Modi's magic wand or just an obvious high?

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 08, 2012 18:58 hrs

pAt first glance nothing about Ahmedabad may suggest it is the centrifuge of one of the country&rsquos most celebrated growth stories in the past decade Its buses are few and creaky its malls underwhelming its traffic sedate and buildings possess an old-world aura Yet the capital of Gujarat has powered the state into becoming a darling of industry and a pioneer of efficient governance and infrastructureppDespite that many have begun to ask searching questions about the nature of Gujarat&rsquos development How different has its growth really been from its peers&rsquo Whom has this growth benefitted Moreover can Modi take credit for all of it Examining Gujarat&rsquos growth model is important for two reasons It could shed some light on whether the state&rsquos development trajectory can be a role model for inclusive growth &mdash arguably the kind that India needs and a related one about whether Modi can effectively transplant it on to the national stage if he swings for the fencesppHow does Gujarat&rsquos growth fare versus other states A comparison of states that are in the same league in terms of size and level of industrialisation shows Gujarat is the leader but not by much Between 2000 and 2010 Gujarat posted a 105 per cent growth rate but this was just marginally ahead of Maharashtra 10 per cent with Haryana 917 per cent and Tamil Nadu 849 per cent nipping at its heels Moreover says Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad IIM-A professor Sebastian Morris &ldquoWhen India grew rapidly Gujarat also grew rapidly and when India&rsquos rate collapsed following the global crisis Gujarat&rsquos also collapsed&rdquoppModi&rsquos accomplishments look even less stellar if you consider for instance the previous decade 1990-2000 in which also Gujarat led the pack &mdash under different chief ministers &mdash posting a growth rate of 83 per cent And if you take just the last five years of Modi&rsquos rule Planning Commission figures show Maharasthra outstripping Gujarat by a percentage point and Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu keeping pace with itppCould Modi&rsquos claims of modernising the state and transforming it under his watch simply be smoke and mirrorsp

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