Few words in the English language are as evasive as "divisive". It merely indicates a disagreement, and avoids explaining it.
Yet that's the standard description of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, apparently about to win another election, which could catapult him to the leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP).
And, finally, is there any truth to that third common phrase that's applied to Modi's Gujarat, an "economic miracle"?
When I hear those two words put together, I immediately disbelieve half of what I'm being told and question the other half.
Economics is dismal. Like real life, it has no place for miracles.
Let's try and disentangle the questions that come up when Modi is discussed.
1. Is Gujarat doing better than comparable states?
2. If so, has it done even better in comparison in recent times, under Modi, than it did after reforms, but before him?
3. And if that's true, too, then what's Mr Modi's contribution to this performance?
Examine these one by one.
Is Gujarat's economic growth really as outstanding as the, er, hype would have us believe?
Text: Mihir S Sharma, Business Standard
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