Sunday, February 10, 2013

Development Politics

Last week, Na Mo gave this speech at SRCC in Delhi - and I had the chance to catch it on YT. A must listen for everyone, this is probably the most inspiring speech I have ever heard from a politician - a speech that will make you feel proud to be Indian, and a speech that created in me, a lot of hope for the future. Yes, Na Mo has made mistakes in the past, but if he, his party and this country and put that behind, put behind caste and religion based politics, and talk this language of development politics, this country definitely has something very exciting to look forward to.

Modi quickly gets onto the topic of good governance, after spending a couple of mins talking about how both the non-violent and violent freedom struggles for Indian independence was led by Gujratis.

P2G2 - Pro people good governance, is his moto, he says. He wants administration to visualize, innovate and implement, not just fire fight. He says, we can move forward with this same constitution, the same offices, the same files, the same bureacracy.

He doesn't believe in half full or half empty. It's always full, he says - half full with water, and half full with air.

Giving an example of how the government can add value to agricultural initiatives, he outlined his 5F policy for cotton farmers - Farm to Fibre to Fabric to Fashion to Foreign.

He gave an example of aspirations of tribals in Maharashtra's border villages, who came to him to ask for better roads, so that they could reduce the 20% wastage in bananas being exported to Finland. He said, as long as the youth of India had such aspirations, he was sure no one could stop us from progress.

From agriculture, he moved on to the service sector. He talked about Gujarat hosting the world's first Forensic Science university, with interest from many countries including Israel. He talked about setting up a university for training and readying members of India's security forces. Why not export teachers to the world, he asked, talking about the the institute for teaching.

Moving on to industry, he rued that we hadn't taken care of technical upgradation in our factories. The world thinks of us as a dumping ground for their goods, but it's time we dump our products all over the world. Branding is important, he reminded. In our childhood, we only bought Made in Japan goods, he said. Why not create the same image for Made in India?

He kept asking the students to go through case studies and learn how other countries have done it.. South Korea and its Olympics bid, for example.

11 days after his oath as CM, his Vibrant Gujarat summit had over 120 countries, and 50% of India's GDP represented under one roof. Zero Defect should be our motto, to be globally competitive, he said. Packaging should also be critically examined and improved, he said.

Our youth is not a new age voter, he said. Our youth is a new age power, he said.

We don't have any snake charmers any more, he said. We have lost that skill, he said, we have devolved. Now we make the world move to our mouse charmers, he said, the mouse of a computer, to rousing applause from the audience. And this change has come through our youth, not through any politician, he reminded.

To make this our century, to compete with China, we need three things, he said: Skill, Scale and Speed.

Government has no business to do business. Minimal goverment maximum governance, he exhorted, giving yet another wonderful example of how a young man set up his factory to manufacture metro rail coaches for Delhi Metro, in Gujarat, with little or no help from him.

Peppering his speech with beautiful examples like these, funny quotes, stats and facts, his speech appealed straight to the educated urban youth of this country. No talk of Hindutva, no temple, no divisive politics. The kind of speech one would want to hear from the PM!

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