Dear allMany years before I had the opportunity to hear the lecture of Dr Manmohan Singh when he visited the Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It was a time when NDA was ruling India, and Dr Singh spoke on the subject of Income disparity, addressing the students of economics of the MS University of Baroda. Dr Singh at that time talked vehemently about the need to protect the poor as India facing the risk of rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer when exposed to a globalised world. He said that after the industrial reforms of the 1990s, the private sector in India face a challenge from the global corporation to compete and innovate. Global capital will make Indian Industry competitive and also it would bring the need for new skills sets.
Time proved that his statements were true. India reached a 8 percent growth with Indian corporate becoming global and the Indian middle class living standards rising which i would say a rise from a Kirana culture to that of a Mall culture, where hoards of people flocking to retail showrooms buying consumer products en mass and people buying cars and high end mobiles . Cash flows of our business houses burgeoned and they started acquiring foreign companies overseas establishments and raw material sources. As Dr Singh then pointed out one India was shining and Bharat the poor India struggling for education, food, water and electricity. The then NDA government used that India shining jargon and faced the nation’s electorates only to be reminded that the poor has become more poor and with the same Dr Singh as prime minister a new government came in.
It was at the middle of his rule in 2008 that the global recession started spreading and Dr Singh’s government by astute policy management saved our nation from a major economic catastrophe. The nation paid back Dr Singh by bringing him back to power with hopes of a revival of the economy, but this time he was surrounded by corrupt collision partners who gave him scandals after scandals as we see today. The lustre of Singh started eroding and he was seen as indecisive, silent and non responsive which was later reflected in the articles published by Washington post and Time.
Creation of wealth in India by our corporate and their dependency on politicians for favourable policy initiatives resulted in a politician –corporate nexus in India, with a new breed of scandals evolving .Unlike the earlier scandals like Bofors where there was a cash transaction here the loss is in terms of opportunity costs running to multiple of crores of rupees loss to exchequer.
Coming back to Singh, he unfortunately was not able to control this and was myopic due to some unknown reasons which made him look like a PM without control of his ministers. It was at this juncture in this blog I had written that he should graciously quit and save his credibility.
Today he looks like a 10th batsman trying to save a team from innings defeat and it seems he is too late. Time will only say.
All the best Manmohanji
All the best Manmohanji