Friday, December 29, 2006

UPA dislikes Gujarat's progress: Modi

Press Trust of India
Posted online: Friday, December 29, 2006 at 1927 hours IST

Rajkot, December 29: Chief Minister Narendra Modi criticised the Centre's anti-Gujarat policies and said the UPA government disliked his state's progress.

"The Congress-led UPA government dislikes the state's progress and is making every possible attempt to create hurdles for development," Modi told a gathering at the Race Course ground.
The state government has demanded 2.75 lakh metric tones of fertiliser for the state's farmers for their winter crops in September, but only 30 per cent of the demand was met. The season is coming to an end in a next few days, he said, criticising the Centre's attitude.
Modi claimed the state's agriculture income was Rs 9,000 crore in the past but touched Rs 34,000 crore after the Jyotigram Scheme, under which villages get electricity round-the-clock, was implemented.

The state faced a power crisis after the Central government diverted 200 MW of power from Gujarat's quota to other states, Modi alleged.
Modi felicitated sarpanches of Saurashtra and Kutch region who were elected under the state government's 'Samras' scheme.
According to officials, 1,477 Gram Panchayats in 28 villages in the region accepted the scheme and elected village heads unanimously, and 41 per cent of them were women.

Modi's new year gift for rural sector

New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday had a new year's gift for the underprivileged girls of the state.

All gifts received by the Chief Minister through the year have been deposited with the state treasury and will be auctioned soon. The money collected from the auction will be used for education of these girls.

Modi also announced the setting up of an unique Gram Sachivalaya, a local set-up which will address issues at the village level, in the state. He claimed that Gujarat was the first state to set up such a body.

The Chief Minister also said that five Gram Mitras (village friends) will also be appointed to assist the sarpanches in problems like education, health, drinking water and others.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Not a grad? No bride for you in Gujarat

Author: Radha Sharma

Publication: The Times of India

Date: December 20, 2006

Two essentially Gujarati virtues of owning land and running a business
may no longer be enough to get the enterprising Gujarati boy a bride!
What women in Gujarat now want is a better educated boy, who preferably
does not dwell in a smaller town.

Who would know this better than Ashwin Patel at Udhna in Surat. This
hard working 32-year-old has it all - 65 bigha land between three
brothers, a rewarding textile business and a paying job to boot. His
problem-he is just class XII pass and this has wreaked havoc on his
marriage prospects. Ashwin's family has seen almost 25 girls and all
want a boy who is at least a graduate. "My brother earns more than any
BA, MA pass and does not have any bad habits. But girls these days are
hung up on highly educated guys, even if they earn peanuts," Ashwin's
brother Hasmukh said. Such is the desperation that the family is even
ready to consider a divorcee if she fits the bill!

Vipul Dave (31) of Dakor is sailing in the same boat. "I earn a decent
Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per month, but girls do not want an undergraduate
boy," he said.

Vipul has sent proposals to over 30 girls, but in vain. "They want
highly educated grooms, who earn big salaries in big cities, which has
become a bane for at least 70 to 80 boys like me in the community,"
Vipul added. Marriage bureau managers confirm that there is a problem at
hand. In Vina Mulya Amulya Seva marriage bureau in Vasna, there are
2,000 applications from undergraduate boys that are pending. There are
also proposals from 2,000 graduate boys with just 50 graduate girls to
choose from. There are over 500 girls, who are chartered accountants,
engineers, doctors, MA, PhD, who would not even look at an
undergraduate or a graduate, according to Natubhai Patel of the
marriage bureau.

"I am not ready to compromise on education. Even if he runs a good
business, poor education means conservative, narrow thinking," says
Rashmi Johri (30), Who has done her BCom, LLB from Maninagar and is
looking for Mr Right. "I have got many offers from boys in Botad,
Dwarka and Amreli, but I do not want to settle in small towns as it
would be the end of my career dreams," says Kalpana Darki (28) an MA,
who aims to be a fashion designer.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Teesta Behen READ THIS :::: Shining Gujarat

Shining Gujarat

Author: Shrikant Modak
Publication: Business India
Date: December 17, 2006

Introduction: Deftly managing its resources, Gujarat's apex power body has overcome power shortages and losses

Gujarat's glowing. The state's apex power utility has not only staged a recovery, it's now the only one in India to guarantee three phase 24 hours electricity supply to the rural households and eight hours uninterrupted supply to agricultural consumers. Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB), which had been reporting losses until 2004, came to black last year. The board's financial losses were Rs. 1,900 crore in 2003-04. In 2004-05 these were down to Rs. 935 crore.

In April 2005 the state unbundled its electricity sector with that GEB became Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL), a holding company with six unbundled companies under its umbrella (generation and transmission companies and four distribution companies). The improvements in the utility continued even under this new avatar. GUVNL posted Rs. 187 crore profits in 2005-06. If this year's projections are to be believed it will report even better profits around Rs. 400 crore.

The entire process, "Started five years back," says Saurabh Patel, Gujarat's energy minister of state with the independent charge. "Then we were placed seventh in the power sector rankings of utilities in India and now we are second, behind Andhra Pradesh, "says Viiaylaxmi joshi, CMD Of GUVNL. What's contributed to this success? There are several factors in fact. "One that stands out most recently is the state's Gujarat Jyotigram Yojna that assures 24 hours three phase power supply to the rural residential consumers and eight hours guaranteed supply to the agricultural consumers," claims a GUVNL official.

The state very recently announced the completion of this Yojna (covering 18,000 villages and 9,700 hamlets) at a function attended by President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, near the heritage site of Chapaner town. Its impact! "A fact that more than 1,50,000 rural public came for the event will have obviously boosted Modi's political image," say chief minister, Narendra Modi's, admirers. But, in more mundane economic terms, "its impact on technical parameters like the T&D losses has been large," say GUVNL officials.

At a demographic level, a survey carried out by IRMA at the behest of CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) reveals a reduction in rural to urban migration. "The assured availability of electricity has opened up income earning avenues to the rural public that weren't there earlier," explains Patel. Even consumer durable companies have felt its impact. For example, John Verghese, proprietor of Ahmedabad-based consumer durable retail chain, Sales India, says, "There has been a significant increase of rural consumers to our showrooms in the last year." Haier regional manager, Sanjay Ghadial affirms a similar trend. "Our sales to rural areas have gone up significantly," he says.

Political opportunity
Patel says, "Wherever we toured in the rural areas, people were demanding 24 hours electricity supply." He adds, "The question before us was then how to provide this? A simple answer, since agriculture consumers were subject to load shedding, was to separate the residential consumers by putting them on separate feeder. However, sceptics within the administration dismissed this as unfeasible. But Modi having spotted a political opportunity wasn't the one to let it go. A sample of 50 villages was chosen to test the viability of the proposal.

Its success eventually convinced everyone that this was the only way to assure 24-hour power supply to the rural households. In a short period of two-and-a-half years, the state spent Rs. 1,000 crore to erect 12 lakh poles to connect rural household to a separate feeder. Modi, avers, "jyotigram is the only solution for the survival of rural India. It can create millions of jobs." Though his detractors dismiss this as a political-speak the scheme itself has proved a blessing to the state's electricity board. Joshi says, "By shifting power supply to the agriculture, which constitutes 40 per cent of the state's load, from peak to the off-peak hours, the state's power supply scenario has changed significantly." Among its several benign effects, the most important is the end to load shedding in the state in the last couple of years.

No power thefts
Earlier there was only one feeder catering to both rural residential and agricultural consumers. Since agricultural tariffs were subsidised there was a general tendency to draw electricity from the same connection even for residential usage. Separating the feeder lines and restricting supply to the agriculture to the off-peak hours has not only reduced this, it has, in fact, done much more. "When there is no current in the lines not only can there be no thefts but also no line losses," says a GUVNL official. While theft may not have gone away entirely, the incentive to steal power has diminished. Further, all the feeders now have electronic meters, which makes it possible to attribute losses more accurately to the theft and deal with it.

As for the agriculturist electricity is guaranteed for eight hours at a fixed time of the day in each area. Since supply hours are restricted, many have gone for drip irrigation wherever agricultural pattern has suited them. Rural revenues have gone up not only because rural residential consumers now pay for what they consume but also because they pay the same tariff as the urban consumers. 'There has been an increase of 13 per cent in the total revenue of GUVNL, although the total demand itself has gone up only by 7 per cent in the last two years," according to a GUVNL official.

However, there are other factors, which too have contributed to the reduction in the sector's losses. For example, on the central side GEB took its issues with NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) to CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Authority) and got it to streamline the former's cost structure. It also negotiated with the IPPs (Independent Power Projects) and got them to streamline their cost structure.

As far as its own cost reductions initiatives are concerned, as said earlier, it reduced T&D losses by 9 per cent; cost of finance by 2 per cent (from 10.67 per cent to 8.6 per cent by substituting costlier loans with the cheaper loans); improved PLF by 3.44 per cent (to 72.28 per cent); and brought down auxiliary consumption at its generating stations by 4.84 per cent, adopting efficiency improvement measures. It also got Rs.231 crore and Rs. 148 crore in incentives from the Union power ministry respectively in 2003-04 and 2005-06 for reducing its balance sheet losses. Similarly, improved load management left it with a surplus, which it sold in the interstate market at higher rates.

A misfortune of being successful is that the Union power ministry soon diverted Gujarat's 200 mw power share in the central power utilities to the neighbouring Maharashtra that's been reeling under power shortages since last year. The total financial implication of this to GUVNL in the current year will be Rs. 562 crore, as the state's own demand has grown and it now has to buy power from the market at Rs. 6.6 per unit against Rs. 3 earlier. Though the decision to transfer power was meant to be ad hoc the state officials fear that this may acquire permanent status.

Whatever, a remarkable aspect of GUVNL'S turnaround is that it has achieved what it has without any general tariff increase in the last six years. Moreover, improvements have come while preparations were on for unbundling in the latter phase of the recovery. Unlike neighbouring Maharashtra, unbundling went through smoothly with complete cooperation from the unions.

So far the state has managed its power scenario by judiciously balancing its resources. But, as demand's growing, these options will soon run out. "To maintain the tempo of economic development we are planning to make Gujarat power surplus," says Patel. How? Additional 11,563 MW generation capacity addition is being planned over and above the 9,000 MW currently available to it from its own, NTPC and IPP sources in the next five years (Gujarat State Electricity Corporation and the state PSUS together will add, 4,000 MW; IPPS, 4,900 MW; wind power, 500 MW; and NTPC the rest).

Monday, December 11, 2006

GUJARAT --- The Great Run of Kutch

Author: Abhishek Kapoor

Publication: The Indian Express

Date: December 10, 2006


Introduction: The 201 Gujarat earthquake his Kutch the hardest, killing
more than 10,000 people in the district, flattening towns and ravaging
lives. Nearly six years later Kutch has risen from the rubble to become
the state's industrial hub.

BUSY highways, a landscape decorated with busy windmills and Punjabi
dhabas on Gujarati roads. This is the new Kutch, risen from the dust,

In 2001 the picture couldn't have been more different. When the killer
quake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hit Gujarat, it left 15,000
people dead in the state. Kutch's toll was the grimmest at over 10,000.
The temblor destroyed 90 per cent of Bhuj, and ruined lives in the towns
of Bhachau, Anjar, Gandhidham and Rapar. In all, more than half a
million lost their homes and over 150,000 people were injured.

With the region reduced to a concrete rubble, the economy was literally
pushed back to the Stone Age.

But six years later, India's second largest district (the largest is
Leh) Kutch-one-fourth the size of Gujarat-has reemerged from the ruins
to become a major industrial hub. Fuelled by post-quake investment that
toted over Rs 28,000 crore at last count, the district's throbbing
economy is leading Gujarat's industrial march to a double digit growth.

The investment is likely to touch Rs 50,000 crore within the year. The
leap is huge considering investment pre-quake, since independence, had
never crossed Rs 2000 crore.

Now overloaded trucks block national highways coming out of Kandla and
Mundra ports, as industrial towns of Anjar, Bhachau, Samakhiali, Adipur
and Gandhidham pulsate to the clink and clamour of industrial growth.

As trucks whiz past giant windmills on the Bhachau-Samakhiali stretch,
the buzz on the Bhachau-Bhuj road is that there's an urgent need to put
in place a four-lane road to facilitate the traffic.

Kutch, it appears, has shaken off the last of the dust and arrived,

Kutch has a brand equity now. The two ports (Kandla and Mundra),
combined with government support, have played a great role in polishing
Kutch post-quake. The Central government announced excise exemptions. An
emotional Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had then promised a Naya
Kutch, and the state government chipped in with tax sops. Promises were
made, some too tall to see implementation. Aided by international donor
agencies, good roads have come up, carpeted from edge to edge to give
dust-free cities. With the old gone, the newness of Kutch is a sight for
sore eyes. ''The change is visible in the lifestyle of an average Kutchi
as well. Though the industrial development is not directly translating
into jobs for resident Kutchis, the ancillary and service industry
growth in Kutch means there is now a four-wheel vehicle even in remote
villages. Farmers have good price for their land which otherwise was not
very productive," says Chandrakant Dedhia, chairman of the Kutch
Development Council, an industry supported NGO, working to focus
attention on development.

Kutch boasts of being the world's largest maker of Submerged Arc Welded
(SAW) pipes, it has the largest single unit making vitrified tiles (by
ORPAT) in Samakhiali, scrap and roll steel units, coking coal industry,
large cement plants like that of Sanghi's at Abdasa (two more are in the
pipeline), even as a Japanese business delegation led by the country's
ambassador scouted for opportunities in the district last month.

All this has sent prices shooting with parts of the coastal corridor
commanding a premium of up to Rs 1 crore for an acre. A two-room
accommodation in Mundra village, 10 km from the port, can come for Rs
5,000 per month.

With the economic change has come social change. Financial growth has
fostered cosmopolitanism. Punjabi dhabas are now as ubiquitous as
Kathiawadi food joints.

The growth story has an emotional thread to it as well. Originally from
Kutch, Talakshi Nandu was a trader of vitrified tiles based at Mumbai.
The post-quake sops announced by the government brought him to his
homeland, with Nandu setting up the Euro Ceramics unit at Bhachau, now a
Rs 150-crore business. "Before this, I did not know anything about tile
making. Now it's big for me. There is still a lot of promise of growth
in Kutch," says Nandu, who now divides time between his business in
Kutch and his family in Mumbai.

Adds Kutch Collector Dhananjay Dwivedi: "All this transition has come
after the earthquake. A lot of focus on facilitating this growth is
showing results now."

Last month also saw the state government clearing land for the Union
government supported 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) worth Rs
20,000 crore. The Sanghi group is setting up another 1200 MW power
plant, with both projects adding more than 2500 MW to Gujarat's kitty.

But Kutch's sparkling sprint does have a few tarnished facets. Already
the chorus in the district is growing shriller over the incentives not
being enough to keep business going. Industrialists of the region have
sought an appointment with the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram this
month to discuss this issue.

While states such as Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, J&K, and those in
the Northeast were allowed tax incentives for a period of 10 years,
Kutch was given a long rope only for five years-till December 2005. The
sops were not offered to existing units if they planned expansion,
unlike other regions where any expansion exceeding 25 per cent of
existing capacities became eligible for the exemptions. Industrialists
say the state government is failing to keep its promises.

Kutch businessmen also complain that the concessions are biased in
favour of large-scale units, leaving the small-scale sector to fend for
itself. "There has been no income-tax exemption, nor any capital
investment subsidy. Units in Himachal and Uttaranchal enjoy IT exemption
between 30 and 50 per cent up to 2012. In fact, even before
industrialisation could take strong roots, some of the units in the
pharma sector have migrated to Himachal already," says Nimish Phadke,
general secretary, Federation of Kutch Industries Association (FOKIA),
an umbrella organisation of Kutch's industries.

State bureaucrats shrug off the complaints as usual business greed.
"Every businessman wants more. How much more can one give? It's at least
better than what they were getting in Ahmedabad," is how Gujarat's
Principal Chief Industrial Advisor R J Shah puts it.

That's one claim not many would dismiss

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Missionary booked for publishing objectionable handbills

Teesta , see how freedom of expression and religion is misused !

Posted on 24 November, 2006
HJS files complaint against conversion by Missionary

Mumbai: A Christian missionary and organizer named Sunil Samuel Kelvin had organised a program for conversion of faith, in the name of healing incurable diseases through miracles, at Mahakavi Kalidas Natyamandir, Mumbai on the 6 th November at 5 p.m. For this purpose, he had also published handbills containing objectionable advertisements.

In accordance with a complaint filed with the Mulund Police Station by Shri. Kashiram Parab, Convener of the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), on the 5th November, 2006, the police have registered a cognizable offence under the 'Drug and Magic Remedies Act (Objectionable Advertisements) 1954'. Sunil Kelvin, the Christian missionary, had published handbills containing objectionable and illegal information under the title 'Live in the Spirit'.

He had made an indirect plot to convert the poor through these handbills by making claims about curing incurable diseases. The surprising fact is that the handbill did not have names of the printer, publisher and the organisation. Taking notice of this fact, the HJS filed a written complaint against the organisers, at the Mulund Police Station.

Accordingly, the Mulund Police interrogated Sunil Samuel Kelvin, the organizer of the program. The police have registered a cognizable offence against Kelvin under the 'Drug and Magic Remedies Act (Objectionable Advertisements) 1954'.

This case has been a second success story for the HJS' mission. In a similar case that occurred in January 2006 at Vasai Road, Father John Matthew had claimed to cure incurable diseases by miracles through prayers. At that time, after being warned by the HJS about conducting agitations, the police arrested Father John Matthew and stopped his program. The HJS appeals to all Hindus to be alert and fight against fake Christian missionaries through constitutional means.

Friday, November 24, 2006

So, why this extraordinary attachment with Gujarat?

So, why this extraordinary attachment with Gujarat?

Of all bordering states with Pakistan or Bangladesh - Gujarat and Rajasthan are the only ones that have not been largely affected by the machinations of Pakistan. Islamic population in Rajasthan is not significant. But that is not the case in Gujarat, where there is a critical mass. In comparison, Gujarat is extremely prosperous as well. As practiced and perfected in Punjab, Pakistan just needs to fire the pot of dissatisfaction and lo there is a nice unstable border state. Even one carefully chosen representative - one person with a nice high profile working relentlessly for the right money - can keep that pot stirring once the fire is lit.

Teesta's pressure against the strong Hindu ethos of Gujaratis has been systematic and sustained for over ten years now. This is only against Gujarat and Gujarat alone. Go thru older issues of Communalism Combat. The magazine has been targeting Gujarat since its inaugural issue that is available online. Even prior to Godhra or its aftermath the stories were just as horrendous, the propaganda just as fervent. Sometimes I wonder if Teesta herself had a role in the incineration of the train in Godhra. Her reaction just hours after the carnage published in several international dailies already point to a sinister motive. Despite her best efforts to destabilize Gujarat – a bulwark of a state against Pakistan - none of her innumerable efforts prior to Feb 2002 bore any fruit. But setting a train full of hindutvawadis on fire brought to fore the alchemy of this Hindutva laboratory - a laboratory she had repeatedly constructed in her messages but one that had shown no signs of existence at all. It was that proverbial “I told ya so” moment.

So the carnage set the required fire. Only what remained now was that one kept the pot continuously stirred. Take it up with International organizations of various hues - have the US body on religious freedom castigate Gujarat - run ad campaigns - speak courageously as a guest lecturer all around the world - write letters to world leaders. Teesta already had a head start in the propaganda. Only reinforcement was needed. The construct that Muslims in Gujarat are simply unsafe had to be real. The world needed to believe it fully. The Muslims themselves in Gujarat needed to believe it.

This is what I call setting the stage for discontent. For, tomorrow when we hear of the ad nauseam "indigenous struggle for the aspirations of the Gujarati Muslims" – with man, material and moral support from Pakistan – the world should gulp it hook, line and sinker.

Teesta Setalvad has worked tirelessly to bring this to fruition.

Supreme Court seeks details of Gujarat violence cases

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday put objections from the
Gujarat government aside and sought details of 17 incidents of communal
violence in 2002 to decide on the question of shifting of these cases for
trial outside the state.

A bench comprising judges K.G. Balakrishnan, Lokeshwar Singh Panta and D.K.
Jain passed this order on petitions filed by the National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC), Teesta Setalvad of the Citizens for Justice and Peace and
some other NGOs.

The petitioners have sought reinvestigation of the cases by the Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and to shift their trial outside Gujarat as
was done for the case related to the killing of 14 people in Vadodara, known
as the Best Bakery case.

The 17 cases include four incidents in Godhra, a town 140 km from Gujarat's
main city of Ahmedabad.

Other cases on the apex court's radar are related to the massacres at
Gulbarg Society in Chamanpura of Ahmedabad, Naroda Patiya and Naroda village
on the outskirts of the city, Sardarpura town in neighbouring Mehsana
district, two incidents of violence in Panchamahals district, violence in
Sesan of Banaskantha district and cases pertaining to Ode in Anand district.

The Supreme Court sought details of the 17 cases from amicus curiae Harish

The state government Wednesday filed an application strongly opposing the
transfer of these cases at the instance of third parties.

It cited the judgement of the apex court in a case against Railway Minister
Lalu Prasad in which it was held that "a PIL (public interest litigation) is
totally foreign to pending criminal proceedings" and transfer of criminal
trial could not be done through a PIL.

The state sought dismissal of the petitions stating that the trial could not
proceed further because of the interim stay granted by the apex court.

Salve wanted the court to lay down proper guidelines on whether besides the
complainants victims too could approach the court and seek transfer of a
criminal case. He also wanted the court to address the issue of witness

When counsel for the state government objected to this, the court said that
the Gujarat violence cases were completely different wherein due procedure
contemplated under the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) was not followed by
the government, false cases were registered and innocent people were arrayed
as accused.

"This court is not powerless. When the criminal justice system and the
administration of justice in a state is in peril, it can intervene in public
interest," it observed.

While asking Salve to give a summary of the cases, the court also wanted him
to give suggestions on the larger issues to be decided.

The matter was posted for further hearing on Feb 20, 2007

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation strikes oil


Gujarat Corporation strikes oil

The Hindu

GANDHINAGAR: The state-owned Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation has successfully recovered crude from the second test well in the Dholkao oilfield, near Ingoli village, in Ahmedabad district.
Crude was available at a depth of 1,968 metres.
A Government spokesman said here on Thursday that initial reports indicated that commercial exploitation of at least 1,200 to 1,400 barrels a day from the second well, and the available reserve was estimated at over Rs. 1,200 crore.

Commercial exploitation

The Corporation earlier spudded well number one in the same oilfield in September 2004, and commercial exploitation of 900-1,200 barrels a day was expected to begin soon. The Corporation had filed an application with the Centre to begin commercial exploitation of crude from the Dholka oil field.

The work would be taken up jointly by the Corporation, Gas Authority of India Limited and the Centre.

Same oilfield

The spokesman said it was the same oilfield where the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation conducted tests and gave up the effort, believing no crude was available.It was at the behest of Chief Minister Narendra Modi that the State Corporation took the chance to go further deep and recover crude from the area

Another crown for Shri Narendra Modi .

Gujarat is the first state in the country, which has given power supply to all its villages and Kalam complimented the state government for this achievement

Kalam for establishment of PURA complexes in Gujarat

Champaner, Nov 11: President A P J Abdul Kalam on Saturday asked Gujarat Government to consider establishment of 300 PURA (Providing Urban Facilities in Rural Areas) complexes which will cover 18,000 villages and encourage reverse migration to rural areas.

Kalam, while addressing a huge gathering of more than one lakh people here, said, "the uninterrupted 24-hour, three-phase, power supply to 18,000 villages can lead to creation of 300 PURA complexes and further enhance the overall scheme activities and prosperity of Gujarat as a whole."

The President also dedicated Gujarat Government's 'Jyoti Gram Yojana' to the nation under which three phase power supply is given to three crore people staying in all the 18,000 villages of the state, 24 hours a day.

Gujarat is the first state in the country, which has given power supply to all its villages and Kalam complimented the state government for this achievement

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I want Gujarat to compete with China: Modi

I want Gujarat to compete with China: Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi commenced a significant 6-day business tour to China on Wednesday accompanied by a high-level delegation of 35 Gujarat-based industrialists and top bureaucrats.

Almost side-stepping the feverish, and often acrimonious, debate involving Congress President Sonia Gandhi and most Indian chief ministers over the pros and cons of having Special Economic Zones in the country, Modi has already put in place the infrastructure to build 11 SEZs spread all over Gujarat.

He has a prospective plan for a total of 23 SEZs in Gujarat. He has also invited the Japanese to develop the SEZs on commercial terms suitable for international investors.

Modi's agenda during the visit to China is two-fold. He wants to study the functioning of the SEZ in China and, possibly, invite them to help Gujarat build China-style SEZs.

Second, he will also seek Chinese investment in Gujarat in the power sector.

Modi is keen that Chinese experts are involved in building and operating the SEZ.

In a bid to project himself as the champion of privatisation and globalization, Modi has toured Israel, Hong Kong and Australia in this connection in the last two years.

During his foreign tours, Modi keeps himself well-equipped with PowerPoint presentations, slide shows and printed publicity material.

In Singapore, he called on Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong on October 30. He also attended Global Entrepolis Conference where he pleaded his case forcefully to attract fresh investments into Gujarat.

In China, apart from Beijing, Modi will visit several centers that showcase modern China's phenomenal progress in recent years, including Shanghai, Schenzen, Deren, Pudong and Jurong.

A Gujarat government spokesman said that Modi would focus on the working of Chinese SEZ in sectors like gems and jewellery, electronics, fashion apparel.

Modi is projecting himself as an effective salesman of Gujarat's factors of advantage and intends to highlight the investor-friendly climate of economic development.

In Singapore he said, "Gujarat has a unique combination of a strategic geographic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, multi-lingual workforce and concentration of corporate and financial resources and a world-class pro-business environment."

He hopes to attract Chinese investment into sectors like chemicals and pharmaceuticals, gas and oil, tourism and medical tourism.

Singapore dailies quoted Modi as saying that he proposed to come out with an "integrated township policy" for Gujarat and that his government would shortly come out with an exclusive 'Petroleum SEZ' "for servicing oil rigs and (to offer) other exploration and development services."

Noting that Gujarat encouraged private participation in port development, he said, "Our concept is to have port-based SEZs with backward linkages with warehouses, cold storage and transportation network."

Senior functionaries of Singapore government assured Modi that they would be taking part in the global investment summit to be organised early next year in Gujarat.

The denial of visa by the US authorities has obviously not deterred Modi from taking seriously the imperatives of 'globalisation.' Like yet another 'native' Indian political leader, Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party boss from Maharashtra, Modi too has taken pains to improve his command over the English language. In Singapore, Modi made it a point to deliver his lecture in English before a packed 800-strong audience.

Modi has planned China trip with a clear strategy to increase Gujarat's trade ties with China. Gujarat is one of the largest producers of cotton in India. Out of 440 million bales of cotton produced last year, China imported almost 330 million of bales from Gujarat.
Modi wants to set up exclusive SEZ if possible with the help of Chinese investors for 'value addition' to turn cotton into fabric and fashionable garments for exports.

Modi government enjoys excellent equations with some of India's prominent houses.

Essar Group chairman Shashi Ruia, Torrent Pharma chairman Sudhir Mehta, Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani, and Nirma chairman Karsanbhai Patel are among the industrialists accompanying Modi.

Prior to his departure on the current tour, Modi told a select gathering in Ahmedabad that "Gujarat is not competing with other states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. We may surpass them. I want Gujarat to compete with China, Germany and Japan."

Gujarat is among the fastest growing states in India. Against the national growth rate of around 7 per cent, Gujarat is galloping at over 12.5 per cent growth rate. Modi pointed out to his audience in Singapore that while India is struggling to achieve a 4 per cent farm sector growth rate, Gujarat's agriculture output was expanding by 11.2 per cent.

Curiously, the Sardar Sarovar Dam controversy will also echo in Modi's itinerary in China. He hopes to visit the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest hydroelectric power dam, which has generated as much as controversy in China as the Sardar Sarovar Dam has in India.

Modi will be the second prominent figure of the Sangh Parivar to tour China in the run-up to the visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to India in November. Ram Madhav, spokesman of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, had earlier paid a week-long visit to China in September.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Twisting the truth about Godhra ,Conspiracy Exposed

Twisting the truth about Godhra ,Conspiracy Exposed

The Pioneer Edit Desk

Twisting the truth about Godhra

The ham-handed attempt of the UPA Government to controvert the basic facts of the Godhra carnage in February 2002, in which a coach of Sabarmati Express packed with Hindu pilgrims was set ablaze by a Muslim mob, has come a cropper, with the Gujarat High Court declaring the Justice UC Banerjee Committee as "unconstitutional, illegal and void". Mr Banerjee was appointed by Union Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to conduct a parallel 'inquiry' into the ghastly incident and the committee's interim report, widely used as election propaganda material in Bihar by the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, made it abundantly clear that along with his remit, the former judge of the Supreme Court was also given a draft of what he should say in his findings. Although Mr Banerjee, whose conduct puts a question mark on his credibility and integrity, now claims that his findings are free of political bias, the High Court's judgement upholds the popular perception that the collaborative effort to cleanse the culprits of their horrendous crime is not without an ulterior motive and of a piece with the surreptitious effort to use the POTA review committee, nominated by the UPA Government, to drop the charges against those arrested for planning and executing the ghastly act. That this inference is not unfounded is further borne out by the efforts of the Congress and its allies to save Mohammed Afzal Guru from the gallows. The pattern that emerges is clear: This regime is willing to go to any extent to appease those who have nothing but contempt for the nation and its people in the mistaken belief that by sparing criminals it can reap Muslim votes. The outcome of the Bihar Assembly election should have effectively negated such perverse thinking, but neither the Congress nor its drumbeaters, including those in the Left, are easily deterred.

Hence, the Gujarat High Court's ruling - that by setting up the UC Banerjee Committee, the UPA Government violated provisions of the Commission of the Inquiry Act and the Indian Railways Act because the Justice Nanavati-Shah Commission is already probing the Godhra carnage that resulted in the death of 59 karsevaks returning from Ayodhya - has not had its desired deterrent effect on the UPA Government, least of all on the Congress. The irreverence with which the Congress treats judicial pronouncements is reflected in the party spokesman's rejection of Friday's judgement and the brazen assertion that the High Court verdict is not the last word in the judicial process. This is only to be expected because the absurd 'finding' of Mr Banerjee, who did not even bother to speak to those who survived the attack or the relatives of those who died and yet came to the amazing conclusion that the devastating fire in the coach was accidental and not intentional, suits the twisted politics of those who practice minorityism. For them, it is inconsequential that a Railway Tribunal's findings differ from this story; nor is it of any relevance that a local court has prima facie accepted that the fire was the handiwork of a mob. But sooner than later, justice catches up with criminals and their 'secular' patrons. And the voices of those who have suffered on account of this nexus have begun to count.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Banerjee panel illegal: Gujarat HC

Teesta Ji ,
Did you read this NEWS item , what Gujarat High Court said ?

Press Trust of India

Posted online: Friday, October 13, 2006 at 1639 hours IST
Updated: Friday, October 13, 2006 at 1655 hours IST

Ahmedabad, October 13: In an embarrassment to the Centre, the Gujarat High Court on Friday declared as "illegal" the setting up of UC Banerjee Committee to probe certain aspects of Godhra train carnage.

Justice BH Vaghela pronounced the order on a petition filed by a survivor of the carnage, Neelkanth Bhatia, who had challenged the setting up of Banerjee Committee at a time when Justice Nanawati Shah Commission was already probing the

The Committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge UC Banerjee, was set up by the Union Cabinet in Septemer 2004, to probe the incident in which 58 karsevaks were killed in a fire in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express in February 2002.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Credibility of Teesta Setalwad of Citizens for Justice & Peace and members

Keshav Acharya
Email :

The credibility of Teesta Setalwad of the Citizens for
Justice & Peace and members of the CJP as regards
their honesty, integrity and sense for justice is very

In justification of my statement I submit as follows:
(a)Teesta Setalvad’s magazine “ Communalism Combat “
has very small circulation. The magazine is not
visible in public libraries and stalls in public
places. The NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace has
miniscule membership; it has not held any public
meetings with large attendance; it holds, perhaps,
only closed door meetings.There are doubts and
suspicion regarding the sources of the huge funds
required for activities of Teesta setalvad and her
(b)Teesta Setalwad had joined Asghar Ali Engineer and
Archbishop Evan Dias in blaming Hindutvavadi leaders,
the BJP, the RSS etcetera in the St. Michael’s Church
at Mahim on a Sunday, according to news in the Times
of India of Sunday October 18, 1998 in the wake of
rape of 3 nuns on September 22, 1998 in Zabua in
Madhya Pradesh. Later on after the investigation it
was found that the rapists were a gang, which included
12 Christians and a congressman, but no RSS men as
The criminals are undergoing imprisonment now but
Teesta Setalvad has no courtesy to apologise for
making false allegation and maligning Hindu
organisations. Teesta Setalvad is not a Christian and
had no routine business to go to the church with
Asghar Ali Engineer, another Muslim. The October 1998
issue of “Communal Combat”, edited by Teesta Setalvad
has given news about the rape and blamed the Hindu
organization for that. It is curious and very much
suggestive that the concerned article about the
incident is missing from the archives of the magazine
and is not sent to me by e-mail as promised by
concerned authorities of the magazine, despite
The rape incident was used in subsequent elections in
MP, Rajasthan and Delhi to malign Hindu organizations
and the BJP. Christian schools had declared “bandh” in
Mumbai and a Morcha of School children from Don Bosco
school was taken. One should think whether school
children should be used to protest rape.
After the police investigation was completed and the
Christian rapists were arrested, the media ignored the
news about the rapists completely.
This one incident, alone, is a concrete proof to show
that Teesta Setalvad is an anti-Hindu activist and an
anti-BJP politician and not a human rights activist as
( c )Teesta Setalvad wrote a book for teachers of the
Don Bosco School, Borivli, Mumbai, and circulated it
in the school, in which she criticized Shivaji Maharaj
in many ways and referred to his caste. This was in
September 2001.The fact is that Shivaji Maharaj is
known and highly revered throughout the country and
particularly in Maharashtra for fighting Moghal ruler,
Aurangzeb, who had imposed Jiziya tax only on Hindus,
and not for his cast. As a result, teachers and
parents of the school children protested and the
school authorities had to withdraw the controversial
book intended to poison the minds of young children to
fulfil her heinous design. Astonishingly, Teesta
Setalvad had not got the names of the publishers and
the printers of the book printed on the book to escape
from the clutches of the law. Teesta had not taken
permission of the education department to publish the
book. Unfortunately no NGO came forward to take Teesta
Setalvad to task for violating rules.

( d )In the article, THE POLITICS OF TEXTBOOK( the
Times of India – 24-10-1999), Teesta Setalvad is
reported to have said: “Textbooks in Gujarat call
Muslims, Christians and Parsis foreigners. They detail
the ills of Christianity, the greed of the Pope and
the sensual pleasures enjoyed by the Catholic clergy.”
All the above allegations of Teesta Setalvad are
( e ) When Laloo Prasad Yadav ordered an enquiry into
the burning of the Sabarmati Express in Godhra, and
when contacted by the ToI, Teesta Setalwad of Citizens
for Justice and Peace said, “The railway ministry had
earlier abdicated its responsibility of independently
investigating the incident which was warranted under
the Railways Act.” She stated that this inquiry was
“long overdue”. (ToI- 3-9-2004). According to the
article, “Godhra probe:Lalu is wrong“, by Arabinda
Ghose in the weekly Organiser( 26-9-2004), it is clear
that the probe ordered by the railway minister Lalu
Prasad Yadav was illegal and politically motivated.
One term of reference is to find our whether the
karsevaks were traveling without ticket. This type of
enquiry is never made,when accidents take place.
The fact is that Laloo announced an enquiry into the
train burning with a view to showing that the victims
had burned themselves. Laloo and the media were trying
to impress upon the people that since petrol was
poured from inside the compartment and fire started
from inside, the Karsevaks burned themselves. These
persons do not realize that a few outsiders out of the
mob of 2000 rioters could force their entry into the
compartment and do the misdeed.
( f ) Teesta Setalvad,Javed Akhtar,Alec Padamsee,Anil
Dharker and the NGO Citizens for Peace and Justice met
relatives of those killed in the coach S-6 of the
Sabarmati Express on 27 February 2002 after 20 months
on 5-10-2003, pretended that they were the victims’
sympathizers, brought them to Mumbai, arranged a press
conference in Mumbai and provoked them to speak
against the BJP, the VHP and other Hindu organizations
and yatras organized by these organisations.
The Godhra victims were also used to demand ban on
future Yatras in general and the proposed Yatra of
March 15, 2003 to Ayodhya, in particular by Hindu
That the yatra turned out to be peaceful proved that
Teesta Setalvad’s demand was just an attempt to malign
Hindu organization.
In an appeal to UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav
and Dy. Prime Minister L.K. Advani, the CJP demanded
ban on the October 15 Ratha Yatra alleging outbreak of
communal violence and insecurity among the minority
community ( FPJ – 14-10-2003).
It must be noted that the VHP Yatra was very peaceful,
despite provocation by organizations like the CJP. The
ToI reported it as “flop”.
( g )Teesta Setalvad and her NGO, CJP were using the
Gujarat riots to spew venom against the RSS, the VHP
and the BJP by using a section of the media in their
favour, though it is reported that some Congressmen,
the ISI of Pakistan and some Islamic fundamentalists
were also involved in the riots. This is clear from a
few of the following news reports:
( h )The Godhra train carnage on February 27, 2002 was
an “ act of terrorism planned at the behest of
Pakistan to foment communal riots all over the
country”, according to a study report. The study,
conducted by a five-member team led by Justice D S
Tewatia, former Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court,
for the Council of International Affairs and Human
rights, released in New Delhi described the Godhra
incident as an act of international terrorism planned
and executed in connivance with the jehadi forces.
Haji Bilal, Mohammad Husain Abdul Rahim Kalota and a
few more Congresmen were involved in the plan to burn
the Sabarmati Express at Godhra ( FPJ- 27-4-2002,
Navabharat, Hindi daily- 30-5-2002,
( ii )According to Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind most Congress
corporators actively participated in the riots.JUH
secretary Farooqi has a list of 25 Congress leaders
from Gujarat which included former Congress minister,
a sitting MLA and a former MP. Farroqi acused Congress
workers of committing sins of commission and omission
during the riots.( ToI – 10-8-2003).
( iii )Teesta Setalvad herself had said in March 2002
that in the attack on former MP Ehsan Jaffery’s house,
a Congress member was among the mob ( FPJ –
(iv) The fact that Congress governments in
Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Punjab refused to send
police force to Gujarat, to control riots, though the
Gijarat government was ready to spend full money for
their deployment, shows that the congress was not
interested in curbing the riots, but was interested
only in making a political capital out of riots.

( i ) According to the editorial in the Free Press
Journal Teesta Setalvad had come to access crores of
rupees in the 1998 general election. In the editorial
of the Free Press Journal dated November 5, 2004 again
a reference to the suspicious sources of funding for
multi-crore advertisements against the BJP in
newspapers is made pointing out a finger to Teesta

( j ) Teesta Setalwad approached DCP, G.D.Pol in zone
5, Dadar, Mumbai and asked him to file FIR against VHP
general secretary Praveen Togadia under sections 153A,
153B, 295A,298 and 505 for his alleged inflammatory
speech at a meeting of the Rashtriya Vichar Manch at
Nardulla Tank Maidan on March 16. ( ToI- 14-5-2003
). The speech was not as alleged by Teesta and no
untoward incidents took place after the speech.

( k ) Javed Akhtar and Alyque Padamsee and Vijay
Tendulkar, all members of the CJP had congratulated
Ashok Gehlot, the chief minister of Rajasthan, through
a letter (IE-May 10,2003), for banning trishul and not
allowing Togadia to enter Rajasthan though Court had
allowed him to enter. According to a news (ToI- May 9,
2003), Additional district and sessions judge Ajay
Kumar Jain, trident is not a weapon; and so he granted
anticipatory bail to VHP activists accused of
displaying trishuls, banned in Rajasthan under Arms
Thus the venom spit by above members of the CJP is an
attempt to malign Hindus, their leaders and their
It must be noted that these persons had never
criticized “ Lathi rally” of Laloo Prasad Yadav in
Bihar. (12-5-3-Indian Express ), the rally with bows
and arrows of more than 1000 activists of Communist
Party of India (Maoists) in Kolkata ( FPJ- 16-12-2004)
and rifle rallies of Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh.

( l )Alyque Padamsee, an activist of the CJP, had said
recently that he does not know Mumbai, but knows
Bombay. He has no objection for renaming Calcutta as
Kolkata, Madras as Chennai and Trivendram as

( m ) Vijay Tendulkar, an activist of the CJP, had
said at a speech in Pune and then in Dapoli in
Maharashtra in November 2003, that if he is given a
gun, he would shoot Narendra Modi. This reveals the
bonafides of the organization CJP.

(n) At a press conference in Mumbai in February 2004,
Asghar Ali Engineer, member of the NGO, Citizens for
Defending Constitutional Democracy and Secularism, at
a press conference, said in Mumbai “ BJP has polarized
the country and came to power by attacking minorities,
secularism and Indian pluralism” ( FPJ – February 26,
2004). All such utterances of members of the CJP
reveal that it is an anti-Hindu, anti-BJP
( o ) One can have freedom to have his views and have
an organization, but to form an organization and
pretend that it is citizen’s organization, a
non-political and that also for peace and justice is
certainly deception and cheating.
I am to add that this organization is not registered
under any act and its membership is not open for
citizens though the word “citizen” is therein. I
allege that it does not have any Constitution of its
own. I pray the Supreme Court to take this into
consideration and decide the bonafides of the
organization “ Citizens for Justice and Peace”.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Lecturer attcked by SFI students , abused for wearing Rakhi

Lecturer attcked, abused for wearing Rakhi ANY COMMENT TEESTA ?

SFI Goondaism in Campus
By S. Chandrasekhar

If the SFI men consider Rakhi, Ram, Krishna, Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita the symbols of communalism, then they should leave Sanskrit College and go to madrasas.

In a shocking and dastardly incident, the SFI students of the Government Sanskrit College at Trivandrum, a stone throw-away from the Government Secretariat and the CPM’s HQ, AKG Centre, attacked and abused their senior lecturer in Sanskrit Dr Unnikrishnan for the simple reason that he wore Rakhi, the symbol of brotherhood and national bonding.

‘Raksha Bandhan’ day is observed round the second week of August and lakhs of people irrespective of politics, religion and gender wear Rakhis all over Kerala. Right from the seventies, two groups in Kerala have been opposing this symbol of nationality, i.e. CPM and Islamic extremists. Innumerable were the cases reported of CPM/SFI waylaying persons wearing Rakhi and breaking it. In Muslim pockets, same was the strategy of Islamic fanatics. But with nationalist forces hitting back with equal strength, this became weakened and wearing a Rakhi became a symbol of Hindu pride and strength.

Dr Unnikrishnan, a leading activist of the Vishwa Sanskrita Pratishthan (VSP), got recently appointed as senior lecturer in the Government Sanskrit College. On August 18, three SFI activists Renjith, Sabu and Sebasitian came to him when he was taking classes and asked him to remove the Rakhi he was wearing. He was asked to put it in his pocket or keep it at home. He was warned that this is a red fort and hence no symbol of ‘RSS’ should be there in the campus. Dr Unnikrishnan refused to remove the Rakhi saying it was a symbol of his religious and national belief. The SFI goons threatened him of dire consequences. Dr Unnikrishnan reported this to the Principal. But on August 21, as Dr Unnikrishnan was sitting in his room in the college, a gang of 30 SFI activists led by college union chairman Robin barged into the room, started abusing him in the most filthy language, man-handled him and forcibly broke the Rakhi and a special thread tied after puja at Mookambia Temple in Kollur, Karnataka. A dazed Unnikrishnan, who had least expected it, wrote a written complaint to the Principal and the police. The police, who arrived late due to pressure from top SFI and CPM leaders, tried to protect the SFI students and water down the case.

In the last spell of the CPM rule during 1996-2001, a student belonging to the Congress-led Kerala Students Union (KSU) was attacked at the University College in Thiruvan-anthapuram (a red fort where no other students organisation is allowed to function) and the letters ‘SFI’ were imprinted on his back with a sharp knife. But now in this spell the SFI has shifted its preys from the student community to the teaching class, a measure of progress for the working class party’s monkey brigade!

Meanwhile, Dr Unnikrishnan has written a letter to the CPM State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan asking him to ensure justice for him and to provide security for discharge of his duties as teacher.

The VSP has registered strong protest over the incident of insult to a strong symbol of nationalism from the CPM/SFI, which never considers India a single entity. They said that if the SFI men consider Rakhi, Ram, Krishna, Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita the symbols of communalism, then they should stop studying Sanskrit, leave Sanskrit College and go to madrasas. The ABVP also led a huge protest march to the Secretariat. Leading poets and cultural icons of Kerala like Sugatha Kumari, Vishnu Narayanan Nampoothiri, P. Narayana Kurup, C.G. Rajagopal, Katoor Narayana Pillai have in a statement condemned this barbaric act.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Look at Gujarat

We can learn from our neighbouring state, which has no Naxalites and farmer suicides

Ajit Ranade

Maharashtra has a twin. The same day that our state was born, another also took birth — Gujarat. And it has always had the status of a junior sibling.

It has half the population, half the state GDP and 25 districts, as compared to the 35 in our state. Its Vidhan Sabha has 182 members whereas we have 288. While more than 40 per cent of our population lives in urban areas, Gujarat is much less urbanised. Migration into Gujarat from other states is also less, though much of the industrial and coastal belt attracts workers from Bihar and Orissa.

In two significant respects, however, Gujarat has an enviable record. It has no Naxalites and no recorded farmer suicides.

There are now armed Naxalites in 15 states and more than 160 districts of India, practically affecting half the nation. The prime minister recently called it the single biggest threat to India’s internal security, and said that in certain parts, Naxals have caused a virtual collapse of law and order.

The appropriate response to Naxals is a combination of effective police action and ensuring socio-economic development. That’s because Naxals are typically active in backward, tribal and forest areas. It is not as if Gujarat doesn’t have its share of tribal and backward areas. For example, the northern districts of Banaskantha, Sabarkantha and Mehsana have tribals and are backward. Why is it that Naxals have not gained a foothold there? Or even in parts of Kutch?

Maybe the answer to these questions requires a deeper understanding of the history of the Naxalite movement — but it is undeniable that Gujarat, today, is free of the Naxal virus.

The second is the phenomenon of farmer suicides. A combination of usurious debts, failed monsoons and excessive reliance on cash crops like BT cotton, which command volatile prices, are the reasons behind farmer suicides in Maharashtra, Andhra and other states.

There is also a sociological reason arising from the stigma of utter poverty and deprivation. But here too, it is surprising that Gujarat is not known for farmer distress. Yes, BT cotton is grown, yes, there are lot of indebted farmers, yes there are parched lands. But Gujarati farmers are on an average a much happier lot.

Apart from these two major themes, our neighbouring state has distinguished itself as a hub of the chemicals and textiles industry and is the largest producer of manmade fabric in the country. It is also a global centre of diamond polishing, earning a pile of foreign exchange and will soon have the world’s largest petroleum refinery. In the last few years it has been attracting more fresh investments than Maharashtra, although, the bigger twin has again overtaken it.

In fact, these two twin states accounted for 40 per cent of all new investments undertaken in India in 2005-06. Most remarkably, while our state is reeling under a Rs 1.25 trillion debt, our neighbour has been running a primary revenue surplus for the past three years.

A recent clincher, was the state’s decision to abolish remaining octroi in all municipalities. Ahmedabad’s municipality is unique in having raised money, corporate style, by selling bonds — most other cities depend only on taxes. All this despite doses of major annual calamities — like the 2001 earthquake, the 2002 riots, major droughts, and now the floods, which have caused losses of about Rs 20,000 crore.

So shouldn’t we be learning from our neighbour’s resilience and progress? Our agriculture minister agrees. He said in a recent walk-the-talk interview, for state-level development look at Gujarat!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One case handed over to CBI in Gujarat riots

One case relating to the Gujarat riots has been handed over to the CBI. Details of the case are as under:

Limkheda Police Station (District-Dahod) Crime Register No. 59/2002, investigated by local police and tried by JMFC, Limkheda and closed accepting the `A` final report, was handed over to CBI and registered as case No.R.C.1/S/2004-Mum in the CBI SCB on 1.1.2004 under orders dated 16.12.2003 of the Hon`ble Supreme Court of India in Criminal Writ Petition No. 118/2003 and Criminal Misc. Petition No. 8850/2003. Investigation of the case has already been concluded and charge-sheet has been filed by the CBI on 19.4.2004. The case is pending trial.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

7/11 : Modi the real PM of India speaks

What is your response Teesta to 7/11 ?

Read What Modi says
"Terrorism is not an issue of just one state. It has become a global phenomenon and co-ordination is needed to defeat it,"

IntelliBriefs: 7/11 : Modi the real PM of India speaks

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Interpol alert to arrest Godhra prime accused

Pramod Kr Singh | New Delhi
The Pioneer
May 26, 2006

Interpol has issued a red corner notice for the arrest of Salim Haji Ibrahim alias Salim Paanwala, the main accused in the Godhra train tragedy, in which 59 passengers were burnt alive on February 27, 2002.

Sources said that the red corner notice was issued after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) vetted material evidence furnished by the Gujarat Government and moved the Interpol to issue an alert for Paanwala's arrest.

Intelligence sources said Salim Paanwala is in Pakistan, which indicates that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) may have a hand in the Godhra carnage.

The notice issued on April 11is a slap on the face of Justice UC Banerjee Committee. The committee - appointed by Union Railways Minister Lalu Prasad - had said in its report that the Godhra incident was an accident.

In sharp contrast to Justice Banerjee Report, the fact sheet ascribed in Interpol's notice reads, "On February, 2002, an attack occurred on Sabarmati Express which was travelling between Muzaffarpur to Ahmedabad. The attack on the coach no S-6 of the train was pre- meditated and resulted in serious injury to 46 passengers and death to 59 passengers. As the train pulled away from Godhra station where it had a scheduled stop, four chains were pulled in four different carriages, causing the train to stop.

"Investigations have revealed that during the time the train was stopped, the offenders, collected eight canisters of petrol from the nearby co-conspirator. Shortly afterwards, the four emergency chains were pulled again and the train halted. Investigations have revealed that pulling of the emergency chains was part of a plan. As soon as the train stopped, it was attacked by mobs outside, who pelted it with rods and broke windows and attacked it with arms and inflammable material."

The Bannerji Committee had hit the headlines for its accidental theory but the police . investigation found that Razak Kurkur and Salim Paanwala, residents of Godhra, had hatched a conspiracy to torch the compartment. They took the help of six young boys to cut the vestibule that joins S-6 and S-7, to pour the petrol into S-6. Two other boys helped them pull the chain near the A cabin, a little distance away from the Godhra platform. Maulvi Umerji, a resident of Signal Falia, was charge-sheeted for masterminding the offence by Gujarat Police.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Media fanning communal riots

A perfect example of fanning fear thru half-truths, is the following article
by Seema Mustafa published in Asian Age....

"The Ugly Indian was at it again in Gujarat. The mobs were out in Baroda
this time, simply because the Muslims had dared to raise their voice against
the demolition of a 300-year old dargah. How dare they even speak, was the
message flashed down to the mobs that owe allegiance in Gujarat to its chief
minister Narendra Modi; and the same Vishwa Hindu Parishad chaps, the same
Bajrang Dalis, the same dirty policemen, the same administration had within
minutes joined hands to wreak terror on the streets of Baroda. Helpless
citizens of India spent a night in abject terror, calling every number they
knew and receiving no response except hate-filled messages from the police
control room, "Go to Pakistan." The mobs moved around freely, threatening,
burning a young man alive in his vehicle, indulging in rampant arson, while
the police insisted that there was no threat to the minorities, and Baroda
was as peaceful as it possibly could be"

Full text:

State of Fear
- By Seema Mustafa

There is something about Union home minister Shivraj Patil that makes it
appear that each time he speaks, the words are being dragged out of him. His
is an amazingly successful impersonation of the reluctant maiden, which
would have been fine had he not been the home minister of India. No one can
fault Mr Patil on his appearance, with every crease and strand of hair in
place. But the "there is nothing wrong, and if there is, it is being taken
care of" attitude does not inspire confidence, particularly as he manages to
completely play down the importance of the situation in the process, and
reduces government reaction to a non-assertive response. Unfortunately, the
attitude plays on the officials as well, with the government machinery under
the home minister now appearing uncertain as to whether it should be
"seized" of the situation, or whether it should follow the natty Mr Patil’s
lead in insinuating that there is actually no situation at all to be seized
about. One has to commend the home secretary, V.K. Duggal, for following a
straight and narrow official line, and at least trying to fill in all the
blanks created by his minister.

This is not to say that one expects the home minister to flap, but that he
should at least be convincing in his authority. Unfortunately, the
television persona is the same that meets Opposition leaders and delegations
that meet him on issues as important and as varied as Gujarat, the
Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir. "It is fine, we are doing all that we can, the
situation will not remain uncontrolled, it will be controlled," says the
home minister (or words to that effect). How? "Well, it is being worked out,
we are in touch, we are talking to them, we will see what we can do," is the
response. Those listening to him cannot be blamed for not exactly being
infused with confidence.

The Ugly Indian was at it again in Gujarat. The mobs were out in Baroda this
time, simply because the Muslims had dared to raise their voice against the
demolition of a 300-year old dargah. How dare they even speak, was the
message flashed down to the mobs that owe allegiance in Gujarat to its chief
minister Narendra Modi; and the same Vishwa Hindu Parishad chaps, the same
Bajrang Dalis, the same dirty policemen, the same administration had within
minutes joined hands to wreak terror on the streets of Baroda. Helpless
citizens of India spent a night in abject terror, calling every number they
knew and receiving no response except hate-filled messages from the police
control room, "Go to Pakistan." The mobs moved around freely, threatening,
burning a young man alive in his vehicle, indulging in rampant arson, while
the police insisted that there was no threat to the minorities, and Baroda
was as peaceful as it possibly could be.

This columnist who started receiving messages and telephone calls from
Gujarat from 1 a.m. that night — and for those with the same filthy communal
mindset as the mobs on Baroda’s streets, let me tell you that the calls were
not from Muslims, but from secular and concerned citizens of India
comprising all religions — wanting people here to knock on doors to get some
protection for those "trapped" in Baroda. "They will be butchered, the mobs
are threatening a repeat of 2002" the messages screamed. And as one almost
tearful activist from Ahmedabad said, "We have no refuge, they can kill us
any time they want, we are here to die, not to live as there is no
protection for us." It is a tragedy, if after over 50 years of independence,
even a single citizen of India has to live for even a moment in complete and
total fear, not of the mobs, but of the Indian state. We all must
collectively hang our heads in shame.

Gujarat might have been controlled this time, because perhaps it did not
suit the Ugly Indian to change the golden star for excellent development
given to him by Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s Planning Commission — with all the
happy progressives on board — for a black mark. But he has happily
demonstrated yet again his control over the mobs and over the unhappy
destiny that he is determining for the people of Gujarat with the full
support of the BJP and the Congress Party. The minorities have to live in
the ghettos he has prepared for them, and accept all that comes their way.
If they — the Muslims, the Christians, the tribals — speak out of turn and
demand rights as citizens of India, they will have to bear the price. This
could be a night of abuse, threats; this could be largescale arson and the
burning alive of human beings; this could be 2002 with rape, arson, murder,
mayhem. It is for the Ugly Indian to choose, and for him to decide.

In 2002, the BJP extended total and complete support to the Ugly Indian to
preside over the killing of 2,000 citizens of India. The frightening thought
is that under the Congress-led coalition today, the man is still in a
position to preside over the killing of as many, if not more Indians in
Gujarat, at a moment of his choosing and with complete absence of remorse.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh convened a Cabinet meeting the morning after
the night of tension to discuss the developments. Ministers made it clear
that the government could not afford violence in Gujarat without paying a
heavy price. Shivraj Patil was shaken out of his complacent slumber to keep
an hourly watch over Gujarat, tiring and irksome for a minister seeking his
solace in the air-conditioned corridors of 10 Janpath and not the dusty and
hot states of India. But what is frightening is this entire argument that
the Centre cannot do anything, unless the state requisitions it.

An inquiry committee has been set up to look into the demolition of the
dargah. An inquiry committee must also be set up to examine the role of the
police and the administration, to find out how tainted policemen are back in
charge, and how a policeman or even a god for that matter, had the temerity
to ask a citizen of India to "go to Pakistan." As an Army daughter I was
taught early at home to hit out with all the force at my command against
those sick people who kept hounding the Muslims with the "go to Pakistan"
threat. I can only wish the civilian government will learn some lessons from
our struggle for independence (in which the jingoistic nationalists did not
participate), and help those who are feeling too helpless and vulnerable for
no fault of theirs, to hit out hard against those who dare to point a finger
at their identity and their patriotism. The policemen in Baroda should be
brought before the law and made accountable. And so should their patrons in
politicians’ garb. Also, a word of advice for the heir apparent. Leaders are
not made by campaigning for their mothers, but in holding the hands of the
victims of Doda and Gujarat in their hour of strife and grief.

Tailpiece: Pramod Mahajan is dead, and while one is sorry about the manner
in which he died, it is somehow difficult to understand the completely
hysterical media reaction. A weeping media — he was a good source —
virtually canonised the BJP leader and imbued in him many a virtue that was
not very visible when he was alive. Pramod was a dashing personality, but an
ordinary leader who had won only one election out of the three or four he
had contested, useful for sections of the BJP, a good fund-raiser, with
contacts in the corporate world. The media hysteria does raise one question
— if this was the coverage Pramod Mahajan got, 20 of the 24 hours on
television channels, 20 of the 30 pages in newspapers (or some such
figures), then what would we have done if Gandhi had been killed today?
Surely, not much more space would have been made available for him than has
been made available for this very ordinary MP, whose contribution to the
party might be worth a mention, but whose contribution to the nation remains
under a big question mark that even the frenzied media response has not been
able to turn into a halo.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The myth and truth of Godhra

By Arvind Lavakare May 7, 2006

Since no 'secularist' or 'liberal' or 'objective' person ever challenged the above sets of figures, some questions arise: Who killed 200-odd Hindus so early in those riots? Was it the police or the Hindus themselves? And what made those 40,000 Hindus rush to relief camps? Was it fear of Hindu mob violence, rape, arson and murder?

Two recent 'news briefs' in print are critical evidence of a reality that's been totally ignored by our 'liberals' who have, for four years running, gone on and on and on about the 'genocide' of Muslims in Gujarat after the sudden inferno in the S-6 compartment of Sabarmati Express had consumed 58 Hindus, including 26 women and 12 children, returning home after performing kar seva at Ayodhya.

In its edition of March 19, 2006, The Sunday Express carried the following report from Ahmedabad:

"Post-Godhra riot case: 7 get lifer
The city sessions court on Friday convicted seven people in a post-Godhra riot case and sentenced them to life term for the murder of 35-year-old Mukesh Panchal, a resident of Lambha. He was attacked by the accused and went missing on November 7, 2003 from Shah-e-Alam Darwaza. His mutilated body was found near Chandoka Lake on November 11. One of the seven accused—Javed Shaukat Ali—meanwhile managed to give the cops a slip and fled from the court."

In its edition of Wednesday, March 29, 2006 The Indian Express carried the following report, also datelined Ahmedabad:

"Nine get jail in post-Godhra riot case
The city sessions court on Tuesday convicted nine accused in a post-Godhra riot case. Additional Sessions Judge Sonia Gokani sentenced Mushtaq alias Kanio Ahmed Sheikh to 10 years in jail for murder and attempt to murder. Eight others were sentenced to 18 months in prison for unlawful assembly, possessing weapons and rioting."

Out of the five convictions so far in l'affaire Godhra, the above two rip the blindfold on Godhra that the country was subjected to since March 2002. Those two convictions conclusively prove that even as some Hindus in Vadodra, Ahmedabad and a few other parts of Gujarat were provoked into insane killing, arson and loot by the S-6 carnage, the Muslims in that state were hardly the cattle hiding from the slaughter house that they have been made out by the "secularists" in and outside our national English media. Do you, for instance, recall reading about the mutilation of Mukesh Panchal's cadaver in any of the English print media? Did you hear a sound byte about it on our TV?

Yes, despite all the media and the consequent political, propaganda about the 'genocide' of Gujarat's Muslims, the reality is that some of that community were also engaged in murder, rioting and unlawful assembly with arms in hand.

This trend was discernible to the objective person four years ago itself. Thus, in its issue of April 28, 2002, The Times of India reporter, Sanjay Pandey, told us that of the 726 people who had been killed by then in the post-Godhra riots, 168 were Hindus. In its issue of June 24, 2002, India Today carried an article saying that the official figure of all people killed in Gujarat in the three months following the S-6 massacre was 800, of which a quarter were Hindus. The Union Home Ministry's Annual Report 2002-03 said that about a third of the total dead in the Godhra riots were Hindus. It also said that, at one stage, 40,000 Hindus were in riot relief camps.

Since no 'secularist' or 'liberal' or 'objective' person ever challenged the above sets of figures, some questions arise: Who killed 200-odd Hindus so early in those riots? Was it the police or the Hindus themselves? And what made those 40,000 Hindus rush to relief camps? Was it fear of Hindu mob violence, rape, arson and murder?

More proof of the blindfold on Godhra came in 2005, when the UPA coalition (comprising the 'secular' friends of Muslims) made a statement in Parliament that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in those riots.

But our national media simply refused to remove the blindfold on Godhra. Hence it was that the elites of our society continued to rant about the Gujarat 'pogrom of genocide'; some cussed Indians even conspired to deny a US visa to the Chief Minister of one of the country's fastest developing states.

Aiding and abetting that conspiracy were reports from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International et al. The National Human Rights Commission joined in; written lies by the likes of Arundhati Roy and fake e-mails added fuel to the fire. All of them went to town about the Gujarat 'genocide' with blinkers on, a blindfold underneath. None wanted to touch upon the minority community's role in that tragedy.

But the latest criminal conviction of 16 Muslims evokes the recall of the Justice Tewatia Report on the Godhra issue published on April 26, 2002 under the aegis of the Council For International Affairs And Human Rights, based in New Delhi.

It was a report based on a six-day field study of a team headed by Justice D.S. Tewatia, former Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court. Its other members were Dr J.C. Batra, senior advocate, Supreme Court, Dr Krishan Singh, academician, Jawahar Lal Kaul, veteran journalist, and Prof. B. K. Kuthiala, Dean, Faculty of Media Studies, G.J. University, Hisar.

The five-man team visited three affected areas and relief camps in Ahmedabad, interacting freely with the public and members of both communities, and without government interference. In Godhra, five delegations from both communities and also of mixed composition presented their views and facts to the team. Similarly, free discussions with the public and affected communities were held in Vadodra at seven affected areas and five relief camps. It collected information from the staff at the Godhra Railway Station, district administration, including the Collector and Police Commissioner, passengers traveling in Sabarmati Express on 27.02.02 in S-6 compartment as well as in other compartments, staff of the Fire Brigade, Godhra, reports in 22 newspapers and nine magazines (local, regional and Delhi) and views on media coverage articulated by some 500 persons including intellectuals like lawyers, doctors and businessmen. The site where the train was initially stopped and stoned was also visited. A high point was that 13 delegations consisting of 121 citizens met Justice Tewatia's team and presented their viewpoints and information. The delegations ranged from the Association of Hoteliers to a group of Vanvasis and affected Muslim as well as Hindu women.

Based on the considerable oral, audio and visual evidence obtained from the above interactions, the Justice Tewatia team's conclusions most relevant to the blindfold on Godhra were as follows:

Burning of 58 Hindu pilgrims on February 27, 2002 was an act carried out at the behest of then government of Pakistan which had planned to burn the entire Sabarmati Express carrying some 2000 passengers. The primary objective was to create Hindu-Muslim communal conflagration in India. The actual perpetrators were jehadi elements in the predominantly Muslim town of Godhra where

a very high traffic of telephone calls was recorded between Godhra and Pakistan, especially Karachi, before the date of the carnage

an abnormally large number of passports were issued,

there was a large number of persons without ration cards

a large number of unemployed Muslims had mobile phones,

though there is no tradition of being a Muslim pilgrim center and the local Muslims are not affluent, three istema (religious gatherings) have been held and attended by large numbers of foreigners, and

an Assistant Collector (a young Muslim from eastern UP) went on leave two days before the gory incident and did not return till the middle of March though the district of his posting was aflame with communal riots much earlier.

The vacuum pipe between the Coaches No. S-6 and S-7 was cut thereby preventing any further movement of the train. Miscreants threw bricks and stones at the train as soon as it left Godhra railway station. The stoning intensified after it finally stopped about 700 metres from the station. The passengers of the train, particularly Coaches S-5, S-6 and S-7, were the main targets. Burning missiles and acid bulbs were thrown on and in the coaches. One such acid missile landed in Coach S-7 and a fire started which the passengers were able to extinguish. But the attack continued and more burning missiles were thrown into the Coach S-6.

In an effort to control the subsequent riots, the Gujarat government

Publicly announced its decision to employ the Army on the evening of the day riots began on February 28 (Within less than 24 hours at least one brigade of Indian Army had air-landed at Ahmedabad),

Made preventive arrests of over 33,000 people,

Fired over 12,000 rounds of bullets,

Fired over 15,000 rounds of tear gas shells,

The involvement of Vanvasis in the post-Godhra riots added a new dimension to the communal violence. In rural areas the Vanvasis attacked the Muslim moneylenders, shopkeepers and the forest contractors. They used their traditional bow and arrows as also their implements used to cut trees and grass while attacking Muslims. They moved in groups and used coded signals for communication. Apparently, the accumulated anger of years of exploitation by Muslim moneylenders (interest of 50 per cent per annum), shopkeepers and forest contractors had become explosive after moneylenders sexually exploited their womenfolk.

The media selected, distorted and added fiction to prove their respective points of view. The code of ethics prescribed by the Press Council of India was violated by the media with impunity. It so enraged the citizens that several concerned citizens in the disturbed areas suggested that peace could return to the state only if some of the TV channels were closed for some weeks. Even the Vanvasis complained that the media had no time to hear their agony and was spreading canards against the Hindus. Newspapers published in English from Delhi invariably editorialised the news. Direct and indirect comments in the news writing were so telling that the personal likes and dislikes of the news reporters were too obvious to be missed. They appeared to have assumed the role of crusaders against the State Government from day one. It coloured the entire operation of newsgathering, feature writing and editorials.

Conclusions 1 to 4 above are indicators as to why our national media, ever afraid to criticise the Muslim and ever ready to indulge in BJP/Hindu bashing, bypassed the Justice Tewatia Report, despite its high credentials and the fact that it was publicly released at a press conference in New Delhi. After all, our 'secular' national media simply could not have tolerated giving even a line to report's conclusion 5 above. Hence, they simply buried the whole report itself, put a blindfold on the country vision of it. After all, they had found their Hindu-bashing agenda in the post-Godhra riots and they were hell-bent in pushing it full steam, right up to the Supreme Court and beyond to the United Nations.

Will the criminal conviction of 16 by two separate sessions judges in Ahmedabad remove the blindfold on Godhra that the 'monster media' put on the people of this country?

(The writer can be contacted at 202, Dosti Erica, Antop Hill, Wadala (E), Mumbai 400 037.)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Best Bakery case: 9 hindus get life term , WHAT ABOUT MUSLIMS FOR HINDU KILLING

Can we expect to get such justice for Hindus in Pakistan or Bangladesh, don't count on it! :

Best Bakery case: 9 get life term
Press Trust of India
New Delhi, February 24, 2006

Nine of the seventeen people accused in the infamous Best Bakery case have been convicted by a Mumbai sessions court. The remaining eight accused were acquitted.

In one of the worst post-Godhra massacres in Gujarat, 14 people had been burnt alive in Vadodara on March 1, 2002 when a mob torched the bakery, owned by a Muslim family.

High security prevailed in and around the court room when all the 17 accused were brought to the court.

There were altogether 21 accused, of which 17 were facing the trial while four are still absconding.

The case was first tried in a fast track court in Vadodara which had acquitted all the accused on July 27, 2003.

One of the members of the family, Zahira Sheikh, who had named the accused in her police statement, retracted her version in the Vadodara court following which all the 21 accused were acquitted.

National Human Rights Commission filed a special Leave Petition in Supreme Court requesting a retrial outside Gujarat.

Supreme Court on April 12, 2004 had ordered retrial in Mumbai and a special Judge Abhay Tipsay was appointed to hear the case. He framed charges against accused on September 22 last year.

In Mumbai court, Zahira and her two brothers turned hostile and did not support the prosecution case saying that they did not see the mob setting the bakery on fire.

However, Zahira's sister-in-law Yasmin supported the prosecution, saying that Zahira and her family were present at the bakery when the mob set fire to the bakery.

Midway through the trial, Zahira filed an affidavit in Gujarat court alleging that she was forced to give police statement by social workers Teesta Setalvad and Raez Khan.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Soaring flight of Narendra Modi in development

Title: Soaring flight of Narendra Modi in development
Author: Arvind Joshi
Publication: “Pudhari” (Marathi Daily- Free translation)
Date: February 9, 2006

No url please

The state of Gujarat has been in limelight for the last five-six years.
Riots, devastation caused by the cyclone or the terrific loss of life
and wealth by the earthquake, on account of all these reasons, there was
a world-wide discussion over Gujarat and consequently, the Chief
Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi was constantly in the whirlpool of
criticism. Now all these debates are taking back seats. A new face of Gujarat
is coming to the front. The gallop of Gujarat on the industrial front
has now become a subject of discussion. As this gallop has been the work
of the Chief Minister Narendra Modi through his well planned efforts,
the people are also looking at him from a different viewpoint. His image
was a CM who encouraged communal riots. It is undergoing a change and
his name is being taken as an excellent administrator and a
development-oriented leader.

Influence all over the world

Gujarat and Rajasthan states are considered as industrial states.
Rajasthani and Gujarati people are famous for going to anywhere in the
entire country and launching their trade successfully there. Gujarati
persons are basically industrious. In the olden times, the name of Sheth
Shantidas was famous in this respect. Because, 350 years ago, this Sheth
used to give loans even to the Mogul emperors too. If we think that
way, Gujarati man has always been in the forefront of trade. Gujarat has
been supplying the entire country with Ground-nuts and its oil. The
industrious mindset of Gujarati people which was so far engaged in the
traditional professions has now assumed the form of liberal economy freed
from the old shackles. Its influence is now felt all over the world in
the trade world and the investors all over the world are being attracted
towards Gujarat.

Some conclusions reached after its survey by an English weekly ‘India
Toay’ about Gujarat, are very encouraging for Gujarat. According to this
survey, Narendra Modi is the best Chief Minister of all the CMs of the
country. When the opinions of many people in Gujarat were taken, 80 per
cent of those who were interviewed have confirmed that Modi was the
Chief Minister. When in the last August, a similar survey was carried out,
75 % voters had given their opinion that Modi was the best Chief
Minister. As such, Modi has not only maintained his first rank, but improved
by 5%.

According to the detailed report, in the fields of education, health,
Law and order and security, Gujarat state stands about sixth or seventh.
But the basic infra-structure for foreign investment and industries,
Gujarat stood first even then and now also it’s the first.

Administrative Skill

The reasons for this honour which has gone to Gujarat are the great
efforts taken by CM Modi. Since last some years, he has concentrated his
attention on foreign investment and increasing basic facilities. He has
harnessed all his administrative skill and is working for it. Day for
Modi starts at 6 o’clock. No file on his table remains there more than
48 hours. He shows the same diligence in following up the cases with
what diligence he disposes them. One more facet of his skill is, he is
expert in obtaining the involvement of the state’s administrative staff
in his programmes and development process. He has left no stone unturned
for attracting the foreign investors. The ‘Garaba’ of Gujarat is
famous all over the country. The fete of ‘Garaba’ or ‘Gandiya’ was also
utilized by him towards foreign investment. He had given the commercial
appearance to the Dandiya and invited a number investors and
industrialists from foreign countries. He had displayed large ads on the air
ports of London and New York.

First preference of the Investors

Narendra Modi’s invitation got a profuse response of 125 foreign
traders, 200 NRIs and 200 specially invited investors. The representatives
arriving for the Ras Dandiya festival,
had brought with them a number of proposals. During the 9-day Mahotsav,
proposals amounting to Rs.55,000 thousand crores were signed. All this
has not happened automatically. Gujarat has made progress which will
attract the investors. Industries require basic adequate facities as
peace, law and order along with power, water, land, roads, ports. Modi has
emphasized on these matters strongly.

State without power-cut:

If only the situation of power is considered, the situation in Gujarat
appears to be different. (This is a mild description. The situation and
Gujarat are vastly different. Just consider, where I am staying, we
have 11 to 14 hours power cut. ) In Maharashtra power-cut is for 11 hrs,
but Gujarat state is free of any power cut. Gujarat has 100%
electrification throughout. During the period 1998 to 2002, 5 large power
generating projects were erected. 4 more projects are under construction.
Jyoti-Gram Plan has been executed in the state. According to it, all
villages will be given three-phase power. Although this plan has not been 100%
successful, but 12,000 villages has been given such power. 17,000
villaes out of 18,000 have now built up roads and connected to the main
roads. Progress has been made towards the private investment in the
development of ports. The capacity of handling 200 lakh tonne goods in 1998,
has now reached to 825 lakh tones.