With Siddartha Behura in Tihar
Government inaction costs a lot!
Our food production is at record high!
Over-stocks and yet a decision on lifting the export ban pending for years!
There is news about the record food production, both wheat and rice. Warehouses are full and in fact the food stocks are rotting in the open and it is national scandal.
No one is talking about, you know?
The reason is not very difficult to find.
There is now a widespread fear in the government, among the IAS officers. After the recent arrest and lodging in Tihar jail, the high profile telecom secretary, Siddartha Behura’s arrest and jail at Tihar, he is the 1973 batch officer, a former cabinet secretary, TSR Subramanian, says who would take any decisions at all! Yes, he says that is the major reason that has paralysed the Manmohan Singh government. Why, even the PM is scared of taking any decision. This is funny. This is the very anti-thesis of the Parliamentary Government. Even Parliament is stymied. There is no major discussion in Parliament and the public attention is not caught for ages what the Parliament is discussing. First, the PM himself is very reluctant a Parliamentarian! The mask of the Prime Minister as a great bureaucrat lies in tatters, after what he did with Raja and also now seems to be doing with other ministers, more recently with the former Petroleum minister Mr.Murali Deora who is perceived as a close ally of Mukesh Ambani.
There is considerable loss for the farmers with government not announcing an export regime for the food sector and also for denying the farmers the high prices that international trade likely to bring about.
There is inaction and inaction all the way in the government. Red Tape, cries a headline in a prominent economic daily. Why? There is a paralysis in government.
The most affected are the poor farmers and also poor who need food at affordable price.
The peculiar politics of the times is populism, populism of the worst kind.
In states like Kerala and TN where there a free rice scheme and also a black market for the smuggled rice! In New Delhi, someone had put into the head of the Congress party leader, Sonia Gandhi, that she can attain immortality by becoming the chairperson of the National Advisory Council, the creator of the 100 days work scheme that lately had taken much blame for creating labour scarcity for farming operations all over the country.
In the absence of the Prime Minister having any power and also in view of the dominance of Sonia Gandhi through her charmed circle of the NAC, there is fear that if the PM doesn’t seem to be implementing the unworkable food security law that artificially keeps the food prices below market rates and with no export outlet what the farmers who had produced the bumper crop would do?
And also you are adding every day a new irritant to the farmers, land acquisition is now a hot political issue and now given the Rahul Gandhi’s 4oth birthday wish of the party enthusiasts to hoist him in the South Block as the new PM, the current incumbent PM is completely shaken.
He won’t not only not take any decision that could antagonise someone or other in the party or the government, Rahul Gandhi is sure to mess up matters if you induct him at this most confused times.
Better Rahul wait in his wings for the right time, there is now need to save the face of the government in the face of the emerging mix of many challenges, from 2G to new CAG in KG basin gas and also in the emerging tensions with Anna Hazare’s men and mass support for a new Lokpal Bill.
But the PM can follow the the example of the President who had declared her wish to make her assets public.
Why not the PM also say he will submit his assets first, as his own colleagues are not so forthcoming and thus setting a bad example and thus contributing to the cause Anna Hazare and his men are championing.
As for the “over-production” of food, it would sound ironical if we point out that both the two ministers in the Krishi Bhavan, Mr.Pawar; the senior minister is not helpful. He is more interested in exporting sugar and not the food crops, rice and wheat. He doesn’t give the clear guidelines to the farm sector. That is the charge against the agri minister who is seen more as a full-time cricket administrator of repute! His deputy, Mr.Thomas has his own agenda. He seems to please Sonia Gandhi. He talks about food security often, without knowing that the country thinks poorly of the duo for not helping the farmers to get international prices for their labour and also not devising any strategy to distribute the food to the poor as demanded by everyone and not the least by the highest court of the land.
Has the government implemented the Supreme Court directive? No one knows.
Who cares in Delhi for such questions?
You travel to Delhi from far distances. You are unlikely to be given a chance to meet the PM or the party President. There are many such tales of disappointment with our current bunch of rulers. Even the Cabinet ministers don’t care for the visitors. We speak from our own personal experience!
And what a tragedy you know? The government is deprived of lot of good talent. One minister man’s two portfolios? Is there any example in any other democracy?
And pray, Kapil Sibal who enjoys this distinction is now the trouble shooter for the government. He along with the other clever lawyer-turned politician, the duo makes up for the paucity of talent in the government.
Yes, one can understand the fear of the bureaucrats.What about the fearful ministers in an already weak government.
That is the current tragedy of government inaction. Another three years of wait for this type of non-functioning government to prolong would surely be intolerable indeed.
At the end of the day, this government needs a new clarity and a new resolve. Please create such an environment. Yes, we are just telling this to Sonia Gandhi and her not so responsible advisers! Sorry to say like this but then see the current tensions in the ranks of senior bureaucrats!