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India Politics is a drag on India’s economy

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    Politics is a drag on India’s economy

    November 03, 2011

    Ramesh Thakur - The Toronto Star

    [​IMG]

    Congress party president Sonia Gandhi is the real power in India,
    not Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (May 16, 2009)
    HARISH TYAGI/EPA



    India’s economy grows mainly in the night, some say, when the government is asleep. The reasons for economic analysts being bullish on India are well known and grounded in solid evidence. But if every economic prospect pleases, India’s politics can be vile. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flattered in his first term only to deceive in the second. His government has been palpably adrift, in part owing to coalition complications, in part to power lying in Sonia Gandhi’s hands while Singh is PM, and in part to the anticipated but protracted and uncertain transition from Singh to Rahul Gandhi as prime minister.

    There are seven sets of political considerations that threaten to derail India’s manifest destiny despite economic trends pointing north:

    • As Norman Lamont famously said of John Major, Singh is in office but not in power. Party supremo Sonia Gandhi wields power behind the scenes without responsibility or accountability for government policy and performance.

    • Electoral calculations put a premium on sectarian interests overriding the national interest and short-term political compulsions trumping long-term strategic vision. Democratic governance gives a human face to structural adjustment policies and facilitates the achievement of the necessary social compromises between capital and labour, efficiency and equity, and growth and equality. But democratic volatility makes it difficult for Singh to make decisions that are timely, forceful and final. So many different constituencies and interests must be appeased, so much time devoted to getting “consensus” that what is necessary for national advancement gets progressively whittled down to what is possible for political survival.

    • The legitimacy of India’s political democracy is being corroded with the criminalization of politics and dynastic parliamentary representation. Around one-third of MPs face serious criminal charges. Calculations done by Patrick French show that 29 per cent of India’s MPs and, particularly worrying, more than two-thirds of those under 40 inherited “family” seats.

    • Reservations for the scheduled castes and tribes were written into the constitution in 1950, but only for a fixed period. Had they worked, they would have fallen into desuetude by now. Instead they keep multiplying and expanding, which in itself is proof of their failure. The pathology of caste quotas includes many pernicious and perverse consequences, with Indians today being more caste conscious than at independence. Reservations are so firmly entrenched as a major device for political mobilization that it is hard to see how they can be terminated to net national gain.

    • Pervasive corruption, led by the political elites (Singh excepted), distorts markets, encourages inefficiency and drains the political system of legitimacy. Petty corruption is especially endemic at the lower, clerical levels of administration — precisely the point at which ordinary citizens come into daily contact with officialdom.

    • The reality of coalition politics makes it difficult to curb corruption among political allies. Since 1989, the federal government has been either a minority or coalition government, dependent for continuance on the support of a number of minor parties whose political base rarely extends beyond one province or region and whose image of probity is risible. In his recent visit to Dhaka, Singh let slip a historic opportunity to upgrade bilateral relations and reward a Bangladeshi PM who has put her political credibility on the line by risking good relations with her giant neighbour. The reason? Coalition ally Mamata Banerjee, head of the West Bengal government, rebelled against the carefully negotiated diplomatic package just two days before the scheduled visit. Whoever was at fault, it reflects badly on India’s political management.

    • Finally, while China uses political control and the heavy hand of the state to forestall and suppress all challenges and uprisings, India’s conflict resolution tactic of choice is procrastination and indecisiveness to ride out and exhaust insurgencies and popular movements. The pace of events and the scale of expectations-cum-demands are such that the strategy no longer works. It was tried without success in response to the demand for a separate state of Telengana to be carved out from present-day Andhra Pradesh. The tactic was a spectacular failure and the government suffered the very public humiliation of having to back down completely.

    The cumulative impact of these factors does not inspire confidence that the political system will acquire the capacity to make and implement the necessary decisions within the required time. This will be the case especially if both major parties continue to choose septuagenarian and octogenarian leaders. Given the youth bulge in the demographic profile, the Indian people deserve better.

    Then again, India has an unmatched record of looking opportunity firmly in the eye, turning its back, and walking off resolutely in the opposite direction.

    Ramesh Thakur is professor of international relations at Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University.

    source: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/edit...081130--politics-is-a-drag-on-india-s-economy
     
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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    a look in the mirror and word for word the above article describes MALAYSIA...
    IN Office is "PM" but real power is in the hands of exPM.....Reservations/special privileges were "accepted" by ALL for a certain underprivileged group for a LIMITED TIME....they not only now carry a "NO-EXPIRY DATE" but expanded and bloated out of control..people born and bred for generations still carry the "foreigner" tag ( and frequently invite insults like foreigners..go back to your china/India etc..) while FOB (Fresh off the Boat) ILLEGALS who share the same religion and language with the local "so called underprivileged" class..get instant citizenship rights..so that the votes can outweigh the legitimate citizens rights in rigged unfair elections held to show off democracy.. Subsidies and money LEAKING away day and night bleeds the country...while the NEROS play the flute..
     
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  4. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Politics is not a drag on any country, bad Politicians are! The headline equally could have been, "Sonia Gandhi and the Gandhi Family are a Drag on India's Economy", or something similar with other names.

    Another one of those "Sanitized" headlines that evades real issue. Editors and owners of most papers are on salepeacesign

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  5. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Thanks Ambarsariah veer for this outlook. Perfectly right of course. Just like a cartoon that showed a Rocket flying towards the Moon..captioned: Scinece flies people to the moon....and another showing the Twin Towers: Captioned:..RELIGION flies people INTO Buildings !! Not exactly true ???
     
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