In a scathing criticism of the Gujarat model of governance, a state-run Chinese newspaper has used the opportunity of recent violence during the Patels’ reservation agitation in Gujarat to question the “Gujarat model” of development. “If the Gujarat model was so successful and so transformative, how could this caste-centric mobilisation erupt and end so violently? Why should other states buy into the rhetoric?,” an op-ed article in the ruling Communist Party-run ‘Global Times’ said, in a rare critical commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The current upheavals also call into question the image of a prosperous and vibrant Gujarat that Modi tried to sell to the world,” it says.
While Modi and some others believe that the 2014 elections were about the economy alone, caste politics still prevails, the article says. Questioning Modi’s mantra that development is “the only solution of all problems,” the article said such rhetoric has failed to console Gujarat’s minorities, once again.
“Economic development won’t solve all problems. The fact is that fast-growing Indian states cannot save themselves from communal violence, let alone those which are struggling in poverty,” it says.
“If police inaction caused widespread violence in 2002, it was the excessive use of police force that plunged the state back into violence 13 years later,” it says.
“Will development solve all problems? Can social problems be solved if the economy simply grows? Obviously, the answer is more complicated than such a simple solution of development,” the article says.