Date: 10 Dec 2010


IN 1947 THE INDIANS SHOUTED, "LAHORE IS DEAD, LONG LIVE DELHI." NOW THE INDIANS ARE SHOUTING, "DELHI IS DEAD, LONG LIVE ROME." \\\\\\\\\\\ This is beautifully explained by Tavleen Singh.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Manmohan is an unelected Prime Minister. He is just a puppet. The one who pulls the strings is Sonia ......... the au-pair from Italy who was working as a baby sitter in Cambridge and met Rajiv Gandhi while she was making "extra money" as a waitress in a restaurant and Rajiv was a student at Trinity and was looking for a Saturday-night bonk !\\\\\\\\\\\ The "Crown Prince" is ,of course, Rahul Gandhi, who Sonia is preparing to hand over the reigns to. India is, indeed, just another banana republic !!! \\\\\\\\\\ Ratan Tata cannot say so in that many words. \\\\\\\\\\ There are so many educated and capable people in India but they (unfortunately) keep out of politics because they dont want to get into the sh*t that Indian politics has become........... so , unfortunately , we have to live with this corrupt system. \\\\\\\\\ ============================================================ Come back, Prime Minister \\\\\\\\\\\ Tavleen Singh \\\\\\\\\ Posted online, Indian Express, December 05, 2010 \\\\\\\\\ While us hawk-eyed political pundits have spent the past weeks preoccupied by scams and tapes, something very bad has happened to the government of Dr Manmohan Singh. It appears quietly to have slipped its moorings and is now being tossed about rudderless on a very choppy sea. The pivot of any government is the Prime Minister and what makes the current situation worse is that the man at the helm has himself taken a virtual sabbatical. We see him now and then at some social or political event but he keeps his thoughts to himself most of the time even when he sees his ministers wandering about making dangerously arbitrary decisions. Often when they make them, they hint that they are acting on ‘orders from above’ and by this, they do not mean Dr Manmohan Singh. \\\\\\\\\\\\ The Prime Minister, on account of being appointed and not elected, has never been very assertive but he has so far exhibited a dignified and firm grasp on the reins of government that seem now to have slipped out of his hands. Before writing this, I made some inquiries to find out why this has happened and came up mostly with the explanation that Dr Manmohan Singh is slowly abdicating in favour of the Crown Prince whose assertiveness (till the Bihar results) was exactly parallel with the Prime Minister’s quiet disappearance into some backroom. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ The problem is that this has resulted in so much chaos and uncertainty that someone who chooses his words as carefully as Ratan Tata described the atmosphere in the country as resembling that of a ‘banana republic’. An accurate description since this term is used to describe a country without institutions of democracy and without the rule of law. Cast your eye for a few moments on the pillars of Indian democracy and you may notice that they have been under sustained assault in recent weeks. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ There was, first, the spectrum scandal whose figures are so mind-boggling that they seem hardly credible. It caused serious damage to the image of the government and finally forced A. Raja out of a job he should have been thrown out of long ago. This caused the opposition parties to stall Parliament for the whole of this session over the meaningless demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) into the scam. Not a single JPC has been of much use in the past which makes their stand difficult to understand but what is even harder to understand is why the government does not concede a demand that will put the scandal in cold storage long enough for it to be erased from public memory. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Meanwhile, there has been the inexplicably cussed behaviour on the part of a Central Viligance Commissioner who should resign out of respect for his own dignity if for no other reason. How can India have a CVC who worked under A. Raja when he was selling off spectrum at a huge loss to Indian taxpayers? If all of this was not already bad enough for Indian democracy, we have the additional problem of the media coming under brutal public scrutiny because of the Radia tapes. From Twitter it is easy for anyone to discover that the iconic status of the journalists caught on the tapes has caused a huge loss of trust in the media as a whole. I have found it hard to comment on anything in recent weeks without some twitterer asking if I have been paid to say what I did. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ It is a bleak political moment for India. It is not just institutions that are under attack but policies. The Prime Minister is the man responsible for transforming India with his economic reforms that moved us away from statism and central planning towards a more open economy. Thanks to these reforms, we now have a middle class that is larger than the population of the United States of America. Thanks to these reforms, every other Indian now owns a cell phone. Thanks to these reforms, television has spread its tentacles into the remotest parts of India and acts as an engine of change. But, we now have some of Dr Manmohan Singh’s ministers bringing the license raj back through dangerously capricious acts and they have so far got away with their depredations. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ Unless the Prime Minister comes back and takes charge, this sense of drift is going to make India increasingly resemble a banana republic. It is not possible for a country the size of a continent to be governed well unless there is a firm hand on the rudder. So please come back Prime Minister and do your best to try and halt the drift before it is too late. Then, if it is your heart’s desire to let the Crown Prince take the wheel that is your choice. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 000000000