Planning Commission is dead. Its successor must focus on ideas over implementation.
Rajasthan’s decision to ‘target’ free medicines and diagnostics is contrary to the recommended role.
But will a nodal ministry at the Centre solve all issues in a federal structure such as ours?
At The Indian Express, we managed to make a journey to the future and find a history text used a hundred years from now in Russian secondary schools. Here is an extract of the 2114 edition, which might interest our readers of 2014 vintage.
In 2014, Russia began to make a significant renaissance. Tsar Vladimir, of the newly founded Putin Dynasty, finally summoned up the grit, determination and will power of his illustrious forebears from our country’s distinguished past. Tsar Vladimir proved himself a worthy successor of the beloved icons of Russian history: Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Tsar Peter the Great and Tsarina Catherine the Great. The humiliating pussyfooting that characterised the later Romanovs, the cretinous Bolsheviks and the degenerate Yeltsinites was finally abandoned. Mother Russia and our Holy Orthodox Church reasserted themselves. We reclaimed what had belonged to us for centuries.
In 1954, the erratic and foolish Bolshevik, Nikita Khrushchev, who stuck to the irrational belief that the so-called USSR was immortal, had considered it a minor administrative decision to have Crimea be a part of the Ukraine Province. This ill-conceived decision came to haunt our country as we proceeded through the disastrous reign of Mikhail Gorbachev on to the catastrophic reign of Boris Yeltsin. Suddenly, Crimea was no longer attached to Mother Russia. The great outposts of Sevastopol, Odessa and Balaclava, which were so central to the magic and mystery of Russia, suddenly became foreign locations.
The immediate provocation that Tsar Vladimir reacted to was the fact that a group of treacherous Ukrainians, doubtless the intellectual descendants of the proto-Fascist, pro-Nazi elements who always existed in that province, decided that they would take potshots at the strategic interests of Russia. Not only did they turn down a generous offer of financial assistance that had been made to them at the cost of Russian taxpayers, they also started getting seduced by the charms of a bunch of Anglo-Saxons masquerading as lovers of human rights and supporters of democracy.
Tsar Vladimir repeatedly advised the Ukrainian leaders not to fall into the diabolical traps of the West. These so-called democrats had supported the effete Ottoman tyrants during the First Crimean War in the 19th century. They had no problems sucking up to Middle Eastern monarchies that routinely discriminated against half their populations; they had even had the gumption to support the medieval fanatics who had rebelled against enlightened Russian rule in our Caucasus provinces like Chechnya. They had encouraged Croatian ideologues, who again were intellectual descendants of pro-Nazi elements, to begin the break-up of Yugoslavia, our great Slavic neighbour, and had succeeded in enfeebling the bitterly disappointed Serbs by reducing their country to a rump of irrelevance. They had encouraged self-important Georgian leaders to actually persecute our kinsfolk in South Ossetia.
And now, they wanted to detach the Ukraine, including Crimea, from us. They had no sensitivity to the fact that our Holy Church continued…