Yesterday, Parliament didn’t work for the 20th day in a row. It was disrupted from doing any business. I almost expect the headlines, in the next few days to say — “today MP’s did work” ….
What does that mean – that means, that the Government that the people of India have elected to power to deliver a certain set of goals – could not deliver what it is meant to do, because the Opposition – or the bunch of people, that the Indian voter did not think fit to exercise power – decided that this is the way to bring about their agenda.
What are the issues:
The Opposition Stand
The opposition parties - the BJP and the Communists – want a Joint Parliamentary Commission (JPC) – to look into the allocation of 2G licenses. They believe that there were massive kickbacks involved in the process. They claim that the loss to the exchequer in forgoing the auction process (which was followed in the 3G allocation) cost the country some lakhs of crores. They claim it is the single largest loss to the exchequer in history. The CPM is slightly flexible on the JPC. the BJP is not.
Do I agree with the Opposition’s stand - yes & no. there needs to be investigation. However, where I disagree with them on disrupting Parliament.
There, in my view, is this petulant childlike obstinacy on the JPC, only the JPC and nothing but the JPC – and where their behavior scares me is that if we don’t get our way, we won’t let you – the State – discharge its duties. And, we shall hold our breath, throw a tantrum and generally be disruptive till you do exactly what we want. Furthermore, the three JPC”s held to date have really not done too much except muddy the issue more – the first, for example, was on Bofors, the second on insider trading and the third on pesticides in Colas and ground water pollution…
My major objection with the opposition stand – The Opposition in India is behaving like the opposition in the Weimar republic - in discrediting the system – not the Government -and paving the way for a more unilateral system…..
The Government Stand
The Government – the Congress and its Allies – say yes there were irregularities. But they say that the loss was presumptive. What does this mean – it means that had it been auctioned x would have been earned, but since the UPA didn’t follow auctioning and went in for revenue sharing – this is not the loss, for there is money going to be earned in perpetuity. But, the UPA admits that there were irregularities, says that it will be investigated bur refuses the JPC. It has set up a one man committee to investigate the issue
note: Presumptive loss – the best analogy i can give is on gender. Lets’ say you – dear reader – are a woman. As a woman you are a presumptive male – for, If your father had contributed the other chromosome ( Y) you would have been a man:)
In economics, this is also the opportunity cost of making a decision – in life this is the road not taken
Do I agree with the Government’s stand – Yes and No. Yes – it is a presumptive loss. No – that they behaved like ostriches on corruption and flouting of the system. and i am also bugged with the fact that they tried to brazen this out till the heat got too much.
I personally want to see the loss recovered, the matter investigated, the accused investigated and the guilty punished. It matters not whether it is a PAC, a JPC or a XYZ. What I would be unhappy with is a coverup. I am unhappy that the Government has taken so long to figure out that something was drastically wrong in the process, even more unhappy that it has taken so long to get out of collective hibernation to take action.
The Congress needs to understand that it is in Government. And this is for a 5 year period and not perpetuity. You cannot hide behind ‘coalition dharma’ – if the coalition partners are that dirty, dump them and call for elections. You have not been elected to power -you have been elected to Govern – it is time that began happening….
The BJP needs to understand that the people of India didn’t want to elect it to power or to govern twice in succession. They need to ask why. Is part of it their own petulant behavior? Their desire to flout the system and take to the streets and disrupt everything if they don’t get their way. Maybe the BJP needs to dump its leadership and find people who are rational and in step with the mainstream electorate – not fossils who are as compromised as anyone in the UPA….
Finally, if I – the voter – want a change from the UPA at the centre what is my choice ….. a political party that behaves like a 3 year old spoilt child in a mall ???