15 December, 2017

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Keys To Modi’s Success In Gujarat And Lessons For Sri Lanka

By Rajasingham Narendran

Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

While trying to  locating a rendering of Carnatic music on the YOUTUBE, I stumbled upon Narendra Modi’s  tele-link address to the Global Forum on ’ Evolving Markets’  held in Washington DC. Narendra Modi was yet the Chief Minister of Gujarat, though the Prime Ministerial candidate.

Gujarat (196,204 sq.km) is three times bigger than Sri Lanka (65,610 sq.km).  It has a multi-religious population and had seen extremely violent communal strife preceding and following India’s independence. Mahatma Gandhi was born in this state.  Under four successive terms  of Narendra Modi’s Chief Ministership, the state has been a relative oasis of peace and is the fastest growing  (10+% annually) within India.  A people who have been renowned through the ages as excellent tradesmen. have become also leading entrepreneurs. A state with limited agricultural capabilities has been transformed into a leading agricultural producer. Exports of industrial goods are growing by leaps and bounds.  Electricity and water are no longer the bug bears they were.

How was this possible? What was Narendra Modi’s catalytic role?  After listening to his speech, I felt that this speech must be heard by many Sri Lankans and CT should be the media to carry it to them.

Modi emphasizes that participatory democracy is the key to his achievements and emphasizes that it should replace representative democracy in its evolutionary course.  He defines democracy as an organic system and  an interplay between the government and people. He says the government is not a provider and the people are not receivers, and the greater the mismatch between what is needed and what is given, the greater the problems. He says that democracy should permit local voices be heard and their needs being incorporated into the national agenda. He says that the people will swallow the bitter pill when the facts are made known to them. He correctly says that the collective voice of the people, is collectively the people’s wisdom. .He also says governments are guardians of the people’s interests and are trustees of the nation’s resources. However he emphatically states that the governments must earn the trust of the people and this happens when they are sure there is no ‘Foul Play’.

He emphasizes democracy has to evolve to;

1. Enhance harmony, which requires a change of heart

2. Ensure unanimity in elections at the local levels, where candidates are selected through discussions and consensus.

3. Enhancing citizen participation in policy making.  The capacity to listen and discuss should be enhanced.

4. Enhancing the flow of information to and from the people and the age of communications we live in permits this.

5. Improving the institutional frame work. He says democracy stands on a frame work of institutions and these provide the required checks and balances.

He reiterates that transparency, accountability and responsiveness consolidate democracy and in the present age, knowledge and technology are the driving forces to achieve these.

What I liked most was his categorical statement that governance cannot be through ‘secret files’ meaning that facts should not be hidden from the people.

He places also considerable emphasis on skill development (training), speed (quick action) and scale (thinking big) as the tools to achieve fast and meaningful development.

My thoughts were why the Gujarat experiment cannot be replicated in Sri Lanka, even better? Why is there a reluctance to empower the people?   Why is, what is in essence a trusteeship being transformed into a dictatorship under the façade of democracy?

I hope CT readers will listen to Modi’s speech and learn from it.  Critical evaluation is a must, but it must be of a positive nature. Gujarat is a work in progress and is a validation of Modi’s ideas and vision.

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Latest comments

  • 8
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    Rajasingham Narendran,

    Sri Lanka has home grown solutions for their problems, they don’t want imported solutions, whether it be from India or elsewhere: Have you got short memory; 13A is still fresh in peoples’ minds – not wanted.

    They say no to imported solutions or theories!

    • 6
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      Modi has theives too,

      Latest BBC news says:

      “A controversial MP from India’s ruling BJP is being investigated after a theft at his home led to the recovery of 11.4m rupees ($190,833; £111,513) in cash, expensive watches and jewellery.”

      Rajapakse-baba has his thieves, so has Modi-ji: Time will unfold how many.

      Sure Rajapakse could learn a lesson here: We are of the same kind!

    • 4
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      Thiru,

      “They say no to imported solutions or theories! “

      Excellent Suggestion.

      1. To Begin with The Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils were illegally imported from South India, and see the mess they had created in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      2. To Begin with The Para-Buddhism and Para-Hinduism were illegally imported from South India and East India, and see the mess they had created in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      3. So They all are imported Solutions.

      If they want a local solution, they need yto get it from the Veddah teribe who lived in an Eglatarian Native Veddah Aethho society fot well over 30,000 years.

      It is the Paras and Para solutions that do not work.

      The Vedda Tribe

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

  • 4
    4

    I am not sure whether to laugh or cry when Dr.RN talking about “lessons for Sri lanka”. Sri lanka does not need to learn lessons from Modi, it is Modi who need to learn lessons from Rajapakse. Rajapakse created his own Buddhist Sinhala kingdom in Sri Lanka after killing over 100,000 innocent people. Can Modi create his own Kingdom in Guyarat or in India? Rajapakse support in parliament increased from 50% to 67% after creating a Family Kingdom; Can Modi able to create a Modi Family Kingdom?

    It is a waste of time!

  • 1
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    Reasonably well written, however on the flopside, his government already hiked the Diesel and Petrol price. To a sustainable economy I strongly detest this practice of every government which hikes the petroleum products leading to spiralling of inflation. However, hope his government addresses the common man burden.

    • 3
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      Send him to China jaldi karo chapati kilau

      Gas at the pump in China is cheaper than the U S.

      This is to encourage development as opposed to western agricultural policy and tax incentives.

  • 1
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    I had occasion to see this earlier. Little doubt with the passage of time PM Narendra Mody’s English will improve. This event is an indication the Mody team has done their homework well – in assuring foreign investors the regime will be pragmatic and investor=friendly. In the Railway Budget released yesterday, he has promised new railway lines, fast trains and investments. Curiously, Tamilnadu has not got much – for obvious reasons. Mody knows the electorate is watching him carefully. The first test is bringing down the cost of vegetables, onions and essential daily kitchen items. In taking the Kashmiri Pandit issue so early he may have got his priorities somewhat remiss. He might not fail to live up to many of his promises but as the Finance Minister Jaitley realises the earlier FM/PC has indulged in a little bit of Greek mathematics – calculated to make the incoming regime’s work more difficult. All in all, Mody may deliver but an alert media will make sure his team does not falter.
    But to expect zero-corruption in such a vast land run by a Coalition Govt is to ask for too much.

    An economically strong and politically stable India can be made an asset for Indo-Lankan relations – if handled professionally and effectively. Fortunately, the previous SL-HC Kariyawasam and the new Prof. Sudarshan Seneviratne are excellent men able to make friends and influence people in the right places in the important capital of New Delhi -so crucial to the Rajapakses at this juncture.

    R. Varathan

    • 0
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      Varathan,
      Are you trying to insult Modi based on his language capabilities? What about the contents in his speech? His accent clearly shows that English is his second or third language. How many Americans or British people you have seen fluent in a second language? Most can speak only one language . Does it makes Whites inferior to Asian?
      We speak in Sinhalese at home, but my daughter’s Sinhalese is pathetic.. Does it make a person like you, most probably very skilful in multiple languages, is better and wiser person than my daughter who are not very good at multiple languages?..
      Have you heard that when peoples’ language processing section of the brain is bigger or profound, usually their analytical processing parts of the brain are smaller or weaker!!! What do you prefer?
      Anura

      • 1
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        Thank you Anura/AVB. Other than stating with the passage of time PM Narendra Mody’s English will improve, I have not said anything that can even be remotely called unfair by him. For someone who began in the lower rungs of life in Gujarat, where few speak English at that level, Modi’s acquisition of the skill is remarkable. Doubtless, we will see him speak English more impressively with the passage of time.

        But let us not fool ourselves. In the sub-continent, and particularly in Sri Lanka, a sound knowledge of English is essential to be considered part of society that matters. Of course, there are those like the Buddhist and Hindu priests who do not speak English – whom we respect nonetheless. I have seen far too often those who gravitate from outside to what is considered elite Colombo society the struggle for acceptance and to “belong” is, to a large extent, dependent on a sound knowledge of English. When the noueveau riche local families look for a groom for the sudu duwa the kapuwa is told some engreesi-speaking on the boys part is essential. There is nothing strange here. In many countries in Africa emerging from the Colonial yoke such a need in English or French is a passport to society life – and even beyond.

        Why go far, our friends in the Royal Family – the Rajapakse Brothers – suffer a disadvantage in social acceptance in this score from the Bandaranaikes-Ratwattes and the Jayawardena-Wickremasinghe ruling circles. Society makes its own rules, wherever you are.

        As to your comment “peoples’ language processing section of the brain is bigger or profound, usually their analytical processing parts of the brain are smaller or weaker” I believe this may vary in individuals but the better judge would be the medical experts. I believe content and substance of the quality of education also comes into play. Prior to the 1960s here in Ceylon quite a few of us spoke perfect English, Sinhalese/Tamil and were sometimes eminently trilingual – if you care to admit.

        R. Varathan

  • 8
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    Narendran

    I am not surprised that you have fallen for the false adjulation of Modi, a Hindu extremist, who had been propped up by the big Indian businesses and the multi-national groups who are trying to cash in on the expanding consumer market in India. It is beyond doubt that Modi and his work in Gurajat were projected as great achievements by these very same elements in their own self interest. These capitalists funded his Lok Sabha election media campaign that portrayed him as a saviour of the Indian nation. Çorruption charges against the Manmohan Singh government helped him too to win the election handsomely. To repay this debt,Modi is opening up India’s markets for these multi-national groups and the big Indian businesses.

    He is very rightly accused of covertly aiding and abetting the Hindu extremists who went on a rampage killing Muslims in Gujarat when he was Chief Minister of that state. He has Muslim blood on his hands and the Indian Muslims will not forgive him for that. Intellectually and otherwise your Modi is the worst Prime Minister India ever had. None of the past Prime Ministers of secular India were Hindu extremists with blood on their hands.

    You are highly praising his success in Gujarat. That was backward state. And what he had done there is nothing spectacular but had been blown out of proportion by the capitalist managed media as a great success. He will not be able to replicate whatever little success he might have had there on an all India scale. Already his government has started jacking up prices of essential goods. Through his government’s railway budget, rail fares are increasing. He will slowly unwind all the good work done by the forme government of Manmohan Singh which helped the poor Indians. He is even interfering with the appointments of Indian Supreme Court judges. In many people’s assessments his government will become even more unpopular before long. He would not last for more than one term.

    Easily falling for the propaganda of these Indian media you are now showering high praise on this Hindu extremist. You did the same with Mahinda Rajapakse. I heard that when you went with the Nadesan delegation to Colombo shortly after the defeat of LTTE you were full of praise for the Rajapakse brothers much to the dismay of several other delegates. Now you have dropped him like a hot potato and started criticising him as a dictator. Similarly, sooner or later you will drop the Modi wallah garb and start writing against him as you did in the case of Mahinda Rajapakse and his brothers.

    • 4
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      Naga,

      Perhaps, Mahinda didn’t keep the deal with this guy as promised at that time. So he falls out.

    • 3
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      Thank you, I too have not forgotten his “lauding” of this regime post haste !

      Oh happy days oh happy days for him in those days.

  • 4
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    @Rajasingham, I think the media hype certainly had a role in building up Modi.

    His achievements in Gujarat are not as impressive as they were made to be, even in the economic front.

    If you have not, then this article is well worth reading on GV.

    In 2014, the year when Bollywood’s most popular ‘item’ song featured an Indo-Canadian porn star lip-syncing a song called ‘Baby Doll’, India elected a conservative Hindu chauvinist as its prime minister. Narendra Modi’s extraordinary ascent to power from humble party worker to a national icon of communal violence to hyper-efficient developmentalist leader is intriguing and revealing in itself, but let’s leave that aside for now.

    The poll surveys and election data shows that the demographic most responsible for placing him in harm’s way came largely from young upper caste North Indian Hindus. Draw a line from Mangalore in the south-west to Darjeeling in the north-east – and with the exception of tiny pockets in Punjab and Kashmir, the saffron wave swept the vast majority of parliamentary seats to the north and west of that line.

    Why did these people vote for Modi? Some did so because he is a muscular Hindutva bigot, a reputation heightened by his association with the worst anti-Muslim riots in India in two decades. Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots, when senior members of his government, party, and their fraternal mass organisations led murderous attacks against Muslim neighbourhoods across Gujarat. The police and the remaining members of Modi’s administration who were not actually rioting stood limp and feigned strategic paralysis and ineptitude at their moment of greatest need.

    Modi has personally denied any role in the riots, but his government has since 2002 actively and systematically obstructed the investigation and prosecution of those responsible. He has not admitted any guilt, and has found himself not responsible, either of criminality or of incompetence. He has also not expressed any contrition, not reached out to the victims, not expressed any sign of concern for them. And yes, the appalling truth is that many people in Gujarat and the rest of India adore him expressly because of this: because he is an unrepentant, chest-thumping bigot who taught a troublesome minority a lesson that they won’t forget.

    But this isn’t everyone. Many others who were disturbed at the 2002 violence and found him repugnant then, came around over time to admire the man because of his reputation as a strong leader and an efficient administrator with a successful track record in development. Let me take you back for a second to the synchronised shaking of hips and the choreographed heaving of bosoms in the Baby Doll video (22 million hits on youtube). At one point, the star Sunny Leone, born Karenjit Kaur Vohra, mouths the pithy and vaguely profound lyrics in Punjabi: ‘yeh duniya pittal di … Baby Doll me sohne di’. In a world that is [dull as if it were] of brass, Baby Doll [shines as if she] is of gold.

    Indeed, amidst the brassy, drab dullness of dysfunctionality that was Manmohan Singh’s India, Modi projected Gujarat as a gleaming land of gold: it is said to have clean roads, electricity, an efficient administration, and prosperity all around. Of course not all of Gujarat gleams, and not all that gleams is solid gold, but still, the myth prevails. India’s middle class, and a wider swathe of those who cling on to the threshhold of middle-classness turned to Modi because they are frustrated at the insipid progress in delivering the 21st century infrastructure and lifestyles that they believe is their due. They are exhausted at the corrupt misgovernance, and the succession of corruption scandals that rocked the UPA government. Finally, they are resentful of the politics of the poor, the lower castes, the special interests, and the minorities, and what they widely view as the wasteful, electorally motivated social expenditures that have been wasted upon them.

    In contrast, Modi has offered them the tantalising vision of a Chinese path of development: fast-tracked infrastructure, smart technical solutions, authoritarian efficiency in dealing with the troublesome and unsightly. Under the banner of ‘patriotism’ and ‘development’, Modi presents a unifying vision that purports to transcend the special interest politics of caste, religion, and poverty that fragments and fractures India.

    He also takes a no-nonsense approach to domestic and foreign security threats. In place of the inchoate mix of half-hearted carrots and sticks that has kept the insurgencies in central India or Kashmir burning without resolution for years, he has a simple securocratic answer: just say no. They will be dealt with as the Chinese deal with Tibetans, and the Israelis with the West Bank: overwhelming military force in the short-term, and demographic encirclement in the long-term.

    Unlike the previous BJP governments of 1998-2004, Modi has no coalition partners to depend on and to moderate him or to limit the deeper foundational agenda that his saffron backers have long dreamed of. He has a full parliamentary majority to use and abuse at will, although constitutional changes are still beyond his reach. This new parliament itself is also worthy of mention: the 543 newly elected legislators in India’s lower house will be the wealthiest ever parliamentarians, with the largest ever number of members facing criminal charges, and featuring the lowest ever number of Muslims.

    So therein lies the fate of India for the next five years – a legislature full of rich, criminal, Hindus, with an executive led by an authoritarian, pro-business, anti-Muslim bigot who is not shy of wasting a few thousand innocents here or there to make a point. As Modi said in his acceptance speech: Happy days are here to come! In the immediate afterglow of the victory, India’s legions of Modi supporters have filled the airwaves, media, and internet with euphoria at the solid gold they’ve finally struck. As for me, I’m just brassed off.

    • 3
      3

      O h yes that is more of less a Gandhi news magnate media hype.

      The western press initially backed Mayawathie for PM then it dropped her like bricks with the shoe/plane scandal.

      Then came the once in a lifetime Hazre movement with no leader for PM. Just then BJP/Modi U K /US took to media (2 years in all)

      When the riots took place Modi had taken office 3 days (which neither you nor the western media mention)So he rightly ignores the western media unfair blitz. Anyway the Muslims drew first blood and asked for it. Back in the late 70’s when Indira gave a speech at old delhi in a stamped over over 1000 injured and dozens dead and around 200k chappals left behind. Where was western media?? 3000 Sikhs killed and Sonia released all the culprits and the western media is still drunk. India needs an opposition to the pseudo dynasty and its there but needs the breathing space to mind its own business.
      It is very difficult for the J T’s talking about Hindu cast not knowing the wars they waged against Persian language, Islam/Sharia law from 1502 and at the same time the 3 Europeans. They were all fought in the Deccan plateau by Sivaji the Great Dynasty (Gujarat was part of the Deccan) The only martial race had blood relative Muslims who were some of the best warriors (refer Treaty of London 1818 available at Somerset House London)
      It is JT problem so much so India cannot trust you as much as The Hindu does not like you.

  • 0
    3

    Dr RN,
    I thought you might like

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    3

    Modi if re-elected three times, must have provided the people a reason to do so. It seems that 10% pa growth rate is a good enough reason. One must not forget that he had some little difficulty with a US Visa till he it was known that he would be the next Indian PM. The Indian Stock Indices rose some 20% with the same evidence and a few companies, like the Adani group doubled the share price over a matter of days. Let us hope that he can repeat his Gujarat success for the whole of India. There is a lot of poverty that needs to be alleviated and wish him well.

    There are no doubt lessons for Sri Lanka, but Sri Lanka has been hampered by a 5th column from before Independence. The tantrums are never ending and drags Sri Lanka back. As another said, Wigneswaran, an educated man on whom a lot was riding proved to be an utter disappointment. We will continue to take three steps forward and two steps back for a long while yet.

    • 2
      2

      If Wiggy is a disappointment then what about MR?

  • 0
    0

    This is a great speech. Unlike many rogues we see as politicians, NM is a proven great leader. The essence of his entire talk is also about ‘leadership’. Empowerment of people in all aspects in life is his prescription. Politicians are only the trustees and carers, is the rule. Can’t fool people all the time like is happened in everywhere in SL. Democracy is something that should be felt in the hearts of people that is the force that help politicians to keep them in the picture and in participation.

    Thank you for making this video available for people.

  • 1
    2

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farmers'_suicides_in_India

    Our politicians make better speeches – 90% lies – in sri lanka and even in UN.
    MR is the biggest liar – second is GLPeris.
    Our present Chief Justice lied at UNHRC about Ekneligoda,and later denied what he said – he believes in “personal knowledge” to decide cases.
    Thousands of farmers have commited suicide in India especially in Gujerat and adjoining states due to crop failure and other causes.
    (Journalist P.Sainath has written extensively about them).
    No sri Lankan farmer ever did.

    • 4
      2

      If the farmers in the east of India UP and Bihar decide to march to Delhi the queue would be 5 days long and smell to high heavens- worse than perunkayam.

      You mean northern Lankan farmers were killed by the army or joined the war and died??

  • 1
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    Modi’s success was due to his decisive action in 2002 Gujarat riot.

    • 1
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      kollo butter danavada??

      NaMo does not use it but occasionally a dash of Ghee.
      What you gonner do??

  • 2
    1

    Dr Rajasingham Narendran,

    You are either ill informed or blindingly partisan. You say,

    “Under four successive terms of Narendra Modi’s Chief Ministership, the state has been a relative oasis of peace and is the fastest growing (10+% annually) within India.”

    ‘Oasis of peace’ – how misleading. Over a thousand Gujarati Muslims were butchered under his administration. His complicity is well known. Modi will not allow any independant investigation into that horrible event. Since that atrocity the life of the average Muslim in Gujarat is no different to the life of Tamils living in the North in Sri Lanka. The Muslims in Gujarat are living in a state of apprehended siege just like the hapless Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka today. A true democracy should liberate the people and not oppress. I do not see that happening either is Sri Lanka or in India under Modi.

  • 1
    0

    Narendran

    You better read this article from BBC on bonded labour in Modi’s India.

    Punished by axe: Bonded labour in India’s brick kilns
    By Humphrey Hawksley BBC News

    “India’s economy is the 10th largest in the world, but millions of the country’s workers are thought to be held in conditions little better than slavery….
    Activists and academics estimate that some 10 million bonded labourers are working in India’s key industries,…

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27486450

    10 million bonded labourers in India. That is almost half the population of Sri Lanka. What a shame for a country that wants to become the policeman of South Asia!

    Ask your magical hero “Chai wallah” Modi to first end this slavery.

  • 0
    0

    Do any of those making adverse comments, disagree with the principles of 21st century governance expounded by Narendra Modi? If what he claims to have initiated in Gujarat are a fact, isn’t he on the right path? Isn’t it a model for us? Further, Gujarat was never a backward state. It had a booming diamond cutting industry , large textile mills and and a large industrial base in Ahemadabad. It has grown at a 10 % rate from this base. Further, can anyone clarify whether there have been Hindu-Muslim riots in Gujarat , after the major conflagration soon after Modi was elected for the first time?

    My hopes center around Sri Lanka and her people, and not tied to the coat tails or sari-falls of individuals. The hope that something good for the country can be achieved through individuals may arise, decline or totally dissipate. This is not a permanent affiliation. This hope invested in individuals also does not preclude me from condemning what is wrong and praising what is right. The circumstances in which such judgements are made are also a determining factor. There are no permanent friends or enemies in the political sphere.

    Dr.RN

  • 0
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    rajasingham Narendran, You say:

    “Do any of those making adverse comments, disagree with the principles of 21st century governance expounded by Narendra Modi?”

    Principles are fine to expound, but actions and track records show a man’s real self:

    Modi’s connivance in anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat is an exact parallel to Mahinda’s collusion in anti-Muslim riots in Aluthgama.

    I didn’t know that you are in the business of white washing these leaders crimes against humanity for your selfish ends.

  • 0
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    If you want the keys to success and free lessons please contact Dr.N. He has all the answers.

  • 0
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    Can you please elucidate me and the readers on what constitute my selfish ends? Please learn to debate and discuss substance instead of using cyber space to spit venom.

    If you are a true Tamil, remember what Thiruvalluvar said. “Epporul yaar yaar vaai kertkinum, apporul meiporul karnpatharivu ( it is wise to seek the true meaning of what whoever it may be says)”. What Modi has summarised are words of wisdom that will stand the test of time. The truth he expounded does not get devalued because of your perceptions of who he is or was. People learn from their mistakes and correct them selves. This learning is what makes men great.

    Grow up to learn the decorum that befits a public forum and stop slinging mud on persons you know nothing of.

    Dr.RN

    • 0
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      To learn from mistake you must make mistake isn’t it.

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