Saturday, April 16, 2011


In my article titled "So Be It", I had referred to a senior journalist of a left of centre national daily calling me amazingly naive for my article on Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat. In reply to this, I have been in receipt of a very gracious E-mail message from him which I reproduce below along with my reply to him. I treat the matter now as graciously closed---B.Raman

E-Mail From the journalist to me:

"You are a valued and trusted and respected member of the Indian strategic community and if I was rather free and frank in my reply to your last posting -- in saying that you were 'amazingly naive' about Narendra Modi's government -- I certainly did not mean to cause hurt and offense. For that, I unreservedly apologise. Differences of opinion will always be there but there was no reason for me to hurt your feelings.
I have, of course, no intention of ending our friendship, limited though it is to cyberspace, nor of asking you to stop sending me your engaging, informative and sometimes provocative commentaries, which I will continue to read with great interest."

My E-mail reply to him:

"Thanks. I have already forgotten it. It is passee. Take care." Raman



( I am grateful to a reader who has sent the following Tamil couplet)

"போற்றுவோர் போற்றட்டும் புழுதிவாரி தூற்றுவோர் தூற்றட்டும்
ஏற்றதொரு கருத்தை எனதுள்ளம் என்றால் எடுத்துரைப்பேன்; நில்லேன்; எவர் வரினும் அஞ்சேன்."

"Those who praise, let them praise; and those who abuse, let them abuse.
I'll say what my conscience says as right; I wont stop and I wont fear anyone."



Among the E-mails received by me in response to my article on Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, three question my statement that Gujarat under Modi is corruption free and give alleged instances of corruption under Modi. Slightly edited versions of these E-mails are given below:

E-Mail No 1:

"I also want development model of Gujarat to be followed by other States especially in power sectors reforms he had made earlier. Now every household in Gujarat villages is getting electricity for 24 hours without any cut. It is his great achievement. Other States should follow him in this regard but do not know why they are not following him? .... There is a specific allegation against Mr. Modi that about 21 lakhs of farmers have not been paid compensation in lieu of their lands having been acquired. Is this allegation true? "

E-Mail No 2:

"Though myself I am a big admirer and follower of Honourable CM of Gujarat, the fact remains that the ground reality in Gujarat remains different. There is too much corruption at all levels. I am a 35-yr old entrepreneur and am successful in my business in Gujarat but still i am unable to get small works done in government because of too much corruption. Sometimes there is so much anguish that BJP in Gujarat does not care for its own businessmen but wants outside investors to invest. I have investments of almost 75 crores in Gujarat and am willing to invest another 50 crores but because of so much hassles I have stopped building new factories in Gujarat. I must have written over one hundred emails to almost all concerned but no one has ever replied.

E-Mail No.3

"No doubt we can see Development & progress in Gujarat under the able Leadership of CM (Common Man) Hon Chief Minister Shree Narendra Modi. He has implemented all projects announced by the Central Govt with financial help as compared to other state. But Who says Gujarat is corruption free state…???? To give you an example…If you are a farmer & buy an agriculture land you have to pay Rs.10000.00 per account to the Block Development officer (Mamlatdar in case of Gujarat) for getting the land transferred to your name from the old Farmer. You may go to any village and ask the farmer he will tell you that ..the Talati takes money even for a small entry like Loan/Adding name of the family member/Deleating Loan entry after the loan is repaid etc… The corruption in Land transfer is huge and is known to the ministers as well. This is just an example…Gujarat is prohibited state but all types of wines available through bootleggers who are working under protection of local police who take regular Hapta from these elements..State VAT Rates are higher compared to other States…Electricity is costly…Big Industrialists are growing at rapid speed as the Govt..offers them land at throwaway price…One of the example is TATA NANO Project..Acres of land given….Lot of rebate on taxation and very special favor done in repayment of Land Money…So to say I can give you many examples.. Govt Debt is increasing day by day..Govt. Machinery ( Like District Collectors offices/School Teachers and Students..etc.) is used for Party Campaign programs….Advertisement of self praising placed in all cities at whose cost…?? Mr. Modi is popular in Gujarat as poster Boy…Every Govt..Local Self Govt..Advertisement carries his photos in bold….I am a great admirer of Mr. Modi..Because he is a strong leader but I will worship him if he removes ( I know he only can do this) corruption from the state and the common man gets the benefits of the same…Let us not get in to what others say but let us strengthen Mr. Modi’s Hands help him remove corruptions from the state."


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )