WEEKEND LIGHTER: "Et tu Brute?"
WEEKEND LIGHTER: Disloyalty and betrayal
(October 21/22, 2017)
Feel free to mail your views on this edition of WL to email@example.com
India: Growth and Development
This refers to BS editorial “Quite an agenda” (Business Standard, October 12). While deceleration in economic growth or short-term problems in meeting pre-decided targets for inflation or fiscal deficit can be glossed over as temporary pain for long-term gain, ground level realities like hunger and unemployment need immediate attention.
In Global Hunger Index, 2017, India has slipped 3 positions to 100th among 119 nations. Placed behind even North Korea, Bangladesh and Iraq; hunger situation in the country has been rated 'serious'. In such a situation, political or economic jargon or waiting for national level council to provide guidance, may not help.
Action has to get initiated from ground level and for that a national consensus and cooperation of state governments become imperative. Here, the cooperative federalism becomes more relevant. GOI has to come out of the temptation to relate content and timing of policies affecting the people to elections. Such an approach affects smooth implementation of policies in the multi-party system. The most recent example of friction arising from national level consensus and divergence in approach when actual implementation started was that of GST.
It is high time Centre took the responsibility to have a Common Minimum Programme acceptable to all major political parties on basic issues of governance such as poverty eradication, minimum wages, literacy, healthcare, local transport systems and law and order.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
A recent response
Apropos Nistula Hebbar’s interview with Pranab Mukherjee (The Hindu, Wednesday Interview, October 18), one wishes the optimism expressed by the veteran statesman gets transmitted down the line in the Congress party which needs a total revamp for its own survival.
Indian National Congress, by heredity and habits never thought of the role of a real ‘Opposition’ in parliamentary democracy. Britishers, when they left India, had handed over the responsibility to govern India to Congress leaders. Almost till Nehru was there, winning elections was never a major problem for Congress. This induced an air of over-confidence among party leaders and something close to arrogance down the line among party cadres.
Converse was also true. Opposition parties in India never imagined that a time will come when the responsibility of governing India will fall on their shoulders. The resulting dichotomy in the thought process of political leaders in India has, by an large, contributed to the emergence of coalition politics in the country which did not care about ideologies, but concentrated on the arithmetic of sharing of seats and somehow capturing power at any level, from gram panchayats to national level.
If the present managers of Congress party takes the message now given by Pranab Mukherjee and transforms the party into a democratic organization with national interest as a priority, India will benefit immensely. Political parties have equal responsibility on either side of the dividing line in legislatures to ensure rule of law and uphold the spirit of Indian Constitution.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
Use the above link to read my letter published in The Hindu on October 20, 2017 on the role of political parties in governance.
The submitted version of my response to the Wednesday Interview with Pranab Da can be accessed@
A stamp from Canada to remember
MPC: RBI has its own mind!
Michael Patra's observations reflect the RBI's perceptions. Some other members, being "birds of passage" will avoid expressing views unpalatable to their masters.
M G Warrier
Disloyalty and betrayal: “Et tu Brute?”
My friend Jayakumar’s mail with focus on “Et tu Brute?” received in Exrbites Group this week and the interaction that followed were interesting. It is comforting to see that subjects like this are discussed in our group in a detached manner. In certain situations, telling a lie or cheating another person becomes necessary. There are several examples in Hindu mythology for this. Including some episodes in Mahabharata. Without quoting any of them, let us jump to the present day situation.
As I have mentioned in one of my published pieces recently, from time immemorial, governments world over are owned and guided by the rich and the powerful. Laws are made and administered by these governments. Kings or governments decide what is right and what is wrong. Authors, artists and poets try to influence these governments to remain on the right track of justice by telling stories in which they squeeze in the ‘wrongs’ they observe. Possibly, in an era when the kind of judiciary and legal system was not there, Shakespeare would have influenced rulers and public opinion through his writings.
I feel uncomfortable when I find telling lies and cheating are legalized. That is why my language is harsh when I write about BPL (Businessmen-Politicians-Lawyers) combine and mild when I comment on other criminals who face trials for the kind of things BPL combine does with legal protection. I am stuck. I do not know how to connect these thoughts with “Et tu Brute?” May be, I may be able to do it tomorrow!