When the IAC movement started, BJP was not really made part of the dialog that happened between Government and Team Anna. I guess Congress thought that it would be better to keep the opposition out of the focus and hence they wont be able to take the advantage of the situation. I wonder why IAC did not work so closely with BJP.
That was a mistake that Congress did. It confined itself into a narrow space and soon the movement turned into UPA government v/s as 72 year old man. BJP and other simply waited in the gallery.
Whether by accident or by plan this has done some real good for BJP. I was very critical of BJP because they did not clear their stand on the issue. I guess they were waiting for the right moment.
Apparently, that moment has come. Arun Jaitley’s speech today has cleared BJP’s stand and that too in a very pragmatic way.
I originally thought, when I was learning my initial lessons in politics, that there were too many controls and regulations which the Government had. And, we thought, when liberalization set in, and we had delicensing taking place, freedom from controls taking place, that the role of Government and the intrusion of Government into various places would come to an end, or, that it would, substantially, decline, and once that happened, we would probably have a much cleaner society as far as corruption was concerned. I must confess that this was the honest belief that even I shared. Of course, this had its own advantages. Delicensing, or, freedom from control, meant that people wanting to undertake economic activity did not have to move around in the corridors of power. To that extent, we did take a step forward.
Arun Jaitley then goes on to give examples of specific sectors where root cause of corruption is government control and discretionary power in the hands of few.
And we have now gone to the extent of saying that if you have an urban project which is more than fifty cores of rupees– and land being costly, most projects would be more than fifty crores of rupees – it will also require environmental clearance from the Central Government. At least, there was one stage, some years ago, not recently, where literally thousands of files used to be pending with the Central Government for environmental clearances because some buildings in some parts of the country have to be constructed.
Government control leads to scarcity of resources and because of which the common man ends up suffering. Jaitley goes on to talk about education sector
must clarify, I am not an opponent of the whole idea of the society, the private sector, the non-Governmental organisations and charitable trusts getting into the field of education; from school education to higher education, some of them have made a commendable contribution. But, then, in areas where there was a scarcity created, in terms of seats–we know the States where this is happening–unthinkable amount of capitation fee for a single undergraduate or post-graduate medical seat was charged, because we decided to create scarcity of seats. Wherever the scarcity got over, the capitation fee disappeared. But, wherever we created scarcity, we found that this became a major area as far as black money is concerned.
He clarifies BJP stand on Lokpal as
he ultimate authority is with the Government to introduce the law. The authority is with the Parliament to approve the law. They have a right to protest and crusade. But, then, we must neither curtail their right to protest nor must we get so angry with them and say like children that we will not speak to you now. And, it is only when pressure becomes unbearable that we will start speaking to you. Most of these provisions are such that they are workable, or, at least, they can be brought within the dialogue domain and a solution can be worked out rather than create a situation in the society that it appears that there is a confrontation going on between the political system of this country and the Civil Society.
While all the points he makes are the “right things to do” the real challenge for the party to take this to the masses. At this moment the public is not in mood to listen to any politician, the middle class apathy towards politics is at it’s peak, you hear people saying stuff as all politicians are equally corrupt and so on.
At such a point Arun jaitley’s speech will not be qualitatively compared with that of Manmohan Singh, indead people will just brush it off.
There is no single individual left in the party who has a moral authority to talk to people and convince them. People don’t really get convinced with logical arguments, they get convinced with personal charm of the leader along with his moral authority.
As far as BJP is concerned the only man right of the job is Narendra Modi. A person who has silenced his critics with his actions, hated the most by his opponents and yet he moves around without a wound or blot.
I hope BJP is only waiting for the Guj elections to get over.