Sunday, March 26, 2023

#ThePawarSteering : The political moonshot !!


By SK Nag

Indian political structure needs immediate reformatting limiting the option of fighting elections to a few. The country of the world’s largest democracy, having a varied manifestation of people’s desires and aspirations, needs a next-generation leader on top. We have many registered and unregistered parties in our country, disallowing a single-party majority in the parliament. Some of these parties do not contribute effectively to the political fight but bring in the wrong connotation in the end. Regional politics is going to be predominant due to the country’s vastness and diversity. The trend in assembly polls in the federal structure may not be the same in the central election. Reinventing the wheel is essential as the central command has to get a foothold in the country’s development after deciding on a road map. Opposition politics has taken an inimical stand for existence by opposing whatever the ruling party says. Conclusively the politics of disapproval has made this country unfavourable for inclusive growth. Indian Politics always remained unpredictable to Foreign investors. They have failed to comprehend the decision-making process in the governance system. It is a subject beyond their understanding and hence making them afraid of investing in a big way. Investment rating has been gradually coming down dampening our prospect of growth.

Despite India’s geography being perceived as business-friendly, MNCs are not braving investment with full efforts. The iffy in thought is still existing in a process that is making them think more than twice. Economic indicators are not so bad that the MNCs are not interested. But in this country of multiple permission starting from ‘consent to establish’ to ‘consent to operate,’ the journey is too tiring and full of hurdles. As foreign players, they will not put enough money in the basket to get it grown; instead, they will see visible growth with little less in other geographical locations which are not so large but business friendly.

Currently, India is going through a severe shortage of leadership quality unleashing ravelment in the political decision-making process. A country of 130 cr population is unable to showcase the grit required to lead this country. We have learnt to live within the availability, not aspiring to get the best. Politics of fighting irrelevance resorting to hate propaganda has become omnipresent than politics of quality governance . A good opposition will never resort to fighting with an unjustified political position to become a favourable choice of the mass.
The leadership gap in opposition is felt enormously by a citizen of India. In the night sky, due to absence of glaring sun, all stars become visible. This analogy is also valid for Indian politics. A great leader can overshadow all the regional leaders to bring harmony. Unidirectional movement of growth without any interruption from the opposition can take the country forward. Great leaders must try to enjoy the support of all, including opposition too. The constitutional provisions are available to facilitate the active participation of the opposition in a conducive ambience of inclusivity. Mr. PV Narsimha Rao used oppositions’ talent with his political pragmatism and brought predilection required then. Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee contributed immensely to this country, being on the opposition desk more than the ruling desk. But in current-day politics, oppositions are constantly distancing themselves from Govt’s decision lest the Govt be successful.

The recent political congregation in the residence of Mr. Pawar has raised the eyebrows of all political pundits intuitively, signalling a possible third front to find an answer to the immediate alternatives to BJP. Unless something disruptive happens in the coming decades we may not see any change in the Governance pattern. People want change but no option is visible. The coalition is not an answer that people are looking at. India’s aspiration for growth is enormous. The economic potential is concentrated around this part of Asia. India and its subcontinent carry immense importance to the global business community. Indian political stability is needed for continuous and sustainable growth in the coming few decades without political turbulence. Political volatility might endanger the business prospect of a country.
In this meeting of Mr. Pawar nothing concrete has come out openly yet, proclaiming his wish to steer this country in coming years. Historically rebooting at 80+ is not a difficult task. However, active participation in politics at national level might demand more from him. Does he have the required band width across India? On the other hand, Congress has provided an operating platform for many parties to unite to rule this country in UPA 1 & 2. But coalition politics has driven this country into knee-deep corruption due to many political compulsions.
Mr. Pawar is contemporary to many political prodigies like Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Mr.Azad, Mr. Chidambaram. They have seen the country’s political evolution over the years. Politics of the past without social media and modern India with too much social media intervention have utterly changed the situation. But his political insight or political maneuvering may or may not be helpful will be seen in the coming days. All these political classes understand how IAS-led bureaucracy works in India. They never got driven by the IAS, but they had made them work. Therefore, the governance of EFGH will be smooth if the bottlenecks are known and show stoppers are eliminated in the beginning. The current government is operating in an IAS-driven architecture. Dependency on bureaucratic efficiency does not have enough merit in today’s context. But the style of functioning sometimes appears to be ‘bureau-crazy’ instead.
Policy on paper and policy implemented on the ground has enormous disparity due to inadequate review mechanisms. Self-proclaimed success by a bureaucratic team with crony validation needs to be different. A citizen participatory feedback mechanism should evaluate the performance of an IAS officer. Can this toughness be expected from a person of 80+ leaders?
Covid pandemic-led despondency has injured the mind of the average Indian for the long term. This mental health can be cured if the economic recovery is accelerated with the timely intervention of political parties from either side of the Govt. Economic recovery is bound to happen if we sing the same song together. A stable and expedited growth can be achieved if EFGH (Employment, Food security, Good Governance & Healthy Healthcare facility) of governance is taken care of jointly.
Enjoying regional political networking with limited outreach to other states’ electorates may not be sufficient to make it to the top office in India. Therefore in the coming two years, it will be a different ball game for those who want to make it big in 2024.
India must look into the politics of oneness otherwise, in future, all regional parties that are becoming strong on their local ground will put national health at stake. So we must see if the ‘Pawar-Steering’ can bring in the required Horse-Power to machinate reaching the top post in 2024, or it will be just a political moonshot.

(Author is Industrial Engineer, Fellow Valuer, Chartered Engineer, BEE approved Energy Expert and Industry Mentor. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected])

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