Issue :   
March 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         March 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Mar' 2018


The national agenda well defined

I would like to congratulate your enlightened team in Power Politics for having brought on to the hands of the common public across our Republic a really great Anniversary Special Issue of your esteemed magazine in the month of February this year. This issue has brought into focus an urgent national agenda for our Republic. It has defined very clearly as to what good governance is all about and what it ought to be specifically in our democratic context . It is great to see that you have brought together some of the finest minds in the country to analyse the various dimensions of good governance, identify the lapses in the respective areas therein and suggest what the way-out can be to remedy the malaise wherever it exists.

Murli Manohar Joshi Here I would like to specifically congratulate noted scholar and parliamentarian Dr Murli ManoharJoshi on his article on good governance .
Dr Joshi has rightly said that the statecraft has had its own ethics to serve humanity since time immemorial. In the Ramayana the legendary sage Valmiki has referred to the king who genuinely consults ministers , learned persons and the principal officers of the army in matters of governance . The king in the Ramayana does not wage war to occupy the
land or properties of another ruler but only to remove an obstruction to good governance. In the Mahabharata's Shantiparva the dying scholar warrior Bhishma commands that in the protection of the people lies the justification of the state. He warns the hunger of even one person in a kingdom renders the life of the king meaningless. In his Arthashastra, Kautilya says: "In the happiness of the people lies his happiness, in their welfare, his welfare."
I hope our contemporary political class at the Centre as well as in States would learn appropriate lessons from Dr Joshi's reference to the ethics of governance that prevailed in India in ancient times even when the rays of civilization had not reached in a greater part of the world.
Our rulers today very much need to be enlightened to advance the interests of humanity. As we all know, most of our ruling elites have of late been drifting away from the path of ethics. Their sole aim in politics today is to amass personal wealth and enjoy the privileges . They must change their approach to politics .

K. J. Vishnu

An eye opener

NN Vohra The article on our national security by eminent bureaucrat N N Vohra in your Anniversary Special issue is very timely. Our political elites must get up and act as fast as they can, leaving aside their own personal agendas . Regrettably, no government so far has bothered to advance the interest of the country. Both our Centre and States have moved in two different directions . This is not a healthy sign for the county . We hardly have a national security policy. Our relations with neighbouring countries have of late turned sour due to our defective foreign policy. The nation is in peril .
There is communal tension all around . The Government must heed Vohra's pragmatic suggestions on governance .
He has vast experience in handling various ugly situations in the country. As our Governor in Jammu and Kashmir , he is currently handling affairs in the trouble-torn state. The present political leadership must take advantage of his wisdom.


Case for economic diplomacy

Salman Haider Our former Foreign Secretary and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Salman Haider's article, "Foreign Policy Gearing it to faster progress" (PP, Feb 2018) is really commendable . It imparts a new direction of thinking in the area of diplomacy. For long the pattern of our diplomacy has largely been conventional. Its focus has been on development of political relations with other state governments. This needs to be changed for the sake of good governance. There is a near consensus across the enlightened international public spectrum that diplomacy in our civilised world must be conducted in the interest of the larger humanity. If foreign policy is geared to advance the general political economy, it would really serve itself best.

M Srinivasan

Wide gap between promise and delivery

In the new Union Budget our Central government has made a lot of promises. Can we be optimistic ?The pattern is not promising . There has always been a huge gap between what the government promises and what it delivers. Experts say budgetary allocation to agriculture has come down from 2.38 per cent to 2.36 per cent over the last one year. There is little clarity on the maximum support price hike in agriculture. Paddy, millet growers may not benefit. The new health plan in the Budget is about opening health centres for diagnostics, care and distribution of essential drugs. It has a cover of up to ₹ 5 lakh each for 10 crore poor for hospitalisation.

There is, however, no implementation roadmap.
Our latest Economic Survey projects our growth rate to accelerate to 7.75 per cent in 2018-19 from 6.75 per cent in the current fiscal. But our growth in the industrial, agricultural and employment sectors are down today. The government has failed to deliver on education, employment and agriculture. The survey is based on the hope that the world economy maintains its growth momentum and oil prices do not persist at current levels. The survey is also relying on private sector investments and exports to rescue our economy. This would not do.

Cauvery Krishnan

Tradition at stake

The other day Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta reportedly stated in the Supreme Court : "We do not want India to become the refugee capital of the world." He feared that if the Rohingya were given refuge, "people from every other country will flood our country." He concluded, "This is not a matter in which we can show any leniency." It seems our government is deviating from our rich tradition in the matter . It is well documented that India has been a home to whoever has sought refuge in this land since time immemorial . In ancient times Jews came to this country. India under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sheltered over seven million

Pakistani refugees in the immediate post- Independence landscape . In 1959 the Nehru government sheltered Tibetans. Today there are about 150,000 Tibetans living in about 45 settlements across the country . During the Bangladesh independence struggle, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave shelter to an estimated 10 million men, women and children fleeing then East Pakistan . This tradition has continued on. We have accommodated Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka . We have sheltered Afghan refugees . We have sheltered Baloch political dissidents . And so on and so forth.

K Rahman