Saturday, September 29, 2012

From Indus Proto-Siva to Celtic Cernunnos.

Regular readers may be aware that I am writing a series in Tamil, probing the question of whether the Tamil people were the 'Dravidians'. Titled as "Is the Tamil, Dravidian?" ("Thamizhan Dravidanaa?"), the series addresses many issues related to the so-called Aryan invasion theory and the Indus findings. So far 108 articles have been posted in that site. From the 102nd article onwards, the focus is on European connections to India. There will be 12 to 15 articles on European connections which, I felt, must reach the international community. Upon request placed in my Tamil blog for translation of those articles into English (due to time constraints on my part to write them in English simultaneously), one Ms Shantha, an Electrical Engineer by profession who lives in the USA has volunteered to translate them into English in her leisure time. I am grateful to her for this wonderful service.

For the purpose of better understanding of the topic, prior reading of the article in English in the following link is recommended:-

Those who can read Tamil may read this article too:-

Translation starts:-

Before continuing, let us recapitulate what we discussed last.

Researchers believe that a seal discovered during excavation in Mohenjo Daro is a possible representation of a prototype of Siva. The seal is shown in picture below:

They claim that the figure in this seal is "Pashupati" (Lord of Animals, Sanskrit paśupati) and a possible representation of "proto-Siva" or "early-Siva".

Were we to accept this claim, we should also accept that the culture that was prevalent in
Mohenja-Daro was not Dravidian but it was indeed the Vedic culture.

This is because, Siva, the God was indeed the God of the Vedic Aryans!

Siva was one of the Trinity of Gods.

'Sri Rudram' that is revered as the crown jewel and the essence of Yajur Veda, describes this cosmic form of Shiva. It is customary to recite this Vedic Sri Rudram, even now, by any sect of the Hindu religion worshipping any deity.

Herein we find the great mantra dedicated to Rudra as Mrityunjaya. It is called the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra, the Great Death-Conquering mantra.

Om Shivaya Namaha (Panchakshara Mantra, five syllables), a most potent and popular mantra also known as the Shiva Mantra, is found in the Taittiriya Samhita of the Krishna Yajur-Veda.

It can be inferred that this mantra must have been in use among populations for several thousands of years. This is because, there are references to this mantra in the Silappadhikaram which is one of the five great epics written in Tamil language and dated to be 1800 years before present. Herein, the hapless Kovalan, accompanied by the faithful Kannagi on his way to Madurai, meets the Brahmin from Maangaadu who advises him to cross the forests chanting the five-syllabled Shiva Mantra and the eight-syllabled Vishnu Mantra.

The inference from this is that people have been chanting these Mantras for more than 2000 years. Were we to suppose that just 1500 years prior to this event, the concept of "proto-Shiva" was envisioned in Mohenja-Daro, and subsequent to this the nomadic Aryans migrated here and invented the Vedas, it does not lend support for enough passage of time that must elapse for the creation and subsequent propagation of the Shiva Mantra among various people.

Also, the foreign researchers are not conversant with the concepts of Tapas, Japa, Mantra, Yoga etc. It is their belief that God was a concept that the early man invented of his own accord after several experimentations. They base this belief on the evidence found in their homelands. On the contrary, we find well-developed theology in our land. While Europe was still in pre-historic times, theology had already taken roots in Bharat and was much advanced, having been based on scientific and analytical thinking. Hindu religion advocates enquiry into the self and encourages research and debates in this aspect. This method of investigation is known as the "Jnana Yoga". There are several basics for acquiring this Jnana. One among them is to meditate in the Yogic posture, controlling the breath and awakening the Kundalini. We see the above techniques in the icons of the Mohenja-Daro seals.

In reality, the religious beliefs and rituals observed in Europe in the current times, are a degraded version of what was followed in very early times in Bharat, but were forgotten with the passage of time, and ultimately resulted in a theology that is deviated very much from the original. Christianity evolved as an imitation of the above, with same principles that morphed over time. The Christian Bible of around 4th century AD, talks of the same ideas that propagated from India to Egypt, which were mutated by the Greeks and which ultimately became completely alien to the original ideas. This can be proved by comparing the theological thoughts described in the religious texts of both the western and eastern cultures. But then, of course, such pursuits will be unpalatable to the foreign researchers as well as the Indian scholars who take special pride in saying 'Aye Aye' to these erudite thinkers!

But then truth has a habit of never dying. The truth resides in the archaeological evidence at Mohenja-Daro. Such evidences do not talk about Dravidianism. Indeed they talk only of the Vedic life that was prevalent and continuing there at that time. Let's explore them now.

The first falsified report forced upon us is that the image in the seal that is in yogic posture is Pashupati and that it is Proto Shiva, the concept of the early Shiva.

That image is neither Pashupathi nor any other deity.

We saw in earlier posts that this image is that of someone engaged in penance. To support this assumption, and as an evidence for it we compared it with the image of Buddha.

Date of the Buddha's birth is believed to be 563 BCE by some and as 624 BCE by others. In any case, he came much later than the Mohenja-Daro era. He was born a prince of the same Ikshvaku dynasty as Rama but renounced the world later. He undertook penance under a Pipal tree in Gaya in present-day Bihar state and received enlightenment. Pipal tree is also known as Bodhi Tree (Bodhi - Buddh - supreme knowledge or enlightenment). It is called as Aswatha tree in Sanskrit. Hindu religion holds a belief that there is an association between this tree and receiving enlightenment. The Vedas and Upanishads hold that the entire cosmos is actually akin to a pipal tree that grows inverted. The imagery is such that the tree's roots are in space in the universe while its branches, leaves etc. are in the worlds where humanity resides.


The tree represents creation and sustenance; hence during the final deluge of the universe, when the entire world is submerged in water, Krishna will lie down on the Aswatha leaf as an infant. Then the process of creation begins anew and conditions for sustaining life become viable. In Sri Villiputhur, the hometown of Saint Andal, when Rishi Markandeya was engaged in penance, deluge occurred and all became submerged. It was then that the Rishi had the vision of the infant Krishna on the Aswatha leaf. He thus consecrated the Almighty as Vata Patra Saayee in that spot where He appeared to him.

As an aside, there is archaeological evidence that once upon a time the town of Sri Villiputhur was under water.

We see that the civilization that prospered in the Indus Valley was also a society that worshipped this Krishna lying on the Aswatha leaf.

Just as Markandeya had the vision of the Aswatha leaf while engaged in meditation and penance, the yogis who succeed in their yogic pursuits envision the pipal tree as sprouting upon their head which is considered as the centre of the intellect. Since such yogis reach the ultimate state of God realization, or in other words, they understand the ultimate cosmic mystery, such imagery was portrayed by the Mohenja-Daro artisans  as Varaha horns and pipal leaves in between them. These leaves are also seen in some artefacts as Mohenja-Daro seals.

Pic :- Seal in Mohenja - Daro showing papal leaves and real Pipal leaves.

To understand the significance of this pipal tree and its leaf to the people of Mohenja-Daro, one needs to just look at one of the wells that they dug; it is in the shape of a pipal leaf!

A well, shaped like a pipal leaf has been discovered in Mohenja-Daro. (Even the very name Mohenja Daro is a corrupt form of Sanskrit term "Mohanasya Taru" which means "tree of Mohan (Krishna)".  
The 80th article in the series in on that meaning which can be read in Tamil here  I will soon get that translated into English).

Is this kind of well, characteristic of the Dravidian or the Vedic Aryan?

The Buddhists also created images that portray the same idea that yogis who reach the state of ultimate realization reach the same state as the lord Himself who is upon the Aswatha leaf; Gauthama the Buddha who received enlightenment is also portrayed on a pipal leaf. Below is such a picture.

We saw earlier that the yogic posture of penance found in Moheja-Daro bears resemblance to that adopted by the Buddha as seen from some artefacts discovered in Harappa.

This is referred to as the Earth-Touching Gesture (bhumi-sparsha mudra) where the Yogi who has reached the "Enlightened" state, calls on the Mother Earth (Bhumi) to witness that state of the Yogi. The Yogi directs his right hand towards the earth while his left hand shows that he has gone up to the enlightened realm.  Gauthama Buddha attained this level which is portrayed in many places. One such figure is shown below. Further references to this can be found in the 101st blog post.

One can surmise from this that the yogic practices as practised by the Buddha had indeed been prevalent in the Indus Valley Civilization during the Mohenja-Daro times which is over 5000 years ago from now.

The townships of Mohenja-Daro and Harappa that flourished 5000 years back were well-planned layouts based on a street grid of rectilinear buildings. These do not appear to be the workmanship of a civilization that was still in its very early stages of development. Evidence supports the idea of the inhabitation of Mohenja-Daro and Harappa by a very well-advanced society. These people were conversant with the yogic techniques such as the awakening of the Kundalini. They had known about such practices for a long time. Here we should note that this practice is indeed one among the many described in the Vedic literature.

Myriad yogic practices had been prevalent much earlier than Mohenja-Daro times. For example, one of Krishna's wives, Jambhavati, had no issues. (The reason for bringing Krishna here is that according to Hindu chronology and Hindu calendar that still continues till date, Krishna died 5113 years before the current year. This means that Indus civilisation / Mohenja Daro was a post- Krishna civilisation.)

Jambhavati conveys to Krishna her distress of not begetting children. Krishna, promises to resolve her problem, receives Diksha - an Initiation process - at Sage Upamanyu's Ashram and conducts penances there for six months. We learn from the Bhagavat Purana that as a result of this ten children were born to Jambhavati. One of the son's name was Dravid. Yes, Krishna had a son named Dravid, born to Jambhavati.  We do not have must information about him.

Some may claim that this Dravid was the ancestor of the Dravidians. However, we had already noted that the Dravidians took part in the Mahabharata war which took place during Krishna's times. Hence we must conclude that this son of Krishna is a not the Dravidian we are discussing about. Moreover, if we were to suppose that Dravidians as a race sprung from this person, then the argument for the distinction between the Aryan race and Dravidian race cannot hold up.

This Dravid is a scion of the Vedic religion. We find him as the progeny of the Vedic personality Krishna, who was born much earlier than him in Mathura in this Aryan land and who ruled over Dwaraka.

Let us now resume our discussions on the seal of "Pashupati".

The "Pashupati" seal portrays the yogic posture.

The posture for awakening the Kundalini is such as shown below.

The Mohenja-Daro seal portrays this same posture.

This was the same yoga that the Siddhas (liberated souls) practised. These enlightened souls are not too unfamiliar for the Tamil people. Be they the Tamil Siddhars from the South, or yogis on the slopes of the northern Himalayas, or yogis from western Mohenja-Daro, all these enlightened souls have practised breath control using this lotus posture to awaken the Kundalini.

Sage Pathanjali described the rules for this yogic practice. The icon that portrays this sage depicts half his body as a snake

Patanjali is portrayed as seen above even during present times in our temples.

Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human beings.
Kundalini literally means coiled.
In yoga, a corporeal energy, an unconscious, instinctive force or Shakti, lies coiled at the base of the spine.
It is envisioned as a sleeping serpent.
Kundalini awakening is comparable to the hissing and rising of the sleeping serpent that results in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss.
When raised above the head, it is envisioned as the flying Garuda (eagle) on which Vishnu is seated.

The symbolism of this represents acquisition of the perfect knowledge by the realized soul upon liberation from the corporeal bondages. In this state, the yogi realizes he is one with Narayana, inside Who is the Embryo of the universe and Who is the sovereign that bestows liberation upon seekers.

Thus, while we see depictions of serpents, eagles etc. we note that these are symbolisms that represent deep hidden philosophies of Hinduism. Additionally, it is seen that that the various gods such as Siva, Vishnu are all linked together in such yogic penances. This is because each state of advancement in the yogic path is symbolized differently.

Based upon this symbolism, a particular deity and its actions are described. To understand this concept, we can take our body as an example. Several parts in the body perform bodily functions giving the impression that they are performed together as one. But upon careful examination, we note that each part performs a role specific to it. Superficially, it appears as if there is no distinction between these parts and as though they function as a whole. This describes well the Hindu thoughts wherein God is but the Ultimate One under Whose sovereignty, function the various Gods performing distinct roles.

Steeped in such philosophical thoughts, understanding their imports, and then abiding by them true to their original significance for several hundreds of generations, one sees that the main ideas behind such symbolisms are never forgotten. However, if the main ideas are lost over time but mere symbolisms are adopted and propagated forth blindly, then is there any surprise that these same ideas soon degrade to immature caricatures of the originals? Several generations later, continued in this manner, the original ideas become completely obscured and forgotten. We see such mutated, mis-interpreted, mis-represented caricatures of the original Vedic thoughts several centuries later than the Mohenja-Daro times, in Egypt and in Europe.

CERNUNNOS, the Celtic horned god, can be quoted as a classic example for the above scenario. Celtic Gods were worshipped in the Celtic Nations. These were countries in North-West Europe where Celtic languages and cultural traits have survived. England, Spain and Northern Europe are among these nations.

In the picture above, the areas in light and dark green colors show the Celtic Nations. The cult of the Celtics flourished well until around 600 BCE or even 300 BCE. England is included in this. The evidence of this culture gathered in the countries shown in darker green in the map above is more ancient than the rest.

Before the expansions of the Roman, Greek Republic and Germanic tribes, a significant part of Europe was Celtic. Celtic polytheism, commonly known as Celtic paganism, comprising the religious beliefs and practices adhered to by the Celts was a notable feature of this culture and bears close resemblance to the Vedic religions and practices. It was indeed based upon such close similarities that the English when they arrived in India, wrongly surmised that that such a culture was imported from Western Europe into India by their Celtic ancestors. Also noting the term "Aryan" prevalent in India, and also from the references of the Aryan-Dasyu conflicts mentioned in the Rig Veda, they concluded incorrectly that their ancestors in Celtic regions were these same Aryans, while in reality, the religious beliefs of the Celts were exports of Vedic thoughts.

An important evidence for the above comes from CERNUNNOS, the Celtic god. Below is a picture of the deity.

This artefact has been dated as early as the 2nd century BCE or as late as the 2nd century AD. It was discovered in Denmark in Europe. Click on this picture to enlarge it and observe closely. One can see a person attired in animal skin and engaged in penance. Just as seen in the Mohenja-Daro seal, there are animals around and antlers on his head. Notice the pipal leaf in-between these antlers.

The three-leafed pipal can also be seen between the antlers in the Mohenja-Daro seal as well. (Picture below).

The pipal tree also known as the Aswatha tree is a plant species native to India. It does not flourish in Europe. How is it then, that they depict the pipal leaf upon Cernunnos' head, a tree that is not indigenous to their lands?

It is only in India that this tree has much significance. Even to this day, people worship and circumambulate this tree in India. It is only in India we see God Ganesha being consecrated under these trees. 

It is also only in India where the snake gods (Nagas) are consecrated under an Aswatha tree that grows in close proximity to the Neem tree.

Interestingly, there is an added reason for the above. There are underground water resources near the proximity of pipal trees. Due to this, snakes make their homes around such areas. There are literary evidences to show that sages Manu and Saraswatha have said that such pipal trees are useful in detecting underground water resources. In general, it is believed that one can detect the trail of such underground aquifers by the presence of pipal trees in surrounding areas and hence preserving such trees was important to dig out water tanks and reservoirs that enable use of such underground water. Hence these pipal trees are protected.

Europe does not have this advantage. Only in India, where the land is dependent on the monsoons, water reservoirs form underground after heavy rains. When such aquifers form close to the ground, pipal trees flourish naturally there. Such an ecological environment conducive to the growth of pipal trees is not present in Europe. It is situated further north of the Tropic of Cancer in the much milder climates of the Northern Tropics. If artefacts depicting pipal leaves are discovered in Europe, then the only plausible explanation for this could be that such ideas were exported from India to over there. The other way around, where the origins of the significance of this pipal tree was in Europe and subsequently imported to the tree's native India is just improbable.

We find this pipal leaf not only in the "Pashupati" seal that depicts a person engaged in penance in a yoga pose, but also inside Dharmachakra (Wheel of Dharma) of the (horned) Varaha (boar) seal. These can be seen in pictures below. The association between Varaha and Dharmachakra can be read in the 95th post.

The message of the Buddha, who practiced the Path of renunciation, was also Dhamma (Dharma) which is upholding of truth. The wheel is a symbol that has represented dharma in Buddha's teachings for the path to enlightenment.

The Vedic Dharma Chakra, that became Buddha's Damma, and became Asoka's Dharma Chakra now decorates our national flag. Despite all the bungles by our historians, the essence one should take from all this is that yoga, and the supreme knowledge which is the fruition of yoga which is represented as the Aswatha leaf, and its significance represented as the horn of the Varaha boar, and its representation of the wheel as the path of Dharma, are all unique aspects only to be found in Vedic cultures. We also note these same symbolisms in icons of Cernunnos depicted with pipal leaves, antlers and wheel over the head.
Indeed, Cernunnos with a wheel over head has also been discovered.

A coin discovered in Petersfield shows Cernunnos. Look at the wheel between the antlers. Is this not the same symbol found in Mohenja-Daro and Vedic icons?

Now look at the other side of the coin. Does it not resemble a one-horned unicorn? Does this not lead a trail back to Mohenja Daro in Bharath of 5000 ago? How did this concept get from one place to the other? Did it not get exported from India? Is it not only in this land of ours that we find the symbolisms for representing such hidden philosophies?

This Cernunnos of Celtic iconography, must have originally represented these Vedic ideas in the beginning, but gradually evolved on its own over time. It evolved as people started to portray it as slightly different icons and the associated symbolisms took various shades of colors that were different from the original Vedic philosophical symbolisms. With passage of even more time, the symbols lost touch with their original purposes. That same icon started to take on a more ferocious mien. Evolving images of this symbol included half-man half-animal creatures.

Picture below depicts such a change.

The serpent in a hand and a bracelet in the other continue to be portrayed. However, in the surrounding animals, only the stag can be found. The one-horned Varaha (boar) was followed by the one-horned unicorn, then the same became a one-horned horse, which then evolved into a one-horned bull and finally realizing none of them were natural, it was finally turned into a stag with well-developed antlers! And thus after giving these antlers to Cernunnos, they finally settled down on worshipping a half-man half-animal.

This Cernunnos was believed to ward off evil spirits and images of him were worn as a talisman or an amulet as well.

Neither is the hand-talisman something very unfamiliar to us, Indians. Wearing talismans on arms has been prevalent since the times of Rama. He and his bride Sita wore such talismans prior to their wedding for protection.

Talismans are bracelets that offer protection to the wearer by its magical powers given to it with the act of consecration. Infants in India wear such consecrated bracelets.

(Models of bracelets worn by infants in India

Indeed the ceremony of 'protecting with bracelets' is conducted for warding off evil during a woman's pregnancy. It is done to prevent danger to the woman and the foetus she carries. One even wonders if the origins of women of India starting to wear bracelets began with this purpose of protection from evil or danger.

New lands, desolate places, unpopulated desert areas are places that often inspire fear in people. They must have started to wear consecrated talismans and amulets to protect themselves from such dangers.

It may be that above was the reason why the figure of a woman in Daro near the Rajasthani desert has several bracelets stacked up on her one arm.

In fact, even today the women who live there wear several bangles that cover their arms.

This habit of wearing numerous bangles on arms (as seen above in the case of Rajasthani women) is not to be found among the Tamils. This information alone is enough to show that there was no connection between the Indus Valley people and the Tamils.

The matter under discussion here is Cernunnos' bracelet. Some Tamils wear anklets that have striking resemblances to this bracelet.

Interestingly, the Tamils of the Sangam era practised something called as the "Anklet removing ritual" (Silambu kazhi nOnbu).  An unmarried girl residing in her parents' home wears an anklet until she weds. This anklet offers protection to the girl's chastity. After she weds, the "Anklet removing ritual" is performed in her parents' home and the anklet is then removed from her leg following the ritual. This is because her husband has now become the protector and guardian of her chastity. Kannagi agreed to sell her anklet because it was not as auspicious an accessory for a married woman as other ornaments.

The reason the above fact was brought up here, is to show that wearing amulets and anklets has been prevalent in Mohenja Daro as well as in the Tamils of the Sangam era. The worship of Cernunnos came much later than Mohenja Daro times. This shows that the bracelet in that deity's hand was similarly an export of idea whose origin was once again in India. Thus, we show here that the direction of migration of people as well as export of ideas is not from Europe, but rather had its origins in India and went outside from India.

Later, we shall look into more carefully at the serpent in Cernunnos' hand. Let us just remember here that there is a link between serpents and people engaged in yogic penances as was illustrated with the example of the Patanjali rishi earlier.

For now, let us return our attention back to the Wheel (Chakra) atop Cernunnos' head.

Look at the picture below to see the evolution of the wheel.

We now see a star inside the wheel and the image of Cernunnos inside it.

2500 years ago, when the Romans brought the Celtic Nations under their empire, they brought about several changes in the Celtic cultures. The Romans neither found it very appealing to entirely adopt the Celtic cultures nor were they willing to completely give up on these age-old beliefs. These same Romans, who adopted the Egyptian Thebes (the Greek poet Homer extolled the wealth of Thebes in the Iliad) by establishing a Thebes of their own in their homeland, similarly adopted Cernunnos as their own but with a new mien. The deity now looks like this (picture below)

We see no resemblance between the image of Cernunnos we saw earlier and this one. However, the inscription below this icon says 'Cernunnos' in the language of Thebes. We see the antlers in the form of chakra atop the head and a star inside it.

Like Kubera, the Vedic God of wealth, this deity too was the God of wealth. This form was now portrayed as Jupiter. In Bharath, the planet Jupiter is considered as the giver of wealth (Dhana kaarak). This icon portrays that.

In Vedic beliefs, this Jupiter is also considered as the God of human fertility. Romans also worshipped Jupiter as the God of fertility. We saw earlier that Krishna undertook penances to obtain sons for Jambavati. It is possible that this concept that noble sons can be obtained through penances had spread through Europe as well. It was thus, one can surmise, that they portrayed Cernunnos as the god of fertility as he is seen to be engaged in penance as well.

However, the Romans were probably at a loss to explain the wheel above the deity's head. They explained it away as the Earth's Changing Seasons. Even today, western scholars or foreign researchers would rather explain away the symbolic wheel as anything but its original significance as the representation of Dharma, or Vishnu Chakra as depicted here in India.

Not just the wheel, but the star over the head too has philosophical significance in Vedic concepts. The star was placed over Cernunnos' head without understanding much of its import. Christianity subsequently adopted this star for its own symbolisms; indeed much of Christianity was derived from Pagan sources, many vestiges of which remain part of their culture to date.

The Christian church in its attempts to gain a religious monopoly, sought to exterminate the pagan Celtic rites and symbols that were prevalent among the peoples of Western Europe. Cernunnos, who was considered as their protector by the Celtics, was banished. The Christian church tracked down his worshippers, branded them as practising witchcraft and relentlessly executed them as heretics.

The Celtic god was called as Satan and their worshippers as Satan-worshipping witches.

The origin of the concept of this Celtic God comes from Mohenja Daro. The seal that shows the motif of the horned figure seated in a lotus posture and engaged in penance, was the expression of a society's extremely advanced theological thoughts. The religion that had neither the time nor the desire to understand such highly evolved philosophical thoughts, descended upon India like a scourge seeking to obliterate all ancient cultures all over the world. Under its profane influence, the misguided missionaries invented the misleading (also mischievous) Aryan-Dravidian conflict, seeking to destroy the Vedic Religion and working relentlessly to supplant it instead with a religion that brings nothing but destruction. The separatist, Dravidian movement of Tamilnadu took it up as an honorific duty to further promote such demoralization.

Let the Tamil brethren wake up at least now. Let them awaken to the truth at least after considering the evidence at Mohenja Daro.

We saw in this post how Mohenja Daro's "Pashupati" became Cernunnos. He was branded as Satan by Christianity. In the next blog, let us investigate more and find out what happened to the star that the Romans placed over his head and with that as the background, discover what other Vedic ideas were smuggled into Christianity.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Modi model!


A surprise article published  in TOI on success of Modi model in Gujarat!  Written by an Economist teaching in a University in the West, there is perhaps less scope for allegations of Hindutva' motives behind this article.  But these days there is no guarantee that one would be spared of a Hindutva motive because not long ago I read a bunch of Indo Eurasian scholars under the guidance of Witzel  blasting at a finding on cellular science as a Hindutva propaganda! Their focus of attack was a long known and repeatedly revealed finding of a research that said that the earliest life of the entire earth is found in the Vindhyas!  That was seen as a Hindutva talk by these 'scholars'! Even hard evidenced scientific findings, if they support anything of ancient India – an India that was prior to Moghal and Christian influence – would be termed as Hindutva propaganda by these people.

In political India, the same picture can be seen. If anyone has a passion for 'my land' and 'my country' and see people as 'one people' of 'my land', that is 'Communal'.  But if one wants to be 'secular', one must pick out Muslims and Christians from the 'one people' concept of population.  From media anchors to Mulayam-likes the mantra is to keep 'communal forces' at bay in order to be 'secular'. This brand of secularism has no connection to good economics or growth as the statistics of the Modi model shows. The growth is both vertical and horizontal when you have 'one people' concept.  If the nation wants good economics and growth, let them follow the Gujarat model. The author wants this model for his native state of Rajasthan. When it will spread to India as a whole remains with the people who know this difference and are mature enough to see thorough the games of 'secular' politicians. Have the people reached the threshold of such maturity?

-          Jayasree




The Gujarat miracle:

There is no denying the major economic advances the state has made under Narendra Modi


The writer is professor of economics at Columbia University.



I recently wrote about why the accomplishments of chief minister Nitish Kumar - that at last bring hope to Bihar - could not be underestimated. Today, i turn to Gujarat, which has been generally more prosperous in the post-Independence era and has performed impressively under chief minister Narendra Modi. Critics who insist on viewing everything related to Modi through the 2002 lens and, thus, fail to separate their economics from politics have fallen short of 20/20 vision.


Begin with growth. The relevant comparison here is with larger, richer states. Based on per-capita Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) in 2009-10, Gujarat ranks third, behind Maharashtra and Haryana but ahead of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab and Karnataka in that order.


Modi came to office in October 2001. In the following eight years spanning 2002-03 to 2009-10 (2002-10), NSDP grew at 10.5% annual rate in Gujarat and at 10.1% in the nearest competitor, Maharashtra. The rate during the preceding eight years, 1994-02, was 5.9%, behind only Haryana's 6.3%. Modi inherited a vibrant economy and has taken it to new heights. Gujarat had ranked sixth in terms of per-capita NSDP in 2002-03. Outperforming Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Punjab, it moved up to the third spot in 2005-06 and has remained there.


While the performance in agriculture has received the greatest attention, perhaps the most exceptional feature of Gujarat's success has been the performance of manufacturing. Compared with the national average of 15%, manufacturing in Gujarat accounted for 27.4% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2009-10.


Critics might say that this proportion has risen only one percentage point since 2002-03. But given the uphill battle manufacturing faces in India, even maintaining the share at this high level is a challenge. In all comparator states, this share has been below 20%. Moreover, with the exception of Punjab, none has been able to raise it by more than a percentage point during 2002-10.


With a high and rapidly rising per-capita income, it should come as no surprise that Gujarat has a significantly lower poverty ratio than India as a whole and it is fast declining. Based on the Tendulkar poverty lines and methodology, overall poverty in Gujarat fell by only six percentage points during 11 years between 1993-94 and 2004-05. But during just five years between 2004-05 and 2009-10, it fell an impressive nine percentage points. In 2009-10, the poverty ratio in Gujarat at 23% was almost seven percentage points below the national average.


The decline in poverty has been observed across all major social groups. My ongoing rese-arch with Megha Mukim finds the poverty ratio for the scheduled castes tumbling from 40.1% in 2004-05 to 21.8% in 2009-10. The decline has been less sharp for the more numerous scheduled tribes (ST) - from 54.7% in 2004-05 to 47.6% in 2009-10. Given the continued high absolute level of ST poverty, the state must think of imaginative ways to bring the fruits of growth to the tribal belts.


Critics frequently deride the exceptional growth in Gujarat by pointing to its lack of achievement in the social sectors. But they often do so by focussing on selective indicators. A consideration of a broad set of indicators hardly offers an indictment of the state even in social sectors.


The critics' case is particularly weak in education. Gujarat added 10 percentage points to the literacy rate during 2001-11, more than any other comparator state. At 79.3%, the literacy rate now stands one percentage point behind Tamil Nadu and three percentage points behind Maharashtra. Indeed, once we take into account the low literacy level of Gujarat at Independence, its progress looks more impressive than that of even Kerala.


To eliminate the bias that may result from differences in initial levels of literacy in evaluating the improvements in literacy, compare the three-decade progress in Gujarat during 1981-2011 to that in Maharashtra during 1971-2001 and Kerala during 1951-81. The initial literacy rates in these states during these periods were almost equal: 45% in Gujarat in 1981, 46% in Maharashtra in 1971 and 47% in Kerala in 1951. But three decades later, larger improvements by Gujarat had taken it ahead of both Maharashtra and Kerala.


On a longer-term basis, Gujarat's gains in the vital health statistics are nothing to scoff at either. If the levels of these statistics compare unfavourably, it is because it began the race with a disadvantage. In life expectancy, it began a year below the national ave-rage during 1970-75 and remained exactly there in 2006-09. Infant mortality rate per thousand live births in Gujarat exceeded the national average by 15 in 1971 but fell below it by two in 2009. Under-five mortality and maternal mortality rates in 2006-09 were, likewise, well below the national average.


Data do show Gujarat performing worse than the national average in child nutrition between 1998-99 and 2005-06, the latest period for which consistent data are available. The government can do much social good by targeted action in this area. The good news is that with high growth, the state has the necessary revenues to successfully address the problem.


While one can selectively poke holes in nearly every success story, taken as a whole, it is difficult to remain unimpressed by what Gujarat has achieved. I would be only too happy if its economic success spread next door to my home state, Rajasthan.