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Good economics makes good politics

The difference between raising issues and working out solutions is the same as between prose and poetry. All political parties in India are grossly ignorant of one stark fact that good economics makes good politics. Understanding economics or economic development has never been the forte of Indian politicians.

The editorial ‘Congress energised’ (January 22) has rightly remarked that “the Congress chintan shivir raised the right questions but fumbled on answers”. Unfortunately, this fact is the bane of all political parties in India. They are experts in engaging themselves in ballistic blame games. Each party highlights the weakness of the opposing party rather than relying on its own strengths.

Chester Bowls, American ambassador in India in the 1950s had remarked about Nehru to an Indian scribe, “Your Prime Minister can never be a successful leader because he does not fully understand economics”.  

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the other hand, understands economics but he does not understand politics.



How will Rahul Gandhi reconcile himself to the fact that he is the product and beneficiary of the same system in the party he is deriding and wanting to change (editorial ‘Congress energized’, January 22). Is he also ready to share the blame for what is ailing the Congress? 

Senior leaders seem to be singing paeans to Rahul Gandhi’s leadership qualities more out of sycophancy and less out of appreciation. Will they fall in line and accept the changes he is contemplating in the functioning of the party if the changes happen to affect their official position and status? Will they also accept the naked truth that Rahul Gandhi had to agree to rejuvenate the party only because they proved to be inefficient and incompetent?

As the euphoria over Rahul Gandhi’s elevation peters out, many more uncomfortable questions will come to the fore.


In a fix

The editorial ‘America’s Afghan problem’ (January 21) has correctly described the vulnerable situation which will prevail in Afghanistan after American and NATO forces leave it in 2014.

We all know that American forces had landed with a bang in Afghanistan for waging a war against terror but will be retreating with a whimper next year because of its own internal and external problems.

In this situation, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai will find himself at the mercy of the well-entrenched Taliban as his own forces are far from being fully trained and armed.

With the departure of American forces, Pakistan will also be tempted to play its nefarious games for promoting its own vested interests in Afghanistan. As is well known, it is always in search of an opportunity to upstage President Hamid Karzai.

Of course, nobody expects America to burn its fingers more in Afghanistan. But as self-professed protector of world peace, it must work out some deterrent in consultation with the world community to prevent the Taliban from having a free run. This country should not be allowed to relapse into the gory period which visited it after the then Soviet Union forces left it unceremoniously.


Benefits to refugees

The government of Jammu and Kashmir is doing village-level survey to identify refugee families to benefit from the fresh proposal of Rs 10 thousand crore being spent to solve their problems (news report “Survey to identify refugees for rehabilitation package begins”, January 7).

The Revenue Department has deputed officials to identify the refugee families living within the state. Thousands of refugees have been settled by the government in Pathankot and Delhi. They are all registered with the government and were given an ex-gratia of Rs 3,500 in the year 1964-1965 by the PRO Jammu. These are the refugees who migrated from Pak-occupied Kashmir in 1947 and were settled outside J&K and should also be included in the survey.


Utter disregard

The pathetic state of the stadium, named after one of greatest soldiers of our state Bana Singh, does not only speak of callousness, indifference, insensitivity and lack of accountability - the hallmark of our political and administrative combine, but tantamounts to disrespect and dishonor to a living legend and a war hero ( news report “Bana Singh Stadium In Shambles”, Jammu Tribune, January 20).

Had the stadium been named after some ‘neta’ there would have been a better possibility of the administration doling out funds for the stadium. ‘Netas’ and ‘babus’ at all levels are mutually inclusive as far as their interests are concerned.

Brig OP ABROL (retd) Jammu

Act on time

Why are illegal colonies allowed to come up in the first instance and then are razed down when people form homes out of these temporary dwellings? The enforcement machinery is hand in glove with the encroachers. Unlike large states with sprawling urban areas, Chandigarh is a small administrative unit where public areas are clearly demarcated. Why should the occasion arise in the so-called City Beautiful for staging such inhuman drama periodically? Why not catch the black sheep in the system? Why can’t the evil be nipped in the bud?

RAM VARMA, Chandigarh 

Govt needs to do its homework 

The Manmohan Singh government seems to be in a hurry to say goodbye to subsidies. Inflation is on the rise, poverty is increasing, 92% of the workers are working in the unorganised sector and farmers’ lives are full of uncertainties. But, the Centre is still hell-bent on withdrawing subsidies. Last year, when the Centre did away with subsidy on DAP fertiliser, the price of a 50 kg bag jumped from Rs 467 to Rs 1,200, a 3-fold hike.

The Centre seems to be ignoring the burning needs and pressing problems of the people. The government does not feel the need to collect data on small-scale workers or agro-based labourers. Interestingly, the Opposition is crying foul over the hike while in most of the states, in which BJP is ruling or sharing power, there are plenty of excise, custom, VAT and other taxes which make life worse for the common man.

Prof HS DIMPLE, Jagraon 



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