My friends from the NDA government, do not hang your boots. Not yet. By the look of things, (never mind they have handed over tehelka to CBI cuz I’m sure you can find any number of Georges to be your convener and even if he goes to jail, it won’t be unfamiliar territory for hamara George), UPA won’t chug along very long. Even if they do, it won’t be without affording you enough opportunities to rock them…. like a hurricane. So do not hang your boots. Only, you’ll face stiff competition in your mission from within. Left revolutionaries are not new to the business of rocking the boat. Revolution is their lifeblood.

The latest show by controversy experts was the experts controversy. Better known as foreign experts controversy. Just in case you have not been hooked to the Indian media, the latest show is nothing but a routine exercise to make sure that our distinguished left leaders, the likes of Sitaram Yetchuri and Prakash Karat, does not stay overeducated (?) and underemployed. The planning commission had formed 19 consultative committees for the midterm appraisal of the tenth five-year plan. In all, these committees consisted of 415 members out of which 15 were ‘foreign’ members. ‘Foreign’, in this case only means they represent foreign institutions like IMF, World Bank, ADB and some management consultants who were sensitive enough to sent people of Indian origin as representatives to the Indian planning commission. These are the very people who until a few years back, were researching at premier institutes like NIPFP, NCAER, ICRIER etc… Their crime was that they decided to serve prestigious stints (like every economist of repute do at some point of their career), at international institutions. Overnight, their integrity, motive and even academic competence was suspect. Of course, in India, it is an accepted and established national truth that every economist on the planet except Prabhat Patnaik and Jayati Ghosh is lured by ‘world bank money’ and invariably can be ‘bought’. Didn’t you know that the planning commission deputy chairman and PMs right hand advisor, Montek Singh Ahluwalia is a ‘World Bank Man‘? Why, even the PM served at the world bank. So did nearly every single expert and advisor who walks the decision making corridors of the Yojna Bhawan. Don’t you realise that our country is ruled by traitors who are on the payroll of the world bank and planted by CIA and KGB? Just in case you think this is a bit far fetched, ask any district secretary of the CPI(M). They know better.

When as a result of the controversy, all the consultative committees were dissolved, the most common news byte given by left spokesmen was “we were heard“. Why this insecurity? Why this need to assure yourself that you are part of the government? Why this lack of belief in yourself? Now neither foreign experts nor left experts are on board. And all this, for sitting on a consultative committee which is purely advisory and devoid of any decision-making powers. The whole episode reminds me of a proverb we have in Malayalam which, roughly translated into English would read- Dog wouldn’t eat grass; wouldn’t let cow eat either.

Its also worth recalling that these are the very same people who have in the past, received major grants from international agencies including the world bank for projects in states under their rule, consulted many foreign experts and involved them in the implementation of projects worth thousands of crores and above all, did not think twice before supporting the congress led coalition whose chairperson is Sonia Gandhi. May be yet another committee could be formed to look into what kind of foreign origins are acceptable and what are not.

Scanning the newspapers of the past month, you’ll come across many issues, latest being the issue of accepting US assistance in combating terrorism in the North East, on which government’s decision is delayed or convoluted or simply endlessly postponed as a result of trying to accommodate conflicting interests. This is doing to our polity what a compromise in the form of a mixed economy did to our economy.

And buddy, this government is just five months old. Ministries have just started rolling in full blast. Situation in North East is grim. Tainted ministers galore. Lethal weapons are being discovered from scrap heaps. There are massive promises and lofty targets to be met as envisioned in the Common Minimum Programme. And first-rate economists in the government doesn’t seem to be nullifying the effect of their coalition partners in guiding policy. So friends, do not lose heart like Yashwant Sinha. Matters are far from grim for you. Never mind that it doesn’t augur any better for the nation.

Hence don’t hang your boots. Not yet.

Post Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.