UPA has turned governance into a daily act of betrayal


By Gautam Mukherjee on June 24, 2013



UPA has turned governance into a daily act of betrayal

The perfect crime said Nicolo Machiavelli, the renaissance political theorist, is one without a suspect. In the Indian context, this perfect crime masquerades as governance, or its travesty, depending on one’s bias, perception, comprehension and position.

The economic scenario is such that no one believes India anymore. There are no silver linings. We who live here are in despair, forever waiting for Godot. There is little or no international confidence in our Government’s pronouncements too.

Potential FDI and FII are openly laughing at us, most recently at the Finance Minister’s tired assurances, for talking much and implementing next to nothing. Global rating agencies are moving relentlessly towards downgrading our sovereign credit rating to junk status, convinced our deficits will balloon out of control now.

Despite talk of reform, India’s economy remains under stress

There are no takers for India’s Government bonds despite easing of norms for foreign investors. This is our Government’s borrowing programme, without which it cannot function, and it is in trouble. Even the collection of income tax arrears which run into tens of thousands of crores is reported to be dismal, a mere 2 or 3 per cent of the outstanding! NPA’s (non-performing assets) in banks are at an all-time high.

The sharp fuel price rises, particularly of the widely used diesel for transportation and agriculture/ back-up power generation, coming up very soon, due to a currency becoming more worthless every day, will spiral our deficits and inflation out of control.

Damage done by UPA needs urgent repair

The cost of our electricity will go up as we have begun to import coal with our weak and weaker currency to run our power stations. The Indian coal is inadequate and of low quality. At the retail level, we will not only suffer even greater shortfalls of electricity as demand relentlessly outstrips supply, but have to generate our own with very expensive diesel.

There is no remedy to this crisis on every front because there is no will to rectify matters. There is no one effective on the command deck. This ship is in denial of reality and drifting on its own.

UPA’s self-serving welfarism is wrecking economy

The perpetrators of the plight India finds itself in has no claimants, and certainly no one from the topmost echelons of Government to the dregs, is owning any responsibility. It is an act of daily betrayal without a signature. It is a collective shirking of responsibility almost anonymous in its manifestation. The cumulative burden of which negligence and its consequences is the lot of the Indian people and the foreigners who live amongst us. Robert Vadra was more prophetic than he knew when he called the land ruled by his mother-in-law one of “mango people in a banana republic.”

It is we, the people, who must suffer the effects of our savings being eaten away by inflation and our incomes becoming more inadequate by the day. We, the people, have no power to extract tribute like our masters, full of themselves and their immunity from any accountability in real terms, not behaving at all as elected representatives are meant to.

Government helpless as Rupee plummets

We are helpless, always at position after the fact, at the receiving end, and will always necessarily be in this state of victimhood in a system meant to be representative democracy. But yes, the one net advantage available to us is our functioning democracy, our quite admirable election commission and process. With its universal franchise, and through this one right, we can change the water in our quest to restore the balance if we choose to do so.

But if even now we are cynical, and believe we are doomed no matter who rules us, we are indeed doomed, caught fast by our own self-fulfilling prophecy.

UPA’s ‘success’ is just smoke and mirrors

This kind of defeatist thinking subverts the very roots of democracy and undermines its foundations. We can make a change with our votes, and must do so with the intent of bettering our circumstances. We must believe there are politicians who can address our aspirations, and we must not cling to the crumbling status quo falling into the illusion of safety that has been betrayed times without number. There is no status quo. We are under threat of destruction and dissolution.

And the more fractious we turn our democratic verdict, splitting our vote like a shattered mirror, that is just how we will reap the whirlwind. A Government that is a bazaar of competing interests cannot govern. We have been through the experiment before with sad and unstable results in minority and Janata Dal Governments. We will not be able to address our economic ills if we elect another one like the old ones that failed. Politics will dominate all else. There will be total gridlock.

But the Indian electorate has sometimes been wiser than anyone expected. This is another time when it needs to come to the rescue and restore the promise of the India story.

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