Society & Lifestyle
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|by Sanjoy Barua|
Narendra Modi has been selected as the PM candidate for BJP. That’s good news. A rudderless boat doesn’t go anywhere. Feel sorry for poor Advani but, he must accept the call of time. India at this juncture needs a dynamic leader, not an ageing old man. I am not a BJP supporter but appreciate the clarity of thought. It is a sign that the party is serious about the future. Congress on the other hand needs dramatic makeover. Nincompoop Manmohan Singh is not portraying a great picture to the general masses. Can Rahul Gandhi be that saviour face for congress? Maybe but then, congress has to demonstrate that clarity in thought process by declaring him the PM candidate.
Whosoever becomes the PM, one task is crystal clear – the PM must ensure social, political and economical upliftment of India. India has crossed phase 1 of socio-economic reforms. To take it to next level, it needs political upliftment.
What is political upliftment?
Simply put – it’s a corruption free political environment where rules are fair and square. The basic mechanisms like judiciary, policing, policy makers etc must be freed from mental and financial corruption. The political class has to demonstrate that by making investigation agencies like CBI autonomous. Modi has established such a mechanism in Gujrat but nobody is sure if it’s an eyewash or actual show. Even if we assume that its real, still implementing it across the country would need tremendous political will power and leadership. At least on this count, Modi scores over Rahul baba.
Once an uplifted political system becomes the prime mover, all other departments would run like an well oiled machine. However, the focus must be on social upliftment. 69% of the population is still poor and Congress has strategically maintained the status quo. In the 60 years of rule, they never made any serious attempt to reach out to the grass root level and brought no change to their life.
We need a social revolution or may be a re-engineering. An Anna Hazare can’t be that revolution. The revolution has to be system driven. Policies and laws are to drawn to deal with some of the social evils like insurgency, poverty, female foeticide, malnutrition, illiteracy and abuse of power.
We have a false notion that economic development (which is mostly urbane) eventually takes care of social flaws. It would never be. If that were be the case, Gurgaon call centers would have taken care of the slums around it, Hyderabad IT revolution would have taken care of Telengana / Maoist issues.
Many argue that infrastructure development addresses social upliftment. Development of a backward place through road or rail link would definitely improve the economy but won’t guarantee social upliftment. Real social upliftment will come through empowerment of enforcers, strong governance and high political accountability. We Indians are generally very poor at assuming accountability. Today no government employee or agency is accountable for anything. The social reengineering to bring in accountability would demand massive political will. Mr. Modi and whosoever it be from congress, do you have the calibre? In BJP atleast we know whom to ask, but congress needs to first be introspect.
That brings us to easier to achieve economic upliftment. Why am I saying it’s easier to achieve? Because we have already crosses the first phase. The first phase was driven by private enterprises. For example, the previous governments can hardly take any credit for the growth of IT and IT enables economy in the country. It had no role (except for passing the policy) in bringing telecom revolution to the country. The indefatigable Indian businessman took advantage of the government policies (and rising cost due to slow economy worldwide) to boost the economy.
In the first phase of economic reforms, the congress government created a conducive environment for business (compared to BRIC countries, it’s still pathetic though!) and subsequent governments including BJP just maintained it. Now to take it to the next level, the PM has to step in not only with policy reforms but also infrastructure development. We need more roads, broader roads, better roads; we need more trains, faster trains and better trains; we need more dams, planned cities and cheaper air connectivity. We need private investment in high technology areas – fighter jets, rocket engines, submarines, drones. We need more schools, colleges, IITs and IIMs. We need more hospitals and PHEs. The economic upliftment has to encompass all segments of life and society. It would need, above all, a dictatorship approach towards implementation. Land acquisitions would be controversial; Megha Patkars of the world would arise out of nowhere. But the PM has to overcome all such obstacles and deliver.
Mr. Modi, do you have it in you?
|More by : Sanjoy Barua|
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