Agriculture and much of development issues
It is all about dispensing natural resources!
We, in India, in particular have to a stage where many issues have taken critical shapes. Take the very latest scams and scandals. What they about?
They are about, in a more sense of gravita, ethics and equity or justice in the way we administer this country and where democracy flourishes with all its strengths and limitations.
Now, the series of scams and scandals all about dispensing natural resources, be it scarce spectrum in the telecom industry or pricing the natural reasources of ‘natural gas’, oil blocks.
Why Ratan Tata is complaining and goes to the Supreme Court and seeks its help? Is it for any small mercies? No, he can get anything he wants in India at any rate, as has been now proved in the Radia Tapes revelations. In fact, he has got it much more easily and cheaply but in a fundamentally flawed manner.
That is why Ratan Tata faces the fury of public opinion. In fact, he got it not only so cheap, he managed to get all in the most unethical and the most, if we can use such a term, in a dishonest way.
Yes, morality and ethics are very strong fields, who said philosophy is not for the rich and the powerful. Philosophy and ethics can bit you to the dust. History is a ruthless judge, a ruthless God and as we have now to realise that democracy, as a moral facets of the highest political morality and justice, any citizen in an ideal democracy however powerful he or she is, can be punished and thrown out into the dustbin of history in a very sharp fashion.
That is the lessons of history!
Now, in the current scenario, who had done wrong? In what ways?
The Indian government under Manmohan Singh has erred miserably poorly.
The PMO didn’t exercise timely control and oversight and that is why the telecom minister played with the scarce natural resources that is owned by the people.
The common man is surviving on the dear hope that he is under the protection of the all-mighty government and the PMO is his custodian.
Now, this is disproved. Who are all the guilty, both the government and the corporate world. See the everyday revelations of the Radia tapes.
They are exposing everyone who stood to gain in an unethical way.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt one party or one set of people. Not just Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. It is the ally, the DMK who has come out as the great culprit.
They way it bargained for particular portfolios when the government was formed is itself a very shameful thing. Is this all these parties learnt about politics?
Can they lay claim for any honourable political value system or ideology?
Then comes the other vital pillars of society, namely, the media and press.
Now, the very hoary talk of press freedom, the press dharma all stand exposed.
The once journalist icons, all well-educated and well-endowed in talents and commitments are shown, alas, as untrue to themselves. These journalists are of course, seem to be an indication that others of their fraternity are all now proved to be not so honourable but they descend to the level of crooks.
Of course, the not the least are the corporate heavyweights.
Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani might be billionaires but they, alas again, are what they believe to stand for. They seem to stand for converting the Indian republic to mere banana republic. The sort of capitalism they practice are mere crony capitalism.
These two negative outcomes are now endorsed by none other than Rata Tata himself. He has to atone for this slip of his tongue, let us hope.
He has to make amends for this costly slip and the whole country would dearly want that the Tatas do something that will resurrect India’s reputation and honour. We in this magazine are battling for years for a set of values that are now in much neglect. Agriculture, rural India and much else, even the latest causes of climate change, greenery, green cover, saving our forests and natural wealth, much of ecology, clean water, clean energy are all part of how to have a new vision, a new commitment for ethics and morality in governance.
Unfortunately, our ruling class has failed us. That is the overwhelming feeling in the country. Agriculture and the poor won’t easily go away from our conscience. They would burden out conscience.
Unfortunately, the PM and Sonia Gandhi have judged the spirit of this country badly. They are, out of sync with the mood of the country.
What is the way out?
In one word, they should revert back to a strong commitment to values.
They should values. They should pledge to restore democracy.
Leadership comes naturally. It doesn’t come by sticking to bureaucratic procedures. Parliament must have been taken more seriously. The Prime Minister, very honourable no doubt, was wrong to leave the country on a foreign trip when Parliament was deadlocked. He should have faced Parliament.
Even now, as The Hindu editorial(December 15) writes in a convincing manner, that only way forward is to concede the Opposition demand for a JPC and let us ,the whole country know what went wrong. In a democracy, no one can stand stubbornly against public opinion. Everyone, high and low, are accountable.
So, let the country be reconciled with truth, justice and high ethics and owning up responsibility under the Constitution of India.