India saw a damaging Parliament shut-down over the past two weeks.
This happened due to the Opposition BJP Party, asking the Prime Minister of India to step down due to the implications of the “Coalgate” scam, unearthed by CAG (Comptroller & Auditor General of India).
The CAG Report is yet to be discussed by the relevant Parliamentary Committee and the Parliament, before which the CAG has to depose, defending their hugely damaging report.
The BJP Party, however, did not allow the report to be discussed in the Parliament, and wanted the Prime Minister to resign.
This shameful episode affecting India’s image seriously has been played out in the national TV and print media so extensively that there is not much point in rehashing the same here.
While there may be merit on both sides of the political spectrum, it is very critical for us (laymen) to take note of the fact that the stoppage of the work of the Parliament resulted in a notional loss of INR 9 Crores (USD 1.7M) per day.
I can only hope that someone does not try to prove the theory (yet again) that it is actually “zero loss” for the country, as had been pointed by ruling party ministers during the Telecom 2G scandal as well as during the current Coalgate scandal.
Scandal or not, scam or not, what no one seems to be realizing is the fact that the rest of the world is laughing at us. India is supposed to be the largest democracy in the world, but it increasingly appears to prove the apparent fact that democracy is a “license given by the people to loot the country”.
Is that not sounding correct in the current state of affairs in the country ?
I sincerely think that the Prime Minister should have taken a hard and fast stand on the matter, not trying to hide behind the fact that the Parliament is in session and so he could not make any comment. The situation has been so bad that a Prime Minister should have stood up against the Opposition Party’s onslaught more vigorously, instead of outsourcing the government’s explanation to rather ineffective spokespersons and some ministers who all have failed in that mission rather miserably.
All this shows that message management in serious situations requires the intervention from the very top, to give confidence to the people of the country and cannot be delegated.
All in all, it has been a rather bad ten days for India, with the government coming through as a weak and ineffective coalition of parties who did not strongly unite to present the government’s position against the Opposition.
They have been on a losing streak for the past couple of years actually, and not doing anything to fix the malaise which is deeply affecting and dividing the country.
It is time someone brings mature sense into the government and the Parliament.
8th September 2012