Development Agenda and Narrow Interests

by Amit Bhushan on Thursday 4 January 2018, 12:33 PM | Category: Politics| View: 214 views

Development Agenda and Narrow Interests

                              By: Amit Bhushan                                           Date: 4th Jan. 2018


The clash of ‘development agenda' with pursuance of narrow interests is going to cast its shadow. Like the state government proposing legislation regards ‘Cow', which gives away focus of the government. Basically the predominantly ‘Rural' political Netas still have confusion that the ‘Caste card or Caste struggle' is still dominant in the rural area and it can be countered via ‘Religion card' and that the ‘Class struggle' is mostly an urban phenomenon. For the political Netas, predominantly feudal politics and feudalistic thinking rather than ‘fresh air' still mars the ‘rural settings' and they want to capitalize upon the same in ‘old time tested ways'. The challenge is humungous when one doesn't have ‘small urbanized pockets (a la Naya Raipur)' to show or a marked improvement in ‘consistency of income/business growth' of the people with a controlled inflation. (Please note that even ‘projects' like Naya Raipur may also have limited takers since it generally benefits limited number of people). Politicians know that the ‘stats' of farm production growth makes for good media projection but at the ground level, the rural folks raise questions regards government's or neta's contribution towards the same and a ‘corrupt bureaucratic machinery' whose claims of ‘delivery' cannot be relied upon, to make convincing arguments turning it into ‘winnable vote share'. The know all netas might be underestimating India's ability to surprise, although ‘Game' must admit about a lack of political choices in this regards. The electoral results being in line with the performance of the state netas (rather than center alone) has already been forecasted by these articles, and vote-catchers may have little impact going forward.

So instead of attacking ‘corruption' which benefits nearly all political somebody/s i.e. the Netas, bureaucrats as well as ‘political supporters of Netas (read Donors)', one looks for nice alibi whether it comes from religion or caste or any other social factors. This is especially true about the ‘rural areas' where the apathy of the commercial news media leads to a near total ‘lack of monitoring' and they turn into a labyrinth of neglect, corruption and nepotism. The smaller allocations towards such rural pockets (which are many and fragmented) almost entirely ends up in ‘you know whose hands' in such cases but please note that can be a few exceptions areas/netas in this regards as well however the commercial news media only projects whom and what it wants to project based on ‘its own interests'. The rise and rise of the Goonda elements and its mixing with the politico-bureaucratic complex further complicates the situation. For this ensures a new-fangled ideas of fleecing people (read consumers) and thwarts investments and business growth in a violent environment thus created and sustained. The focus of the commercial news media on ‘identity politics' or ‘events' or ‘similar political drama' rather than facts around ‘issues and reasons' or ‘deeper investigation cause-effect-solution' or ‘different (real/rational) political choices for people', ensures superficial narratives and debates and allows for sustained ‘disease in the polity' which calls for a ‘surgical strike' which the Netas or bureaucrats or their supporters won't want to undertake or underwrite. These articles in Management Paradise, often subtly criticized (in commercial news media) are in response to these needs. The commercial news media may itself be responsible for this criticism and its susceptibility to the same since it may have done very little to ‘educate and train' its own professionals or even made its consumers aware (from time to time).

What we see is ‘arguments in media' regards ‘project delays' in the ‘neighborhood' and ‘nefarious political hand' in the same. But it has failed to point out ‘political hand' in project delays within ‘purely domestic' settings and this may have continued for a bit too long. It should be noted that such ‘news' makes it to back pages of the print media, the ‘house channels' but not in any of the ‘mainline commercial news media' and of course needed no discussions since the ‘public views' on the same may not suit any of the netas or political party or their supporters may be already well-understood. When there are claims of early completion of projects or its completion at lower costs then was budgeted, it makes only smaller news and no ‘other state' or Netas are exhorted to ‘match the new paradigm'. Instead we have the ‘governments and netas' achieving this slammed as a bunch of buffoons which are likely to be marginalized soon as a uniform view formulated and telecasted/printed/propagated. Basic issue is a polity which tries to take its ‘cut' from every project, instead to trying to sponsor ‘many projects'. Also there is a penchant amongst ‘business supporters' to work on ‘government sponsored' projects rather than ‘identify self-sustaining' projects and undertake/underwrite risks towards the same. This continues even when we have lots of noise around ‘process driven approach' and the reason could be a lack of ‘equal distribution of opportunity' or lack of drive towards ‘level playing field'.  

There is also a neta bureaucrat clash of interest that is almost never talked about. This is because theNetas have to almost always rely upon the bureaucrats to push policies,their implementation as well as service deliveries. The bureaucrats almost always push netas to hunt for ‘new projects/infrastructure' rather than an overhaul of the delivery mechanism presided over by them. The limited option for the netas might be around the ‘transfers and posting' rather than any structural change which has more resistance. We have seen actions around scraping of ‘old laws' but how much has been the action around any scrapping of redundant projects, re-engineered operations of the departments with redeployment of personnel, and this is seldom brought to notice. Also the governments and its departments may still not have taken to report ‘transactions throughput' which could have served as a barometer (for improved efficiency) and some noise was made around it by some party in national capital. A move in this direction may also help in greater incorporation of technology, far more streamlining of procedures, bring forth ‘conflict of interests' for resolution and improve controls. Instead we have a clutch of blame games and smear campaigns which are witnessed and a political roller-coaster with netas looking for proverbial ‘straw' for survival.

The ‘Game' forecasts a continued ‘churn' in polity as well as ‘politics' of the country which would depicted in the form a rise of new faces and gradual decline of the old but that would happen with ‘speed'. It may be noted that while the media reported with a ‘sigh of relief' that a newbie party scored lower votes than NOTA option in the polls gone by, however it failed to note the ‘churn' with the parties ‘both' of which may be proclaimed winner of the elections, in their own ways of course. Increasingly the ‘old faces' representing ‘old ideas' are being side-lined by the electorate. There is changing ‘identities' within political parties as well as ‘changing themes'. The greater ‘openness' of ‘character' of the Netas would help electorate choose smarter and better, and already ‘Game' has forecasted about greater understanding of the Netas to ‘accommodate ‘Game' options being realized (though still not clear that to what extent would it be accommodated and how?). Now this in itself may not represent an embrace of the ‘new' by the Netas with ‘old politics' seeped deep inside, however a continuance of the need of ‘hunt for new ideas' or ‘winning themes' cannot be ruled out, given that the perceived threats for the Netas are ‘real', even if a party claiming the mantle is depicted to have been ‘failed'. The 2018 electoral gambit will further ‘clear the air' on which ideas are ‘selling better' with people/voters and would show directions to the powers that be. There would be greater clarity about need to say ‘Namaste/embrace' to which ‘ideas and themes', and ‘Good bye' to the ‘others'. The ‘churn' would show ‘political choices' that need to be pursued with vigour, else somewhat higher threat of being a part of the ‘churn'. Let's see the 'Game' evolve…..

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