A V Rajwade, in an op-ed in the Business Standard complains that the economy’s changing, but leaders aren’t. He covers many of the things we’ve discussed here on IEB — among them, the re-emergence of manufacturing & the (somewhat) increased interest in agriculture. However, to me the most interesting portion was this tidbit at the end…
Tailpiece: I began the New Year with a laugh when I put on the NDTV India news channel at 8.00 AM last Monday. It showed a Leftist leader, with the usual scowl and world-weariness on his face (remarkably similar to many RSS bigshots), denouncing the finance minister for wanting to divest equity in some profit making PSUs, to get a few thousand crores, when he is sitting on PSU reserves totaling more than Rs 2,60,000 crore. Unfortunately, I could not get his name — but he was not one of the usual suspects like Sitaram Yechuri, Karat or AB Bardhan. He seemed to be under an impression that company reserves are held in the form of currency notes or bank deposits. With such a constituency to satisfy, it is no wonder at all that the Left has to take the completely illogical stances it often does!
No wonder also that former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has remarked, “The quality of people in politics is very poor…very few understand economics and those who do are unpopular. It would be difficult to take up reforms unless the rank and file of political parties believes in reforms.” (emphasis mine)
Politics and venal politicians have been much-discussed issues — on IEB, and of course, in every home across the land. Which raises the question: why on earth is India saddled with such inept and crooked politicians? I will attempt to answer that in a follow-up post.