The principal of Mumbai's premier institution St Xavier's College has sent out e-mails to nearly 3,000 students criticising Narendra Modi's 'Gujarat Model' of development.
The Gujarat model is the one, which is being used by the NDA – the BJP and its alliance parties – to seek vote.
Father Frazer Mascarenhas
Father Frazer Mascarenhas, Principal, St Xavier's College, has sent out a mail to his students and even posted the mail on the college website that reads, "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."
Father Mascarenhas, in his post, acknowledges the Congress's Food Security and Rojgar Yojana schemes. He 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."
Not only this, but he goes a step further and asks his students not to support leaders who are a threat to secular fabric of India. "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."
Asking his students to 'Father Mascarenhas has even suggested the kind of leaders his students should support. He says in the mail, "Support for people who pledge to work to take Human Development Indicators higher and who commit themselves to a pluralistic culture in diverse India – this is the hope for the future."
When asked why he had sent out such a mail during elections, the principal of the south Mumbai college said, "I have given some considerations for evaluating the (Gujarat) model. And I have also talked about other models, like the Congress' central government and type of application of responsibility for protecting environment. I am trying to be as impartial as possible; it is my responsibility to encourage my students to vote. 'Gujarat Model' is being discussed in every media as a successful model and I am throwing light on what I think, which also needs to be looked at. If Gujarat model is successful then have a look at education or tribal rights."