The Political and Economic blunders which the present Government continues to commit is adversely affecting Good Governance today, which has not only taken a back seat but it appears to have been dumped into the luggage boot!!
In fact the decline of Governance in India commenced during the last year of the Congress rule, 1991-1996 which was then headed by P.V. Narsimha Rao. His period as Prime Minister started off well but went into a steep decline in its last days. Then came the General Elections and the Country witnessed the fragmentation of the Parties with the growth of regional aspirations. At that time the people voted in a number of leaders in various Constituencies, some known and some unknown, but all still wanting to build up their reputations for a seat in Government, while a few of them in fact were wanting to hide their past doings!!!
In 1996 the BJP under Atal Behari Vajpayee secured the largest single majority, but did not have the requisite numbers to form a Government. They still laid stake and appeared confident to secure a majority since they were sure that many other parties would themselves latch on to them. The gamble failed miserably and after 13 days of hectic activity, unluckily they came crumbling down and decided to sit in the Opposition (16th May 1996 to 28th May 1996). They were then asked to continue as a Caretaker Government upto 1st June 1996 after which came a conglomeration of parties called the UNITED FRONT and the Janta Dal with DeveGowda as Prime Minister backed by the Congress sans Sonia Gandhi .While the Congress backed the United Front Government a bull fight ensued within the Congress itself between Narasimha Rao and Sita Ram Kesri, one an ex-Prime Minister and the Congress President and the other waiting in the wings to wrest control of the Party from the fading and failing Rao.
Suddenly Sita Ram Kesri, ageing and doddering, while heading the Party with an eye on a future Prime Ministers seat, not caring for the effects of any hasty decisions taken which would have a serious effect on India’s destiny, decided to withdraw support to the United Front Government.
The Coalition Government that came at the Centre at that time lasted only from 16May 1996 to 18 March 1998 during which period three different Prime Ministers, Atal Behari Vajpayee, H.D Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujral were all PMs in a period of less than 2 years. What a way to run India and what would the people of India be thinking? Can we not plan today to have a Government in the future which would take India to occupy its rightful place in the comity of Nations as a Super Power in the World which it richly deserves? The AAM ADMI, must wake up and think. It is for the people to decide whether in a period of less then two years we are prepared to have three different Prime Ministers heading the Government i.e. Vajpayee 16 May 1996 to 1 June 1996, Deve Gowda 1 June 1996 to 21 April 1997 and then Gujral 21 April 1997 to 19 March 1998. Has any Country in the World had three Prime Ministers in such a short span of time? It certainly led to confused thinking and a period of very ineffective Governance for the People of India. Are we going to repeat this mistake again in the future? To my mind it was then certainly an experiment as every one stated that the era of Coalition Governments had arrived the world over and India must also try to fit into this scenario, as we would have to contend with coalition types of Governance in the future and in the process carry everyone together.
BJP LED NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE 19 MARCH 1998 – 22 MAY 2004
General Elections were ordered and a new conglomerate with Atal Bhiari Vajpayee as Prime Minister was formed on 19 March 1998 which was the NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE.
The Result of the elections in 1998 for NDA once again saw the people of India not voting for “One Party Rule” and a fragmented version was the result. This time the BJP under Vajpayee as Prime Minister was having a capacity to rule by consensus. This was supposedly based on the fact that the BJP had by now achieved the status of a party for National Governance, which previously had been the monopoly of the Congress. The NDA completed its full term.
TODAY’S SCENARIO – INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS UNITED PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCES
The first Alliance called UPA-1. came into being on 22 May 2004 and is now continuing as UPA-2. Some of the original members of this current Alliance, such as the Trinamool Congress and the Left have parted ways with UPA-2.
The recent experiment of a Cabinet reshuffle by the Indian National Congress must be taken to its logical conclusion, which is to get over 60% of popular votes so as to form the next Government all by themselves.
What has happened with the recent so – called Financial reforms? No consensus has been reached on Economic reforms such as the Direct Tax Code, GST, Revenue Sharing etc. I would say that the States were convinced that the Centre lacked intellectual honesty and propriety itself and that the Government had no coherent thinking on Economic Policy/Reforms and what they tended to do was to dismantle fiscal planning as it existed with increasing fiscal deficits/inflation which hampered growth. Such a perception by any State Government shows an antagonistic contradiction between regional aspirations and collective progress of the Nation. If such a situation persists for too long are we not heading towards a Revolution? By just trying to continue in Power do we realize the damage that accrues to the Country? It is therefore necessary here to quote recent events as they have unfolded.
ARMY CHIEFS POLITICS – DOES IT AFFECT DISCIPLINE?
The present Government should have long ago taken stringent action against the Ex Chief of Army Staff V.K. Singh who had the audacity to take the Government to Court while in uniform and as head of the second largest standing Army in the world. By not taking action against him at that juncture, V.K. Singh now joins hands with Anna Hazare (an Ex Army Man) ostensibly against CORRUPTION (which I also back) but sends another message, like a DICTATOR and puts his FOOT IN HIS OWN MOUTH by demanding the dissolution of the Parliament and taking part in anti – government rallies all over the Country, including a call to gherao Parliament this coming December!! All this from an Army officer who is still enjoying the perks of the Government and who still retains influence over a very large number of Troops, since he continues as the Colonel Commandant of his Regiment!! This means that all Retiring Chiefs of Army Staff are bestowed on him an Honour by the Government and gives him the privilege to continue as Colonel of the Regiment, which he has Commanded. An honour bestowed on every Chief. Does he realise what he is upto or is he so naive that he has closed his eyes with blinkers on. The Government must immediately direct him to stop his ambitious Safari and ask him to resign being the Honorary Colonel of the Rajput Regiment.
He retired only in May 2012 and as COAS while travelling across the Country over the years, he admits to have identified himself with Hazare’s fight against Corruption. Whilst in uniform was he truly carrying out the tasks assigned to him as a Chief? Was he trying to spread canards within the Armed Forces? Does he realize that India is one of the most respected and only Country in the World with an unblemished record of the highest form of Democracy that we follow? Has V.K Singh ever studied our Constitution? IS HE A DICTATOR? Would not his previous behaviour and present utterances affect our Armed Forces Personnel? Is he now thinking of fighting Elections and does he have an eye on the PRIME MINISTER’s CHAIR? All these questions must be answered by him. Have we not got laid-down procedures that have to be adhered to by Retiring Officers? We do have them and we need to implement the same. However, there has always been an unwritten code of conduct followed by all retired Armed Forces personnel. I request the Government to implement this code of conduct TODAY. He is actually only trying to legitimise all his previous actions under the guise of an anti-corruption tag.
On the Contrary is he not spreading indiscipline in the Armed Forces when recently as per Press reports there has been a “Face off” between Officers and Jawans of a Regiment which is a part of India’s Elite Strike Armoured Division where a bonafide Military duty ordered by the Commanding Officer was refused to be carried out by the Jawans? This is the third such incident that has taken place recently.
Have we forgotten the time when President Giani Zail Singh in 1987 was wanting to dismiss Rajiv Gandhi then our PM. Giani Zail Singh has himself admitted that he did not dismiss Rajiv Gandhi because he realized that if he removed Rajiv the next PM who would have come, may be a weak person and the ARMY would have taken over. Who were the Army Men The President was thinking about? (Read my website www.hoonslegacy.com) Topic on “President vs Prime Minister”. Let us not allow the Country to become weak and staggering.
I must commend the strong action taken by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister during the BJP Government by dismissing Admiral Bhagwat then Chief of Naval Staff, without assigning any reason till date. The people of India were happy with the decision without making things public. The people will recollect that even though the Vajpayee Govt fell by one vote at that time, Congress took over, there was no dirty linen washed in PUBLIC.
Are we today Reshuffling the Cabinet to ensure that the present Government comes into power in full strength after the next Elections without outside support or is the Congress sure that there will be a Coalition after the forthcoming General Elections???
I am however a strong votary of a single Party Government or at the best a two/three party Coalition if we are to achieve Political Stability. Every party must today aim to win a comfortable majority for themselves in the next elections. “Too many Cooks will surely spoil the Broth” and a large Coalition would not achieve Good Governance for the People of India as has been proved till today.
The era of Coalition Governments may or may not have dawned, but the era of two party (maximum three parties) appears to be the only rationale available for good Governance in the future. This view seems to be endorsed by some elder Statesmen also. Even the Left have started to think of the Third Front.
Too many parties joining any single Alliance will be disastrous for the Country and who suffers in the end is the AAM ADMI!!
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
If the Public were to continue to experiment with unstable Coalition Governments, we will one day have a very heavy price to pay. However if we cannot amend some clauses of the Constitution then we have to have Long Term Policies with at least a 20 to 25 years Perspective Plans which must encompass – Foreign Affairs, Defence and Fiscal Policies which would be mandatory to be implemented by all succeeding Governments without major changes. However if a change is required this must be debated and would require Parliamentary sanction for alteration. We as Leaders appear to lose our Perspectives when we are suddenly catapulted into high positions because we want to continue in our cushy and comfortable shoes. Is there also not a nexus between the present day Politicians and Criminal influences? This has already been amply proved and brought out by the N.N Vohra report. Why has not this report been discussed in Parliament?
Depending on the situation, some of the important Policies which require discussion and immediate legislation are as under.
Kashmir is and will remain an integral part of India, with minor modifications of the international boundaries and backing form the Present Government to ensure that Democracy continues even if we have to support the People by given them protection.
It is true that sooner or later, Pakistan and India will have to square up with hard historical realities.
Our Foreign Policy also requires deft handling more so with China, USA, Russia and our neibouring Countries (Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangla Desh, Sri Lanka as also Iran and Afghanistan)
Our Politicians and Political Parties must also adopt a code of conduct and behaviour which stands public scrutiny.
Respect for Constitutional institutions, such as Parliament, CAG, CVC, Election Commission etc is a must. You cannot gherao these institutions!!
We must have long term Project Planning to improve our Economic situation as a strong Economy will give us a Powerful Military.
The People of 28 States and 7 UT’s of our Country must derive benefits which improves state of Poverty of the AAM ADMI.
I would also sincerely request all Political Parties to keep a balance in their discussions which are today taking place and are been seen the World over. Certainly CORRUPTION is a very big issue and I have no doubt that when the new Elections take place the Electorate will choose the BEST REPERESENTATIVES for Governance.