Imagine the day when the magic-figure of 9% growth is heralded into the makeshift shanties of the nomadic destitute. Imagine the day when pseudo-developmental models do not constitute the LOC dividing the haves and haves-not. Imagination was never taxed, though the act in itself, in today’s monotonous and ‘rational’ world, is highly taxing! And the men who presently need some help with this essential constant of the human psyche are the stalwarts in UPA-II, even as time and again they seem to be obstinate enough not to accept certain facets of India. While following the cabinet tussle at the centre between the rejuvenated Trinamool Congress and the INC, one tends to believe that Mamata Di is all but trying to infuse a sense of purpose, both into her alliance partners and her state, which has had its Lal Salaam – years in its idiosyncratic manner. She seems to be hell-bent on projecting herself as one of the toughest bargainers of the East; and it is all but obvious that Mamata Di doesn’t want to miss the long-sought opportunity to put the communists to shame in their traditional bastion. While this is not an essay on the communist movement in India, I cannot but touch upon the conspicuous absence of the Red force in India, which had been close to the erstwhile-USSR and has neighbours such as China and Vietnam, and to present, with brevity, my take on the prospects of the Left in a state which is slowly rising to the capitalistic vices of the 20th and 21st centuries. Not that the Nano debacle in Singur was the nail in the Marxist coffin, yet people find it hard to take the Left as the Third Front, largely because of its organizational problems and the lack of a potent leadership (No offense intended, Mr. Karat!). But who knows, with the Rupee touching the 50 figure mark and the RBI’s repo and reverse repo drama bringing little solace.
Talking of the larger picture, the Greco-Roman idiom has come to connote monetary waywardness in a chaotic fiscal year overseen by an adamant Berlusconi and the hapless Papendroeu. Those of you, who have followed the debate, will concede that it is not about the Eurozone crisis or the political lobbies alone. It is about a collective failure to grasp the fact that the bubble that burst in the USA had no reason not to burst elsewhere. Capitalistic indifference –clichéd though it may sound – to the needs of the plinth of the economic pyramid is all but one of the most dangerous suicidal tendencies. Today, if there are people thronging to Madison Square or Wall Street to abjectly denounce corporate high-handedness, it has been for a broth that has taken years to simmer. What I – and for that matter few others – fail to grasp is the absolute inadequacy of most of the measures taken by authorities. We, however, must not forget that the Arab Spring has succeeded due to the people’s anti-establishment voice, which has turned voluble lately, due to the despotic and disproportionate use of national assets with autocratic means. In this regard, one issue, which is relevant to the Middle-Eastern countries and is important at large, is insurgency rising from genuine people’s demands regarding economic facets. The best examples would be that of the ULFA and its sister movements. When Assam was made to cling on to mainland India through the Dooar ‘bottle-neck’ in 1947, people has apprehensions regarding the polity at large. Their concerns were justified with corporate big-wigs exploiting the natural resources available in the ‘Seven-Sisters’ without proportionate remuneration for the masses of the states. Another central example is that of the Maoist menace that has grown like a fatal ulcer in the bowels of the country. If Naxalbari was genuine and if Nandigram is genuine, then one can safely say that all the national politics is made of is the Lal Salaams of the communists and the LOL salaams of everyone else. What else can one deduce from the government’s actions, which, by the passing day, is mocking the penury of its subjects?
Manmohan Singh, being the scion of the Indian Financial-Reforms movement, has lately cut a sorry figure for himself. Every other day, the aam admi is subjected to hikes in the prices of essential commodities. It is ironic that the Grand Old Party of Indian politics, which relies on the mandate of an electorate comprising of the world’s second largest population, always seems to be having its head turned the other side whenever a bugle-call is sounded. If Anna Hazare wreaked havoc at Ram-Lila ground by leading a movement that is anti-corruption- the INC may reason that corruption has been a systemic flaw that has endured over the ages – it was more due to the effect it had on a laid-back government than the issue itself and that probably drew the limelight in the international arena. Why is it so obvious now that the INC support-base has eroded beyond repair due to economic rather than political reasons? Are we on the verge of seeing yet another government falling to rising onion prices?! Not likely. Yet, Montek Singh Ahluwalia may be one of the non-affiliate nails on the INC’s coffin. The Rs. 32-a-day figure may have been grossly taken in the wrong light and the Planning Commission may not have got it all wrong. Yet Ahluwalia’s reception of the problem has been far from gracious. If the roti-kapdaa-makaan punch-line is not realized, how can one think of human resource development, Mr. Sibal? Even if, in a miraculous burst of brilliance, the poor of this country are enlightened and realize the importance of education, can you deny the fact that half the numbers turning up at the Anganwadis and Balwadis do so to avail the Mid-Day meal?
Can one not say, summarily, that like the void in the brilliance of darkness, the government IS degrading the human state, ironically, by facilitating HRD measures?
Is the government actually giving its final LOL salaam?