Last week in a conversation triggered by Yogi Adityanath's style of governance by fiat, a colleague argued that India cannot function with the liberal democratic system. It needs a dose of authoritarian rule to transform itself.
There is little doubt that if the country were to hold a referendum today, the result would favour those who will accept curbs on freedom of our precious freedoms of speech and action as a necessary sacrifice for economic growth.
There is one problem with this model. Prime Minister Naerndra Modi, and now, the Yogi, may be paragons among leaders - honest, deeply committed to the nation and enormously hard-working.
But they are neither gods nor supermen. They cannot themselves administer every department they oversee, nor ensure that there are excesses committed in the name of the policies they advocate.
Implementing Modi or Yogi's stern pronouncements depend on a capable bureaucracy or a dedicated party organisation.
Yogi and Modi cannot themselves administer every department they oversee, nor ensure that there are excesses committed in the name of the policies they advocate.
There are two ways to achieve that goal - one is to have a governmental system populated with people with their own qualities down the line from the secretariats to city municipalities and village panchayats.
But, the Indian bureaucratic culture until now has been associated with inefficiency, corruption and lassitude. It can change, but only slowly and over a period of time.
The other option is to rely on party cadre. In that sense the BJP government is well endowed. The party and its mentor organisation, the RSS are a cadre-based outfits with committed and dedicated personnel.
Whether they intend to, or can provide, expertise in building a modern state is another matter. What seems to drive them is cultural nationalism - gau raksha, vegetarianism, re-writing history text books, promoting traditional medicine and so on.