When all that has to be done is done, and the rain Gods decide to take a break â€“ the slanging match will begin.
The left would whine â€“ this is all the product of liberalization, they will say. They will cite the examples of Reliance Energy , the Private Mobile operators, the malls that have come up seemingly without thinking about traffic flow; the builders that have been deforesting hills; the land developers who have been blocking off the flow of the Mithi River (honestly with your hand on your heart â€“ how many of you knew the name and location of this river before Thursday (this would have read Wednesday – but since most of Mumbai was devastated at being marooned without the Times of Indiaâ€¦..). Every left winger and their kitchen sink will have a highly angsty outburst about the systematic exploitation of citizens and resources by the power elite. And how everything being regulated is the only solution to our problems
The right (and here I mean the political/economic right and not the religious nuts) would have an equal and opposite rant â€“ thereby confirming the calamur hypothesis of power balance which states:
For every rant by the right (or the left) there will be an equal and opposite rant by the left (or right), which leads to a nullification everything that has been said (or done) so far. This leads to no progress what so ever, until ordinary people decide to do their own thing. At such a point, both left and right jump on to the bandwagon and claim credit. Given that ordinary people are not interested in power, the power balance remains concentrated in the hands of the left and right. And thus the power balance equilibrium is maintained.
The rightâ€™s rant is – If only there was more liberalization â€“ we wouldnâ€™t be in this mess. Look at the Government response time. Non existent. We should have privatized the police, the ambulance and the emergency services. Look we should have handed over disaster management to the BCCI â€“ instead of leaving it in the hands of the bureaucrats. We should have got rid of the slums, and put a bar on all immigration from Bihar and UP. And of course, we should have shipped out 1.5 million illegal Bangladeshi immigrants (how will you identify them?) back to Bangladesh. Finally, when everything â€“ except the movement of people â€“ becomes completely deregulated, progress will occur.
Handing over everything to the private sector does not mean efficiency; anymore than keeping it in government control means an equitable distribution of whatever! Either path leads to disaster; a synthesis is probably what is needed. A refreshing of the memory vis-? -vis the dialectic is probably what is sorely required in terms of collective consciousness today. We canâ€™t stop malls anymore than we can deport people. Slum dwellers have to be found permanent housing, but then they have to move into them.
The sides are polarised. And our spokespeople entrenched in their own positions. The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Arundathi Roy and Hafeez Contractor. Mahesh Bhatt and Tavleen Singh. Each of their rants has me diving for cover. Such a lack of understanding of the real world that we live in â€“ by people so intelligent â€“ is scary. They preach to the converted. Not debate with those they oppose – except in the full glare of the media, where everything turns into pithy soundbytes. These types of people more than anyone else polarise society and do not allow dialogue. Their monologues are interesting in themselves, but they donâ€™t leave any possible room for conversation.
Maybe, that is up to the rest of us. We probably need to make time from our lives to take the system to task. Not leave it up to those who are only interested in shouting the loudest!
starting with recalling a MP – Govinda comes to mind instantly?