The Nation’s Praful Bidwai had certain ideas about how India’s new government might fulfill its mandate.
The broad trend is unmistakable: The people have voted against pro-corporate, pro-rich neoliberal policies that impoverish the majority … Naidu was ignominiously defeated by the Congress and Communist parties and a regional group in Parliament and state elections–a punishment for his unabashedly pro-investor policies and callousness toward his people … Economic distress–and anger at collapsing services and privatization of public assets–is impelling a search for radical alternatives. Unfortunately, the Communist left (modern social democrats in practice) has refused to join the new government, largely out of timidity and fear that it won’t be able to change the direction of the Congress-led economic policy.
All right. So what do we know about new PM Manmohan Singh?
Mr Singh slashed red tape, simplified the tax system and removed stifling controls and regulations to try create an environment conducive to business.
The economy revived, industry picked up, inflation was checked, and growth rates remained consistently high in the 1990s.
The economy, under Mr Singh’s stewardship, grew at a steady 7% per annum.
In recent years, he has lamented that the economy was not growing “fast enough” under the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, which lost the recent elections … In his role as a technocrat, Mr Singh headed India’s central bank, advised the government on managing the economy and was a governor with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
I’m unsure what planet The Nation is publishing from these days.