Cabinet Portfolios and the Reshuffle
According to the government and main ruling party, the cabinet reshuffle on Sunday was a major one and unprecedented too. Yes, it was, because for the first time in so big a democracy, it was not the prime minister who took the decision. it was done on the advice of not only the president of the ruling political party but her son, who has hardly done anything to make the people of the country confident about the righteousness of his various decisions in the past.
It was also done to divert the attention of media and the public at large from the issues related to various scams including one of Vadra-DLF and Haryana government.
Unfortunately, the decision is made on adhoc basis. Over the period, no transparent method has been evolved to find out the performance of the ministers and the criteria for promotion and allocating a particular ministry. Any minister with any qualification and years of experience is given any ministry and is expected to carry on with it. He is not expected to make it a measure of his performance in the development of this country of poor millions.
In a era when politics gone from its adjective of dirty to shameless, perhaps one must not express any good ideas. No one who matters is ready to listen that. Once in the government, perhaps they learn to follow what Mahatma three monkeys represented. The minister is not expected to see, hear or speak on burning issues.
Is not the reason that neither Manmohan nor Sonia or Rahul talked about the scam related to Vadra, the son-in-law of the first family? If the goverment is proactive, how can the story of a person such as Ashok Khemka from an ordinary family who gets through IIT, obtains a Ph.D and competes with flying colours in UPSC, but gets 40 odd transfers in 21 years of his service, get overlooked and the administration considers it just something very common and the country’s system can’t correct such injustices?
So far the reshuffle is concerned, it will hardly make any difference for the country. It will not speed up the implementation process of the millions of crores worth of ongoing projects, be they in railways, irrigation, roads or ports.
However, like many I also felt that the only handicapped but extremely bold and brilliant Jaipal Reddy had to get out of the oil ministry because of the India Inc pressure. I wish Manmohan would have allocated him HRD ministry along with that of science and technology and that would have suited his stature. Education and scientific research still don’t get the due focus of the government. The country will have to ensure not only free but compulsory education for all its citizens, more so of the rural regions.
More importantly, the Country must build in a transparent way of appraising the performances of the ministers in the system. Further, every minister as well as every MP must adapt one village each and as an additional responsibility get it developed as a model one. It will help all of them in constant touch of the grassroots necessity.
It appears the Chinese follows some system as one mentioned here. As reported, Xi Jinping, the newly anointed party chief will take over as president of China in March 2013. As reported, Xi underwent a prolonged apprenticeship for China’s most powerful posts in Xiajiang, in a backward pocket of the booming coastal province. Mr Xi adopted the village. Villagers say Mr Xi helped Xiajiang secure funding and approvals for its projects, which included pooling village land to grow grapes and medicinal plants. Is it not something worth emulating by the politicians of all parties?
The reshuffles by Manmohan have never been any way better than shuffling of playing cards by even a layman and illiterate of the country.