Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rahul's Speech

Rahul Gandhi was elevated as Vice President of Congress Party to lead the political fight for Congress against Narendra Modi in 2014 general election. Given that, it makes sense for him to talk about how Indian youth is clamoring to get a say in Indian political decision making; simply to curry favor with youth vote bank. But just having youth in decision making process would not resolve India's issues if the process of decision making and management of wealth creation and distribution do not change. It is not as if a politician is young and hence would not resort to 'corruption'. There was some speculation that by involving women in Indian political system it would reduce corruption and violence against women. Neither corruption is gone nor rapes on Indian women stop in the capital city where you have three term woman chief minister. So, same will happen by involving Indian youth in absence of basic rule of law, transparency and administrative competence. Rahul's assertion almost smells as if he wants to "claim Youth's share of 'looting and corruption' happening in India"!

Way back in 1985 at Indian National Congress Centenary Celebration in Mumbai, Rahul's father - Rajiv Gandhi - talked about how corruption is eating away majority of wealth redistribution undertaken by the State and he talked about changing the system. On that context, Dr. Singh and Rahul Gandhi can rightly claim the credit for 'direct deposit' scheme where State wealth redistribution straight goes to the recipient based on her bio-metric identification. That is a smart answer to the problem of 'middlemen' Rajiv Gandhi talked about then. But as like in 1985 Rajiv Gandhi missed the critical importance of upholding and establishing 'rule of law and administrative transparency at local and regional level'; same failure seems to be with Rahul Gandhi too. Rajiv Gandhi did talk then about the 'vast scope and scale' of reforming local and regional level legal and justice system; but nothing came then whereas Rahul Gandhi simply does not seem to comprehend the importance of that. Rahul Gandhi and Congress are all wrapped in 'Lokpal bill' only whereas the real crying need of 'justice and law enforcement' is at Sate and Local level.

So to Rahul Gadnhi's call of 'making system to work for common Indians'; Narendra Modi can legitimately claim to have done precisely that in his 3 terms at Gujarat in demonstrable ways. True, at the start of his reign; Modi turned 'law and order' upside down by being complacent and even accomplice in Godhra Massacre and in that sense stain of illegitimacy on his reign still does not go away. But beyond that despicable act of political opportunism and religious bigotry of worst kind; Narendra Modi has devoted his terms to deliver changes to common Gujarati People 'here and now'; primarily based on administrative efficiency, managerial competence, relatively corruption free environment, transparency and overall accountability. When Rahul Gandhi talks about 'system'; he does not seem to talk about 'how to bring accountability' to the system. That would involve purging many Congress leaders and  satraps who he greeted at the start of his speech! There seems to be no willingness that he is ready to 'take on' all the corrupt leaders and forces within his own party and many corrupt and decadent state administrations run by his party. Unless that happens, all this talk about 'changing the system' is just a cheap talk. I even doubt common Indian would fall for it, youth or old. 

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