The cancer that is UPA

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by arnabmit, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    UPA's noxious scorched-earth exit policy

    UPA hurts India as it exits - The Times of India

    Legend has it that 2,500 years ago to the year, when Darius the Great invaded Scythia, retreating Scythians destroyed food supplies and poisoned the wells. Starved and dehydrated, a large number of soldiers in Darius's army died and he eventually conceded defeat.

    The only plausible interpretation of the actions by Congress in the last several months is that it has adopted this scorched earth strategy as it retreats from government. Its recent actions seem to serve one principal purpose: make the restoration of growth and the task of rebuilding the nation as difficult as possible for the successor government.

    The greater the failure of the successor government, the better would the outgoing government look by comparison. Ironically, the most pernicious act of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government is related directly to land: the new land acquisition act.

    The latter administers an all-round preemptive blow to efforts of a future government to put India back on its feet. For most public projects, the act makes land acquisition such a long-drawn-out affair and land prices so high that only a handful of projects will remain economically viable and capable of being implemented.

    A recent report in this newspaper has this to say about the act: "The new land acquisition law that came into force this January, touted as one of the signal achievements of the UPA government, is turning into a major obstacle in the way of a key infrastructure project being pushed keenly by the Prime Minister's Office." The report goes on to describe how cost of land required to build the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway has trebled to Rs 18,000 crore, with total cost rising to a gigantic Rs 32,000 crore as a result of the money that must be paid as compensation for the land on which the highway is to be built.

    The government is now back to the drawing board to figure how the project can be made viable. Even building rural roads under Pradhan Mantri's Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), a programme expressly meant to aid India's rural poor, will turn into a nightmare.

    And this will be in the name of protecting 'poor' landowners, notwithstanding the fact that land reform has had little success in India. Except in a handful of states, much of the land is actually owned by large and wealthy farmers.

    The new land acquisition act will also make already hard to implement large-scale private projects yet harder to implement. All the provisions of the new act on compensation apply to all private acquisitions of 50 acres of land in urban and 100 acres in rural areas.

    According to some calculations, this would render land an order of magnitude more expensive in almost all locations in India than in any other country on the face of the earth. This is why entrepreneurs looking for land will first look on Mars before doing so in India.

    Sadly, the national leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP), which loathed the idea of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi coming to rule at the Centre for fear that he would destroy the cozy existence it has enjoyed for the last decade even sitting in opposition, unwittingly and shortsightedly aided UPA in scorching the earth. It went on to vote for nearly every populist bill UPA brought to the floor of Parliament without stopping to think that it, and not UPA, might have to live with the consequences. But now that the chances of a Modi victory look bright, it will find out how it has shot itself in the foot.

    UPA sins do not end with the land acquisition act. Appointment of the Seventh Pay Commission and hike in subsidised gas cylinders from 9 to 12 are part of the same strategy.

    So also the increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 175 per day on average and the last-minute attempt to raise dearness allowance to 100% of the base salary, notwithstanding the fact that it was raised to 90% only this past July.

    But perhaps the worst poison pill is UPA's attempt to push as many as nine ordinances and clear vast numbers of projects on literally the last possible day before Election Commission's Model Code of Conduct was expected to kick in. Only sage advice from the president held back the government's hand from pushing the vast majority of these ordinances.

    Even so, it was not deterred from introducing reservation for the 90 million-strong Jat community in nine states in central government jobs and admissions to central educational institutions — and from granting special category status to the newly-created Seemandhra state for five years.

    Rarely has a democratic government consciously inflicted such damage on the nation at its exit.
     
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  3. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    How 'soft' UPA has compromised our national security | Firstpost
    By Col. (Retd) Anil Athale

    The leaked Henderson Brooks report on the lapses that led to India’s defeat in the 1962 war with China is timely, for it shows how poorly our political leaders and military strategists have fared in the past. The leak is timely because we seem to have learnt nothing from that debacle, and the current election campaign has not brought forth any intelligent debate on national security.

    This is, of course, par for the course, for India has historically woken up only after the enemy knocks on the gates. In our neighbourhood, Afghanistan is facing a Taliban takeover, Pakistan is destabilised and China has become aggressive around our borders. And our security policy is a tragedy in the making.

    The next government’s first task will be to repair the damage done to the whole gamut of national security by an inept UPA government. Our foreign policy comes a close second, with one foreign minister talking of the Chinese aggression in Ladakh as “acne” on the face of India-China ties, and his predecessor reading from a Portuguese minister’s speech. This only goes to prove that a degree from Oxford or George Washington University does not mean much, when political incumbents do not have the will or energy to think deeply on strategic issues.

    The three priorities for the next government are to rebuild trust between the political leadership and the armed forces; refurbish defence capabilities by investing in new and upgraded hardware for the army, navy and airforce; and lastly strengthen the credibility of our deterrence – whether nuclear or anti-terror.

    The UPA government has, in fact, been tripping over its own feet. It became the laughing stock of the world when, in January 2012, it was ‘spooked’ into believing that a routine training movement by one regiment of our mechanised infantry and another unit of a para commando force might result in a coup. This, when there were already several thousand troops present in Delhi in preparation for the Republic Day parade.

    What the panic showed was an utter lack of confidence at the highest levels of government in the army’s intentions. This was the result of a serious lack of communication between the armed forces leadership and its political masters. The proximate cause of this mistrust was the date of birth controversy involving a serving army chief. There were a hundred quiet ways of resolving this crisis. But the government panicked and did incalculable damage to the very important institution of chief of army staff. It also broadcast to the world the paranoia existing in government about potential military coups even after 65 years of having a loyal and apolitical armed force.

    It needs to be reiterated that the only occasion on which the country came close to military rule was on 20 March 1977, when the son of the then Prime Minister is reported, in her presence, to have asked the army to take over since their party was on the verge of losing an election. Earlier, in 1959, vested interests had spread rumours of a military takeover by Gen KS Thimayya, possibly the most unlikely soldier to have ever entertained such thoughts.

    One must recall an interesting story revolving around Jawaharlal Nehru and Gen. JN Chaudhury in 1963. India was then still recovering from a military defeat in the 1962 Indo-China border conflict. One day Nehru walked unannounced into the army chief’s office (both the PMO and the army chief operate from South Block). After some lively banter, the PM reportedly asked the army chief: “I believe you have plans for all contingencies, so I am sure you have one for the military takeover of the country. Can I have a look at it?”

    Gen. Chaudhury was equal to the occasion. “Surely, Mr Prime Minister!” he said, and opened a drawer and pulled out a bottle of Scotch whisky – a plan to just celebrate. During the rest of the general’s tenure, no one ever heard any further talk of an army coup. The only people who talk of military takeovers are young rookie lieutenants or frustrated civilians. With the multiplicity of power centres, developed institutions and our vast size, India is simply military coup-proof.

    However, the ghost of military coup has not been buried deep enough. The atmosphere of suspicion and lack of communication and trust between the higher echelons of the military and political leadership that the January 2012 incident showed is cause for worry as it can be disastrous for the security of a nation. The next government has to re-establish trust between institutions on a priority basis.

    The recent spate of accidents in the navy revealed the lack of planning and long-term acquisition strategy. Naval ships take a decade to build and all naval chiefs of the last 10 years have been pleading with the government to renew the aging fleet. There is a limit beyond which one cannot operate machinery that is more than 25 years old. Not just the navy, but the army is also short of tank ammunition and night vision devices. The plan for the replacement of the aging MiG 21s of the Air Force has been shelved for lack of money. Rickety and outdated equipment and all-round shortages are the second legacy of the UPA government.

    But the most damaging aspect of UPA’s defence policy has been the erosion of ‘credibility’ of Indian deterrence. Nuclear wars cannot be won and should never be fought. The only defence against the threat of nuclear weapons is deterrence. The two vital components of deterrence are capability and credibility.

    Recently an arrested Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist revealed that his organisation was contemplating a nuclear attack on Surat city in Gujarat. These emboldened plans of Pakistan-supported Indian terrorist groups stem directly from the lack of Indian reaction to the Mumbai train bombings of July 2006 and the terror attacks of 26/11 in 2008.

    The 2008 Mumbai attacks took place seven years after the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. At that time we mobilised our full strength and threatened full scale war on Pakistan. The threat was only withdrawn after Pakistan gave a concrete assurance that neither its own territory nor territory under its control (refers to Pak-occupied Kashmir, or POK) would be permitted to be used for a terror attack against India. This assurance was guaranteed by the Americans.

    Once it became clear that the 2008 attack was indeed launched by terrorists based in Pakistan, we should have held the Pakistan government responsible and carried out punitive actions to hurt that country. We also ought to have invoked the American guarantee in this regard and brought further pressure on Pakistan. But instead of any of these actions, no sooner had the public outcry died down we began talks with Pakistan and even separated action against terrorism from the peace process.

    The Taliban are on the rampage in Pakistan. While we lament the beheading of two of our soldiers by Pakistan and rightly make an issue of it, it must be remembered that recently the Taliban beheaded 23 Pakistani soldiers who were in their custody. There are signs that finally Pakistan has woken up to this challenge and both the ISI and the Pakistani army may have stopped supporting IM. While, on the one hand, it is indeed a welcome move by Pakistan, on the other hand it also shows the real possibility of a takeover of Pakistan by the fanatic Taliban.

    Many short-sighted ‘peaceniks’ have hailed the UPA’s soft approach as a ‘pragmatic’ step. But the logic of deterrence says that through this act of insanity the Indian sub-continent has actually come closer to a nuclear disaster, a disaster that will affect both India and Pakistan.

    The next government will this have to re-establish the credibility of India’s retaliatory threat. The ‘how’ of this is not for public consumption and is best left to experts in the field. But the disaster of Manmohan Singh’s economic stewardship and failures on internal security pale into insignificance when one considers his handling of terrorism-related national security issues. The economy can still be turned around but can the nation absorb a future terrorist attack on India with nuclear weapons, or on India’s nuclear installations? This is not some fictional scenario conjured up by paranoid persons, as the IM terrorist’s revelations have shown.

    India’s failure to respond robustly to the 26/11 terror attacks has confirmed to our enemies that we do not have the capability or the will to take them on. We are thus inviting greater catastrophe for one-billion-plus Indians.

    The author is a former head of War History, and fellow of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses
     
  4. rugved

    rugved Regular Member

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    I agree but I don't think BJP/Narendra Modi is the solution.
     
  5. ubuntu

    ubuntu Tihar Jail Banned

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    I think you are hiding your religion and dancing to singh tunes.

    you might be singh duplicate account.
     
  6. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Is there a better analysis which can show how the cost of highway trebled?

    Also, I am sure a strong NDA govt. can bring new land acquisition act with sufficient will power.
     
  7. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Certainly Rahul Gandhi or Arvind Kejriwal or Mualayam Singh or Mamata or Lallu Prasad is not competent to be PM.

    I dont think we can take the risk of another puppet or crook or idiot at the top.
     
  8. rugved

    rugved Regular Member

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    Might be? Yes I am Singh's duplicate account. :cool2:

    I don't consider even Modi to be competent enough to be the PM.
     
  9. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ok pl vote Kejri !
     
  10. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Its your right to be sceptical. Thankfully it looks like sceptics are in minority.
     
  11. rugved

    rugved Regular Member

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    Okay.....!
     
  12. DivineHeretic

    DivineHeretic Senior Member Senior Member

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    You are absolutely entitled to your opinion about Modi. But since this is a public forum, and some of us would like to challange your opinion, we would be deeply obliged if you could provide your reasoning about Modi's incompetence.
     
    Samar Rathi and arnabmit like this.
  13. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Inheritance figures from previous regimes:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    law demands more compensation than original price!
    Rajya sabha -block!
     
  15. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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  16. ninja85

    ninja85 Regular Member

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    please do tell who is then.
     

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