Improbable to find its match, the year gone-by will be known for all those contradictions and paradoxes. India has come on international arena and its relation with all important countries including America has been strengthened in the previous year, but simultaneously government’s slackness, corruption and unbridled price hike has also created problems for the nation. India commands respect on the international forum for its becoming an economic power. The big market backed by huge pool of middle class is wooing the whole world. Indian industry is firming its hold on the domestic market and international market as well. From economic point of view India’s situation is by all accounts strong and that is why it is assumed India can overtake China in terms of economic growth in coming years. For this growth in India the democratic set-up existing here becomes exemplary, but this establishment is now proving unsuccessful on domestic front and its fallout has ill-impact of the country on international platform.  Nations which are appreciating India on one hand have a close watch on its failures too.
There are many challenges for the Central government in New Year, but the biggest one may come from allies of the Congress namely, DMK and Trinamool Congress. The DMK party which was put in dock owing to the 2G spectrum scam may create a problem for the ruling government any time. As the election in West Bengal is coming closer, Mamata Banerjee is mounting pressure on the Centre for her demands. In Andhra Pradesh too, Congress dissident leader Jaganmohan has become a challenge for the party and simultaneously Telangana issue too has again erupted. Obviously, there seems to be no end to the political turmoil for the Congress as well as the coalition government.

Besides DMK and Trinamool Congress, other allies of the Congress too can create problems, importantly among them is NCP chief, Union Agriculture and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sharad Pawar as he is quite incapable of bridling the price hike. The more Congress claims to control increasing prices, the more Sharad Pawar proves void in doing so. The reasons for the price rise given by the government have become synonym of its lame excuse. The allies of UPA government due to their sloppiness are not only creating problems in functioning of the government, but also mounting pressure on the Prime Minister. It is assumed that the Prime Minister wants to run a clean and transparent government like his image, but he is not able to restrain selfishness of the allies in the wake of compulsion of the coalition politics. However, there is a fact that the PMO kept avoiding to give approval for the prosecution against A Raja.

An another big challenge for the Central government is an increasing price hike and it seems that the price issue will also follow this year. There is a continuous increase in the prices of food items for two years, but the Prime Minister is not able to restrain Sharad Pawar. Failure in controlling to price spiral seems to be denting the image of the Prime Minister. The opposition’s pressure on him is continuously upping.  How capable the Central government considers for itself, common people feel that the government is not able to solve its problems. If the alliance partners have become thorn in the government’s side, it will have to take initiatives so that there could not be unjust pressure on the leading party of the coalition. If there is a concrete step, a rule can be made in regard to the coalition politics.

If the economic growth rate of the country is to be taken to double digits, there will be a need for new methods to develop infrastructure in this New Year. It is surprising that despite all failures, no outline for developing infrastructure is being framed, consequently all plans and projects of national importance are being held up. The rising corruption may be a core cause for the delaying of projects. The present plight of infrastructure could cost the nation. At least, the government should explore method to enhance the developing of infrastructure as well as pay attention to the planned development of urban areas. This could stop migrations from rural to urban areas, which has made city burst at its seam. In this context there are many plans, but no implementation is being made. The big reason is the state government’s lackadaisical attitude and shortsightedness and lacking of coordination between the Centre and states as well. In absence of planned development, there is not only wastage of time and money, but also haphazard growth of city. Our leaders and bureaucrats are familiar with these problems, but they do not try to change the present existing system. If we try to find the reason for lax in government system, corruption can be seen at its root. Today India is on top of the list of corrupt nations which makes it compare with poor African and undemocratic countries. This is shameful for rising India. It is most necessary that there should be an impartial and capable institution to investigate corruption as CVC and CBI are unable to do the same. This could be done by only Lokpal, provided it should be made capable enough. If there is political will power, the country can easily get an impartial and capable Lokpal. It will be better to heed suggestions which have been laid down in non- government legislation of Lokpal.

The attitude of common people is also responsible for soaring corruption, because particularly those hailing from corporate world, are inclined to break rules and regulations. It will be better that common people should also consider their role in heightening corruption. The move to control corruption should be taken by government and common people also. It is right time to take initiative to scrape the conception that corruption has become part and parcel of India’s political-social life. Undoubtedly, the concept will be out when the belt is tightened to fight against corruption.                

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on January 02, 2011 translated by the English Editorial)