Crisis of Confidence

N S Venkataraman

In the 66 years after gaining freedom from British Rule, India has seen several difficult times but it has never experienced the type of crisis of confidence amongst citizens that it is facing now. Several well informed Indians now feel highly concerned about the economic, political and social conditions in the country and wonder how things would turn better in the coming years.

Almost everyone in the country squarely blames the politicians who have driven the country to such a despair. But, several discredited politicians and their family members have so entrenched themselves in the government or in the political parties , it appears that it would be a herculean task to remove them from the scene.

There appears to be no difference of opinion amongst vast section of the countrymen that the administration of the country has gone down under the control of many dishonest, self centred and corrupt politicians who have no sense of probity. Unfortunately, the political leadership of the government of India has become so weak, that such corrupt persons remain unchallenged.

Corruption in the administration has become so deep rooted and all-pervaise that an average citizen thinks that he can never get anything done by adopting legitimate and normal process but has to move ahead only by paying bribe. This is so even in the case of small matter like getting a ration card or registering a property or getting a child admitted in an educational institution.

The mindset of the average common man is now getting gradually used to a highly corrupt public life to such an extent, that an honest deed is viewed as an exception rather than a rule. In such scenario, criminals are getting bolder and it is becoming difficult to distinguish between criminals and several politicians.

People who swear by honesty are left out of the mainstream of life and really look like a misfit. Of course, there are some people who protest about these conditions but they are rarely heard and their protests remain as cry in the wilderness. Even the large section of the media are becoming so business oriented and seem to be themselves influenced by the present dismal political scenario , that it has become extremely difficult to get due space for progressive activities that would do national good.

Every government deal even at the top level where Prime Minister and Chief Ministers are directly involved are suspected to be steeped in favouritism and misappropriation. While the country has heard about so many scams in recent times in coal allotment, 2G allotment, commonwealth games etc. what is particularly disturbing is that the ministers and bureaucrats in government of India and several state governments remain so thick skinned and do not seem to care at all as to what people think about them.

While this is the scenario in the administrative chamber, like the word scam, rape has become another common word where not a day passes without incidents of rape of women being reported in one part of the country or the other. India is being shamed by such sordid events and the government appears to be so impotent in dealing with such grave issues. People who repeatedly hear about scam and rape feel extremely disgusted and the confidence of the common man about the future of the country is reaching a crisis point.

Aided by corruption in administration and weak political leadership , the country's economy is now facing an unprecedented crisis with the rupee weakening almost everyday and manufacturing activities steadily falling.

Government of India clearly lacks the will and ideas to retrieve the economy and does not have the credibility even to impose some plans like conserving fuel by restricting its sale to limited hours. With the respect commanded by the government amongst the people becoming so low that nobody believes in the sincerity of the government about its efforts to bring the economy to some sort of order.

Politicians seem to think that whatever their performance in the government, they can win elections by extending various forms of concessions and free schemes to the poor voters before the elections.

Intelligentia and the well informed people see the writing on the wall. They clearly feel that the country needs change of leadership at the centre and in several states and new leadership has to take over that has greater sense of commitment, probity and concern for national good as well as competence and knowledge to deliver goods.

The question that is bothering everyone is whether the democratic system as it is practised in India today can allow better conditions to materialise.

Vol. 46, No. 17, Nov 3 -9, 2013

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