Disclaimer 1: This blog is based on my perception supported by facts as available.
As a wise man said, "Time is a great leveler". On the eve of the results of the last elections this is what i blogged about the decisive mandate received by UPA.
Needless to add that I am one of those most disappointed citizens of this country and a review now on the State of the nation seems very different.
Dr. Manmohan Singh whom i have fondly started addressing as "Sikhandi Singh" has certainly taken us back to the 1991 days in his 10 years of reign or probably worse and would certainly find his way in all the management text books for the best case study of the century on "How not to run a country!".
Lets look at how the economy is mismanaged:
Image Courtesy: Business Today
- The revenue deficit which was sub 2.5% of GDP has more than doubled to 5%+.
- Subsidies which were 10% of the central government revenue expenditures in 2000-01 has increased by whopping 60% and is now 16% in 2009-10 as per finance ministry figures. http://finmin.nic.in/workingpaper/FPI_trends_Trajectory.pdf
- The worrying part is that the defense expenditure has reduced from 14% to 10% in the similar period.
- Take every measure in economy like savings rate, investments, growth, inflation etc and every measure is on the wrong side of the health.
It is clear that the first 4 years of boom in UPA 1 is primarily because of the growth momentum and feel good factor that NDA government has left back.
- Experts are tearing apart the MGNREGA, that it encourages unskilled labor pools to remain unskilled and more so increases the labor costs for agriculture and other rural economy requirements.
- Its better not to talk about inflation and government's response to that to avoid very un-parliamentary language in this blog.
Couple of years back few experts have expressed their fear that UPA government is taking India to be the Greece of Asia and i think we are very close to it now than ever.
Plight of flaggship Industries:
Lets see how flagship industries were grounded. In 2004, Telecom, Infrastructure, Airlines and Financial sector were among the top industries which are now grounded and flushed through the drain - both in its current performance and its future outlook.
What happened to Telecom after 2G is very evident and the same thing happened in every big project be it how the airports are privatized, how the unofficial carrier of India is Emirates and not any Indian airlines, how Indian Airlines and Air India were screwed, looted and pushed into debt traps, the inordinate delay and corruption laden infrastructure projects, be it how our nation is held to ransom by Big brother on the gas projects... and the list is endless.
Screw the democratic institutions:
After the 2009 election euphoria the incident which woke me up was Shikandi Singh's statement on A. Raja on the 2G case. When the issue was raised in 2010, MMS replied to media that "I asked A Raja if there are any mistakes committed and Raja told me that everything is absolutely as per law, so we should drop this topic".
Well that when i thought we are setting new governance standards, were we inquire the accused if there are any issues and decide to drop the issue based on accused's assurance. How is that! But that was just a precursor of what followed.
Be it CVC (Where MMS pleaded ignorance after SC slapping him and he lost his face in front of the nation), PAC and JPC (for 2G), Armed forces on uniform pay and the issue with Army chief, be it SEBI (Which sometimes looks like our PM - muted and impotent for all the issues which we see around), Enforcement directorate, IT department, CAG and above all Congress Bureau of investigation, not one institution is spared and every setup is degraded to an extent that we have started looking at each one of them with suspicion.
In my opinion a Tsunami or Katrina like hurricane or a deadly virus like SARS or a nuclear attack or a combination of all would not have been as deadly but for what we are going through now. Japan took about 2+ years to recover from the triple disaster (Earth Quake + Tsunami + Nuclear disaster) but India may require more than 5 years to recover from where Dr. Singh has taken us.
Millions have been pushed into poverty, thousands of crores of savings and investments lost, a generation of Indians have been pushed deeper into debts, morale of the armed forces dented, independence and efficiency of judiciary and institutions like CVC, CEC, CBI etc are seriously compromised.
Had it been a country like China for this performance the corrupt, non-performing parts of government and the leadership would have been sent to jail for life. Alas! we are not China and I am cursing ourselves on this aspect.
Apart from the economy, industry and democratic institutions, Dr. Singh has managed to create permanent scars in the self esteem of many Indians and deep dents in our hope for a better future. For this disaster needs more time to fight back, rebuilding our institutions and more importantly we need to mend our sense of hope and self belief.
May the almighty give us enough strength to come out of this disaster as quickly as possible.