Look at the debate that is happening in US presidential elections this time between Romney and Obama. That is a clear fight between two principles or two thought processes. Romney believes that Government has lesser and lesser role to play in either economics or education or entitlements, as it is unsustainable in the long run. Obama believes that Government does play a role in economics, education and entitlements to ensure that it supports the people at the BOP.
There is a clear choice between the American people. They need to choose a path, that they think their nation will run in the long term.
On every issue, one can see clearly two principles that are clashing with each other. After the race, it is possible the winner moves to center or left or right based on the pull from congress. But as of now, there are two very clear-cut paths that Americans have to choose.
The US Presidential election is not about the personalities (not at least this time). Neither Obama Nor Romney are presenting this race as ‘good’ vs ‘bad’. Both are good and bad. The issue at heart of their election is, which way should the Americans go?
Ultimately american people may or may not decide this race on one of these. They may decide it on personality, race and several other issues. But yet, the victor of this election will say his economic principle has been endorsed.
Now compare it with the electoral options in India.
What are the economic paths shown by Congress, BJP and Left to the Nation? Is there any specific path that they want the Nation to go to?
BJP wants to come to power because Congress is corrupt. But everyone knows BJP is also equally corrupt. If congress got 2700 crores while in power, BJP got 900 crores while in opposition. BJP opposes FDI in retail, while everyone knows that, in the first opportunity, it will allow FDI in retail under some pretext or other. The same businessmen who hobnob with Congress also are partners with BJP. To such an extent, that Anjali from IAC is on record stating that Nitin Gadkari has Business relationships with Sharad Pawar, a Congress ally.
BJP and Congress oppose each other’s actions while they are in opposition. They do the exact same thing while they are in ruling party.
Most important of all, they think Indian people are still uneducated, rural masses, who can be swayed based on emotions and caste/religion-calculations and hence base all their actions on this assumption.
Then look at the jokers of third front. Left has got aged and has been reduced to nil. The Mayawati’s, Mulayams, Karunanidhis, Jayalalithas, Chowtalas, Patnaiks are all aberrations of time rather than any real path-offering, vision-providing rulers, who are managing to hang on to the emotional past.
While I am not in favor of two-party systems (never ever), I want the level of debates happening in India to be raised to the level that US has. (or atleast to that level).
The need of the hour in Indian politics is to raise that level of debate about substantive issues. The need is to educate people about these issues and make them a part in this nation-building exercise.
The success of Independent struggle was that it was presented as a simple, understandable option to the people. Can our socio-economic issues be simplified to such an extent and people be presented with differing options ?
While it may appear tough, it is not.
The primary pain-points of people today are in Food, Health-care, Education and Employment/Entrepreneurial opportunities and Non-transparent (at times unruly) Governance with no redress mechanisms. Redress mechanisms such as Judiciary exist in name-sake burdened by huge number of cases and incompetent and corrupt judges. Bureaucrats and Police often become perpetuators or protectors of lawlessness.
The primary pain-point of economic growth arises from non-sustainable policies that are used to address the pain-points of people. Non-sustainable fiscal policies, non-sustainable environmental policies, non-sustainable resource exploitation policies often help economic growth temporarily only to lock it down in future.
What is the solution that the political parties offer to these issues?
Political parties need not address all of these. They can take up a few of them and debate their ways to address them and present us with alternatives.
The fact in India is, if India is growing, it is growing ‘in-spite’ of the politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary and entrenched big-businesses. Even if these do nothing, our economy will grow. So what politicians need to concentrate on is the pain-points of people, pain-points of economic growth and align them through their policy such that their policy addresses both.
We the people of India are becoming mature. We want Debates and not just rebates.
We want more serious debates/discussions than the debates on Jaiswal’s wife comments, Sonia’s medical expenditure, Tehelka smaller than Bofors, My spectrum scam is smaller than yours, Childish war-of-words between politicians on petty issues, etc, so that we can take part in the nation-building exercise in real sense.
If Indian Nation has grown up in the last few decades, does it not deserve better politicians?