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Congress Government’s Report Card for 2011
|by Dr. Subhash Kapila|
In the second year of the Congress Government’s second tenure in governing India it is hard to find any achievements worthy of praise or offering bouquets. On the contrary there are more brickbats that can be showered on Dr Manmohan Singh’s Government. Even if some other Congress luminary had been in office, the record would not have been much better. The problem is fundamental in that the malaise that afflicts the Congress Party is systemic.
In terms of national security, India today has to face two major adversaries, that is China and Pakistan and the Government too belatedly recognizes that their strategic nexus is a matter of concern for India’s national security. More so as China affects an obtrusive military presence in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and the Northern Areas. Both China and Pakistan have outstripped India in terms of military buildup and nuclear weapons arsenal. India in the last eight years has yet to make commensurate gains in her war preparedness to meet this combined challenge from China and Pakistan.
The internal security of India seems to be frayed with the Congress Government yet to gain mastery and full control over the situation. In this case India cannot fully blame outside forces for the troubles as predominantly Indian internal security threats arise from political misgovernance. No worthwhile political outreach is visible from India’s political leadership to soothe and allay the disaffection in the restive regions. Afzal Guru and Kasab are living reminders of the impotence of the Indian State in imposing timely deterrence on confirmed terrorists and murderers of innocent Indians.
Despite a renowned economist as India’s Prime Minister for the last eight years, the Government has not been able to regain control of the national economy. Inflation is at galloping rates and the prices of essential commodities for the subsistence of the common Indian are spiraling daily. The constant refrain from the Government is that all this is due to forces beyond Government control. Is that so, really? In the last two years without the Leftist Parties impeding the Congress Government’s economic policies, the record should have been different.
Under the Congress Government II, India has witnessed unprecedented corruption scams and financial bungling running into lakhs of crores of rupees, something never witnessed before. The scamsters are not being brought to speedy justice by Fast Track Courts as any such moves are reportedly being impeded at the the instance of political bigwigs who fear that ultimately the buck may stop at their doors. The Prime Minister’s common refrain that all this arises from compulsions of coalition politics is a feeble argument.
In terms of India’s foreign policy failures the accumulated results of India’s flawed policies of the last eight years of Congress rule are now coming to roost. Pakistan which has been the pet obsession of the Indian Prime Minister without paying heed to the imperatives of India’s national security requirements has become even more recalcitrant. The Indian Prime Minister’s appeasement inclinations towards Pakistan have emboldened to perceive India with disdain and political arrogance.
India’s relations with China in terms of strategic and military terms have become tenser as India’s policy establishment belatedly realizes that its conciliatory policy initiatives towards China have not borne any fruit.
India’s foreign policy failures under the Congress Government have addedly arisen from the present Prime Minister’s total tilt towards Washington where a propensity had developed to view all foreign policy challenges from Washington’s perspectives. The result has been a singular preoccupation with Washington at the cost of neglecting India’s traditional friends.
The question which some may ask is that if everything is so bad with the Congress Government, then how could the Congress Party have been voted back into power for a second tenure? The answer is simple because in 2009, it seemed that ‘there was no other alternative’. But people have now started looking for alternatives as the results of Sate Assembly elections in Tamilnadu, West Bengal etc would indicate.
Indians can only hope that the Prime Minister would be able to remove the blinkers from his eyes and recognize that he is in a state of severe disconnect from the issues and challenges that confront India.
Spate of Controversies during UPA's Second Term
Timeline of major events during UPA-II
Cartoon by Prof. Mahendra Bhawsar
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