Business First

Mumbai yet again demonstrated its business focus and efficiency by giving short shrift to the national worker strike call given by the trade unions.

Nothing changed in Mumbai during the two days this past week and there was no untoward violence of any sort, though there was violence in Noida near Delhi.

Businesses and schools functioned, though the traffic was a bit light on Mumbai roads. The higher secondary examinations started off without any delays and students did not report any transportation delays.

While it is important to handle workers’ problems and address their grievances in a positive manner, taking to the streets and causing economic and social losses to society and the economy is not the way to go – that would only be a repetition of old-school ways.

The world has changed, the Indian society has irretrievably changed, and the social compact between various segments of society need to reach an equilibrium. The government has to play a firmer role but is always held hostage to multiple vested interests, leading to a lack of clarity in its approach and decision-making. That is the inevitable though clearly avoidable pitfall of coalition democracy.

What we really need is a “coalition of the willing” – parties who really take the interests of the people into account and apply equitable principles for resolving problems facing society. Easier said than done.

As long as we continue to politicize all aspects of our society, we will continue to remain in an irretrievable morass of confusion, leading to continuous societal frictions. And, all that will affect our social development and economic growth.

Look at the economic losses that India suffered in just two days – it is estimated to be USD 5B but that is an inaccurate and grossly underestimated figure. Can the slowing Indian economy take that kind of loss today ?

Surely not.

Let us think for all of us, rather than just “us”.


Vijay Srinivasan
23rd Feb 2013


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