It is strange but true. The UPA-1 was well ahead on every economic parameter except agriculture growth than NDA. It was the UPA-2 that lost steam vis-a-vis its earlier avatar, as industrial growth dived to 4.4% from 10.3% and capital formation growth fell to 8.9% from 15.8%. The high CPI inflation at 10.4% put the economy in a bind from which we are yet to recover. As politics sets the course of the state, governance and communication serve as the pace-setter and the lubricant to the bureaucratic gears. On both counts, it inexplicably went into long hibernation and that was the bane of the UPA-2. More than this, political ham-handedness was the most significant element in the saga of the UPA. The turning point was the withdrawal of the Left support in late-2008. It led to the liberal leaning NAC going on an overdrive of welfare schemes, since the Left was not there to claim credit for such largesse. Fiscal economics was turned on its head even as adverse external and global factors induced systemic shocks. What followed was the Congress went into administrative wilderness and its low profile Prime Minister turned out to be a general physician, not cut out for decisive surgical interventions.
UP action unjustified
In the column Mr Tebbit goes to Meerut (FE, March 10), the author rightly denounced the Uttar Pradesh government and police for their handling of 65 Kashmiri students of a private university in Meerut, who cheered for the Pakistani cricket team, which won an Asia Cup match against India. The police and university authoritys actions were certainly unjustified and need to be condemned. If the Kashmiri students behaviour was seditious, then what does one term the behaviour of Indians who cursed the national team for losing the same match Think about it: Isnt cursing the losers the other side of the coin of cheering the victors Surely, cricket matches should be taken in the spirit of sportsmanship and not treated as a medium to spread hatred. India and Pakistan, after all, are not in a state of war.
Making them fitter
The editorial Spend wisely (FE, March 10) brought to the fore the issue that in spite of allocating commensurate funds for defence forces, the ministerial incumbents have not spend them at the right time for keeping the defence equipment fit and avoid mishaps. The inordinate delay caused in spending and updating the defence equipment and ships claims valuable human lives, in spite of availability of funds. Incessant accidents on warships reduces confidence of people that they are safe from unwelcome intrusion. Hence, the defence ministry or whomsoever is responsible should avoid delays in servicing and updating defence equipment and prevent corruption.
Sri Kaliswari College, Sivakasi
The Supreme Court order on time-bound completion by trial-courts in cases involving MPs and MLAs is a welcome step. It will check criminalisation in politics. It will be better if some similar time-bound period would have been fixed for deciding appeals filed at higher courts by MPs and MLAs convicted by trial courts. The apex court should also take steps to make the Central Bureau of Investigation independent of government control. It is unfortunate that even institutions such as the Central Vigilance Commission have shown helplessness at times.