The farce called consensus

The presidency of George W Bush is and will be remembered for all the wrong reasons (Iraq, AfPak etc), but none can fault the way his Secretary of Treasury , Henry Paulson used his tact to scare the American legislature into passing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.  In hindsight, one will remember this inconsistent handling as the reason why the world did not fall into a depression. The operative term is “Scare”. Even a generally non-partisan American Senate and Congress needs a scare for the senators and congressmen to act in one voice in short time.

Now imagine, India. Entrenched political parties, shielded by the Anti-Defection laws make our parliament the most partisan of them all. In earlier times, a  ballsy move exhibited by India was when the PV Narasimha Rao Government undertook the L-P-G reforms. All because we had the SCARE factor playing out.

In the next two decades, various studies estimate that roughly a million Indians enter the workforce every month for the next couple of decades.  Kapil Sibal rightly points out “it will be a dividend if we empower our young. It will be a disaster if we fail to put in place a policy and framework where they can be empowered.”
Where is the policy to make them employable ?
Where is the policy to generate jobs ?
At a macro level,  executive is stable and solid and there is enough reason to trust the Modi Sarkar with this regard. The lazy babudom is clearly more active than it was in the past.
What about the legislative where the opposition is diverting serious reforms?

This Government should fast realize the opposition is bound to engage in such monkey business ; it is their prerogative.  “Consensus” and “taking-all-of-them-along” are terms that needs to be junked when opposition is fixated on non-issues. The fact of the matter is opposition is clearly in the back seat and the Government should push through the critical reforms during the first half of the term. Couple of years from now, a consolidated opposition will be harder to beat. The direct representatives of the people sitting in the lower house of the Parliament should realize this, especially the ones from the ruling party ! If they’re dumb enough to understand the realities,  the onus lies with the Government to point out the facts which should scare the bejeebers out of anyone who wants to be re-elected.

It will be disheartening and disappointing if the Government starts giving excuses like “opposition stalled bills” etc. The people of the country elected the government to get things done and not to listen to excuses of nobodies. One more factor that would  hamper the working of the executive if this opposition is going to be idiotic like the BJP post 2009: Vigilante Judiciary. It has already started setting up forums to spank the government from the sidelines.

This Government particularly needs to have an ear to the ground, the people who voted them in ignored all the calls asking not to vote for Narendra Modi. If Modi wants to satisfy all the self-styled liberals and appear statesmanly, he might just go the Obama way and end up as an average President, who will probably be remembered for the Nobel Prize, Osama and him being black !
The snakes are all underground and waiting their turn to bite hard .

The famed Nehruvian Consensus was a product of its time. Everyone’s world view was more or less socialist (thanks to 1929 Depression) and  autarkic (fear of imperialism). The demolition of these views in the late 80s and 90s by creating a bilpolar polity is the most significant event in modern Indian History.

Consensus can be built only if your opponents are ready to be convinced. no point wasting a minute on idiots when you have the consensus of the people.


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