The heat is unrelenting. The political paralysis, saturated with venal factionalism, is compelling India to contort in painful anguish. Regional satraps too are facing the heat, as are the two national parties. The mess is disturbing because it impacts the country adversely, sending negative signals to India and to the world, stalling growth and entrepreneurship. To take a cue from a very competent analysis done by one of the best newspapers out of England, the tortoise is in reverse gear. There is no reason for the severity of this backward march except for faulty governance and the inability of the government in power to rewrite the operating norms that make sense in a vibrant and liberal economy.
Sadly, the men who rule the economic ministries that determine policies, norms and regulations belong to the past. Their age is proof of that truth. They are comfortable and confident only when they can govern us with the help of ‘commands’. They are unable to deal with debate or dissent. They abhor being questioned. They are arrogant when they are criticized for taking wrong policy decisions. They are undemocratic in their mindset and merrily suffocate the citizens, who have to bear the financial burden. Arbitrary interventions to cover their own failures and misdemeanours are no longer acceptable to an impatient India.
To constantly harp that ‘coalition’ politics is the reason behind half-baked economic policies is unacceptable. India is looking for a government that lives up to its promises and is ready to face flak that may accompany hard decisions. For a government to be perceived as one that is only concerned with staying in power regardless of all else is no longer acceptable to the electorate. The fact that scams are tumbling out of every crevice and every ministry has shamed the citizens of this nation. To believe that the ‘shame’ is only an urban phenomenon is being in complete denial.
Corruption is rampant. From the municipalities to the tax departments to every single space in which the government and its functionaries operate, there is no dignity or integrity. To have a clean chief executive presiding over a diseased and corrupt company, in this case, India, makes no sense at all. The CEO has to wield his whip and show that he abhors corruption and should be seen to be enforcing the correctives. To say that ‘if any charge is proved I will leave public life’ does not carry weight. Many innocent people are put away in this country till they prove themselves ‘not guilty’. This in itself is wrong jurisprudence. Bail is denied even though it is the right of individuals who have not been proven guilty. It is these contradictions that have damaged the soul of India.
Indians will respect and support a government that spells integrity and good governance. Explaining away corruption and accusing opponents of the same have become a way of life. This disgusts ordinary people. To keep a corrupt coalition together is seen as an attempt to protect all that should be put into an incinerator and destroyed. National leaders should resign from their posts and lead a crusade against bad practice and entrenched corruption.
The ceremonial guard of honour, marking the end of the tenure of one chief of staff as he passes the baton to the next, was insulted by the rowdy behaviour and crass voices of undignified mediamen who jostled and spoke crudely, unaware that their lack of manners was being transmitted across the airwaves. The scenes were embarrassing and awful, much like those witnessed in Parliament and assemblies that the press spends hours deriding. But mediamen ended up indulging in the same kind of behaviour themselves.