Oct 03, 2023
Oct 03, 2023
In previous articles I have commented on the corrupting practices that allow a person to be the prime minister without having ever won an election and run for office from multiple constituencies without residing in any of them. Worse is the audacity of negotiating a civil nuclear deal by an unelected prime minister of a coalition government and then refusing to reveal details to the parliament or seeking ratification by a majority of the elected members of the parliament. Bogus assurances are given to the press and public and the onerous oppressive constraints on the nation's foreign policy and defense strategy are swept under the rug, misrepresented or lied about while ignoring the crucial valid objections of atomic energy chairmen, scientists and defense strategists from reputed think tanks.
Other experts are coerced by unknown means to proclaim merits of the deal despite its doubtful and uncertain nature. False statements are made about the deal being essential for energy independence even though in ten or more years it is incapable of generating even ten percent of India's energy needs. There is no guarantee of an uninterrupted supply of enriched uranium or even ore at a fixed price over any specific extended time and a sword of Damocles hangs over the nation of reneging on the deal by America, just as was done for the Tarapur deal decades ago. India's foreign policy is held hostage to America's wishes and Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is nixed by the command of India's new masters.
Once again as the vested interests like Jagatseth and Amichand and aspiring leaders like Mir Jaffar and Mir Kasim in Bengal and the merchants of Surat betraying the nation to the British in the past, the current politicians and business magnates are playing their favored, familiar and contemptible role. The Congress majority in the ruling coalition is a dishonest, power hungry cabal without integrity. The minor parties are regional, parochial and desperate to feed at the public trough. The NCP broke with the Congress not on the basis of any lofty principles, but ego and not getting desired plum portfolios. It realigned itself to join the ruling coalition for pork barrel goodies and ministerial perks, which are the usual means of personal enrichment and aggrandizement in India's rotten political system.
When the Bahujan Samaj Party's support was needed, the CBI and Income Tax investigation of Mayawati's assets were abandoned. In her, we have a leader who has the temerity and stupidity to say that she is against the civil nuclear deal because it is bad for the Muslims. Now it maybe right to say that US policies in the Middle East are not friendly to Islam and should be criticized and changed for the better. But the US is not concerned about how its policies affect its own Muslim citizens. The US leaders are trying to do what they think is good for their country. They want a secure reliable supply of cheap oil and while their policies are wrong, misguided and harmful in the long run, they don't base them on how American Muslims religious feelings are affected. The US leaders once again foolishly tailor their policies in favor of Israel to the detriment of the American nation as the current state of the US economy, US dollar and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and threats to Iran and Pakistan show.
The reason is that both the Democratic and Republican parties in America are financially and media exposure dependent on the rich, powerful and influential American Jewish Community. The BSP has no such dependence on the Muslim community and if it did, its policies would deserve as much rightful condemnation as the US policies towards the Palestinians, Iraq or Iran. Mayawati hasn't the slightest understanding of the complexity and nuances of foreign policy, defense strategy or appropriate behavior of a public persona in matters of personal finance or public administration. She just blabbered the nonsense to register her condemnation of the wooing of her UP rival Mulayam Singh and his Samajwadi Party, which shares her modus operandi.
Once again to sell India's future prospects for ego gratification by proceeding with the civil nuclear deal that unelected Manmohan Singh negotiated by the seat of his pants, without input from nuclear or strategic experts, his party is now wooing Mulayam Singh's SP members of parliament to survive a vote of confidence in the parliament and continue feeding at the public trough by retaining their ministerial perks and privileges. In the process the central government will not pursue investigations of any malpractices and corruption during the prior SP government tenure in UP. The prime minister's threat to resign is an idle one. He was never elected to be prime minister and in the first place he shouldn't be one, so by resigning he will be doing the honorable thing and show that he is tired of being a puppet. Governments in Indian states are like the ones in Punjab where the corrupt Congress and Akali Dal replace each other and loot the public treasury to become rich with apathy and idiocy on the part of the voters.
Even his claim as an economics expert, is another fairytale. The Narsimha Rao government was in severe fiscal trouble. India's foreign exchange reserves were down to less than a month's imports. Indian gold reserves had to be flown to London and pawned to get an IMF loan with stringent conditions to open up the economy. Manmohan Singh was not the architect of India embracing the free market. He was what the Chinese would call a 'Rice Christian', one who converts merely to feed himself, not out of change of heart or mind. The Indian phrase is 'jalta ghar Krishnarpan kiya' or offering one's burning house to God. Both the prime minister and the finance minister haven't the foggiest idea of economics, as their foolish and erroneous policy of subsidizing petrol and cooking gas and collaring crude oil prices prove. They are running huge and unsustainable fiscal deficits for a futile hope of re-election, at the cost of bankrupting the nation and bequeathing impoverishing debt to posterity, just like America.
They did not allow the Reserve Bank to hike interest rates in a timely manner and prevented rupee appreciation to ensure campaign financing from their corrupt vested interest donors. The result is soaring inflation and sinking depreciation of the dollar pile they have accumulated. Now that the rupee is falling even against the dollar, India runs a ten billion dollar monthly trade deficit and soon the current account deficit will worsen. The rising dollar reserves led to increasing rupee money supply that was not adequately sterilized and has led to rapid increase in steel, cement, milk and food prices.
Lest my tirade be misconstrued as a partisan sniping, I assure my readers that I have no respect for the corrupt and incompetent BJP or the regional acronym buffoon parties, the little leagues or the bigoted and mindless Senas. The communist parties haven't had an original thought in years and are dummies, who speak with the voice of their long dead and defunct ventriloquist masters Lenin and Mao. Their objection to the civil nuclear deal is that they hate being close to the US.
The only evaluation that needs to be done is, does India benefit from the deal in the short and long run, if so what does it have to give up for it, and is the cost worth it?
As long as we have unscrupulous, unintelligent, unprincipled leaders who assess deals on the basis of whether they are good for Muslims, Dalits, Hindus, Christians, Jains, Sikhs, Maharashtrians, Tamils, Telugus, Nagas, Gujjars, Gujaratis, Assamese or brainless creatures from alien planets, we are on a sure and steady and not necessarily slow road to national disaster, catastrophe and destruction just as when the Shakas, Huns, Muslims, Portuguese, Dutch, French and British conquered and ruled us as slaves.
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD