Late Sunday night, I had the (mis) fortune of coming across this piece by Mr. Jairam Ramesh, former Union Minister in the UPA government. The following questions came to my head, after I finished reading that piece.
What is the point of this piece? What does one expect a former Cabinet Minister from a decimated political party to say? What new information is being conveyed here to the readers?
Did the PM really play the ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine in Gujarat? He did not. He was consistent. He did not give room for fissiparous tendencies. Period. He shows no special favours. He does not pander to special interests nor does he engage in shameless, vote-grabbing minority populism.
Second, the PM has not choked access to the corporate sector. The personal access that leads to cronyism has been stopped. It is indeed supreme irony to see a former Minister whose Ministry was almost single-handedly responsible for stopping India’s Gross Fixed Capital Formation on its tracks shedding tears for the Indian corporate sector.
Further, on international matters, for a political party that governed without spine, it must be galling to see the PM being willing to be the last man standing on matters of principle.
The first 100 days of the government have been disturbing, indeed. But, not for the nation. But, for the Opposition who hoped that he would commit major faux pas. He has not. Hence, it is disturbing them.
Finally, it is the crowning irony of the piece that a Minister who, within days or weeks of assuming office in the previous UPA government, undermined the authority of the Prime Minister (and continued to do so throughout his tenure), should make a case for a Prime Minister with authority! (Read Sanjaya Baru’s ‘Accidental PM’ to know about Mr. Ramesh’ role in leaking a memo written by Ms. Sonia Gandhi to the PM, to the outside world).
Well, on second thoughts, I must admit I am wrong about the non-purpose of columns such as these. They do serve a purpose. They remind the rest of us as to what wretched governance that we had to endure for the last decade that set India back at least by three decades. For that, we should be grateful to the writer of this piece since human beings are prone to forgetting easily, even capable of forgetting the old adage that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.
If Indian voters can so easily forget the sordid decade that ended in May 2014, they will have none but themselves to blame for it. One can then kiss India’s future and the very idea of India goodbye then.