Editorial 0ct 09
India’s tryst with socialism not only fell flat on its face but also denied the opportunity for an entire generation to kickstart their careers. Visionaries like Aditya Vikram Birla had to look outside the country to fuel their business passions. It was Manmohan Singh, back then in the avataar of Finance Minister who had to administer CPR to an almost bankrupt economy, not to mention a demoralised business class by way of liberalisation. That was in the early 1990s.
One wonders how many experiments we have to do with public life, and most of them on the fringes of the economy, to prove that we are a nation ruled by a conscientious set of people. Yes, I am talking about the ‘austerity drive’, that has captured the imagination of India. Shashi Tharoor gets a rebuke for being candid with his ‘cattle-class’ tweeting. It is ‘breaking news’ when Sonia Gandhi travels economy to Jodhpur from the national capital. Salman Khurshid, Minister for Corporate Affairs goes on record stating that the Government will not keep mum about the ‘vulgar salaries’ taken home by CEOs and MDs of private and public companies. Give me a break. Why should a Government decide what economic mores a company should follow. Is that not the job of the shareholders or that company’s Board?
What message are we trying to send to the foreign investors in an already tired-of-recession economy? And what eventually will happen of this so called ‘austerity drive’? If one flips through the pages of history, Sarojini Naidu once sarcastically commented that it takes thousands of Rupees to keep Gandhiji in poverty!
But we are like that only!
Closer home, the flash floods at Canacona not only caused great damage to life and property, it also brought to focus on the erratic behaviour of the monsoon in this part of the world. How often do we spare a thought to climate change? How is the Government in the State trying to educate people and especially the younger lot by disseminating information about the disaster waiting to happen. Experts say that it would take a fractional change of perhaps 1 degree C to make a world of a difference to the way we live. Let us do our bit to conserve energy. We can do it on a small individual level and see that the difference is positive exponentially.
Trust me, it is painful to watch an otherwise clear skyline clouded with industrial smoke when you are on your way to the Dabolim airport. The Pollution meter must be having it’s own mind to say that emission levels are under permissible limits. But your mind’s eye says something else!