How we in India understand the economic growth and political fall-outs?
How transparent is governance in India?
After all these years of Modi government?
Parties, castes and dynasties don’t change anyway!
Now, Modi government is out of the woods, so to say? Demonetisation has eased peoples’ hardships? Country and the issues are of a long-term nature. The Global Wealth Report 2016 compiled by the Credit Swisse Research Institute (CSRI) notes, India is the second most unequal country in the world with top 1% of the population owning 60% of the total wealth. How much of the wealth of the top 1% comes under the government scanner? No one asks and no one seems to know either. Now, comes the real damper: IMF has projected a slower growth, from 7.6% to 6.6% in 1017 and also pitching China with a higher growth rate.
We are sure Modi’s experts might have advised the PM and whatever be the other implications these are the basic realities on the ground.
What about other questions? Black money elsewhere? Corruption and black money in elections? Governance and other issues?
Governance is slack. Much of the government official machinery is left unattended. The so many high offices, from higher court judges ,even the CBI(as we write the decision is left undecided, there are other urgent reforms.EC reforms so that many of the much-debated issues left undecided. Election funding, including the pending cases before the Supreme Court about the undisclosed sources of income by parties.
We dont want to bore the readers and only draw attention to the report on black money with the parties as revealed by the Association fro Democratic Reforms(ADR).
In fact, even this question seems silly for we all know how much efficient is our government machinery?
We know, some of the most sensational cases of high corruption and high criminality, even as per the latest news reports there are some more than 300 high profile criminal cases that have come for final stages of hearing, after filing of charge sheets and also sending summons from ED and CBI and other agencies the cases haven’t come for further hearing and disposal!
What does this mean? It means that even if we all agree upon the latest statistics on high corruption cases there are any number that are unlikely to come up for final disposal in the near future. Why?
We all know that our politics, our democratic structure, as one Information Commissioner put it, is the most undemocratic at its basic structure. There are political parties that are controlled by forward castes and also there are parties headed by families that are dynastic and blatantly so so as to make any change nearly impossible.
So, the caste alliances, more and more as elections are getting more narrow focused and becoming opportunistic alliances. See the latest alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress?
Till yesterday the parties were posturing differently, today once the election dates are announced, the Samajwadi and Congress have no illusion or shame but they align without any qualm of conscience or truth whatever! Now, what is the lesson? Survival, not any prospects of long-term tie-up.
How then can you explain the alliances in the latest round of elections in five states?
In UP alone you see the parties churning different explanations for their own survival.
What principle or accountability you see? None whatever!
Rahul Gandhi is now under obligation to the Samajwadi party. He will play the junior partner. When he hopes to lead his party as an alternative to BJP? Never, perhaps how knows too? It looks like that. Rahul’s legitimacy would come only when he himself is contesting. When he is winning. After the BJP came to power Rahul Gandhi hasn’t won any election, if we leave out his another alliance in Bihar. In Bihar too he did marginalise himself by standing near the giants! He went in late there and fell in line!
As one academic (Kanchan Chandra, professor of politics, of New York University)puts it the dominance of the forward castes, read brahmins and the other OBCs and others have only become more dominant, the dynastic and the democratic ideals coincide so silently!.Also, not just forwards castes, the sub-alternisation, the consolidation of Dalits, adivasis, there is a rise in these trends towards consolidations.
Why dynasties becoming dominant? Here again our view is that more and more political parties get used to handling unaccounted funds and there is no chance, even now, after Mr.Modi has been going round and preaching his own version of demonetisation, there seems to be no hope that cash has vanished, there is still 6% of cash in black money and the rest 94% of the wealth is in real estate and also in foreign banks, say reports.
They, the fat cats know how to launder money and this is going on as we write!
So, the so-called digitisation of our cashless economy also carries with it a parallel digital divide as part of the ground level reality. We can go on and on in this fashion.
To cut the story short that we have to introduce simultaneously other steps like Lok Pal, Lok Ayukta and other institutional bodies like an active independent judiciary and Election Commission with powers to check malpractice and why, even a legislation that no leader can contest twice to the same top posts like the Chief Minister!
Otherwise, you would have the same phenomenon like 6 times CMs, the same person as party president for almost life! As is the case with Sonia Gandhi as party president for some 20 years! Then as the many anomalies. Son succeeds the father to the party post and also hopefully to the Chief Minister’s gaddi.!
More relevant, the case pending before the Supreme Court, of the unaccounted election funds, as admitted b y the two large political parties, namely, the Congress and the BJP, before the apex court has to be disposed of expeditiously.
The black money in the form of election funds is the single most source of mischief and we have carried this bad legacy for far too long. Recently, there have been too much revelation about the rise of inequality in the world’s wealth generation. Also, there are debates about the economic growth rate in major countries.
Also, the political fallout. The recent elections in the USA and Europe show there is a rightwing turn and also the rise of populism and in short a rise in illiberalism.
All this point towards a unstable world economy and polity.
This is not a happy turn.