Narendra Modi targeted again: Katju calls development in Gujarat ‘phoney’
New Delhi/Ahmedabad: Merely few days after Justice Markandey Katju said in one of his blog that “all the perfumes in Arabia cannot wash away the stain on Modi”, the chief of Press Council of India has once again targeted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by saying that his (Modi’) version of Gujarat development is ‘phoney’. Justice Katju referred to an article in Outlook magazine and shared his thoughts on his Facebook page. “I read the 8th March 2013 issue of the magazine Frontline. Pages 38 to 45 show the shocking conditions prevailing in Gujrat. This again gives a lie to Modi's claim of development, which is phoney. Real development is raising the standard of living of the masses, not giving concessions to some big business houses. Modi claims that he has created a business friendly environment in Gujrat, but are businessmen the only humans in Gujrat ? Are farmers, workers, employees, etc not humans ?,” Katju writes.
The PCI chief had earlier too ridiculed Modi in his previous blog saying, “Modi has claimed that he has developed Gujarat. It is therefore necessary to consider what is the meaning of 'development'. To my mind development can have only one meaning, and that is raising the standard of living of the masses. Giving concessions to big industrial houses, and offering them cheap land and cheap electricity can hardly be called development if it does not raise the standard of living of the masses.”
Katju further writes that 48% Guajarati children are malnourished, which is a higher rate of malnourishment than the national average. In Gujarat there is high infant mortality rate, high women's maternity death rate, and 57% poverty rate in tribal areas, and among Scheduled Castes/Backward Castes. As stated by Ramchandra Guha, in Gujarat environmental degradation is rising, educational standards are falling, and malnutrition among children abnormally high. More than a third of adult men in Gujarat have a body mass index of less than 18.5 – the 7th worst in the country. A UNDP report in 2010 has placed Gujarat after 8 other Indian States in multiple dimensions of development e.g. health, education, income levels, etc.”
Justice Katju gave few more examples of shabby development in Gujarat and propaganda by Narendra Modi in his blog and appealed to masses not to repeat the mistake as committed by Germans. “I appeal to Indian people to consider all this if they are really concerned about the nation’s future, otherwise they may make the same mistake which Germans made in 1933,” said Katju in his blog.
It is suggestive from Justice Katju's writing that he doesn't support Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to be elected as the next prime minister of India if Bharatiya Janata Party emerges victorious in the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Whether people listen to him when they go to vote, it is a matter to wait and watch.