- September Issue of Time Asia
Courtesy: Kalakad Subramanian
The world wakes up to India's next Leader!
‘Modi Means Business: But can he lead India' says the cover of TIME Magazine's Asian edition.
American weekly news magazine published since 1923, TIME is the world's largest circulation news weekly with a readership of 25 million, of which 20 million are in the US. Its latest edition puts Modi in the erstwhile company of past Indian greats like Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi – who also adorned its cover.
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat; has transformed Gujarat into a developmental success story appreciated the world over!TIME endorses this 10-year-long journey of progress - of the state becoming "India's most industrialized and business-friendly territory". It further identifies the drivers of this success as "good planning – exactly what so much of India lacks", and a leader with the "ability to get things done".
Appreciating how Gujarat has "largely escaped the land conflicts and petty corruption that often paralyze growth elsewhere in the nation", the article talks of how "Modi has set about revamping the State's economy" leveraging on Gujarat's natural advantages. Amongst the State's many strengths that the article mentions, is Gujarat's being the only state in India where both big businesses and small farmers can expect 24 hours uninterrupted power supply - with "the premium rates paid by big business used to subsidize rural electrification." Further examples include the establishment of a "streamlined bureaucracy", as well as the State's emergence as an Auto-hub over the last 10 years – with Gujarat's auto industry growing "from one modest plant to an expected capacity of 700,000 cars in 2014".
Praising Narendra Modi the person as well, TIME highlights how unlike many other politicians, "Modi doesn't put his faith on display", having no religious icons in his office – which instead has only statues of his hero, Swami Vivekananda. It further points out how "in a country where nepotism and dynastic politics are the norm, Modi's family is invisible."
TIME acknowledges the public perception of Modi being seen as a "firm, no-nonsense leader who will set the nation on a course of development that might finally put it on par with China". Maybe it's about time, the Indian Media takes a cue from America's TIME – giving credit where it is due, and recognizing the winds of change as they flow by ...
Listed below are sections from the article, copied verbatim:
"What's certain is that during his 10 years in power in Gujarat, the state has becomeIndia's most industrialized and business-friendly territory, having largely escaped the land conflicts and petty corruption that often paralyze growth elsewhere in the nation."
"Gujarat's $85 billion economy may not be the largest in India, but it has prospered without the benefit of natural resources, fertile farmland, a big population center like Mumbai or a lucrative high-tech hub like Bangalore. Gujarat's success, even Modi's detractors acknowledge, is a result of good planning — exactly what so much of India lacks."
"But when others think of someone who can bring India out of the mire of chronic corruption and inefficiency — of affirm, no-nonsense leader who will set the nation on a course of development that might finally put it on par with China — they think of Modi."
"Modi has set about revamping the state's economy by attracting high-value manufacturing companies, whose bosses are now among his staunchest backers."
"Modi took Gujarat's natural advantages — its long coastline, non-unionized labor force and a develop-able land bank of thousands of acres — and added the streamlined bureaucracy and reliable electricity supply that big industry craves. Today Gujarat is the only state in India where both big businesses and small farmers can expect an uninterrupted power supply for nearly 24 hours a day, with the premium rates paid by big business used to subsidize rural electrification."
"In 10 years, Gujarat's auto industry has grown from one modest plant to an expected capacity of 700,000 cars in 2014, including billion-dollar investments announced last year by Ford and Peugeot. "It is not luck," Modi says. "It's a carefully devised process.""
"His ability to get things done is in stark contrast to the Congress-led central government in New Delhi."
"In a recent opinion poll by the magazine India Today, 24% of those surveyed thought Modi should be the next Prime Minister; Rahul Gandhi polled 17%."
"his successes at the state level — two re-elections with solid majorities and an unmatched record on economic growth
"Unlike many Indian politicians, though, Modi doesn't put his faith on display. There are no religious icons in his office; the only adornments are two statues of his hero, the philosopher Swami Vivekananda."
"In a country where nepotism and dynastic politics are the norm, Modi's family (he is the middle child of nine siblings) is invisible. One younger brother works in the state government but "he has never come to my office in the last 10 years," Modi says.
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