Friday, May 9, 2008
Is it election time again? Why everybody suddenly hates Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India?
Of late, Manmohan Singh is under attack from various quarters.
From his allies in the government, the leftists, for poor leadership in winning state elections.
From free-market economic theorists for asking the steel & cement cartels to rein in their prices for bringing down inflation.
From venture capitalists who think that his rightful place is in the academies and not in leading the country. According to them he has failed in creating an incentive-laden environment for unleashing entrepreneurship.
From eight-figure salary earning CEOs for asking them to cut their wages and lead a more austere lifestyle.
From anti-reservation lobby for destroying meritocracy.
From free-market theorists again for waiving off 60000 crore rupees of farmers’ debts.
And obviously from the right-wing opposition for all kinds of trivial reasons too.
The good work done by him 17 years back in liberalising the economy and inviting foreign capital has been long forgotten. The benefits of growth in economy for the last 4 years in succession has been conveniently brushed under the diminishing carpet of inflationary pressures. Manmohan Singh’s excellent relations with international leaders (be it Bush, Brown, Jintao or Musharaf) were once heralded as beneficial to Indian economy but now they are construed as weakness in dealings (be it a nuclear deal or a gas pipeline or territorial dominance in the north-east).
Dr. Singh’s blatant obeisance to his party president, Sonia Gandhi ( a lady much less qualified than her ) has been treated as sycophancy to a dynastic family that only Congress leaders are capable of.
And now with a run-away inflation where producers & suppliers are skimming the cream off the market , everything seems to be leading to a crescendo.
What has gone wrong ? Looks like the harbinger of globalisation , Dr.Manmohan Singh , did not anticipate the effect that global crisis can have on the economy of an integrated country.
Too many global economic & financial crisis happened to coalesce. Sub-prime crisis in the financial sector, rising oil price, global food crisis, commodity crisis , the effect of US recession on the Indian economy, falling dollar etc, etc.
Will his government survive the attack & the inflation and last the full term? Or will the country face another election before the expiry of the full term? Or shall we have a change in guard in Congress and see a new prime minister before the term expires?