Solve the cash deficit faster, GDP growth to hit?
More public awareness campaign is required!
The Indian media plays a submissive role, Opposition also doesn’t help
Yet, there are serious issues about the Indian polity’s skewed developments.
The Prime Minister has done the long-pending reform of a black-market economy that had learnt to thrive on black money which as per the government’s estimate about a high proportion is in high denomination notes of Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 rupee notes. So, the economy needs some long-delayed correction.
The suddenness of the action must have surprised the unsuspected public but the real culprits must have waited for the needed action. Now, the deed is done and the public had undergone the short-term incoveniences, the time has come to look at the critical issues objectively.
This, the well-developed media, both print and the electronic, has failed to do their side of the national duty. Yes, such a government action like abolishing the big black-market economy or at least to bring under some reasonable limits must have found expression from the expert sections, including the media. But the media only excelled in creating sensational daily troubles of the people in front of long ques and, except one or two newspaper editorials not much by way of drawing up any structured reforms the crucial first step called for.
What are the next crucial follow-up steps?
First, the cleaning up of the political parties’ funding. As it is there is not even any mention by anyone of any consequence, an MP in the Lok Sabha or in the Rajya sabha had called for party funding reforms. All the six national parties were asked for reporting their funding process by the Election Commission. The EC as it is so toothless and no one cares about the real ground level realities.
The parties took the line that they are not obliged to reveal their accounts! And what about the regional parties?
Some like the two Dravidian parties whose expertise and experience and even their current practices, they, among the rest of the crowd of parties, they distribute hard currency notes transported so blatantly through trucks and even in ambulances and also with currency counting machines(where is the time to count the notes manually, it is so much in abundance!) the suspects are not caught, even now after so many months of this ‘offence’ reported in the media we don’t know where are the culprits and what happened after the first news item flashed in the media?
So, the national parties, among them only the Left parties came out with some details. As per the latest report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) that between 2005 to 2015, the two national parties, BJP and the Congress, collected Rs.5, 450 crores from “unknown sources”. The Congress leads with Rs.3,323,83 per cent of the total income from unknown sources! BJP, with Rs.2,125 or 65 per cent from unknown sources! Why, even the CPI (M) with its very vocal Yechury on demonetisation received Rs.471 crore from unknown sources too! Mayawati and Sharad Pawar are also in the same boat!
PM has a moral obligation to say openly that there will be a follow-up on this front. Once this step is taken, we feel that half of the problems of black money menace could be brought under control. Of course electoral reforms is not an easy step.
The PM himself might not force the issues for the stakes for a transparent democratic polity are high. So many vested interests might come into conflict. As the latest corporate battles like the Tatas are now widely reported in the media the very big payouts in various forms, be it plain secret donations to parties and leader or as in the case of the Tatas, it is the PR machines that are hired for such huge sums, Rs.40 crore, Rs.60 crores etc, the use of the corporate jets etc have created a situation that as things stand the fighting of elections is going to become a costly affair. More and more by politicians turned criminals and goonda elements.
Not in our lifetimes, it looks any semblance of reason and restraint, morality and ethics, is likely to come into our polity.But we are sure the public perception and the public opinion are changing. Citizen awareness must only help to contribute. Otherwise more cynicism and disenchantment could further darken the horizon.
The very emergence of Mr.Narendra Modi put an end to the dynastic politics and as things stand that Rahul Gandhi has any future in the scheme of things, given his own serious limitations as a political heir. He has no articulation, his education and education hasn’t given him any skills for articulation, for drawing talents around him, the ones around him are likely to be a bigger disaster than the ones that are still hanging around his mother.
How can a party of such long history and pedigree not realise that the party needs an idealogy, a vision and broad-based structure.
So, as a columnist in The Hindu notes that for the Indian democracy to remain healthy we need leaders. Now there are not many, some might say even any, to challenge the Prime Minister as an equal. Today there be none, so the next general election in 2019 seems a foregone conclusion. The Prime Minister might walk home with the trophy without fighting.
So, who knows he might not even take the difficult steps like reforming the party funding. Also, given the mindset of the Indian corporates they may be overjoyed to contribute Mr.Modi’s next election campaign without any compunction whatever!
So, at least some other actions like making the black money to fund terrorism must be a bit easier, though there must be a determined effort to cultivate and mobilise public opinion for such radical steps. Lately, Mr.Modi has become some sort of a later-day Indira Gandhi who saw enemies and persecutors lined up against her.
Similarly, lately Mr.Modi is also invoking some hidden enemies and who wants to eliminate him. So, in the coming days he may resort to such extremely emotional pitch that might only help him to emerge as the sole saviour of the people.
It is here the people of the country, the various sections, the very many institutions, like the parliament, the judiciary and media and why even the sections of the elite, the independent intellectuals and, not the least the more sober sections of the Opposition parties must show courage and independence and call Mr.Modi to show concrete developments on some structured agenda on how he would deliver a more balanced development agenda.
India with all its developments so far, is still a poor country with a vast section of people unorgansied and easy for manipulation. So, we continue our journey with such a forewarning.