04-Jun-2009

Three ills

That afflict the country. And the third one is not any less dangerous than the other two:
Red tape tops the list of reasons for this comatose state, and is widely cited. The second reason for this is what only I seem to talk about, and that is a most extraordinary and appalling incompetence. The third is talked about by only those in the know, namely, the influence of business lobbies.
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Incompetence and corruption have combined to produce the third element, lobby power of big business. Go to any ministry today, even something as noble as the ministry of women and child welfare, and you will see how the lobbies have moved in.

It is they, who along with the think tanks assist the senior bureaucracy in justifying decisions that the Minister wants taken. In far too many instances the staff-work is now done by the lobbies.

We are slowly moving the way of all democracies. Laws get written by lobbies in the US. Even if not, they get neutered by the lobbies who add/delete whatever the concerned industry biggies want. It is going the same way here.

Erasing The Difference

Between itself and the other parties. That is what the BJP has done according to one of its own leaders in the state.
Stating that party workers were of the view that the BJP had ceased to be a party with a difference, he said dynastic rule, casteism and electoral malpractices were the issues with which the Congress and the JD(S) were being targeted. "However, by fielding the kith and kin of sitting ministers, the BJP has lost the moral authority to take on other parties over this issue," he said.

Referring to allegations of the party employing money and liquor to woo voters during elections, Eshwarappa said he would appeal to State President Sadananda Gowda to constitute a committee of senior leaders to look into the charges.

"I am elated that the party won 19 seats in the elections. But, I do believe that means are as important as the ends. More than development and ideological issues, distribution of money and liquor were prominently discussed during elections in Shimoga.

Loyal BJP voters who were not used to this political culture, lost motivation to turn up at polling booths. The party had similar experience in other constituencies also."
I confess I never bought into the 'party with a difference' bs even as far back as 1990. When you haven't tasted power, you tend to be a bit different. After all, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely etc. But I did think it stood for 'partying with a difference'. With a saffron tinge if one may put it that way. And one did hear about the parties during the Pramod Mahajan days. However, the blatant use of liquor and money in the recent polls as reported in the newspapers did surprise me.

We live and learn.