India’s political environment today stands virtually paralyzed due to political uncertainties hanging over the survival of the Congress Government which for all practical purposes is a minority government after the DMK has withdrawn support over the Sri Lanka policy issue. This paralysis is likely to continue till mid-2014 when the next General Elections are ordinarily due. The picture could change should either SP Chief Mulayam Singh or BSP Supremo Mayawati choose to withdraw the outside support that they have been extending to the Congress Government for its survival.
With political uncertainty about the survival of the Congress Government doggedly being faced at each step and each day, policy paralysis seems to be setting in the civil bureaucracy not noted either for its spine or efficiency. In such politically uncertain times when political leaders tend to bend rules for implementing populist measures and sops for the electorate in the run-up to the General Elections, the bureaucracy will be tempted to soft-pedal political directions going by the pattern of political leaders shirking blame in all the corruption scandals that have plagued India in the last 3-4years.
In this process even routine administrative functioning ceases to exist going by past record in such situations. This is further compounded by the fact that no one knows whether the Government will survive till the next morning.
While wholesale and rampant corruption at the highest political levels has numbed the Indian public which has nothing but contempt for the political class, the bigger dangers to India lie in the fields of national security and foreign policy formulation, as a result of the policy paralysis.
In the national security field India’s war preparedness against China and Pakistan is dismally low because of the large number of contracts cancelled mid-way in the process of finalization due to bureaucratic lethargy, ponderous procedures or corruption imposed from higher political levels. Development of critical infrastructure in the border areas with China is not making any headway on silly grounds of delay like lack of environmental clearances.
India’s foreign policies stand messed up ever since 2004 when this Government came into power. This particularly applies to India’s foreign policies towards India’s military adversaries, namely, China and Pakistan. All that this Government has done in the last nine years is the unwarranted appeasement of China and Pakistan despite their unceasing destabilization strategies inflicted on a strategically naive India.
India’s destiny seems to be jinxed that it has to suffer lack of effective governance and policy paralysis over so many years. The major blame for this state of affairs needs to be shouldered by India’s middle class that till 2013 has still not politically empowered itself.
One piously hopes that India’s Generation which flooded in thousands to Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption rallies or the anti-rape demonstrations some months back would with their new voting eligibility would steer India away from the present rotten and despicable political scheme of things.