Gujarat officials seem to have turned their attention to countering the oft-made charge that the state — while high in growth — is lagging behind in social indicators and human development.
A top Gujarat official, sources say, has already circulated a presentation — meant to be circulated to the media and also to be used in debates — seeking to establish that Gujarat’s performance in social indicators in 2011 is better than what it was in 2001.
The state’s charge is that the Planning Commission and “anti-Gujarat” voices have smartly chosen not to mention the 1991-2001 figures while highlighting the 2001-2011 figures.
Interestingly, when Gujarat officials take 2001 and not 1991 as the benchmark, they also obliquely argue that Modi has outperformed BJP governments in the 1990s.
Between 1991 and 2001 — the note says — literacy rose by 13% in India but just 8% in Gujarat, but in 2001-11 (the Modi period), it rose by 8.6% in India but 10% in Gujarat.