Thursday, September 16, 2010

Perils of a dysfunctional government

So finally the PM spoke on matters troubling the country. And when he finished speaking (to a select group of editors) the confusion increased rather than decreasing. While the media focused on his statements about retirement, Rahul and young cabinet, the things which he did not speak about clearly missed a mention.

The country today wants to know what is the PM planning to do about Kashmir? What is his solution for the Naxal issue? How does the economist PM plan to revive a slowing economy and control the rising inflation? Pakistan and China are getting aggressive by the day and what's India's view on that? The corruption and inefficiency continues unabated in this regime. What's the PM's view on that? What about rotten grains and lack of storage? What about Commonwealth Games? How does PM plan to stop the squabbling within the cabinet? Many questions left unanswered and as one suspects, it's a problem of "I can put my foot in the mouth if I answer"

What is leading to this state of motionless inertia? How did a government elected with a larger mandate fall prey to such a situation? Answer is loud and clear. The government is torn apart by internal divisions thereby rendering it dysfunctional. The divisions are many - between various ministers, between allies, between govt and Congress party but one which is most hurting the nation is increasing differences between Sonia Gandhi and the PM.

Take an example. Food is allowed to rot in absence of a good PDS just because Soniaji wants to bring in Food Security Bill and they have not agreed on final draft. Whenever such situations arise, anarchy takes over and ambiguity increases. Vested interests start taking over and twist things to their benefit. This is easily explained by inaction on Pawar, Raja or increasing violence in Kashmir valley or even Mamata's open support to Naxals.

Can India afford such a situation at this time? China's designs vis-a-vis India are getting aggressive by the day be it military, land grabbing, economy or interference on Kashmir. India is facing a war both internally and externally. Economy has shown signs of lethargy and inflation is making life worse. India needs a leadership which can strong decisions quickly. India needs a leader who can raise his \ her hand and be counted to see us through the testing times. Alas, we are faced with a lack of choice. We have 3 options thrown at us - a PM who cannot take decisions, a super PM who has no accountablity but has a say in all decisions and a wannabe PM who is not only ill-equipped but also unsure of his readiness to take on the accountablity.

There is only solution and that is that one of the 3 people in this situation has to make a move. Either PM puts his foot down and runs the government with authority or Sonia /Rahul remove the PM and take over. If no one is ready to do this and the state continues, one can just imagine the implications on the country. It would get on to a road of no recovery.

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