India in a Precarious Position : Wisdom Matters, Not Selfish Compulsions

Elections appear to be round the corner. The due date is the first half of 2014 but there are talks that they may be held earlier, maybe as early October November this year, but that hardly makes a difference as it is a difference of just four to six months. But the point is that both the major formations  the UPA and the NDA  have lost track of what is in the country’s interest and they have positioned themselves to win the elections. The UPA is encouraged by the fact that the NDA is trying to project Narendra Modi which will divide the electorate on communal lines and therefore it will become more difficult for the NDA to pose a serious challenge. It is in this context that the Prime Minister himself has said that he neither rules himself in nor rules himself out for a third term as Prime Minister. Similarly, the UPA is trying to project Rahul Gandhi as the next leader. He has addressed the CII as Narendra Modi has addressed the FICCI. The funny part is that both the formations have forgotten that it is not the industry associations that can determine the result of the elections. Traders and industrialists give money to all the political parties, whichever is strong in whichever area. The result depends on the vast masses of poor and middle class people who will vote according to their own perception. I fail to understand how wise people on both sides have suddenly come into this media created mirage that trade in industry are the only thing that count in this country. The country still consists of a large sector which is based on agriculture and vast masses of poor landless people, not to speak of the Dalits and minorities who are in poor shape. They will determine the future of the country, not the moneyed class. Suddenly, it is a disturbing feature to see that the CBI is not investigating the coal scam in a proper manner. They want to add and delete names at their convenience. At one time, when this issue had came up about a year ago, which names had come out of the closet? people who have been allotted coal blocks without any previous experience of coal, not even having enough money in the corporate sector or in the companies which belong to them? Having got the coal allocation, they have borrowed hundreds and thousands of crores from the banks without any other security. If the coal blocks are cancelled that money will be in danger. I have not understood what exactly is the game of the Government or the CBI. But in these circumstances the least that is to be done is that, especially the coal scam, let the CBI investigate but the CBI must report directly to the Supreme Court and not the Government. The Supreme Court should suo moto take cognisance of this fact, give notice to the Government and pass orders. Either a special investigative team should be setup for the coal sector or the CBI should report, as in the 2G scam case, directly to the Supreme Court. Without this, the faith of the people will be lost. Specially, elections are coming near and you cannot allow the large number of illegal beneficiaries in the coal scam to go scot free because they will be left free to go on giving large sums of money to the Congress party to whom they are indebted. Anna Hazare is carrying out his campaign in north India and the press is trying to ignore it for obvious reasons. Large parts of the press have been bought over by vested interests and it is sad that India after 66 year of Independence has to go through this phase. The future of Indian democracy is not bright if it is going to be hijacked by few vested interests. The whole bedrock of this Constitution, adult franchise where the vast population was illiterate, the whole basis was that the instinctive feeling of the Indian population would hold the country together, which is correct. In 1977 people rejected the emergency in toto. In 1989, they rejected the corrupt Congress wave in toto. A similar situation has risen again and I only hope that in the coming election the country, the electorate, will be wise enough to reject this rent seeking system where a few people in cohorts with the industrialists have hijacked the whole system. I do not know who will do it. We had great hopes that the Opposition would rise to the occasion but as of now, the ruling party and the Opposition, both have the same objectives and the same interests. The Opposition has even stopped raising these issues. They are trying to project a leader against the putative leader of the Congress party. We are not in America, this is not a contest between two personalities. We have a whole big problem on our hands. The country’s financial situation is not good as the Finance Minister himself has said. We have a current account deficit problem. We have a great import-export imbalance. We are going back to the days of 1991 when balance of payments had reached precarious levels and we had to pledge our gold to bail ourselves out. Mr. Manmohan Singh is the best person to understand the economic situation and I am sure he is quite seized of the matter. What his compulsions are, I cannot understand.

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