Friday the 13th 2013, the day Narendra Modi was anointed as the next Prime Minister candidate by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the largest opposition party of India. Many superstitious people in the western hemisphere may grimace at the choice of Friday the 13th date but as per Indian astrology, the day was very auspicious. How auspicious that will be to the billions of ordinary Indians only time will tell because first of all the Indian general elections have to take place in the month of May, 2014 and BJP has to handsomely win them.
India has suffered gravely under the UPA I & II. The inflation as per government figures is at 9.52 percent but a ordinary man has nothing to with these numbers. They sound alien to him when he goes to the market and finds out the onions are selling at Rs.100.00/kg, the onions make him cry even without buying them leave alone dicing them at home. Among other vegetables the tomatoes cost Rs.50.00/kg, Potatoes cost Rs.30.00/kg while common vegetables like Cauliflower, cluster beans, lady finger, brinjal and capsicum cost in upwards of Rs.60.00/kg. Those eating non vegetarian fare are not spared either, the staple eggs now cost Rs.48.00/doz, while chicken meat and mutton is available now at double the cost it was earlier. Gold has already crossed Rs.32000.00 and silver is at Rs.50000.00 above.
Next up is the fuel prices. The government blames the rising fuel prices in the international markets and volatility of Indian Rupee in the markets to raise prices every fortnight. But where is the plan that was mooted after the Lehman Brothers crisis in 2008. In 2008, Government of India announced a grandiose plan to build a strategic reserve of oil in underground sumps in Mangalore and Vishakapatanam. The Times of India carried an article that this strategic reserves would be ready in 2011. Where are the reserves when Indians need it most.
Perhaps 2011 has not arrived yet for the UPA government for it is still living in 2008 era by announcing a spate of grandiose plans. The plans which sound very socially correct are not going to work unless the implementation is just. And implementation of government works under UPA leaves much to be desired.
Indian Public Distribution System (PDS) which we inherited from our colonial rulers is robust and dynamic. But the problem occurs when there is a pilferage/corruption at both the planning end and the distribution end. Even today, kerosene is not available for ordinary people but is available in infinite quantities in the black market. The same is the case with the grains and sugar available in PDS which is announced as sold out the moment it arrives at the Ration shops only to find its way to the warehouses of private contractors who hoard it for windfall gains. Instead of announcing the FSA, if the government would work harder at implementing the PDS in its true and proper form, India will have no problems with food security.
We are a poor country in all respects so isn’t it better for us to build in on inclusive growth rather to give away free food to poor people. By giving free fund food without work, we are creating millions Frankensteins in the society who will never work and always live a parasitic existence thanks to the acts like Food Security Act. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is touted as a success by the UPA government. Does it know that, MGNREGA has created a cyclical inflation in India. When the poor have jobs and earning under MGNREGA, which is limited to a number of days per year, they have money to spend which has created a cyclical hyper inflation in the remote places. It has also lead to unemployment in the traditional pockets like the chilly farms in Andhra, the coconut farms in Kerala and Karnataka, the rice farms in Uttar Pradesh, the tobacco farms in Maharashtra and the wheat farms in Punjab and Haryana, where the farmer now don’t labour which obviously is working in MGNREGA.
While the growth for the current fiscal is going to drop less than 5 percent, the UPA is indulging in its obvious past time, naming its erstwhile finance minister for the wrong policy decisions rather than taking concrete steps to correct the wrongs.
I would request the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Mr. Narendra Modi to come out with a clear cut written manifesto on how he plans to deal with all these short comings of the UPA government. By clear cut I mean that he has to spell out step by step plans he has to tackle all these problems like price rise, inflation, steps to accelerate the economy, reducing the fiscal deficit. On foreign policy front, India has suffered a huge loss of face in recent times. NaMo should spell out exactly he envisions India’s future foreign policy. Even here clear cut information on how he plans to deal with the United States which has denied him VISA, Pakistan for constant ceasefire violations and China for the stapled VISA regime it follows.
Next up is the continuing worsening law and order situation in the country, especially towards women. The lawlessness has gone out of hand in many parts of the country with a RAPE being reported almost every day in some part of India. Here to a clear cut policy roadmap would be desired from NaMo. It would also be better if he spells out how he is going to implement the dream schemes announced by the UPA or plans to discard them.
The next important thing in India is communalism. India is not a secular country no matter how many times anybody says so. But not being secular is not a concern as long as there is no polarisation. It is a well known fact that Nehruvian policy of bunching a similar class of people based on their religion has propagated ghettoism in India. Ghettoism is the worst breeding ground for crime, terror and antisocial elements and it does not really matter whether the Ghetto belongs to a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or other cohabitant. In a situation where all the people belong to a single caste come together in a crisis, it is a known sociological fact that the result is always very counterproductive.
Only attacking Rahul, Sonia or Congress and other opposition may earn NaMo some brownie points and claps but in the long run, it will not matter much to India and its progress. Concrete steps are needed to be taken to boost the business, investor, and common man’s confidence in the idea called India. A business man need a best environment to conduct his business without latent government interference, either overt or covert, removal of red tapism that exists. A investor needs a conducive environment where he can earn good returns without high risk speculative volatility. Ultimately the last man standing is always the common man. It is this common man that will vote for Narendra Modi and BJP in the GEC 2014. A common man is disgusted against the rising prices, terrorism, safety of his kith and kin and a nice conducive environment where his sons and daughters can study. He needs nice roads, good houses with proper sanitation and 24 hours electricity and water. He needs better connectivity options for travel throughout India whether by road, rail or airplane. He wants development and Narendra Modi should deliver them. It is known within Gujarat that NaMo is a hard task master who gets things done.
I guess India needs a hard task master right now and ASAP.
You can read the earlier part on Narendra Modi here :
Here is a beautiful cartoon from my dear friend, Jack MySay of mysay.in which depicts it all