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Power deludes

The editorial in the latest issue of the Organiser,titled “Why the Congress is gung-ho...

March 19, 2009 12:53:36 am

The editorial in the latest issue of the Organiser,titled “Why the Congress is gung-ho,” says: “Power has its own logic. It is euphoric and those without it will never understand. The Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari participating in a television debate boasted that the poll outcome is a foregone conclusion as the country’s polity has become ‘unipolar’. Another spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan was equally exuberant and claimed that the NDA has collapsed and it was a cakewalk for the Congress. Five years ago the NDA also had similar delusions. It is natural that those in power do not see the writing on the wall. A nearest and perhaps the most appropriate description of the pre-poll scene in the country today is that it is chaotic. It can also be characterised as either multi-polar or bi-polar. Because after the poll the votaries of the Third Front,Sitaram and Karat have nowhere else to go but do business with Sonia-Rahul duopoly. The general belief is that every party is counting on the post-poll scenario. Problems with the allies is not unique to the NDA. The breakdown of the alliance in Orissa is in reality a blessing in disguise.”

It adds: “The often heard wisdom on political outcome these days is that the national election is the aggregate of the state elections. The national parties who subscribe to this view are only underlining the growing dilemma confronting them. Two ideas in the past decade have sapped the verve and vitality of ideology-driven,principled politics. The first was Mandal and the resultant casteism. The second was the political parties’ blind faith in the politics of arithmetic. In the absence of an alchemist,the electoral chemistry suffered. Ideology which used to play the role of a catalyst is nowhere,making the electoral battle an affair in brazen power play. This is the reason why a party like Congress which has become non-existent in more than two-third of the national landscape is happy in the company of cynical power brokers and caste and communal warlords. A national alternative need not be the aggregate vanity and ego trip of collective frustration and unfounded ambition. It can also be the hope and aspiration of a resurgent India morphed into a plateau of politics with purpose.”

Fiscal folly

In a piece called “Why the fiscal package is ineffective,” Bharat Jhunjhunwala writes: “The fiscal package implemented by the government does not appear to be delivering. The rupee has declined to an all-time low of Rs 52 to a dollar. The sensex is down to 8k. Quarterly growth rate is in the dumps at five per cent. This situation cannot be wholly attributed to loss of export markets due to global recession. The share of foreign trade in our GDP is small by global reckoning. Further,exports declined by 16 per cent while imports declined by 18 per cent in January. Therefore,the loss of export markets was more than made up by gain of domestic markets. The problem is due to inherently faulty design of the fiscal package. The alleged purpose of the package is to rev up domestic demand to make up for the loss of export markets that has taken place earlier.”

He adds: “The government has implemented the Sixth Pay Commission award and topped it with a hefty four per cent increase in DA. This has put more money in the hands of government employees. But these outgoes do not much translate into effective demand. The propensity to consume among government employees would be rather less. They would invest a good part of the additional income in gold,fixed deposits or in the purchase of imported goods. Only a small part of the additional government expenditure,therefore,translates into effective demand. Similarly,the additional demand generated from increased expenditures on infrastructure such as power plants is partly transmitted to foreign countries.”

Compiled by Suman K Jha

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