Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh !!!...

Dear Hon. Prime Minister


I write to you on a day that is perhaps the most significant days in recent Indian history. Over the past month, the people of India have, after nearly two decades, voted almost decisively for a pre-poll alliance. (In fact, I read on one television channel that this is the most decisive result since your party was thrown out in 1977!!). As a result, today you find yourself having an almost obstacle-free path to the PM’s seat. And I for one am pleasantly surprised. Yesterday, I wrote on my blog, fearing for the kind of games our politicians would be playing in order to get to that 272 mark. Thankfully, the nation would not be seeing those now and your party along with its allies (plus some minor support here and there) should be able to comfortably occupy the treasury benches in the Lok Sabha. Here I also admit that you are not one of my favourite leaders (though I have the highest respect for you from amongst your breed). But anyways, what I feel matters the least today.

But I am not writing just to congratulate you, your party and allies for winning the election. I am sure that you realize the enormity of the task ahead of you. By decisively giving you a mandate, the billion strong population of this country has placed the highest expectations from you. And I am no different. Your future government is already being called the first real Congress government since 1989. Meaning that you have now virtually a free hand in running the government, at least the finances. To add to that, the presence of a former finance minister at the helm will further raise hopes. One hopes that without the interference of the Left and other allies, your government would be able to carry out its financial agenda and tackle the real issues head-on. Of course, I am hardly qualified to inform you on the real issues that face us, but I cannot resist !!. Security of course has become numero uno for some time now and I hope your government is able to provide reassurance to its citizens that visits to shopping malls and travelling in local trains need not be accompanied by doubts on whether one would return home safely. On the finances front, its now time to reverse all those populist policies that have caused a nearly 10% fiscal deficit last year. With the Left and the others becoming less relevant, I sincerely hope that subsidies are reduced to the extent that people pay a fair price for the petrol they use and the power they consume. Then there is the question of bills in crucial areas like insurance, retail, women representation etc. that were stuck up because of political opposition within the former government. One last area that I would like to mention is agriculture. It is about time that Indian agriculture is made into an investment-worthy sector, so that one day people from the cities would look to the villages to invest, directly or indirectly, in agriculture. And while I do not expect your government to deliver overnight, you now have five solid years to deliver good, decisive and growth-oriented governance. The budget due next month would definitely be your first chance to make your intentions clear. The country would await that.

To sum up, today’s verdict has given birth to a new wave of optimism throughout the country, atleast amongst the urban sector. (CNBC is already predicting a circuit breaking rally on Monday !!). How much of that optimism is misplaced will only be clear in the following weeks. But it is now time to assert yourself (and I was pleasantly surprised to see you during the campaign, where you were unusually blunt, especially while reacting to LK Advani’s remarks). Now is the time to carry that decisiveness to the PM’s chair. Freed of the shackles of coalition governance, the years 2009 to 2014 have the potential to go down in history as the period in which India started its march from a developing nation encumbered by populist policies and underperforming governments to being one of the economic powerhouses of the world. And my generation, nearing or crossed thirty, eagerly look forward to these five years.

I sincerely hope that your government meets the expectations that the common people right from Mumbai to Manipur and from Srinagar to Sivakasi now have from you. All the very best !!!!!


Yours truly,

A common Indian citizen


Prashant Shenava said...

Amit, Good one!!! I read your blogs sometimes and I am extremely pleased to see the level of articulation you bring in to your writing. Keep it up.

Amit Gokhale said...

@ Prashant..

Thanks for the compliments !!... Cheers

Kau said...

This was a great read.
Loved it.
Well written and well said Amit !
I cannot agree more with you.

Kau said...

Sidenote - I especially agree with the point you make on agriculture. A recent report I said said that the per hectare amount of cultivable land in India was many time more than that in US or China - however the per hectare produce was far lesser. This is an opportunity for us - it will make our country self reliant and will generate a new middle class.
I really hope the new gov is committed to such a mandate.
Lets hope for the best !

Amit Gokhale said...

@ Kau..

Thanks for the compliment !!!
Yes, agriculture is something we seriously need to look at.. but is anyone investing their money thr ? :(