Tamal Bandyopadhyay’s analysis, “How RBI fenced Indian banks from the turmoil”, Mint, 6 October, is excellent. At the SBI Chicago branch, a few of my colleagues and I had deliberated likewise on RBI’s prudent and conservative stance. I call it a SAFE— secure (ensuring systemic safety), appropriate (flexible and timely) fundamental (in touch with economic fundas) and earthly (not exotic)—approach. I wonder whether RBI’s considerable success here is a result of a continuous watch on international economies or the oriental prudence of those in responsible positions, taking home a pittance compared with the $480 million compensation for Richard Fuld, head of Lehman Brothers over the past eight years.
Apropos your editorial, “Nano drives into Gujarat”, Mint, 9 October, I am happy you have sought views on Narendra Modi’s politics. I think, today, Modi is India’s best chief minister. He is leading Gujarat from the front with his single-minded pursuit of development. Even his worst critics can’t deny he is a chief minister who is all for Gujarat and development-oriented politics.
As for the image built around him that he is a Hindu fundamentalist and is against the minority—anti-Modi views are more a creation of his opponents who have been befittingly silenced by him in the last assembly elections, which were fought on the single issue of Narendra Modi and his brand of politics. He was called “Maut ka Saudagar” by no less a person than the UPA chairperson herself. He emerged stronger from this trial by fire.
It is ridiculous to discuss the attempts by his pseudo secularist detractors who tried to malign him through a parallel inquiry in the Godhra episode. Here again Modi had the last laugh when the Nanavati commission exonerated him and his government against all charges raised by the pseudo secularists and a biased media. The allegations against the Congress and then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi about the post- Indira Gandhi assassination pogrom against Sikhs are too recent to be forgotten easily. But ironically, no one talks of that genocide of Sikhs, while Modi’s tormentors leave no chance of raking up Godhra at the drop of a hat. I can only reiterate that Modi’s is the politics of development of Gujarat. He has proved this by becoming a “Nano ka Saudagar” right under the nose of his critics some of whom were chief ministers of other states including those from the Congress. We need a few more Modis to bring out our country from the mess created by the UPA and its cohorts.
Regarding Premchand Palety’s column in Mint, 6 October: I agree with the broad view that the government should go in for education reforms, but I disagree with some suggestions.
1. While there is a greater need for more educational institutes at all levels, there are hardly any teachers. One solution is to raise salaries to attract good quality teachers. (There is also a terrible quality mismatch in the country starting right from the school level. This calls for a better process of selecting teachers and better training.) Another solution could be to have our student resource to educate rural communities, as part of their curriculum.
2. An entire system based on profit would have implications of higher fees, etc. A public-private partnership could indeed help.
Finally, education must primarily be tackled at the grass-roots level, but it first needs a sea change in its definition. The role of vocational training becomes crucial, especially as some sections of society can’t learn everything from conventional subject teaching.