Dr. Man Mohan Singh : Honest, Decent Prime Minister
In the last couple of weeks of Sep, 2012, to be precise around 14 Sep, 2012, several things happened. Firstly, Prime Minister Mon Mohan Singh, unshakled by Congress party, unleashed a slew of economic measures. These included raising price of diesel, reducing subsidy on cooking gas and inviting FDI in multibrand retail. Direct consequence of these measures was major partner of UPA II government, the All India Trina Mool Congress parting ways with the government. This effectively reduced government to a minority government. However, this did not cowdown our mild mannered prime minister. He promised further reforms even at the risk of losing power. The moves set opposition parties in a tizzy, almost releasing cat among pigeons. Same parties that were accusing Dr. Singh to be an ineffective and incompetent puppet, started branding our prime minister as seller of countries interest to foreigners.
I have full faith in our Prime
Minister, Dr. Man Mohan Singh. Dr. Singh is a good economist, may be a poor
administrator. The functional relationship that worked in UPA II, I am
guessing, that prime minister will take care of runing government while Mrs. Gandhi
will take care of managing the politics. Infact, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee was doing
just that – managing politics. As UPA II came on social justice plank, congress
party wanted to do more for poor and downtrodden. Congress plan was backed by
NAC, an advisory body made of prominent people of society. NAC came up with
ambitious plans to help poor. To fund thses programs, money was needed.
However, aggressive NGO’s and NAC members were stalling reforms,
industrialisation etc. in the name harm to environment and poor. The whole
process was complicated by aggressive allies like TMC, that opposed all reform
proposal yet demanded a moratorium on interest payment for three years. Prime
Minister did not want to have Mr. A Raja as minister, yet coalition compulsion forced
him to give Mr. Raja a ministry. All these apparent loss of control over
administration probably made Dr. Singh a disillusioned man for most of the
second term of UPA. He was unable to control decision making, yet he was to
take blame for all mismanagement as head of government. He probably could have
resigned. May be that was his fault. However, as things unravelled in last
couple of weeks, real Dr. Singh has come out. Backed by his party, Dr. Singh is
doing what he does best, that is economic reform.
Can Dr. Singh be accused of selling
our country to foreigners? I think this is an ingenious argument. There are
many progressgive states that are proreform. States can allocate land without
much discussion to industrial houses. Yet these states are not called
proindustry or selling out. Yet, when our prime minister proposes a policy that
gives option to states to implement it at their will, prime minster becomes
proforeigner. Nothing can be further from truth. Left parties had always
opposed any move that they consider antipeople and neoliberal. We know where
the state of West Bengal stands with respect to any index of development after
30 years of uninterrupted left party rule. So acute is the shortage of fund,
that chief minister of state cannot implement any development program in the
state. I would have thought BJP and Mr. Modi to come out in support of our
prime minister. Because BJP pursues similar philosophy of development, and Mr.
Modi is a favorite of industrial houses because of his proindustry agenda. If
retail business is good for Ambani’s, Kishore Biyani why it is bad for
Mittal’s? If government is worried about Indian players are unable to compete
with foreigners, then they should make rules of partnership between Indians and
foreigners. If most Indian supermarkets are not doing well, then BJP has
nothing to worry for kirana store owners.
I think this selling
out to foreigner slogan is being coined by left and right because these parties feel
outmaneuvered by our prime miinister – a good economist and an honest and decent prime minister.