Is UPA’s failure leading us to the chaos of French Revolution?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Daredevil, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Is UPA’s failure leading us to the chaos of French Revolution?

    In 1789, a loose alliance of radical groups, impoverished peasants and the urban underclass banded together to overthrow a centuries-old monarchy, cut the feudal aristocracy down to size, and reduce the legitimacy of religious authorities all over.

    It was called the French Revolution, and for the next 10 years, chaos reigned as the old order gave way to the new, and populist excesses led to continuous tension, violence and strife. But from the chaos grew the new ideas of the Enlightenment, and the egalitarian principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.

    If you were to look at the India of the last three years, diverse social forces – from the middle class anti-corruption movements spearheaded by Team Anna and Baba Ramdev to various radical Maoist movements in tribal areas, and to the violent outbursts in Manesar and other industrial enterprises, not to speak of ethnic violence in Assam and the North East – have been building up a crescendo of popular rage against the status quo. In particular, politicians and corrupt business houses are being clubbed in the same bracket.

    If you were to ask Harish Salve, senior Supreme Court counsel and defender of India Inc, he seems to think all this has the makings of the French Revolution’s excesses, complete with a general mistrust of authority – from government to corporate houses and the power elite.

    In an interview to Bloomberg TV and published by Mint newspaper, Salve says: “We seem to be going through a French Revolution kind of a situation. Anybody who accuses the government of corruption is speaking the truth, anybody who accuses India Inc of being dishonest, generating black money or being corrupt is speaking the truth.”

    Salve’s right, for this has been the tenor of accusations by the Arvind Kejriwals, Prashant Bhushans and Baba Ramdevs, who have respectively accused parliamentarians of being “rapists, murderers and looters”, corporates of “massive loot of public resources” and government of doing nothing to “bring back black money” hoarded abroad.

    That all these accusations have found strong resonance with the public also suggests that ordinary people are willing to believe the worst about people in power.

    Salve, however, was making his points more in the context of how corporate India is now being tarred by common people with the same brush used for crooked politicians.

    There’s no denying the popular anger. But it begs this simple question: why is a democracy, which is supposedly influenced by popular opinion, facing a “French Revolution kind of a situation”? That revolution happened in the context of an uncaring monarchy. But why is Indian democracy, which is flinging thousands of crores in welfarist schemes, also looking like it’s headed that way?

    Salve’s answer: due to a complete failure of political leadership and governance under the UPA.

    He says: “It is entirely the government’s fault. It is lack of credibility in governance because of which everything becomes suspect. Then India Inc also becomes suspect because people feel if you are the beneficiary of any government decisions, then any decision in your favour is corrupt because the government is corrupt.”

    However, is Salve right in assuming that India Inc does not share any part of the blame for the decline in governance? Who, after all, did A Raja’s decisions benefit? Who benefited from the coal ministry’s decision to award coal blocks through an opaque system? How did the terms offered to GMR in the Delhi airport deal change after the bidding process war over?

    As this writer has argued before in Firstpost, crony capitalism has plumbed new depths over the last 10 years of super-fast growth, and has reached its nadir with the 2G, Commonwealth, coal blocks, civil aviation and Delhi airport privatisation controversies. In all these cases, private parties were beneficiaries – not as the result of a transparent process, but opaque dealings.

    When Salve says that in the current atmosphere of suspicion “anybody who says the airline industry is floundering…is corrupt..or is batting for somebody,” he is surely right. But is it really possible to deny this reality that even though Kingfisher is upto its eyeballs in debt no bank is even now willing to send it into receivership or bankruptcy? Who is helping Kingfisher stay in business when it should have gone bust long ago?

    Or when all telecom players claim they have too much debt but show a strange reluctance to raise more equity and reduce debts? They wouldn’t be able to do this if public sector banks refused to lend them money if they didn’t bring in more equity capital. Clearly, political power is working in cahoots with corporate interests.

    Salve concludes by regretting that even with Manmohan Singh’s stature, and a cabinet studded with “stellar” people like P Chidambaram, we are still in a French Revolution kind of situation.

    Salve does not go forward and connect the last dot in this analysis – that the failures of Singh and Chidambaram, not to speak of Pranab Mukherjee before him, have less to do with their “stellar” roles than the lack of political support from party boss Sonia Gandhi.

    Salve exhorts our reformist duo to “take governance in both hands and say we need to help India Inc not because they are businessmen but because they are the people who run the economy of this country in a liberal economy.”

    Unfortunately for Salve, he is addressing the wrong people. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have not said one word about the role of India Inc and what she wants it to do.

    If we are in French Revolution kind of situation, Salve should point the finger in the right direction.
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I'm a big fan of R Jagannathan. His articles are well articulated and to the point with no mincing the words.

    We are in fact moving towards a 'french revolution' kind of thing may be not in such a big scale but nevertheless enough to shake the political system. I hope that there will be some change in the institutions functioning and accountability as a result fo the rage of the people against these institutes. We need to reset an recharge these institutes.
     
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  4. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    DD sir the middle-class are disgusted with UPA correct what about the other strata are they disgusted with UPA?
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    DD, I have started reading his articles since they started appearing on FirstPost, and find him to be avert articulate writer.

    Regarding this article, the pointers are not good for the country.

    We have a leadership which is not only living in denial but it has also vacated the space of governance. In this vacuum we have SC, The CAG, Anna team, Ramdev stepping in. Today the trust deficit is so high that the man on the street is not willing to either trust or believe the Government.

    the economy is in a suspended animation state and slowly slipping down. The frustrations are growing on the street and need to be addressed ASAP.
     
  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I think other strata are also disgusted equally with high inflation and deficient monsoon only adds to the woes of the UPA. Lack of reforms in economy means, no new job generation which means few jobs for the migrants and the poor. For example, due to slump in economy, there is a slump in the real estate as a result many migrants from rural areas are not finding daily labor jobs and that certainly will p!ss ofd the lower strata.
     
  7. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    The NREGA ensures daily labour is happy.What rural and urban lower class thinks of UPA is important
     
  8. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Problem with a dysfunctional democracy like ours is, people aren't eligible and honed enough to be its wise participants. Rather they are misfed day and night into even more unfit ones (talking about rural and lower urban folk specially).
    When they see it failing they'll harshly (read physically violent) strike at the core institutions and we'll either end up without a democracy or a drastically different democracy which no one imagined. That time the intellectual and well-provided-for class would just watch the drama in shock, from the sidelines.
    Its not like the modern western societies where people bring about a change without over doing it or without doing collateral damage.

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  9. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Doubtful. If India was a cold country there would hv been a revolution like Russian revolution when people forced to live in shanties froze to death. As it is the really poor and uneducated have no stake in the politics of this country. A bottle of country liquor and a 500 Rs note is sufficient to buy their vote and then it is back to the daily grind.
     
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  10. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    NREGA doesn't reach all of them. And most of them are not getting paid these days.
     
  11. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    Which is why they could not be of much help in bringing about major changes without much collateral damage to the system. Their ways of fixing things are not what a democracy can digest.
     
  12. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Actually, in 2004 and 2009 it was the urban areas that voted Congress into power - rural areas have voted lesser for UPA both times.
     
  13. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    not so in AP and Maharasthra
     
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  14. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    No french revolution is possible in India. Our diversity takes care of that/
     
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  15. aragorn

    aragorn Senior Member Senior Member

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    UPA has mastered the art of bribing. They loot the country for 4 years and then in the election year they start giving free schemes. Poor people forget everything and then vote for them. It free scheme does not work they try to instigate communal/castiest/religious mentality to split votes of opposition.
     
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  16. aragorn

    aragorn Senior Member Senior Member

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    revolution needs courage. We dont have that.

    We are the people who will readily give 10 RS to police constable for violating traffic rule. and then cry corruption. If someone fights for us we are busy nitpicking his faults and not appreciating the efforts made by said person. In short ours is a hypocrite society and we deserve what we have got be it the political class , bureaucracy or police.
     
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  17. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why do you think democracy is a panacea? Is that because the west says so?

    The only way forward is either military rule or passive autocracy.

    Military is very pro national and apolitic. So I do not see that happen. I hope however it does.

    Passive autocracy seems difficult as we have very few good men who are also articulate and have the ability to command respect.
     
  18. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well the author was not saying we will have a french revolution. He is saying we are staring at a revolution like the french revolution where the people overthrew the ruling class and just because they wanted blood they even eliminated anyone who was very distantly connected to the political elite. The business leaders are considered to be bedfellows of the politicians. And if people are baying for blood of the ruling classes the collateral damage will be the business leaders as well.

    Why have Buffet and Gates pledged all their estate to charity after they die? There in lies the answer of the fear of the rich and powerful.
     
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  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The UPA collapse in governance is causing an Indian revolution.

    Cool and apathetic!
     
  20. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

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    The answer is no.

    Not yet.

    But I hope that happens, ASAP.
     
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  21. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    The safest place will be out of india in such a sceanario.
     

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