Politics is the art of postponing decisions until they are no longer relevant. More so in the Indian context where public memory is, well NOT short lived, but is instead decided by the media, where the news itself is short lived. Once the media gets a breaking news, they keep publishing it for the entire day till they get another breaking news and that’s when the current news moves to the archives irrespective of whether a solution has been found to a problem or not. So Politics is the art of postponing decisions until they make no more headlines in the news channels.
Let us have a look at few such interconnected forgotten news.
For any mess caused due to lack of administration, lapse of duty and the absence of sense of responsibility – it is always easy to put the blame on somebody who cannot defend the accusation on them in the court of law – And Rains are one such favorite excuse offered by the Indian Politicians. Rains come and go, and when they don’t come in time, they are blamed for shortage of crops, shortage of water, shortage of electricity, well even for shortage of administration(!) and when they are gone, the Rains are again blamed for taking away roads, houses, bridges etc with them.
Sharad Pawar and Global Warming
Look at this news item where the agricultural minister of India who is more interested in Cricket than in farming, Mr Sharad Pawar, blames the rains for rising prices of essential commodities in the country.
Well Mr. Pawar, what have you and your predecessors done in the past 60 years to remove the dependency of Indian agriculture on rains and save water whenever the rains come so that the crops can always be grown in time in the country? Nothing.
What have you and your predecessors done to scientifically store and process the crops grown so that the food grains don’t get rotten and wasted in a country where millions of poor live on a single meal or no meal every day? Nothing.
Why did you export Sugar assuming there’s enough for the country and then import the same Sugar later at a price much higher than we exported at? Didn’t you have enough information about how much Sugar the country consumes every year, or did you flunk in high school Mathematics? May the Rain God shower you with some wisdom and numbers.
Sheila Dikshit and the Rains
Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit blames the rains for delayed CWG Work. Well Mrs. Dikshit, did the rains promise you that they won’t be pouring when the CWG work is under progress? Or did the Department of Meteorology make any such prediction? What made you assume that there won’t be any rains when the CWG work was under progress? And for how many years was the work under progress? Wasn’t there enough time then?
When you are administering a City as crowded as Delhi, isn’t it a common sense to make sure that we have adequate infrastructure in place? Isn’t there something called project planning, which includes feasibility analysis, risk analysis and risk mitigation with adequate backups in place so that we are prepared to execute the projects against all odds? When none of these are considered in the planning, Rains get blamed in India.
Now that makes the difference between the world class infrastructure available in China and the low class infrastructure of India. It’s not about communism, its not about democracy, its about sheer passion for your country and your work. And that makes the difference between Beijing and Delhi, Shanghai and Bangalore. Indian politicians blame the rains, Chinese politicians do their work.
I brought China into the discussion because both countries started from scratch almost at the same time, India in 1947 and China two years later in 1949. And any person who has visited both the countries today can tell the difference in terms of political performance in providing excellent public infrastructure. Indian politicians have failed to deliver at all levels and the Chinese have succeeded beyond expectations.
Kamal Nath and the Rain God
Here is the latest news in this front of Indian Politicians vs Rain God. The Indian Surface Transport Minister Mr. Kamal Nath has blamed the Rain God for damaging the Roads on Indian Highways. Well Mr Rain God, please don’t shower so heavily. Our Roads are not built for that. Indian Roads are only for smooth use or for no use. The best thing would be, please don’t shower on our roads at all. Else they would get converted into water ways, and people will have to bring in boats instead of automobiles. And when the water dries out, all those craters on the Indian roads make it easy to film for a sci-fi movie on the surface of moon.
First and foremost, our road builders have no idea of hydrology. How rains damage roads, how to protect roadways and sideways from heavy rains are never considered while building the roads, and if they had been considered then Mr. Kamal Nath would not have made the statement he made above. And then we have corruption where something is claimed to have been done and something else gets done. There have been numerous occasions in the country where contractors have been paid money for building roads which never existed in the first place?!
If this year the roads got damaged due to excess rains, Mr Minister, where the roads any better during times of no rains in the country?
All the Indian achievement so far (inspite of its pathetic governance) on the front of booming economy will collapse like a pack of cards if we don’t upgrade our public infrastructure immediately. The time that gets lost in travel to work and the foreign exchange lost in having to import excess petroleum burnt due to traffic jams and bad roads in the metros cost Indian economy and public a lot. The absence of adequate electricity and lack of future planning to provide adequate power supplies again cost a lot for the industries as well as the general public. Without adequate electricity the children cannot study, small scale industries cannot produce goods on pars with their ability, daily wage workers dont get paid when there is no work, and so on, and all this costs country a lot in terms of overall development. If we can’t secure our farming land and instead allow mindless conversion of agricultural land into industrial land, then we will have to eat industrial waste as food in the future. If we mindlessly exploit and export our natural resources likes ores and minerals without conserving them for our own use in the future, then we will have to import the same at n times the cost once we empty our mines.
Larry Hardiman once rightly said – Politics = Poly (many) + ticks (blood sucking parasites)