#Politics Opinion

UPA-II: A Government of Wrong Times or the Wrong Government of Our Times?!


For the declining situation in the US, we can still say that Barack Obama is not to be blamed completely because he inherited an already sick economy from his predecessor Bush. But, in the Indian case, UPA II inherited its own legacy. It faces issues—both self-triggered and inevitable. The frustration against the government is building up and has resulted in widespread resentment and protest. There is a lack of trust in the air. The author presents an analysis of the public unrest against the current government. Is the UPA really a failed government, or is just a government of wrong times?

Recently, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Indian Prime Minister, featured on Forbes’ list of the twenty most powerful people on earth and was described by the esteemed magazine as “incorruptible”. Incongruous thus, it may sound, that he heads a government which has been accused of being the most corrupt government in Indian political history. Also, this Cambridge-educated economist, who has been widely appreciated as the man behind India’s economic reforms, has utterly failed in facilitating sustained economic growth and controlled inflation rate during his governance.

The Manmohan-led government was supposed to represent a nation which could seize the forefronts of Economic Development and propel it onto the world stage. Today, it is struggling with its home-grown issues and insurgencies caused by the neighbouring countries, as the economy battles a slowing growth rate; why?

The common man on the contrary, is burdened with continual price hikes and the government measures to tackle them have not been showing any positive results. The RBI has increased the repo rates thirteen times since March 2011, which has led to the devaluation of rupee, and has increased the burden of our fiscal deficit. The situation appears as dismal as ever and as regressive as it could be. In such a scenario, who is to be blamed for such miserable plight of aam aadmi, who continues his battle against the latest price hikes in petroleum products which also affects every other consumer product? We do not just suffer from the trickle-down effect of the global crises, but also from rampant corruption within the powers that be. Some of the responses of this government on important issues have been at best abrasive and apathetic.

The Indian voters did not bring the UPA back in power in 2009 to hear the Finance Minister say—in his characteristic apathetic tone—that “he is unable” to find an immediate solution given the global economic crisis. We suffer from widening deficit on one hand and on the other hand crores of rupees are stashed abroad as black money. We are being governed by a government which fails to provide us any hope of relief. Isn’t it ironical that today, discussions and debates are held in newsrooms, Jantar Mantar and even roadsides but the Parliament remains adjourned? There is a sense of total despondency and debacle in India Inc. And, in such volatile times, the UPA suffers from Policy Paralysis. The government accuses the Opposition at times; sometimes it blames the Civil Society. For all other times, the government is bound by the dharma of a coalition government which acts as a hindrance in formulating policies.

For the declining situation in the US, we can still say that Barack Obama is not to be blamed completely because he inherited an already sick economy from his predecessor Bush. But, in the Indian case, UPA II inherited its own legacy. The Government has been facing issues which are at times self-triggered and sometimes inevitable. The frustration against the government is building up and has resulted in widespread resentment and protest. There is a lack of trust in the air for the present government. The aam aadmi of the world’s largest functioning democracy seeks refuge in the promises of Civil Society members instead of its elected representatives. Times are so bad that we are looking for definite answers as to what is anti-Parliament and what is anti-democracy. To all this our esteemed Prime Minister has come up with statements which at best seems to be inspired from sorcery and has no relation with economics what-so-ever it may be. According to him, in order to eradicate corruption, one needs a “magic wand” and for the retrieval of black money one needs to be “an astrologer”. In the face of such dismal situation one therefore asks, “Is it a government of wrong times or the wrong government of our times?”

But this UPA government is not as useless as we may have thought. Like everything else in India, this government has also taught us and gave us many a thing:

The regime has provided us with our very own desi Diggy-leaks who predicts and informs about all the major links with RSS. He is a super specialty bureau of information that specialises in exposing anyone and everyone who criticises or even plans to criticise the Government’s actions. If he reads this, I am an RSS agent.

To stitch all irreparable damage of the government we have got someone like Pranab Da, the Sankatmochan of the government and to scrap off all possibilities of competitions, we have Kapil Sibal in action. Therefore, the CBSE exams of tenth standard was scrapped off and the next in-line may be the JEE. Soon we will get to hear that CAT has also been scrapped off because Mr. Sibal thinks that even thinking about an MBA is a part of decision-making which is commendable enough.

But the most significant lesson that should be learnt from the apparently complacent and callous handling of affairs by the people in power is that now is the time, a very good time indeed, to be in the Opposition.


About the author

Jyoti Singh

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