It is after a very long time that I am writing again for the blog and I wish to write on a subject that is latent and waiting to explode, which is, India on the brink. The signs of mess are all over the place for everyone to see. People responsible for the mess are still hoping that things will work out, finally, somehow. However the seriousness of this dormant disaster is neither getting heard, nor getting discussed by the calm and intelligent brains. We do have political bigwigs shouting at the top of their voices, half of them about the precariousness of the problems and the other half assuaging fears of any devastating fallout, but today very sadly the voice of the politicians is discounted one hundred percent.
The decision non-making enmeshment crafted and perfected by the present government at the center has hurt the manufacturing, mining and infrastructure sector very badly. The pitiable condition of these industries can be best seen from the non-performing assets (NPA) list of the public sector banks. The Finance Minister raises a hue and cry about willful defaulters but not a word is uttered about the defaulters who are victims of gross governmental economic mismanagement. Truly the willful defaulters amongst the NPA lists are much lesser compared to the huge other list.
Businessmen are a breed apart, those who are willing to take a financial risk on the expectation of earning wealth in the future. If it was so simple, then everyone could have easily become a businessman. But the majority of people wish to live on a riskless yet certain monthly remuneration. The businessmen also like to restrict their uncertain factors to the minimum but when their uncertainty increases exponentially and goes beyond his capacity of tolerance, and then they give up. To add to their woes the political establishment questions their audacity, their fight to survive, their pricing policies, and calling for unprecedented audits. Today all businessmen who have become victims of colossal governmental bungling are on the verge of giving up.
That brings us to the immediate next problem, that of the public sector banks. If the domestic industry unable to bear any further harassment decides to throw its hands up, the banks would face an extraordinary dent in their Balance Sheet assets. Such a dent can only be covered by the central government who is the owner or the public depositors of the banks. Either ways it will be the citizens of this country who will take a hit on their past and future earnings. The imagination of the catastrophe if it really unfolds is enough to turn my stomach inside out. Yet I don’t hear anybody on this.
Next is inflation. The Reserve Bank is working overtime to make bank funds availability scarce and the costs of such funds disproportionate, in a general manner and due to which all sectors of the economy are feeling the pinch irrespective of whether they are contributing to the inflation or not. The government on the other hand has over the years increased all wages, increased the minimum procurement prices and distributed cash in rural regions through social projects like NREGS. Now if these two are not working at cross purposes, please call me a fool. The consumer price and the wholesale price index are both high because people are able to afford, they have the purchasing power and the willingness to spend. The deficit of the government is bound to exceed the budgeted specifications by the year end. But for this we the people of the country are also to share the blame because of huge domestic demand for gold, petrol and diesel that we have to import. The lack of a unified concerted action by all governing bodies is going to cost us dearly. By the time the elections are held, the international rating agencies are going to call India non-investment grade and we in one voice are going to crib. Unfortunately that is all that we can do.
The question that comes to my mind is why we have brought ourselves into this situation. Is it that we are governed by fools? I think barring the political class every other sector whether it is the bureaucracy, the industry, the judiciary, all select people based on their talent and mind power. Only the profession of politics gives preference to money power over the power of the mind. And that exactly has been our weakest link, our failure as a nation. Our political system is rotten and beyond repair. It makes no difference whether the Congress or the BJP is in power. Both are of identical mindset, indistinguishable twins. The past five years, BJP has disrupted parliamentary proceedings. In case they win the next elections, then it will be the turn of Congress to disrupt the working of the parliament. I don’t know who wins in this bargain but definitely the nation loses. Supposing no single group or party gets an absolute majority in the next election which incidentally is the most likely scenario, then we are in for another period of chaos, of non-governance, of a definite downward spiral.
However blaming the politicians is too simplistic. As citizens of this once great country, we the people have become increasingly narrow minded, fearful and intolerant. Everybody has started having such strong opinions that we have become intolerant of any dissenting views. We have become so parochial territorially as well as through customs that we have bounded ourselves into small groups and distrust every such other group. We have become so fragmented that practically we don’t see ourselves as a single country, we don’t want to share our local resources even for a common good cause. We have become a bunch of short tempered and fearful individuals, unsure and insecure about our own lives and living conditions, that corruption has become a reasonable and real option. Historically we never were one nation and therefore today in this difficult times find it impossible to define and identify ourselves as Indians except in the field of cricket. The real meaning of the word Hindu and Hinduism has been lost and buried deep under multiple layers of false teachings that today even if anyone criticized these false teachings we are offended. Today any glib talking god-man can fool all of us and take all of us for a ride and we most usually blame him rather than our own gullibility. Over the years anyone with the means and the ability has had the desires to deport and stay put in a developed country to live far away from the pitiful situation over here. Our urban cities have become too costly yet pathetically lacking in good living conditions. Yet while we yearn for the simple rural landscape at the same time do not have the desire to live there.It’s time that we see ourselves as what we have made ourselves into. Let us stop blaming others. Let us accept our own mistakes and work together towards a better tomorrow. Greed and selfishness has brought us here today but broadmindedness and intelligent work can set us back on the road to the common development. The immediate future looks difficult but with perseverance we can most certainly overcome them.