Now, a lonely figure of pity and much sympathy?
Who thinks of India? Who thinks for India?
What is the big picture for India?
Indian democratic system in crisis?
Then he was much admired by the domestic and foreign press. Today, he is called all names. The domestic scene suddenly had become hostile for him!
What else, just the series of scams, the latest the mega scam, Coalgate scam!
Instead of attending to this politically damaging situation, the PM, of course, under the pressure from Sonia, had resorted to diverting the nation’s attentions. He had joined the economic reforms blitz under the impression that people can be diverted and even cheated for another term!
Oh, this might proved costly to the Prime Minister, the party and the people!
The coalition partners, Mamata quit the government. The other allies showed their true intentions. They are in the government more out of compulsions of the need to survive, rather than to advance any positive reforms forward. Practical politics demands great integrity and true commitment?
PM is speech didn’t go uncriticised. Veteran BJP leader and a former finance minister, Yashwant Sinha in response to PM’s reference to the economic situation in 1991(when Sinha was finance minister under Chandrasekhar) Sinha retorted: Singh in eight years where he had brought to the economy today?
Yes, India is a big country and our economy is also big and it is not easy to promote groth, especially, after the world economy is also in a slowdown mode, US and EU are also in slowdown. So, in India too, just by announcing “big bang” reforms, FDI in retail and aviation, our economy might turn into a miracle.
What about the political part? Corruption and fall in governance?
And the tenure of the present PM?
So, this is the big question and the big challenge. Everyone, weak-hearted and weak-willed fail to ask in this country.
Where are the brave hearts? This is the question every citizen of India now asks. Please identify some 100 such souls, India would be changed!
Will the ruling coalition survive after Mamata’s exit?
What is the cost of political instability?
India is not driven by any big vision. There is no world view for India.
No one, we mean, no big leader of any stature, think of India in the larger context of the world. No one Indian leader has talked of India as a big country, a big power, a regional power, not even we compare India with China. There is no big goal of India growing as fast as China, or as a big democracy vs. China as an one-party rule.
We seem to shudder at the thought of India as a big democracy. A country driven by any over-arching ideology. Ideology not as a restrictive doctrinaire ideology. But as a liberal, open society.
Unfortunately, the Indian National Congress, the great party, the great national movement is no more a party like other parties.
It has become a mother-son one family party.
See, there is no functioning PCC, AICC and even the CWC. All given up in favour of a coterie, a clique almost. See the core group of the Congress.
PM, Sonia A.K.Antony, FM and Ahmed Patel! That is all. No one in this has a mass base, enjoying public support, unless you call Sonia’s hire-a crowd as mass base!
Yes, it is very untimely to rake up these issues but then where do you go for searching the truth, so to say?
See, how the country is now held together. Congress with its 205 MPs and cobbled together a coalition, all the partners, like Mamata now, are very prickly, unreliable leaders. See once the government became shaky, how the allies reacted. Pawar went silent, DMK chief back at his brinkmanship and Mulayam and BSP held under some captive blackmail by the ruling party itself with the CBI sword hanging on their heads!
Is this all to India? As an idea, as a nation and as a people and as a modern secular and open society, help up as an example to others, In Asia and in the rest of the world.
American Presidential Election
It is here we like to draw the attention of readers and even thinkers, to see what the USA stands for as a great world power. The on-going Presidential elections, I would say, as an education to the world! This, to me at any rate, is like a distant echo of what Pericles said 2500 years ago of Athens as an education to the then world! Yes, democracy, freedom and individual liberty are all the touchstone of the American open society. Where the Presidential candidates are selected through the primaries, then they are endorsed by their party conventions, then a public debate, later a TV debate in which the respective candidates put forth their polices and promises for the people.
See the American democracy’s total transparency, the citizens’s rights to question and scrutinise their candidates all the weaknesses and strengths.
Here we have fallen back. Fallen back from past standards. There is too much of an arbitrary power exercised by both the party president and the Prime Minister. How the Coalgate corruption could have taken place, if the governance mechanism was in place?
What limitations the PM lately displayed? So, the media, the party insiders and others didn’t rise up to the expectations of the people? Is Sonia tolerated too much and too long?
Someone must bear the cross. Some heads must have rolled. So far nothing of such thing had happened. So to hide the misdeeds, to divert public attention, this flurry of reforms?
So, these announcements are palliatives. We need basic structural political reforms. Many of the big-time reforms, Constitutional reforms, party reforms, the CEC reform proposals are need to be taken up and put before the people, promised made and a fresh mandate must be sought.
Manmohan Singh’s flurry of activities, a rise in fuel prices, FDI in retail and aviation and now the rise in PDS sugar prices and many more in the pipeline is certainly not in the typical Manmohan line!
This is not vintage Manmohan, this is a Prime Minister is a desperate situation. He is known not as his own master. So, there must be some other factor or factors to push the PM around. That much is sure.
But now, what are the immediate implications? Or, the long and medium term lessons?
Yes, there are many issues of deeper impact in the way this government finds itself and likely to move or forced to move and manages to survive.
By all estimates, everyone agrees this government might survive till 2014, the next elections. But is it any big news?
No. It is simply a situation today that is invited by the ruling party, namely, the Congress. Without mincing words, one can say the single most reason for this pathetic situation is none other than Sonia Gandhi.
It is she as the arbiter of the great issues that she has to take moral responsibility. Whether she likes it or not, Sonia has led the party to near ruin.
Yes, what is now left for her to do, give the current developments?
Almost she stand alone, in fact she stands isolated. She may now go from one crisis to another.
In 2004, the Congress got 145 MPs. In 2009, the party got 206. The party toyed with the Left, later it toyed with Mamata, of course there was no alternative. Sonia wrote off the many PCCS as of no use. One was the TN PCC. She went out of her way to court the DMK and she even ignored the feelings of the Congressmen, the bastion of such titans like Rajaji and Kamaraj and in the place of such a home of the traditional Congress supporters she followed the ruined path of courting the DMK, she did the unpardonable sin of visiting the DMK chief in his own office, offending the sentiments of the Congress bastion at Satyamurthy Bhavan.
In fact, Sonia had such unpardonable sins in other PCCs as well, particularly another time-honoured bastion, Bihar, the home of so many great Congress souls.
In West Bengal, another great state where Sonia’s contribution to the nurturing of the party is almost zero. In fact, she sat tight in Delhi and cultivated the cabals, as they were, to cultivate the image of an imperious leader with no qualifications whatever, except a family name that too now, sadly, is in visible decline.
As for her dynastic ambitions that s too seems to have fallen into dustbin of history. Her son is nowhere in sight. On the other hand, one by one the blackmailers and the self-seekers are out in full display.
How to describe Mulayam Singh Yadav. A great pity and a pathetic sight. He chose to hold hands with the Marxists and the Communists along with one or two lost names, a Naidu or a Gowda for old time’s sake.
What is this Third Front suddenly on display? How sure or committed are these old war horses to forge a new Third Front?
No logic, no sense of time, no history. In fact, the Third Front is nowhere to be seen again after the one day display and mute gathering on a public platform. The other platform, the BJP led show at Jantar Mantar is also without any logic or commitment. Yes, any political party needs a theory and a strategy.
India is such a big country, big economy and a big international market for the FDI to flow in, we need a very solid two party rule, two party system or two broad coalition platform that can only hold the country together.
The small parties, the regional and chauvinistic parties, the caste and communal parties might be there but they have to be subdued by an over-whelming ideological divide, a Right and Left sort of political formations, we see in the Western democracies.
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