Priorities , Political Patries, and Productivity

Why is our political leadership so much away from the priorities for the nation? Why the left is creating so much of hue and cry when many important needs are not getting any attention? What is more important- the timely assistance to the flood victims, a well-established disaster planning or a protest against joint navy exercises of 5 nations– India, US, Japan, Australia and Singapore? And what a comfortable way of protest or picnic! The Volvo buses are carrying 81 comrades in temperature-controlled air-conditioned comfort, riding on air suspension and cruising at speeds of over 100km per hour from Kolkata to Visakhapatnam to protest.

Dipankar Gupta in an article ‘Fission in Empty Water’ in Hindustan Times says, “The UPA has so far been unable to make any significant dent on the conditions of poverty or improve on the delivery of public goods, particularly to the rural poor. This, rather than beating our chest about our right to test nuclear bombs, should have been the principal concern of the left. Unless the definition of socialism has changed in recent times, their ideology was all about raising the living standards of citizens, particularly those of the poor.”

BJP had initiated some projects of national importance. It hardly talks about them now and protest for unwanted delay. One such project was the transformation of roads to an international standard starting with GQ and E-W and S-W Corridors. GQ is still some kms away, but NHAI has hardly made any progress on corridors. Time and again, UPA has been announcing various phases of road building projects that keep the people happy. How one feels like when a world-class truck manufacturers blames the road condition? Volvo, who has started manufacturing heavy trucks in India has said, “Higher horse-power Volvo trucks could not be adequately optimised in India as average running speeds on highways were very low due to poor road infrastructure and congestion.” How can the inefficiency and cost of transportation change? Should this not be the subject of performance appraisal on which the government must put its priority and the opposition must protest? BJP has all time to waste for holding Parliament on N-Deal, blocking the Sethusamudram project and in pacifying Patel for Modi in Gujarat, but not for these road projects. Unless it comes out heavily on the development politics, it has no political future.

As reported, the productivity gap between the US and most other economies has continued to widen. In the US, the value added per person employed in 2006 was $63,885, while it was $6,587 in India. Why don’t the political parties ask CII and FICCI to find a solution for this productivity gap and press the government to assist? But then how can the politicians do it? They are too busy in settling their personal scores and priorities.

What a shame! The Delhi High Court had to direct Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss to sign the degree certificates of AIIMS students within 24 hours – the very same certificates that the minister was refusing to sign. Does Anbumani not have any thing else to do but fight with just one director of AIIMS? Ramadoss – according to agency reports – has signed the certificates. Was it not a sordid instance of the continuing turf war between the minister and AIIMS director P Venugopal that was threatening the careers of young doctors who have laboured to earn their degrees?

While our parliamentarians are busy in protests, when the Chinese are planning to learn English from Indians and go ahead to the top position in IT/ITeS sector too.

I am sure they would have seen ‘Chak De! India’ by now. If not, let the I&B ministry arrange a free show of the film for the parliamentarians with their party bosses too with heavy snacks and drinks too, so that they can take some lessons.

Chak De! India.

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