“Recently, In America, Narendra Modi said that he wanted to decrease size of Government. But, what he and his party BJP are doing in Gujarat is quite opposite. The Education budget of Gujarat government for the year 2014-15 has provided 38.76 billion as assistance to non-government, private secondary schools and only 1.89 billion has been given to government secondary schools. Every year billion of rupees are showered to private players in education field. This is not just privatization. It is worst than privatization. Even in America, you won’t see this kind of loot of public exchequer,” I told Arundhati Mundlay, political advisor in American consulate General, Mumbai who along with an American diplomat Rishi Kappor came to meet me on 8 October, 2015. They were eager to know about political scenario of Gujarat in the backdrop of Patidar reservation agitation.
I categorically told Americans that present patidar agitation is product of wrong policies of Mr. Narendra Modi and credit must be given to his ‘development model’ of Gujarat. During last two decades both Narendra Modi and Anandi Patel have jointly ruined economy of Gujarat in general and education in particular. The youth is frustrated. They are not getting jobs and their anger is systematically being diverted against ‘reservation.’
Expressing my views on patidar agitation I told them that though this agitation is meaningless, absurd and violent, its aims and objectives are plausible. A community which has given chief minister, half of the ministers of state cabinet, more than hundred billionaires, more than ten thousand millionaires, and an army of NRIs, industrialists, merchants and traders want reservation in government jobs. It may look ridiculous if we ignore second part of their slogan. First, they say, give us reservation and then they say, if we are not given, abolish reservation.
In fact, Americans are not concerned about reasonability of patidar agitation. They are concerned about investment climate in Gujarat and possible fall out of the agitation. They want to know how fragile the peace process is and how effective the Government intervention can be. They are also curious about retaliation of OBC, SC and ST. They met many people including congress and BJP leaders. Narendra Modi must be worried. His rhetoric in America might have produced something different he may not like to imagine.