State of the Nation – Part 1

It is an interesting time to be in India and follow the political games that are being played out. The sentiment that is now on the increase is ABC – Anything But Congress. Luckily for the Congress, national elections are not due for another three years. At the same time, while this should have helped the BJP, the primary opposition party, the reality is that there doesn’t seem to be any sort of wave in its favour. We are in what I can only think of as a “None of the Above” situation.

With this background, it becomes easier to put in perspective what is happening. Since the BJP hasn’t been able to capitalise on the ABC environment, this has only emboldened the Congress because in India, the default vote for the most part stays with the Congress. As a result, instead of us getting into a positive feedback loop of improving governance, we are now in a negative spiral with complete lack of leadership and absolute silence.

2014 is still a long way out. Fasting for specific objectives seems to be in vogue, even though the efforts only result in failure. Corruption for the most part continues unabated. Decision-making has ground to a halt. The economy is running on auto-pilot. And in this, the 20th year of liberalisation of the Indian economy, commentators have started talking of going back to the 1970s with the populist policies.

That this is not the way a country should be governed is quite clear. What is not so clear is how we get ourselves out of this situation.

Continued tomorrow.