Whereâ€™s the big idea? MJ Akbar Ever since ideology committed suicide in the early 1990s, those in power have sought to fill the vacuum with ideas. Most ideas were perceptive and prescriptive; some were even brilliant. The flexibility was exhilarating after too many decades of doctrine born in an open mind but killed by a closed one. Pragmatism became politically correct. But a serious problem was soon evident: it was difficult to make ideas work without a framework. The patterns of democracy encouraged spasmodic birth but hindered growth. Politics eroded the time necessary for nurture. A five-year term in office began with loads of self-congratulation. Then eager eggheads sat down to set policy into language that could buy advocacy from media and support from the legislature. But if the process entered the third, or worse fourth, it was overtaken by uncertainty, spluttered and shuffled before the withdrawal symptoms arrived. Some ideas, of course, do get through. The first UPA government can take legitimate credit for the nuclear deal with the United States, and the employment programme code named NREGA. The trouble was that both promised more than they delivered. The nuclear deal was sold to voters as the launching pad for Indiaâ€™s rise into superpower zone. Objective reality argued against hyperbole, but through some heavy winking by powerful politicians, illusion acquired the strength of hope. Enough young voters thought that the door to an Indo-American dream had been flung open. Today, UPA dare not talk about this mirage. The pact of the century has disappeared into some mysterious rabbit hole of amnesia. NREGA, similarly, was meant to be the first great stride in a transformative journey towards poverty eradication. Instead, its bulk was eaten away by the familiar demons of indifference and corruption. Since 2009, the poor have received lectures on how to live on Rs 32 a day rather than a carefully structured and realistic route map out of the poverty line. They watched while a cabal of politicians and cronies fattened themselves on an unprecedented scale. It is not easy to boggle the Indian voterâ€™s mind, but corruption in the last few years has thoroughly boggled it. In the twilight of its second term, UPA is trying to fight off the gathering darkness with a Food Security Bill, but it is never easy to do in the last six months what could so easily have been done in the first six. It is usual practice to highlight achievement in any obituary. What is memorable about UPA2 is not positive; the little that is positive is not memorable. The average of scams was at least two a season. All we recall is a repeated sequence of exposure, denial, street anger and authoritarian response until some minister promises legislation that will cure every malaise. When the glow disappears from bright sparks, even their ideas get dim. Whatever the disease, the medicine is the same. Law minister Kapil Sibal, who plunges into every crisis with the dexterity of Don Quixote, is pushing the brilliant thought of a new law that will cure cricket of sleaze forever and ever. Excuse me: but is match-fixing legal just now? Every law can be strengthened, but that is not the urgent problem. The present law is good enough for the existing crooks. This is not the first instance of the game being sold. BCCI has banned cricketers for match-fixing but never handed them over for prosecution. Why? To muffle the sound of skeletons rattling from cashstacked cupboards? Adulation and sensational levels of money are a heady cocktail, and if some young men get inebriated, it is only a temptation waiting to explode. But the dirt is controlled by older men wearing the heavy make-up of lies. When Delhi police broke the story, they sought to limit the scandal to three idiots from the Rajasthan team. One assumes they were naive since one cannot presume they were complicit. Some very clever men are involved. You can see frightened faces from Chennai to Delhi. For the people, sleaze has become a blur, with politicians visible in every crime, from coal to cricket. There is no ideology yet which cleanses the stables, and there will be none until the dregs of current thought have become irrelevant. Nevertheless, another 1990 moment has arrived. Things cannot continue with just a bit of tinkering along the way. The next government needs a radical and rational platform of ideas that recognizes how dysfunctional this system has become, and finds the courage to sweep below the carpet. The nerve points of the nation have shifted to the young. They do not want merely a different government; they want a new course that will take India out of this jungle of greed in which governance has become synonymous with greed, and the street a playground for lechery. If nothing is done, their patience will turn into rage. Whereâ€™s the big idea? by The Siege Within : MJ Akbar's blog-The Times Of India ******************************************* It is true that those in power have sought to fill the vacuum with ideas./ However, in India, those who have been in power have been bereft of ideas and instead have used the crutch of sloganeering to convey the message, but have had no idea how deliver the message. For instance, we had Garibi Hatao/ Roti, Kapda aur Makan,/Aam Admi/ Apan Haath Jagannath and not to forget India Shining. Neither Garibi has been hataoed, nor have there been Roti, Kapda aur Makan and the Aam Admni has been well summed up by the Political Party's head's son in law that is but Mano men of a Banana Republic and India did not Shine but was tarnished! In short, ideas are laudable but these wise men in a tub (cabinet) are more in the lgith of three monkeys of their leading icon - Bapu! The remind one of the Nursery Rhyme - Rub a dub dub Rub a dub dub, Three fools in a tub, And who do you think they be? The butcher, the baker, The candlestick maker. Turn them out, knaves all three MJ Akbar has very succinctly summed up the chaotic mess that is running a riot in India and how the people are being held hostage to their populism and crass stupidity. Imagine, when there are laws to book the criminals in cricket, to fool and lull the nation, now talk is being bandied around by the worthy of the worthy, the Hon'ble Mr Sibal that there will be a law for fixing in cricket! Naturally, the memory being short he is expecting all will forget soon and the said law will excite to extinguish as did the Lokpal Bill that was murdered at midnight, by none other than our worthy Vice President! Was the handyman and Fix All man of the Congress who has a finger in all pies, Mr Rajiv Shukla involved in this too? I remember there was a hullabaloo over his whispering something in the ear of the Chair in one of the Bills. Was it this one?