I had written last week on the declining governance due to a systemic breakdown and sadly the process continues as we witness events. Coalgate—spread over two decades—will cover the Congress, BJP and JD(U) governments and, like the 2G scam, everyone will be indicted by an issue which we have yet to understand in totality. The price of gold has touched Rs 32,000 per 10 grams and I suppose it can zoom to Rs 40,000-plus in a few months. The GDP continues to dip and we still have CAG reports to deal with. Despite a global decision, the oil-producing countries continue to hike petroleum prices and drive the global economy into greater depression. We have to increase prices of all products and have to face the usual storm, but do we really have any options? Like the bad monsoon, we can assume that we have partial anarchy and chaos.
These things can happen but what is important to note is whether we have a system to cope with this situation. It’s easy to play the blame game but if we have to find solutions, then we must realise that all of us are responsible for this mess. Negativity has spread over the entire political system. We saw how Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev ravaged the system and offered magic solutions. Political games are inevitable in a democracy but to gain debating points and ascendency over each other, we have deployed negative methods and this is having a catastrophic effect on our daily lives.
I feel wretched writing this article as I believe in my country, I believe in our future to do great things but now I believe that we have taken our success for granted. Each one of our institutions is close to collapse. The balance between all the three wings of governance no longer exists; each one has become predator and there are no winners in this game.
We can persecute anything in sight and we can turn into a police state. We are agitated over an article in The Washington Post on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but the reality is that we as a society have destroyed in two years what we had built in two decades and we continue to ravage the system.
Events in Parliament do not surprise me as the SP and BSP come to blows, and this will become the pattern of governance and life, as we go along in the immediate future. We can expect violence at every level and hands and feet will be replaced with more lethal weapons. This is what anarchy and chaos is about and this has arrived. I have seen this happen in the USSR and have seen a great country and a great people humbled in six years from 1985 to 1991. I remember on my last visit in 1990, there was utter chaos; even basics like bottled water, bread and milk had vanished. I was saddened to see a great leader like President Mikhail Gorbachev humbled. We still have time to recover but will this happen in the current state of affairs?
We live in denial and many till the last stage would like to think that any reports of this nature are alarmist. I know this is true because I come in this category. I feel shattered when I see many of my friends in governance stunned into total inaction as almost everyone is afraid that any form of decision or discretion will destroy them, and the safest thing is not to take any decision. This is the position at the top, and can it be any different at the middle or the bottom? We elect a government to govern but policy is no longer an initiative with those in power. The cash-and-carry system is at work and while we can keep talking of the rule of law, the situation on the ground is not good.
Baba Ramdev arrives on October 2 to start his agitation and many more will follow who will offer magic solutions but no one is interested in politics and will not fight an election.
Nehru is a former Union minister