Friday, December 02, 2011

Is Didi right ?

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made it clear to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that she did not wish to see the United Progressive Alliance regime toppled, but her party could not under any circumstances support the controversial decision to permit FDI in multi-brand retail.

IMO: Is good old Didi right again ? It is a time that I would be glad not to have to make a decision on the matter. Tehekha seems to feel that FDI made some sense, and even suggested that the regional parties perhaps should not have a voice. To me, that sounds like corruption on top of corruption. I felt at the time, a week or so ago,  remembering perhaps many matters like Bhopal and Enron, that the profit-seeking cash-strapped Americans should not have such an easy target. But I remember even much earlier, to the days when my father had to ride daily on a train over the Hawkesbury River bridge in Australia. The train had to travel over the bridge at less than walking speed and he was somewhat worried that it might fall into the river. The bridge was eventually closed and a new one built near it. The reason ? Crap US contractors and engineers. And did we hear the details, again and again. I remember the somewhat unsafe Japanese nuclear power stations being built, and commented at the time, with thorium in mind. Well I hope I am still prepared to look at facts as least as much as sales figures, and I thought at the time of proposal of FDI, that Manmohan Singh, for all his merits, sounded like a Walmart salesman.

And what do we now see ? An attempted U-turn over Lokpal by Congress, allowing 60% of the babus to do as babus like to do. Mamohan Singh promised Lokpal again and again. What can I say now other than make a sordid quip about the "gang of four".

IMO: I hope even more for success and continued dedication from Team Anna. Otherwise it will be bad for all. Ask the still jailed Enron directors, or better still, don't ask them. Who wants to see the Koch brothers and the like in jail ?  Let us face it, at this time Team Anna seem to be right. But Bal Thackeray would seem to think there is little chance of its success. India is said to be at about number 83 in the corruption index, barely beating Pakistan. Surely it can at least rise higher than USA which is way down the list for such a place ?

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