Monday, March 12, 2018

Making India great again : Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao

Making India great again
Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao
Telangana Today (13-03-2018)
KCR’s call for qualitative change in politics by setting a new national agenda resonates well with people’s expectations. The next political force for this cannot be a third front or federal front but a “national party” by itself or through a consortium of parties.

Chief Minister Telangana K Chandrashekhar Rao says that on the lines of Telangana, India too need to be reinvented and reoriented to make it Great. Towards this the best practices across the globe are to be collected and studied making them applicable to Indian situation. Leveraging country’s economy and drafting a policy framework to understand where the country is lagging behind is the need of the hour according to him. Keeping this in view CM KCR opines that, it is absolutely necessary to prepare a national growth agenda for the country, taking in to account the requirements of different states and various strata of the society.

Change for Good
The Chief Minister has asked experts, senior bureaucrats and economists should give guidelines and road map for a way forward after studying the existing acts, laws, methods and practices and show the changes and reforms to be taken up. In this endeavour, the CM said people from all sections and from all parts of the country should actively participate. This is the outcome in one of the brainstorming meetings CM presided with likeminded and reformist looking individuals at Pragati Bhavan recently. This would lead to drafting a National Agenda for development. The views and ideas expressed by participants in the meeting if read against the background and context of CM KCR announcement for a qualitative change in politics in India are of long-lasting importance.

With BJP in power at center, the possibilities of development and to take forward the country appear gloomy. People by and large are vexed with Narendra Modi and his policies. There is not even a single flagship program of Modi Government that could be worth mentioning. Not even a single program either for Dalit or for farmer.

Viable Alternative
If people are made to aware of this, they will start questioning. But the unfortunate scenario is, if he is defeated in the next elections, in the absence of an alternative it would be Congress party that replaces Modi and BJP in the absence of an alternative. Will it make any difference? Unlikely. We will again see some new names of the schemes without any qualitative change. How long one should keep on hearing about the development of other countries and project a bad picture about India? Can’t this be changed? People are upset with the system and are looking for a definite change.

When KCR took up the charge of spearheading separate state movement of Telangana he was heckled with comments that he will not be able to do anything. History proved otherwise. KCR made everyone say, “Jai Telangana”. Why not the same spirit be adopted at national level? There are no people of eminence either in BJP or in congress now. Both the Congress and BJP are overconfident with arrogance that none can beat them, and one is alternate to other. There is a political fragility in the country.

It’s time a realignment of political parties took shape. In fact, it will not be a mere alignment of parties but “unifying people”. This should be the specific agenda before the team that campaigns for “qualitative change” in national politics. An agenda for the country which is highly progressive must be set. The country has to become wealthy. An example of China and how it developed economically in just two decades to be adopted. The economists of this country coupled with some highly dedicated persons should apply their mind on this. For a qualitative change in politics the emerging political force is not a third front or a federal front but will be a “National Party” by itself and will be a consortium of parties. The consortium will certainly win the elections and come to power. The agenda as well as the manifesto of this proposed national party need to be set carefully. Making a good policy for the country is also important.

Constitution of India is federal in nature. States have powers and center too has its own subjects. The question is why should center keep subjects like rural development, agriculture, rural roads, urban development, education, health etc. with it. Center may keep subjects like defense, external affairs, security etc. Let there be no concurrent list. There shall be only two lists one the federal and the other state.

Power to States
There is also need for structural changes in the polity and judicial reforms. Subjects like reservations shall be with states only as they know better the requirement of people of their state. It’s also time now to redefine as to what is a state and what is exactly a federal government. States should be made more powerful and need to be empowered. More and more powers are to be transferred from center to states. It’s also time that state governments forego some of it’s powers to local bodies. This is what the true spirit of cooperative federalism.

Though the country became independent seventy years ago, the development for the past 70 years has not matched people’s expectations. Safe and pure drinking water is still a distant dream. Electricity is yet to reach many. People still fight for basic needs. Infrastructure facilities are dismal. For example, there is an availability of 70,000 TMC of water and if only the utilization of this is proper there would not have been scarcity for either drinking or irrigated water. Tribunals of water disputes take years together to settle disputes. There is an availability of 3.30 lakhs of Megawatts of power production in the entire country, but still half of the country is in darkness. Is there a system? Is this the way the country should be administered? Where do we stand? What an injustice? If anything is in excess in one state, it shall be made use in other states where it is in deficit.

Can’t we leverage our strengths and our economy? Is it a mental block? Economists need to discuss this. The broad fiscal policy now in India rests with Government of India. Every state has to be alike with it and can not be unlike. States have no independence. How long this? For the first time on its own a non-congress government has come to power and people had great expectations on it. Nothing has happened. How long one must remain as silent spectator?

Time for Change
Several reforms suggested by experts in Centre-State Relations, have been ignored and the federal sprit has been given the go-by. The Telangana State has reached several milestones in development, welfare, infrastructure and other such sectors. The Telangana State schemes, innovative programmes have become a role model for the Centre and other States which can be replicated allover. For example, the investment support scheme of Rs 8000 per acre could be taken-up at the national level benefiting the 40 crores farmers. Allover the country wages to Asha workers, Anganwadi workers could be enhanced. Mission Bhagiratha could be thought of. There can a national agenda for river waters.

There is a need to formulate schemes based on the needs of the states. Structural changes in social, judiciary, Legislature and administration areas are required. All these will have to be brought about by leveraging the economy better. Political leaders, experts, senior bureaucrats should be made stakeholders in this transformation.  

When all these are put before the people by a leader who has consistently delivered like K Chandrashekhar Rao in the capacity of leader of the proposed national party or a consortium of parties, it will be taken seriously. And when he speaks, it will be like raining of Atom Bomb. If we need development, we need to move from merely changing the government to making a radical change which will catalyze growth of all. END


  1. To make our India really great, we should, as a nation, get rid of politicians like Modi and KCR. Sorry I've not read your long article yet, but probably you would have praised your beloved boss KCR to the best of your abilities. No doubt you would have reasonable success in doing so. But it is all fruitless.

  2. Q. Why did you not include Rahul in that list?
    A. Rahu Gandhi? He is not a politician. He can never be one for that matter.