Last Updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 14:18
Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
Mumbai: Father Frazer Mascarenhas, the principal of Mumbai's prestigious St Xavier's College, has slammed the business-friendly Gujarat model of development.
In a letter, Mascarenhas asked the college's students not to vote for the Narendra Modi-led BJP.
While the letter does not name Modi, it is amply clear against whom he is hitting out at.
“Is the growth of big business, the making of huge profits, the achievement of high production – what we seek? Or is it the quality of life for the majority in terms of affordable basic goods and services and the freedom to take forward the cultural aspirations of our plural social groups that make up India?” Mascarenhas asked in context to the Gujarat model.
He adds: “Gujarat may be doing well in the first sense, although not as good as some other States in the country. But all the Human Development Index indicators and the cultural polarization of the population show that Gujarat has had a terrible experience in the last 10 years. Take the example of education: schools for the ordinary populace show abject neglect with a very high dropout rate in the last 10 years. Higher Education has not been allowed to move forward...”
Supporting the Congress-led UPA government's policies, the Xavier's principal says, “As opposed to this, efforts like the Rojgar Yojana and the Food Security Act have been called 'election sops'. However some of our best social scientists like Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze have supported these as necessary in the emergency economic situation the country and the world is facing.”
Describing the prospect of Modi coming to power as a threat, he adds: “The prospect of an alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power constitutes a real threat to the future of our secular democracy.”
He concludes the letter by saying: “Choose well!”
The principal's letter has, as expected, not gone down well with the BJP which has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission.
First Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 14:16