected three times with a thumping majority? Are you trying to suggest that Modi’s Chief Ministership has made no difference to the development in Gujarat? Or are you saying that the previous Government laid all the groundwork for development and just sat back and allowed Modi (from another party) to take over? That sounds mighty stupid of them, I say.
    Why don’t you show some facts and figures to support your claim? But I see you don’t believe in such trivialities. For you, your own words seem to be even more authoritative than those of God himself.
    After he came he got embroiled in deep controversy for mishanding a deeply communal situation (which was not of his making, but his party’s (BJP) – of that there is simply no doubt).
    You just proved my previous statement tight. You seem to count your words as sacrosanct. The communal “situation” was BJP’s making you claim. And the entire nation, including the ruling party, has in a spell of unprecedented love, forgiven the BJP for such a crime? Which is why no FIR, no chargesheet, no court case has ever been filed against any BJP member? And also, to be on the safer side, the BJP members decided to slaughter 300 Hindus along with 800 Muslims, so as not arouse suspicion, aye?
    Modi has NO THEORY OF THE STATE, and NO theory of governance – for if he had, he would have tried to influence BJP’s policies. But BJP continues to SUPPORT SOCIALISM in the Indian Constitution; its economic and political philosophies are illiberal and divisive. So long as Modi remains in BJP, he has to share the blame for BJP’s miserable ideologies.
    Modi is not a political scientist or an economist that he will go around spouting theories of whatever. He is a constitutionally elected head of a State government and he works within the given Constitutional framework to realize Constitutional values. He has driven Gujarat to achieve dizzying heights of progress, which includes achievements like 100% school enrolment for girl students, 100% rural electrification, 100% broadband connectivity (even in villages), revolutionizing the court system and more. Under his stewardship, Gujarat has become a hub for innovation in renewable energy and conservation. I frankly see no point in even listing these out for you, because I can see from your replies to commentators that you chose not to even acknowledge such points regarding Gujarat’s achievements under Modi, let alone refute them.
    BJP continues to support Socialism? You must be nuts. During the NDA regime, the government did more for liberalization and globalization of India than the previous Congress governments. As an example, Arun Shourie ushered in the new telecom policy which formed the basis for the Indian telecom revolution.
    Modi is currently trying to follow advise from so-called experts, and to an extent that will work. That’s what is happening. But MODI IS NO LEADER. He has NO THEORY OF HIS OWN.
    You seem to have some inside information on how Modi, the CM of a State, takes decisions, which I am afraid nobody else does. They must have a direct line from your bedroom to his office, for you to be updated.
    What the HELL does that even mean? I am starting to lose the little respect I may have given you out of respect for your age.
    Let’s be clear – Modi CAN’T reform India’s goverance because he has NO CLUE about what such reforms mean.
    You and your ilk can keep whining, but the truth of the matter is:
    The debate in Gujarat is no longer about how to provide 24×7 electricity but on how to make it clean, sustainable and green. The debate in Gujarat is no longer about achieving the least common denominator in public education but on how to make it accountable and performant. The debate in Gujarat is no longer about talk of eliminating corruption in governance but on how to make the processes of governance responsive, citizen centric with a firm focus on service delivery. The debate in Gujarat is no longer about clearing the backlog of cases but on how to further the innovations in Justice delivery making them more sensitive and efficient. The debate on Gujarat is no longer in Gujarat but elsewhere as conventional wisdom is being challenged and complacency in Governance is being questioned. 
    I don’t know what your definition of reforms is. Perhaps your skewed perception of governance is why the party your tried to form never took off?
    When I hear about Modi’s clearly articulated theories of the state (in which case he may have to leave BJP immediately), then I’ll review my views on Modi.
    Again theories. Modi is man of actions, not words. He would not waste even a minute of his time trying to convince your type of what ideological model he follows.
    Second, it is IMPOSSIBLE to claim that Modi is not corrupt. The entire electoral system in India is UNDERPINNED by black money and fraud. I CHALLENGE anyone to prove that Modi did not use BLACK MONEY in his election. Hence Modi is as corrupt as anyone else.
    The entire (pseudo) “liberal” set up in India is UNDERPINNED by intellectual depravity, pseudo-secularism, anti-nationalism, narrow-mindedness, rhetoric and bias. I CHALLENGE anyone to prove that YOU are not the same. Hence, you are as pseudo-liberal as anyone else.
    See how that works? I am a lawyer, and can tell you that your manner of leveling allegations, without backing them up with an iota of evidence and continuing indulgence in rhetoric will not convince anyone.
    I trust you’ll review your claims and realise that Modi is NOT the solution for India.
    I am not only going to NOT review my claims but I have realized that pseudo-liberals and pseudo-intellectuals like you are the real PROBLEM for India.


  34. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Anup

    I have always accepted that Modi is a good administrator – and that Gujaratis have done a good job by electing him GIVEN the much worse choices they had.

    All I’m asking is this: Does this make Modi a god? Is he a great leader? And my answer NO for reasons I’ve clearly elaborated many times on this blog post.

    I have MUCH higher expections of India. What Modi wants is simply insufficient; not good enough. I claim that he doesn’t know what he wants. In his position I would have explained clearly the kind of reforms India needs. He has simply no clue. So he is an ordinary (but good) adminiistrator, and an ordinary (and corrupt) politician.

    Re: Nehru, nowhere have I showed any obsequiousness! But if you tell me that I must hide the truth (that Nehru supported and built Indain democracy and promoted the scientific attitude in India), then you are expecting me to be somone I’m not. I will insist on admitting to people’s good things – but also show their weaknesses. The entire book, BFN is a critique of Nehru’s policies and the ruin he caused India. The truth must be spoken as it is: not to suit someone’s biases. And so re: Indira and her children/grandchildren, I have had nothing but contempt. Virtually nothing good I’ve had to report so far, including on Rahul Gandhi. I’ve been honest on that, as well, on a number of occasions. So I don’t need to explain my position further.

    Please bear with the truth.

    I am sitting here (at great expense to my health and finances) and writing NOT because of I’m going to receive any great ‘reward’ from Congress or BJP or anyone else. I am doing so because I have much higher expectations of India than ANY of India’s leaders today, and because I want to build educated Indians into a force for good that will contest elections and defeat these sub-standard forces that have put a brake on India. I have only ONE clear goal: A Truly Great India. On that mission, I am not going to hestitate from speaking the truth as I see it. So please bear with the truth. It may not be just what you want to hear. But it is the truth.

    Note that if you are happy and content with what is going on, then so be it. I’m not.

    And I will therefore insist on showing India the right path regardless of whether India cares to adopt it or not. A father can only show the right path to the son. It is the son who will ultimately need to think thorugh things and actually adopt the path. I refuse to show you the wrong path. Modi’s is NOT the kind of path that will take India to greatness. That’s all I can say.

    You, my dear friend, have to decide whether you are happy with socialism and corruption, with sub-standard policies, with substandard public administration and justice, or you are willing to work towards a truly great India. If you are intersted in something better then join FTI. Else you don’t need me. You can help India destroy the potential of one more generation’s by supporting sub-standard leadership and policies – without my help! Just switch off from my blog. Imagine I don’t exist.


  35. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Free Verse

    I think I'm going to leave you to your views since you haven't tried to pay attention to what I'm saying. I'm putting things in perspective, and showing why Modi is simply insufficient for India's needs. Regarding his theory, I do know that he has articulated some positive statements regarding free enterprise, but I don't get the clear sense that he is a classical liberal. That is the key problem. He doesn't know how to move India forward. 

    He may well be the best among existing Indian leaders and India may do much better under his leadership, but that would still be a sub-standard result for India.

    I understand you find it hard to understand me. If so please try to read BFN, and – more particularly – DOF. If not, then just switch off from this blog. Imagine I don't exist. Nothing much will happen, except that India will continue to under-perform. 



  36. Free_verse

    Dear Sir,

    Classical liberalism is no longer an accepted ideology of the current times. Just because you are a staunch supporter of it does not make others, especially able and innovative administrators like Modi, who may not openly speak in favour of such an ideaology, wrong in their approach towards governance.
    A strong opposition to the many deficiencies of classical liberalism gave rise to a strong demand for welfarism, which was the philosophy that drove many nations for decades. Welfarism ignored concerns efficiency and economy and  it was discarded in favour of a neo-liberal agenda, which believes in a small but strong State. No country in the world today purely follows classical liberalism and you are misplaced in your support for it. Classical liberalism is particularly ill-suited for developing countries where a large chunk of the population is marginalised and NEEDS for the State to look after its interests. The idea that the market cares for the consumers' interests has been exposed as hollow time and again. The state should be a facilitator for private enterprise and should take up initiatives in sectors where the private institutions do not show any inclination, for instance rural education. Narendra Modi has openly announced that he believes in LESS GOVERNMENT AND MORE GOVERNANCE which is a fundamental neo-liberal principle. It automatically implies that he will downsize and debureaucratise the government, which is exactly what he has done. His cabinet consists of a mere 15 members. The soaring levels of efficiency, transparency and accountability in his government has been the talk of the town. As an example, read about the SWAGAT initiative of Gujarat government,m if you care to. 
    My biggest complaint with your post is the flippant manner in which you dismiss the entire Gujarat experiment as flawed or unsustainable because it does not confirm to your "classical liberal" ideology. By your logic, no model of governance in the world will confirm to your notions. You have not bothered to mention or cite even a single CONCRETE instance of how the initiatives in Gujarat are insufficient. Give some examples and highlight your readers as to how rural electrification, 100% power guarantee, complete education, climate change abatement, river linking are not long-term, sustainable initiatives creating human capital and infrastructure base for the future. What people care about are concrete RESULTS on the ground and VISIBLE IMPROVEMENT in standards of living.
    Now, these standards of living may not be "100% better than even those in US/UK/Australia" as you have commented in a previous post, but you must remember that blindly worshiping and following the Western models of growth are not going to do the world a whole lot of good. It is said that every person on this planet were at the same standard of living as that of the average person in the USA, the resources of FIVE EARTHS would be required to sustain that. In this century, Asia is required to lead the world by tracing a path of development that is sustainable and not marked by crass consumerism, irresponsible capitalism and environmental degradation. So there is no pride in wanting to be even better than those in the West, because, frankly, they have led the Earth on a path to destruction.
    Last point, you and another commentator mentioned how we gloat in happiness by claiming that 'gujarat' provides better facilities than say Bihar while the world surges ahead of us. My only reply is that inter-regional comparisons are not to demean any particular state. When states exchange notes, they can learn from each others' experiences and mistakes. People are most happy when the country as a whole develops, and not particular regions. Also, your argument belittling the population being "satisfied" with what gujarat has to offer is highly infantile. It's not about being satisfied, it's about being relived that after 60 years of independence and promises of poverty removal, complete education, elimination of basic diseases, infrastructure development and what not, at least these ideals are being achieved to a great extent in one state of the country. So to belittle a Gujarat resident pleased at having good roads, clean streets, good house, 24/7 electricity, good schools, good employment opportunities as being somebody who is happy with "little" and aspiring for more is a serious undermining of people's aspirations. How do you know he does not aspire for more? He might want world class universities in his State (and will eventually have them), but for that the government first has to ensure that human capital is created by sending every child to school, which is what Modi has achieved. Now, girl child education be a less-glamorous achievement for you but don't undermine it by calling low aspirations of the people. 

  37. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Free Verse

    This is my last response to you till you’ve read my book/s. From what you are saying you have NO idea what you are talking about:

    1) “Welfarism ignored concerns efficiency and economy and it was discarded in favour of a neo-liberal agenda, which believes in a small but strong State.” The small strong state is a CLASSICAL LIBERAL conception, not ‘neo-liberal’ whatever that is!!

    2) “Classical liberalism is particularly ill-suited for developing countries where a large chunk of the population is marginalised and NEEDS for the State to look after its interests. The idea that the market cares for the consumers’ interests has been exposed as hollow time and again. The state should be a facilitator for private enterprise and should take up initiatives in sectors where the private institutions do not show any inclination, for instance rural education.”

    Clearly you have no clue what classical liberalism stands for. Have you read my writings on school education – that every child will receive the best possible education under the classical liberal state? Please do so.

    If you really want to know what I’m saying, and why Modi is simply not enough for India, then read my book. If not please carry on doing whatever you are doing. I’m not here to persuade every single Indian, one at a time. I’ll say what I must say. I’ll try to finish my second book, then possibly write one more. I’ll promote leaders for the India through the Freedom Team, and then I’ll move on if the country doesn’t need my leadership.

    I’m surprised you make all kinds of assertions about Modi. That’s the problem, don’t you see? Modi belong to BJP, a Hindutva based outfit that has advocated ‘integral humanism’ and swadeshi all through. BJP NEVER stood for a small strong state but for socialism. It WON’T allow that word to be erased from the Indian constitution. So BJP is socialist.

    Modi might have his own ideas, some partially the right track – but these are NOT BJP ideas, but those of classical liberals. Virtually EVERY recommendation from IMF that socialists like MMS followed since 1991 were based on classical liberal principles. And that is what underpins India’s limited success so far.

    Unfortunately NO leader in India today understands the concept of freedom, and thus, of classical liberalism. Not Modi. He may be copying a few of the ideas of classical liberalism, but he doesn’t have the THEORY in his mind.

    I have thrown down the gauntlet through my book, BFN, and challenge anyone to provide better solutions for India.

    Note that I will not engage further with you till you’ve read BFN.


  38. raj

    @ Freeverse: I don't have a lot of time, but I think it's worth explaining here.
    First Classical liberalism supports capitalism and believes in individual rights. I don't see any deficiencies in classical liberalism and the countries that became welfare states made a choice of their own to become inefficient and poor.
    Just because no country purely follows this philosophy, it does not mean it is a failed idea. If nations want to enjoy in socialism, I think they deserve to rot with poverty. The free market cares for the consumer because in a free market you are the king. the companies are slaves to the consumer. You decide what u buy and companies will have to respond to the consumer. If they don't, they FAIL or go bankrupt. It's only when the state interferes; things get ugly.
    In other words, the state is a stupid organization that will always be inefficient. Only the free market can provide quality at the lowest prices. Let me make my point clear- socialism is a failed philosophy, that fails every time.
    You talk about irresponsible capitalism, capitalism is not irresponsible nor is it responsible for any of the problems you state. To an extent, some level of environmental pressure may exist, but it's capitalism that always produces innovation. Let me tell you that the world will not end or hell will break loose if the entire world lived as folks in America. When everyone is able to afford such high standard, it will simply lead to better innovation and better products. If you say capitalism is a problem; it's also the solution to the problem. Also argument is simply and seriously FLAWED! Just because of environmental concerns, do you justify the billions of people suffering with hunger and disease? I think nature will take care of itself.
    We need to aim for the best in the World. It's ok if the idiots say we are all going to die and the world will end because of pollution caused by capiatalism. The environment is better maintained in capitalistic societies. Capitalism is the only way to prosperity. Socialism is the best way to attain poverty.
    if you care to know the truth, watch this video.

  39. RC

    You claim that Modi is corrupt because we cannot say that he has not used black money in his election campaigns. Well, campaign finance is a murky and complex issue and even here in the US there are lots of different points of views about how a campaign should be financed. With your definition all politician in the US would be termed corrupt as well.
    Your claim of Modi being corrupt doesnt square with opinion of people of India (the only opinion that really matters) and also does not square with facts. Modi is perceived as the most clean non-corrupt politician in public life in India today. Thats in fact large part of the appeal.
    I believe there is NOT a single prosperous country in the world today operating on the sort of classical liberalism you describe. So why should we assume that it will work in India. Now, I know that India needs to get rid of socialism and disastrous socialist nightmarish policies like NREGA, but that doesnt mean that the only option is extreme form of classical liberalism. At least as far as markets are concerned the Financial Meltdown of 2008 was a rebuke of Efficient Market Hypothesis which originated from a Milton Friedman school of thought.

  40. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Raj (RC)

    I don’t know what you are talking about “extreme form of classical liberalism”. You either don’t want to learn nor wish to read what I’ve been saying. Please read BFN and show me what extreme classical liberalism you are talking about. Read also my articles on the financial crisis – that was created by SOCIALIST policy in USA, including central banking (Marxian advocated that, if you are not aware). Search under ‘monetary policy’ on this blog to find my writings on this subject.

    Let’s be clear: India is in the GUTTER because of its gutter quality thinking. Unless people (leaders/policy makers) learn about freedom and its implications, we will keep gloating about out greatness even as India remains at the bottom of the world in poverty and corruption. Please learn something about freedom.

    Re: Modi’s corruption, I have thrown open a single challenge: PROVE to me that he has not used black money in his elections and that he has not LIED and PERJURED (thus cheated) the people of India.

    I don’t care about YOUR view about public opinion. My opinion is what matters to me. I don’t go about mincing words. If Modi is corrupt, he is corrupt. I won’t brush it aside by saying that he is cleaner than others. PROVE that he is honest. I don’t think that can be done.


  41. raj

    Sanjeev, I think you are addressing the wrong person.I assume you are addressing someone else (RC). Yes,  Austrians know that the Financial crisis was caused by the Federal Reserve by keeping  interest rates artificially low. Now, let's make it clear capitalism is not responsible for the crisis. There are simply too many malinvestments and the market forces are trying to correct them and that's why we have a recession/depression.
    However, instead of allowing the market forces to work; the governments and central banks have chosen the easy route to literally kill themselves. In fact all the recent price inflation is caused largely by the Fed's QE(also called money printing). We have set the perfect stage for a world wide inflationary depression. It has nothing to do with Efficient Market Hypothesis.The monetary policies of central banks are the problems behind recessions.

  42. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Raj

    RC is also Raj (I’ve got his email ID which has his full name – that’s why I was calling him Raj as well!). Sorry. I’ve corrected this now.

    Yes, you are right about the financial crisis. Modi needs to abandon BJP and start a liberal party if he wants to reform India’s governance. But can he demonstrate that he keeps the affairs of the state and religion separate? That is another key characteristic of classical liberalism.


  43. free_verse

    Sir, I haven't read your "works" yet and as per your instructions shouldn't be commenting anymore, but this is a little ridiculous:
    Re: Modi’s corruption, I have thrown open a single challenge: PROVE to me that he has not used black money in his elections and that he has not LIED and PERJURED (thus cheated) the people of India.
    I don’t care about YOUR view about public opinion. My opinion is what matters to me. I don’t go about mincing words. If Modi is corrupt, he is corrupt. I won’t brush it aside by saying that he is cleaner than others. PROVE that he is honest. I don’t think that can be done.
    You are the one so confidently making the claim that Modi is corrupt, like all others, a claim that completely goes against public perception. People believe that whatever else he might be, he is NOT corrupt.
    As you are leveling the allegation, the ONUS is completely on you to provide some indication as his alleged corrupt activities. Nobody expects you to carry out field work and investigate, but provide some allegation, any allegation, reported anywhere, which may serve to create doubts in our minds about him. Even the word of his Opposition would count because it wouldn't make completely baseless claims. I know that his declared income is barely Rs. 3 crores, hardly any in cash. His family lives in the same shack that they lived before he became CM (which is true for Nitish Kumar as well). Politicians are a shameless creed, but it is absurd to proclaim that ALL are CORRUPT, unless proved otherwise. Especially so in the case a man whose clean public image and reputaion precedes him.

  44. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    There is not ONE politician from a major political party who is has not cheated the public through the electoral expense declaration. Even assuming for a moment that Modi personally has lodged a genuine declaration (which I simply can’t believe given my extensive knowledge of India’s electoral system), he belongs to a party ALL remaining MPs and MLAs of which have flouted the limits.

    Just the other day one BJP supporter had come to my house and told me in passing how he had personally distributed Rs.35 lakhs in CASH to the slum areas of Mumbai in an election – which the BJP candidate lost.

    I’ve not grown up in vacuum, but in the thick of India’s electoral machine. Read BFN if you wish to find out more (chapter 4).

    There is NO onus on me to prove my allegation. I KNOW it is true. India doesn’t function in a manner to allow a clean person to enter politics.


  45. ssk

    I don't think you know how to manage a decmocratic country as old and heavy populated as India.
    By the way, to write a blog like this about Modi is dissapointing. I don't know where you are from, but I would advise you to go to Gujarat and see for yourself. I guarantee you will see a low corruption in Governance, fast pace developtment and best in basic facilities(among other states) like water,electricity and roads even in towns/village, Security, etc.. The way Modi is implementing big projects in fast pace is mind blowing, I bet none of the Indian states can even get any closer to Gujarat in next two decades. If you get time go to his blog and see how dynamically he is doing things for Gujarat's development and unity of people of the state (he conducts lots of events for Gujarati's to be united).
    Also I would request you to write some interesting things about Sonia and Congress government.
    And by the way, I am from Karnataka, not from Gujarat.

  46. Sanjeev Sabhlok


    I write fairly and dispassionately. Have you read BFN, and my writings about MASSIVE corruption in Congress?

    The ability to see and speak the truth must be the first step towards improving the situation of India.


  47. anup

    "Modi needs to abandon BJP and start a liberal party if he wants to reform India’s governance."
    I agree completely. The BJP is a million times worse than the Congress. The BJP claimed to be a "party with a difference" and betrayed the trust of those who looked at it with the hope of reforming the Indian polity. At least the Congress is staying true to its character; that of perpetuating slavery of India through brown sahibs.

  48. anup

    Sanjeev, Good luck with your effort. I hope to somehow contribute to this grand effort in due course of time.

  49. SR

    But Gujarat, in my view, scores merely 2 out of 10 on the good goveranance scale, while other states of India get 1 out of 10 or 1.25. – mere statements on a camel don't make them true – let's see why you feel it scores only 2 out of 10

  50. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Pl. see ANY decent set of statistical indicators of social/ economic/ governance performance. Gujarat is not above the Third World status, simply because Modi doesn’t know what is needed to be done. There is plenty of material on this blog/ in my books should you be genuinely interested in learning.

  51. Ashok Patel

    Sigh! You have all the solutions but unfortunately do not know how to get elected and carry people with you. How sad?

  52. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ashok

    I’m looking for leaders fit to lead India. Modi is not one of them. Yes, among the garbage on offer, he is better than the average (which is extremely low!), so the electorate choose him.

    But India deserves better. Don’t you agree? Or are you happy with a dictator and Hindu fanatic as your leader? I’m not.


  53. Shravan

    Dr Sanjeev, you find it impossible to believe that Modi is incorruptible, why would wikileaks say that about him than? did modi pay the americans to make such a statement?

  54. Shravan

    What makes you think Modi does not have a theory? Maybe he does not want to move to Australia that may be the reason he has not opened his mouth yet. All this while I was thinking classical liberalism is the same as libertarianism but you said somewhere there must be responsible regulation, I strongly DISAGREE.
    There are two components in the Human Community, one is SOCIETY and the other is GOVERNMENT, I believe the Government must be given the authority to protect life, liberty and property all the other problems must be handled by the society.
    Do you will agree with me when I say government does not exist to solve problems?, it exists only to serve some specific needs, we will have to solve our own problems. You want to create leaders who will solve existing problems, sadly that is a wrong headed idea, Government must be small just like Modi says 'Minimum Government and Maximum Governence', Modi talks about strengthening each Taluka so that dependence of state government is reduced and inefficiency which is the cause of corruption is removed.
    Here is one thing you MUST do if you have not done already, please send a copy of your book to Modi, see what he replies, if he replies. Why don't you try to educate him about these so called excellent policies? Have you already tried that?

  55. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    I don’t take Wikileaks as evidence. I know precisely how the Indian political and electoral system (and BJP) functions. It is IMPOSSIBLE for Modi to run a clean outfit. He might be “clean” but BJP in Gujarat is NOT. Can’t be. Only when there is ZERO corruption anywhere in Gujarat can Modi be certified clean. And that is impossible under the current system.

  56. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Shravan

    I encourage you to buy BFN and give it to Modi, if you wish. I don’t communicate with BJP or Congress thugs. I am building an alternative government – should leaders of calibre exist in India.

    Btw, I don’t know what you mean by libertarianism when in the next instant you admit the existence of government in the next sentence. Do read DOF ( even though it is work in progress.


  57. SHravan

    Dr Sanjeev, Government is employed by the people to serve some needs, like protection from hostile foreign forces, I do admit the necessity of having some government like entity but it is a contract. A few able people are chosen to do a FEW tasks, this is not at odds with any free market theory, the nature, the extent of the government and the contract can vary.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial