April 18, 2014

India Needs More Than A Change Of Prime Minister

I posted this comment on Sandipan Deb's article in Livemint.

So let me try to understand ...

Mostly it seems folks are 'angry' with that Italian mafia running this country.

Hmmmm ...

(1) Is India like a family-owned corporation where ownership gets passed from mom/dad to son/daughter? Like in an Ambani-run business or Adani-run business?

Or folks are angry with some party variously called Khangress or CONgress which has been looting this country since 60 years.

(2) Again, begs the question —> Has India been a dictatorship like an Iraq or Egypt or Pakistan for all these years?

The author asks for an accounting of the achievements of the government over the past 10 years.

The achievements of the government are not really separate from the achievements of the people. What has been the story of each of our lives in the last 10 years. Let us do a double-entry bookkeeping style debit and credit of our lives if we want and that will make things clear.

I can do that for myself ... as I sometimes do. I can do that for folks in my family.

I think it's pretty simple. People live their lives in ways they think is the correct way. For illiterate people and for villagers, these ways of living tend to be handed down the generations.

People produce babies —> babies grow up, go to school —> grow up even more, go to college or do not go to college — get married at 17/30 (female/male) years of age and produce babies —> meanwhile, do this or that job (male) and spend time cooking, taking care of the said baby (female) —> do not forget the 39 annual religious rituals.

And that is the cycle of life for Indians.

I see an unacceptably high percentage of educated youth too walking down these same age-old tracks.

Oh and about that government and what it has been doing for the past 10 years.

Well, for one, there has been no war on a large scale.

No major droughts or famine. No major outbreak of any sort of diseases. Polio has been eradicated.

The economy/GDP has grown at a moderate pace. The world economy went to the brink of disaster. India's export-driven economy being dependent on the global economy got pneumonia as both Europe and the U.S. caught 'cold.'

Makes sense.

There were a few scams.

Yes. Sorry to disappoint the people and citizens of India that 'some' politicians were caught with their hands in the till, as it were. A Raja here, a Kalmadi there, a Pawar or a Pawarputri (as the Indonesians might do it in terms of naming), or a Robert Vadra here, a Devyani and Dad Khobragrade there, an Ashok Chavan here, a Vilasrao Deshmukh there (in heaven or hell?), a Dayanidhi Maran here, a Kalanithi or Kanimozhi Maran there ... well, the list can go on I guess.

Not forgetting Pranab-da of course. The canny politician from Bengal is the quintessential chamcha of The Family who managed to climb to the office of the President of India.

Reminds me of the undistinguished lady who preceded him. [Hat tip to Swapan Dasgupta who used the phrase 'undistinguished gentleman' to describe Pankaj Pachauri, the PM's press guy and successor to the 'distinguished' Dr. Sanjay Baru]

APJ Abdul Kalam was good. Happy to bow down to all sorts of charlatans just because so many people of India do the same.

I mean, millions worship the fraud charlatan Afro Sai Baba; so, what's wrong if I, the President of India, bow down to him as well?

Anyway, let us not digress.

I think people are somewhat 'soured' by some of the headline grabbing scams that took place during the last 10 years. What are they? 2G, Coalgate, Commonwealth, Adarsh, Maha irrigation scandal in Maha and perhaps 20 other big scams that many have forgotten. I sure have.

Well, here's wishing for a scam-free 10 years till 2024 then!

Cheers!

But let us not get too excited about this or that politician holding this or that post.

No 'Obama' or 'Kennedy' is in the fray; nor do we have an 'FDR' or an 'Ike.'

On the one hand, we have a 43-year-old averagely talented guy (like most Indians) and on the other, we have a blustering state-level politician who has very little idea about national-level administration or international affairs.

Mark my words. A buffoon like Rahul may yet prove less dangerous for this country than an autocrat like Modi who is surrounded by talent-ess people like Amit Shah.

Gujarat is a surveillance state. Most people in India were born after the Emergency.

Indians have always been foolish. So, they have always expressed a casual admiration for Hitler without having knowledge of the history of that era or what Hitler's accomplishments are.

Just as Indians continue to easily fall for new charlatans like Ramdev and Double Sri Bearded Widow and continue to subscribe to silly and childish notions that comprise the obscenity called 'Hinduism,' so also Indians will say things like 'we need a strong leader' or 'we need dictatorship.'

Frankly, India remains near the bottom of the global pyramid in terms of development. Some African countries are worse off than India — as are Bangladesh and Pakistan.

But India has pockets of poverty and tiny islands of wealth and India's desperately poor are huge in absolute numbers even if a small percentage of the total population.

I do not see India joining the front ranking nations of the world in the next 50 years.

It requires a mindset change which won't happen as long as people keep looking back.



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