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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Two wise men try to comprehend Narendra Modi

Read Ashok Desai and Robert Kaplan on Narendra Modi. Kaplan has some priceless quotes:
I could see how he moves crowds, or takes over boardrooms. I have met Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and both Bushes. At close range, Modi beats them all in charisma. Whenever he opened his mouth, he suddenly had real, mesmerizing presence.
...the churches and bastions in Diu are ruins not because they represent an idea that failed but because they represent no idea at all, whereas India has been an idea since Gandhi’s Salt March in 1930. Either Modi will fit his managerial genius to the service of that idea, or he will stay where he is. Hindus elsewhere in India are less communal-minded than those in Gujarat, and that will be his dilemma.


  1. Kaplan's article is filled with factual inaccuracies.

    Vimal Ambani is Dhirubhai Ambani's nephew, right?

    The riots was wrong, I agree. But is it true that Muslims with money from Gulf had monopolised the trade which led the Banias reply in this manner?

  2. First of all, we have to question the factual accuracy of the Salil Tripathi article you refer to.
    Here is a link to an economic times article which bases itself on an RBI studyon investments.
    It says that Gujarat is a clear leader in number of rupees investment with other states being very distant laggards. However, in terms of number of projects implemented, Gujarat is number 4. So what is more important the number of projects or number of rupees invested?

    Secondly, if law and order are a public good and Gujarat is a supposed laggard because of the isolated Post-Godhara riots that lasted for 2 days - who is the leader? Maharashtra with ongoing bullying by MNS of Biharis and UPites? Karnatak where women are assaulted and chased out of pubs? Andhra Pradesh where Naxalites rule? West Bengal which chased the Tatas out? UP? Bihar?

    Come on show some objectivity.

  3. Ravi, could you tell us about the inaccuracies in Robert Kaplan's article? Do they break his main argument?

    Anonymous, the CMIE data that Salil is using is much stronger than the RBI measurement of investments.

    Law and order in India is a serious problem. But it is also the case that 2000 people were not murdered in any city in a concentrated few days ever since the Delhi pogrom against Sikhs in 1984. So for all its problems, Bombay has a better record on safety, when compared with Gujarat, after 1948 and Delhi has a better record on safety, when compared with Gujarat, after 1985.

  4. Anonymous, I just deleted a comment by you. Abusing people breaks the rules of using this blog. You're welcome to fulminate anywhere else on the web - but not on this blog.

  5. Kaplan is brilliant. Desai is disappointing. Wonder why Ravi hasn't listed out what are the inaccuracies in the story.

  6. narendra modi is a great's simple as that. The Congress doesn't hate him cause of any riots....they hate him cause they can't beat him....


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