Last week, I made a quick visit to see the chief minister of Gujarat,Narendra Modi. He’d asked me to give a presentation on how India could realize its still-enormous potential. I went through points I’d first discussed in a paper I co-wrote with Tushar Poddar in 2008:Ten Things for India to Achieve its 2050 Potential. It’s striking to me that, five years later, our recommendations don’t need revising (They do need elaborating, and I’ll get into more detail in an updated study and further columns. Modi and I are planning a conference of experts before the end of this year).
I’ll state no opinion on Modi’s chances of becoming prime minister after next year’s general election—it has been announced that he’ll lead the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) campaign. He’s a controversial figure. Detractors call him a sectarian extremist. I will say this: He’s good on economics, and that’s one of the things India desperately needs in a leader.