Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Taking Along Everyone

Acche Din Aa Gaye! A tea seller, Narendra Modi has become the Prime Minister. This astonishing rise will be written in bold letters in the history books even after Modi ceases to be PM, whenever that happens. NaMo demolished major and minor political opponents in one single blow. Political analysts have listed many reasons for the unprecedented rise. A perfect saffron campaign, all pervading corruption in the country, dwindling Congress leadership and 'RTI and women empowerments' of Rahul Gandhi, price rise, effective media management of Modi and yes, (again) RTI and women empowerments of Rahul Gandhi etc have all been listed for the 'Modification' of the Nation. It depends upon who you choose to listen. It is said that the 'Corporate' backed Modi to the hilt. But the same corporate, in some measure, also supported the Congress, NCP and other players. So no point complaining that corporates backed Modi alone. Any businessman worth his salt in corrupt India will willingly give 'green Gandhiji' to anyone who is in power. They need the government contracts, licenses, JVs, foreign fund transfers. They need 'good' tax collectors who give the much needed reliefs for a consideration, of course. The Adani Group came under direct criticism from Congress Prince Rahul. But what about Reliance - Mukesh and Anil, Tatas, Birlas, Ruhias, Jindals, Modis, Singhanias. Who did they support? Corporate houses have business interests. For them it makes sense only if they have a regime this recognizes and appreciates this basic element of their existence. Does it mean the Congress was not looking after the interest of the interested? Considering the scams and payoffs and corruption scandals that rocked the headlines in the last five years, the correlation between happiness and business seems missing. The Congress favoured the corporate and doled out huge benefits to the big houses. So why were they unhappy and started pushing for the BJP. Perhaps, the answer lies in favouritism. One UPA Minister had evolved a novel method of bidding for big projects. He got many corporate houses to form consortiums and each 'capable' businessman got a percentage in the contracts awarded thus leaving all of them satisfied. However, this exercise was not replicated in telecom sector - which resulted in 2G scam or Coal sector where windfall gains were limited a select few. In Commonwealth Games, only those who were ready to give huge considerations were awarded the contracts. The individuals thereafter looted the system. Reportedly a 150 year-old media house was left out of the loot. Suresh Kalamdi could not give Rs 10 crore, and the Times changed for Kalmadi and company. The result is out in the open. The mantra for the BJP and the Modi Sarkar would be inclusive and mutual growth. But Modi has to fine tune that delicate balance if he wants to stay in power, for long. editor@thecorrespondent.in