This refers to the editorial “Bijli, sadak, paani, again” (Mint, 4 October). These three essential items never go out of the picture, because they form the core of the development framework anywhere. But the problem in our nation is, as rightly mentioned by you, that our politicians only remember these three essentials when elections are at hand, and forget them conveniently when elections are over. The end result is that growth stalls after a certain point. I agree with you that if given a choice, poor people would opt for a job rather than a good road. But, having said that, what is the point of having a job and no road, electricity, water or basic amenities? Hence, all these things are critical in one’s life, and their combination makes a nation grow and spread prosperity across the length and breadth of society.
Infrastructure spending does have its returns. The recent developments in the states of Gujarat and Bihar are fine examples of the public showing confidence in the government, impressed by efficient growth in infrastructure and civic administration. Beyond the aim of personal goals, the common man does expect better amenities, too. Though the Bihar assembly polls are yet to take place, there is a hunch that the pro-development minister Nitish Kumar will reign on his throne again, backed by public perception.
I will not call historic or epochal the decision on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue. What we should do now is to stop carrying the burden of history— a burden that forces the younger generation into beliefs that are troublesome and unnecessary.
India remains where it is since the Moghul times. It is the demography that has changed. Thousands have lived, died, moved away, moved in. And thousands more will do so in the years ahead. More importantly, this churn will take place all over India, including the site of Ram’s birth, now identified and confirmed by the high court.
For lasting peace and communal harmony, the way forward lies in using the verdict delivered, and finding the most amicable way, to deal with the realities on the ground.
All temples and mosques are holy, and whatever will be built in the future at the newly declared, three-way split site will also be holy.
It is time the nation puts all differences behind and moves ahead to meet greater challenges such as poverty reduction, better quality education and healthcare, meaningful infrastructure and, above all, clean transparent governance. Enough time, resources, human lives and emotions have been wasted on this issue. The solution now open to us appears fair and equitable— the purpose of justice.
Thank you for highlighting the regulatory fiasco that is unfolding in this country. When India embraced the path of reform in the early 1990s, it was expected that the rule of law would play its fair role in creating a conducive business environment. However, it is to our utter dismay that the regulatory edifice in this country is crumbling with each passing day. Favouritism, parochialism and nepotism are the order of the day and we are again in the back gear towards the “rent seeking” days of the licence raj.
The regulator that has deviated the most from the prudential path of regulation is the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). It has crossed the Lakshman rekha of good governance. Investors have voted with their feet on several policy measures. Look at the redemption pattern in mutual funds: Starting in August 2009, investors have, on net, pulled out more money from the mutual fund industry than they have poured in. Sebi chief C.B. Bhave is responsible for this.
There were 3 million financial advisers, most from the bottom strata of society, serving investors. Sebi’s policy of selling mutual funds on stock exchanges and eliminating entry loads has made many of them jobless.
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