In what could be seen as a firefighting mood to douse the inferno of corruption and sleaze gutting all goodies of the ruling establishment, which is creating a huge fissure between the state and the subject, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a tete-a-tete with a group ofeditors in order to ventilate his stance on the knotty issues which are taking toll on the image of UPA-led government. The Centre’s somersaulting to cleanse his image with interaction session will hardly prove fruitful as people, who are disgruntled in the wake of spate of scams and scandals and have found slackness on the part of government to take any concrete steps to demolish corruption, have lost their faith in the UPA government. However, it could have leveraged its opportunity of making strong Lokpal to redeem its image deficit owing to soaring corruption and northward inflation. On controlling price rise, the government effort has always been mirage as it keeps saying inflation could be controlled in next fiscal or the price would be stabilized when the cost of crude oil in the international market gets stable. And sometimes the government says that high price is an international problem. Price rise is such a significant issue though, the government is merely passing buck and making assurances with ‘if-and-but’ that never lessens pains of aam adami who are badly battered with ‘Mehngai Dayain’. One cannot deny that the price of crude oil in the international market has far reaching impact on the countries like India, but it does not mean that the Prime Minister will throw up his hands and pass the buck.

The Prime Minister should not shy away from the fact that common people are writhing in pain as high inflation has brunt deep hole in their pockets and they have to make back-breaking effort to eke out two square meals. The gravity of price hike could be gauged by the fact that the people of the country have incurred an extra burden of Rs 600000 crore for the last three years in the face of exponential rise in prices of necessary items, which has been triggered by double-digit inflation. This is really earth-shattering news. The recent price hike of diesel and cooking gas will definitely drive inflation northward. Both the government and Opposition should huddle together to contain the rising prices. And the effort will bring result when the government takes initiative rather than making proposition that the Centre has no magic wand to curb skyrocketing prices. This kind of blunt excuse from the economist Prime Minister is disappointing and deplorable. The magic wand could not eradicate problems rather probity and commitment of leaders are required to diffuse the crisis. Undoubtedly, the Prime Minister is reluctant to face the challenges and trying to prove himself an efficient administrator by passing buck to the Opposition and media, but it will lead him nowhere.