When a mainstream journalist writes apocalyptic stuff – stuff that many of us have been warning about for years – then you know that things must be really dire. In fact, we have been warning about this ever since the UPA came to office, not just in 2009 but in 2004. I still vividly recall a friend chiding me for an email I had sent out in 2004 in a state of depression after knowing the election results, then. He was justifiably proud of the democratic and peaceful transfer of power that took place. I was more fearful of the future. It gives me no pleasure to write that my fears (and worse) have or are in the process of being realised.
UPA’s agenda was regressive. Pro-poor politics is not regressive. Pro-poverty economics is. What UPA has been practising is the latter. They were wedded to that from day one in 2004. Eight to ten years of sustained onslaught on governance, on Centre-State relations, on fiscal health, on civilized discourse with your political opposition (and any opposition for that matter) is too much for any country to handle. India is no exception.
Shekhar Gupta paints a disturbing picture of bank losses turning bad; Indian corporates going overseas and a fiscal bankruptcy to rival Greece!
Every country has been caught in the grip of hubris. That is one unifying theme for the new millennium. India too had assumed its growth rate to be on autopilot at 8% or above. How all of them handle these rude shocks of growth well below what they had taken for granted is going to be the story of 2012 and beyond. It will be interesting to see how India’s famed shock-absorbers, resilience and social safety valves work in what are going to be rather difficult times ahead.