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Global peace at the mercy of US

The US presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney was the focus of attention over the past few weeks. The race to the White House is still very close. The two presidential contenders sparred over a number of issues in a presentation of their points of view choreographed by the spin doctors of their respective sides. The American foreign policy matters were discussed in the same breath as the domestic issues of taxation, jobs, economy, social security and welfare, etc.

Both the candidates mentioned shaping of international geopolitics and regime changes with scant respect to the independence and sovereign existence of many countries. Continuation of American dominance and hegemony with a policy of ‘might is right’ was very much evident in the points made by them though they tried to package them with some stress on democracy, fighting terrorism, justice and threats to the interest of its allies.

China was projected as a threat along with Iran. The self-proclaimed global guardian and police of everything right with an invincible war machine will perpetuate its policies of protecting and promoting its selfish interest. The international community cannot expect a big US policy change whether it is the Democrats or the Republicans and whether it is Obama or Romney who wins the presidential elections. Global peace, cooperation and prosperity are at the mercy of the only super power, US. Obama and Romney have only underscored the fact through their debates.


Faltering economics

India remains one of the most difficult places to do business in the world. Our nation has been ranked 132nd out of 185 countries surveyed by the International Finance Corporation. But more surprisingly, our rank is even lower than Bangladesh (129) and Sri Lanka (81). It is bad news for a nation that aspires to achieve 8 per cent growth. It is obvious that new businesses create employment which increases the spread of household incomes, which means higher spending, higher taxes and higher growth.  

Congress policies are not aimed at the long term economic future of the country, they are rather aimed at winning elections with populist handouts and keeping its allies happy. The same happened to some South American nations, where India-like policies pushed their economies to an all-time low. For a long time now, the “mango man” politics combined with the policy paralysis of UPA II has only piled up the problems. Unrealistic policies are increasing the fiscal deficit which in turn is lowering national ranking in the international forum.

They say that the days of the “licence raj” are over, then why does India rank 173 on the “Starting a Business parameter” in the survey done. If it was not all, India fared at much lower 182 rank in “Getting a Construction Permit” parameter.  But the worst is our 184 (second last) rank in the “Contract Enforcement” parameter.

We need a new set of politicians and administrators who can expedite the process of making India a favoured nation to work. Looking at the new set of reforms, except NCP, most of the Congress allies are still ambivalent on reforms. This will only get murkier as Congress is not in a majority in any of the Houses of Parliament. Support from the Samajwadi Party and the BSP will also come at a price.

The BJP has not put forward any road map about how they are planning to steer the economy. Meanwhile, the mango man has started feeling agitated because, it is for a long time now that his household budget has increased manifold, but the inflation control measure is still out of sight. How do individuals facing allegations of corruption in the two largest parties of the country vow to take India forward?


Status hungry

Responsibility mistaken for power was the essence of the editorial “The state of police” (October 22).

In an unprecedented move, the Punjab government took the harsh yet appropriate action against an Inspector General of Police who was keeping a horde of 31 police personnel at his residence as servants. Higher the rank, the more the departmental men are required for private use for almost all officers who wield power. It is whimsical that government servants who draw their salaries from the public exchequer and are required for maintaining law and order are used to make the higher-ups happy by fulfilling their domestic chores. The police force is corrupt to the core because of the ever-insatiable lust of the top brass for money and material. An SHO is the most sought-after officer who squeezes the complainants and the criminals alike to feed his superiors to extract favours for promotion and plum postings.

A thorough overhauling of the police management is the need of the hour and let the operation reforms begin from the top. Why do ministers require a posse of policemen around them, for security or flaunting the status? Let us try to emulate the working and character of the police in European countries. Incorruptible police officers with lofty zeal to serve the people can serve as role models to sustain the faith of the people and refurbish the otherwise boorish and uncouth image of our police force.


“Disheartened” researcher

Apropos editorial “Don’t ignore research” (October 1), I would like to share my personal experience which is in consonance with its contents. Till 1992, my three research papers had been published in national science journals and two appeared in international journals. So, I yearned to play a bigger role in my field of expertise. Ironically, the same university showed me the door for the post of a lecturer. The candidate selected was an M Sc with NET cleared, but not even a single research paper in his favour. Although I now have a humble job providing me hand-to-mouth sustenance, I want to show how three-four-year-long research work is overlooked while providing jobs.




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