Let’s take a brief look around us in India. Of course, this is a crib sheet, but stay with me. There is an important point coming up. Try and figure that out.
The government controls all radio news broadcasts. The prices of petrol and diesel are still set by the government. Education continues to have end-to-end government Control. Make a trip abroad and try getting an iPad back to India through customs without paying duty or a bribe – no Lok Pal bill to the rescue there. The potholes on the streets continue to be there. The government controls which movies we are allowed to watch. Air-India continues to be given a blank cheque so it can fly our Maharajas. The public sector telecom provider, BSNL, is well on its path to emulating Air-India. Many of our public sector banks keep giving loans to favored parties and conveniently take write-offs a few years later.
When cities are going vertical worldwide, our Floor Space Index limit is set unreasonably low . NREGA has put India on an inflation treadmill, but the talking-heads blame it on external factors. Right to Food is all set to join the growing list of unaffordable entitlements: Right to employment and Right to Education. The real cash-for-votes schemes are in front of us, but we cannot see them. We have a prime minister who falsely takes credit for liberalizing the economy in 1991. Inflation is rampant, threatening to slow economic growth but the blame, according to the government, lives somewhere else – the US, Europe, the world, perhaps the stars – anywhere and anything but misgovernance.
We the people are content that the resolution of a few scams is that some scapegoats have been identified and put behind bars; it does not appear to matter that those who are the real prime movers behind all those scams continue to loot the public. New malls and tv shows are the opiate of the masses.
So the fight appears to be over. Who won?