I DEMAND BUT WON’T SUPPLY
Economics- main theories based on demand and supply. They are directly proportional. This principle can be applied to society, especially to Indian society. Let me explain!
We as a society demand too much. I guess we are spoilt by the preamble of our Constitution or the lack of understanding of it- Government of, by and for the people. People the backbone and the foundation of a democracy. And ours is a vibrant one. But we the people demand way too much. We sit on dharnas, go on strikes, protest, all to project some demand or the other. Not that all forms of protest are unviable and uncalled for. Some are legitimate demands which need to be heard and acted upon. But most of them stem from our belief that the state is our surrogate parent and hence has to pamper us. The people running the state i.e. the government is our ‘mai-baap’. And at such elevated levels the government too looses the connect.
After a brief introduction to the demand side now lets analyse the supply side. Do we on our part supple the raw material for good governance? Good governance is a very abstract notion. Tangibility is rendered only when we participate and the government implements. Lets take the example of the railway timetable. Its abstract because its on paper sanctioned by the concerned authorities but doesn’t apply because we pull the chain to get down at our doorstep or to halt at an unmarked station. The railway authorities on their part fail in giving it the required shove. So both demand and supply are working here. Our demand for trains on time can be met if we too supply some form of self control and discipline. Its just one example we can take so many of them from our everyday life. Not looking after public property, not giving our 100 percent at our work place.
The new government has been in power for hardly a month. A major power crisis is facing the state of Delhi. But Congress is already holding protests demanding ‘acche din’. People oh! Those fickle creatures are rallying behind them demanding that Mr Modi don the magician’s hat and perform miracles. Forgetting all along that the party bearing the torch now was in power for over three consecutive terms (1 term= five years!!). Power infrastructure wasn’t built in a day just like Rome! Here too one can see demand is paramount, people won’t hold their end of the bargain by not stealing electricity, paying bills and conserving energy.
Now congress is in power – in the Opposition- even though this power is running on single phase! They have had a decade at the helm. They must have run out of fresh ideas, overcome by governing lethargy, bogged down by complacency. Now when some other party with fresh ideas and new vigour is trying to function they should provide the much needed support. Question when the real need arises, not to stall the efforts of the new government. Its almost as if the more fingers they point the better their wounds will heal inflicted by defeat. Constructive criticism and positive support even from the opposition benches is what India needs. I know its asking for a little too much. After all the powerful today were warming the same benches yesterday and behaved similarly. But someone somewhere has to change and lower the gun in a Mexican standoff- like situation so that India can gain.
I can’t conclude without a mention of the court jester Mr Arvind Kejriwal, Mr Rebel-against-everything-political. He finds nothing good in anything! Critical analysis of the degenerative type gushes from his ever-coughing mouth. He can only carry the torch on the streets of Delhi but can’t light the diya in the temple of governance. Those 49 days he got in power were spent house-hunting and spending nights in the open. A country which has stood the test of democracy, has the largest railways network of Asia, has the third largest army in the world, is the largest democracy of the world, is the IT hub is so because its political leaders have done something right somewhere. So being only critical is not going to help. Sure in the present we have lost the plot but Mr Kejriwal has lost the entire ramlila-maidan. Some soul searching is required from all quarters so that its a collaboration between all the players of the state – the government, the opposition and the people. Only then can Mr Modi perform the humungous tasks he so confidently set for himself. Otherwise ‘acche din aane wale hain’ will remain a swansong on the wings of tomorrow and as we know tomorrow never comes!