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January 2020

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WHAT is governance? In modern parlance, it implies a government that can marry the critical issues of consistently-high economic growth and development with the crucial responsibilities to provide cheap, even free, roti, kapada aur makaan, as well as education, health, and infrastructure to the poor, underprivileged and exploited sections of a society. The nature of the government can vary—capitalist, socialist, communist or dictatorial. But the tasks essentially remain the same, although their relative importance can change. From the US to China, Japan to India, Malaysia to Middle East, and Russia to Africa, the overall goals remain the same.
In this context, no government can waver from its social and welfare duties. Growth and development remain the only means to finance welfare-ism, as this is the only path to raise official revenues to finance the latter. Sadly, across the globe, the policy makers pursue actions which are contrary to these moral and value-based objectives. India is no exception. Over the past 15 years, we witnessed a “lost” decade in which the ship seemed to steer on its own, and an exceptionally hectic half-a-decade, where the vessel ran into rough, violent and huge waves. Growth, development, welfare and social responsibilities lost their relevance.