THOUGH HIT BY ROBERT VADRA AND SALMAN KHURSHID PROJECTILES, MANMOHAN’S DOUBLESPEAK CONTINUES
On October 9, the IMF lowered India’s
growth rate to 4.9 per cent from the earlier projected 6.2 per cent. IMF’s “unusually uncertain” outlook about India in the
World Economic Outlook report stems from many factors including corruption and
policy paralysis. Not believing the recent reform moves, IMF even reduced the
2013 outlook to 6 per cent from the earlier projected 6.6 per cent. The report
quoted an IMF advisor saying, “For the last few years, the Indian economy
had a dream run. It is in the past three years, investments have stalled. In
many other ways, in terms of macroeconomic policies, things have not improved.
The challenge is to build on the reforms started in the 1990s”.
In the next development, Standard & Poor
(S&P) warned India
still faced a credit-rating downgrade, again taking a cautious approach on the
reform measures. India’s
current rating of BBB- is just one notch above the Junk rating. The S&P
report released on October 10 read, “A downgrade is likely if the country's
economic growth prospects dim, its external position deteriorates, its
political climate worsens, or fiscal reforms slow”.
By the evening of October 10, another damning
economic report came. World Bank too, lowered India’s growth forecast to 6 per
cent from the earlier projected 6.9 per cent. A Reuters report on the World
Bank’s India Economic Report said, “The Bank said the slowdown is at least
partly caused by structural problems--power shortages, partly caused by the
financial difficulties facing the electricity sector, the corruption scandals that have hit the mining and telecom
sectors, investor uncertainty because of pending changes in legislation
(mining, taxes, land acquisition), and the tightening constraints of land and
Things might not be as grim as these three
reports put. Also, these reports talk of ‘return to good days’ provided the
government acts in time. But above all, they talk of policy paralysis in India that
directly implicates Manmohan.
The IMF report emphasized the economic gloom
of the last three years while the World Bank report directly named corruption
as an important contributor to the ‘India Obstructed’ story.
And these last three years have done all to
undo the honest imagery of Manmohan Singh. Corruption was brewing in through
the UPA ranks. Talk of the town scams, coal, Commonwealth Games and spectrum
allocation, were in making years before the first signs of chronic revelations.
It was mostly doing of Manmohan’s men. The
only way Manmohan could have kept his integrity intact was to make every member
of his government face probe and come out clean on the charges. Instead, he
chose first to remain silent, claiming silence his ‘right’, then big mouthing
the achievements that were hard to appreciate, and further on, defending his
men (including Vadra), with words of no substance but dissonance of an
Yes, Mr. Manmohan, India’s wealth is growing
and the economic indicators have increased many times, but still, you define
the poverty limit or around Rs. 900 a month for your ‘aam aadmi’.
Mr. Prime Minister, can your family survive in
Mr. Prime Minister, didn’t your lavish party to
celebrate three years in the office (the three years that have you undone) serve
dinner costing the public exchequer over Rs. 7000 a plate?
Mr. Prime Minister, haven’t assets of so many politicians
shot up so many times in so few a years?
Manmohan’s cognitive dissonance has become so
insolent that he finds it hard to define even what constitutes corruption. That
is something even his destitute and dejected ‘aam aadmi’ is very efficient at.
But Manmohan is not. In the conference of CBI and State Anti-Corruption Bureaux,
he said, “A clear and unambiguous definition for the term 'corruption',
covering both the supply and demand sides, is being sought to be provided”.
It is understandable when he talks of such
sincerity in terms of protecting the interests of the honest officers but when
the same person decides to remain silent, or ignore or refute the ‘clearly
visible and irrefutable’ evidence of corrupt activities of his men, it
perplexes and leaves us in a bad taste, shattering all the positive imagery of
Mr. Prime Minister, when would you realize
that your knowhow of ensuring “probity, transparency and accountability in the
work of public authorities” is already sucking your ‘aam aadmi’?
Yesterday, October 10, was just yet another
example of Manmohan’s lifeless job on preaching us without setting any
Reading tales of ‘Panchtantra’ should be made
a must for the politicians of the day before they are allowed to contest
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com/