My India: Anguish or Anger

I dreamt of India as emerging, shining and competing China. All my blogs on China vs. India were based on my conviction: If China can do, so can India.

But since last two years or so, things are declining. India has suddenly slowed and slowing further. There is darkness on horizon. The gloom is infectious and exponentially enveloping the people of the country, as those who can do something to stop the slowdown and correct the situation are having different priorities.

I am in anguish. But it is not only me. Deepak Parekh, Narayana Murthy, Premji, and Rahul Bajaj-they all have expressed their anguish. I am sure that Congress doesn’t consider them also anti-national as they consider Anna.

I am in US. However, I can’t detach myself from my country, even though in wonderful company of my sweet grandchildren. The bad news make me moose.

I was surfing the site of New York Times’ Business section. I happened to go through two reports- one related to India and the other to China. I am giving below the first paragraph from both with link:

India related

NEW DELHI — Like China, India has long been eager to showcase the best features of its fast-growing economy on the international stage. But whenever it gets a chance to shine, something almost invariably goes wrong.

China related

GUANGZHOU, China — With China’s domestic economy stumbling badly this spring as construction and retail sales slow, this country is unleashing a fresh surge of exports that is preserving millions of jobs in Chinese factories but could fan trade tensions with the West.

I switched over to the Economist. The Economist had few headlines in the related to India: ‘Stopping the spiral’, ‘Farewell to Incredible India’; ‘A Bric hits the wall’; or ‘Travellers checked’. India is growing less hospitable to foreign investors. Should one stop surfing or watching the news channels?

I had thought Pranab Mukherji had done something great when he had proposed some retrospective tax in his budget this year. Thereafter, I heard many talking against that. I didn’t bother. But when even Narayana Murthy considers that as an action that has gone against India’s investor-friendliness, I rethink over the same. Should not Pranab retract his step?

Ruchir Sharma has warned India in ‘Breakout Nations; S&P report now names India ‘The First Fallen Angel’. Everyone is pointing finger to the way India is getting run by UPA-II government with Manmohan as Prime Minister and Sonia as the defecto power behind it.

No amount of brave face or statement from Pranab or even some gestures from PMO can amend the wrong. It has already created the unwanted gloom. Manmohan must show his magic and Sonia must support. Economy must be the focus without any politics. But there is hardly an indication of change. Congress may survive two more years in government, but the country will lose the opportunity once more and go backward in development by years.

An eminent journalist writes, ‘anybody who cares for India is today in deep, deep anguish’. Why do Manmohan and Sonia not hear the voice of the people?

Some from the opposition gives me an answer, ‘Sonia hardly bothers in real term. Who stopped her to treat her constituency as a model for development and transform that into a model for others to emulate? The same is true for Rahul or for that matter the Congress Party. Perhaps, they are just incapable and they don’t wish to use the services of those who can bring the required effectiveness in the governance.

A journalist writes, ‘Institutionally, the Congress has demonstrated no political commitment towards nor placed any priority on sustaining high growth and deregulating the economy, at least not in the time since 2004.’

“If the India story has fallen off the tracks, does one need to point fingers only at Prakash Karat and Mamata Banerjee — or should one also interrogate the role of Sonia Gandhi and how niggardly she has been in spending political capital on economic reform?”

I was shocked when the economy is so critical the country’s TV channel discusses who meets whom for the forthcoming next President election or the new system of IIT_JEE.

Is the time approaching fast for the Indians to get in to ‘anger’ mood or mode from the present one of ‘anguish’?

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