Tag Archives: India

The Mysteriously Modifying Modi -2

India is facing possible drought and famine if the monsoon fails. It was reported today that the monsoons are not only five days late but also there is 30% chance that the rains will be modest.
How does this prospective development offer a challenge to the new government? Unlike the North Korean leader who has pointed a sharply threatening finger at the country’s meteorologists for getting their forecasts wrong, the new government in India has had little time to prepare contingency plans. However, senior civil servants must have been informed about impending delays in the monsoon well in advance. Did they take their eyes off the ball during the elections? Wahindi will be looking into this threatening development and examine how the situation unfolds. One is reminded of the crushing failure of the rains in the film ‘Lagaan’ and how the farmers are devastated initially by passing over of the dark rain clouds over their villages without offloading a drop of rain. However, there is still some hope that the monsoon will arrive in good time and restore peace for the farmers.
Returning to the need to adjust to a new political order, a conversation with friends ended with a suggestion that Shashi Tharoor should be the next Congress leader. He certainly has the credentials and the international stature provided the old guard in the dynasty-led party see the potential in appointing a new troika as leaders. Mr Tharoor could be one of three new leaders consisting of him, one member of the Gandhi family and possibly someone very young. Will Congress concur? Should the Gandhi family just bow out? This will be discussed in a future post.
Some wahindi in the UK also feel that there should be Presidential rule in Uttar Pradesh where law and order seems to be challenged almost every day and reports of gang rape are a regular feature. Will Mr Modi moderate in that state or are there too many political obstacles in the way? Several politicians have walked into communication quagmires. One suggested that ‘boys will be boys’ and rape should be recognised as a social issue. Another has said that women must take a part of the blame for enticing men. What is stopping the government to express its views? There are also reports that Indian police refuses to record cases against high profile individuals.
Wahindi also notes that hundreds of Sikhs joined a procession last week in London to protest against the attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar by Indian armed forces thirty years ago. During the same week factional infighting broke out amongst the Sikhs themselves and angry men were seen engaging in open ‘warfare’ with their kirpans (swords) flashing in the bright sunlight. Is one form of aggression more justified than another? News reports suggested that the infighting amongst the Sikhs is likely to persist. The anniversary of ‘Operation Bluestar’ was  probably an opportunity to resolve other back room vendettas.
The unveiling of Chinese style infrastructure development plans brought some respite for people who are hungry for change. Will bureaucratic bungles and denial of planning permissions appear again? Will access rights to build new roads and railways be denied by powerful landowners? Only time will tell. Can Mr Modi remove the legal blockages which may create long years of waiting? Should the reform of the laws which frustrate infrastructural development not be a first course of action?
Is there a risk that Mr Modi will offer too much but achieve only modest gains?

Advertisements