Sunday, July 20, 2008

COMMENT: The UPA's Vote of Confidence Or India's Quest for Self-Respect

To LISTEN to this entry on my Podcast, click here.

Tomorrow’s Vote is not about the survival of the UPA; it is about India’s self-respect. Never before has Parliament convened to discuss a more important issue- one whose consequences would not only decide the fate of a government but also determine the place India will take in the 21st century.

During the last general elections, the people of India voted out the NDA because they felt that it was doing very little for the poor. The UPA, therefore, is- if nothing else- a government of the poor, for the poor and by the poor. In my opinion, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government has been driven by only one consideration (inspired by the Mahatma’s talisman about the daridra narayan): how do we restore the self-respect of India’s poor, especially the farmers whose blood, toil and sweat feed us? The NREGA ensures that the sons & daughters of farmers no longer have to go begging for jobs in faraway city slums; now, hundreds of millions living in the villages can claim employment as a birth right. Not only do they live with self-respect, thanks to the NREGA, but in doing so, they are creating billions of rupees worth of rural infrastructure. Also, under the UPA, Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for foodgrains have more than tripled; farmers’ loans have been waived across the board. Never before in the history of India have the farmers got higher prices for their crops than now. The same goes for tribals. By enacting the Tribal Act, they have once again been made masters of their own homes.

Rajiv ji had forewarned at the historic Bombay AICC Session (1985) that of every rupee sent by GOI, only a fraction reaches its intended beneficiary. To ensure, therefore, that the benefits of the aforementioned schemes reach their rightful beneficiaries, the UPA has enacted the RTI. No other step has done more to weed out the cancer of corruption that is eating into the fabric of our society. RTI has not merely attacked the symptom of that disease, but its cause (lack of transparency). Henceforth, every citizen has a right to know what his government is up to, and to hold it to the test of accountability.

The above-mentioned steps- both historic and momentous- have gone a long way in restoring the self-confidence of those who had been left out from India’s march towards development for too long. The Civil Nuclear Energy Agreement too should, then, be seen in light of UPA’s overriding commitment to India’s self-respect. India is a nation of a billion people with a great and proud history and one of the world’s strongest, fastest growing economies- and yet for too long have we been denied our right place in the family of nations. Thus far, a select club of nations has decided who should have the right to keep what; and who should not. With the Nuclear Agreement, all that will change. As I see it- and as millions of other Indians see it- this Deal is the much-awaited & long-cherished Recognition & Validation of India’s Greatness by the world community.

Those who oppose it do so without reason; not only are they opportunists, they are also anti-national. Those who oppose it today are the same people who were in two minds about whether to condemn the Chinese aggression of India in 1962. Those who oppose it today by saying that the deal is pro-US should not forget that when the US 7th fleet was in the Bay of Bengal in 1971, a Congress government opposed it. Let there be no doubt that we have- and will- oppose the US- or for that matter, any other power- that seeks to compromise India’s self-respect. Those who oppose it today also opposed IT revolution ushered in by Rajiv ji in the 1980s; today those same people cannot live without mobile phones and the internet. Those who oppose the Agreement today would have happily settled for a less than equitable 1-2-3 agreement less than five years ago. Last but not the least, those who oppose this Vote today have very clearly succumbed to a Shameful Politics of Opportunism. They are not interested in India; they are only interested in grabbing power. By standing solidly behind the Nuclear Agreement, Congress has put Principles- most of all, the Principle of National Self-Respect- over any Opportunistic consideration.

The one true test of the Agreement- indeed any agreement- is its cost-benefit analysis. For India, this is a WIN/WIN situation: we will now have access to the latest nuclear technology and materials WITHOUT compromising in any way our national defense program. That is indeed a privilege extended to no other nation (which hasn't signed the NPT and CTBT). Moreover, the recent rise in petrol prices has exposed our nation’s vulnerability; never before have we felt more acutely the need for developing alternative sources of energy. Nuclear energy has tremendous potential: not only is it clean and cost-effective; it is also NECESSARY to power India’s drive towards the forefront of nations. It will enable us to fulfill Rajiv ji’s dream of making the 21st century- the Indian century.

In the end, the Vote is not only about us, but for future generations- our unborn sons and daughters- so that they don’t say that we compromised India’s interests at this crucial juncture in our history.


PS: You can read Dr. Saibel Farishta's excellent analysis of the Vote here.

12 comments (टिप्पणी):

Rajeev Sahu said...

Exactly Amitji, I too really feel pity on the politicians and parties who are playing petty politics by looking into their own hidden agenda and ignoring national interest. This Nuclear Deal is the need of the future. Inspite of so many hurdles, I am sure that UPA will win majority on the floor and serve our national interest.

Rajeev said...

"As I see it- and as millions of others Indians see it- this Deal is the much-awaited & long-cherished Recognition & Validation of India’s Greatness by the world community."

there is no validation agency that assigns greatness to a a country. a country becomes great by its own actions. political rhetoric is about fooling the electorate.

the way this vote of confidence is being handled with bribes and lollipops being thrown around and cirminals being wooed, one thing has been valiadated, that our is one the most corrupt countries in the world.

Rajeev, Sheffield

A drop of ink can make million think said...

you tell me one thing that was this deal a part of the Common Minimum programme?

The answer is no; So the prime minister in a sense has ditched the left parties

and if the combined opposition (may be the left,bjp,unpa and bsp) are applying any ill tactics to topple the government .............the congress is also applying every possible effort to save it which even includes a tainted leader like soren to be inducted into the ministry, a move which even the prime minister wasnt convinced............i am a reporter of the political section of the business standard new delhi..........Both me and my paper have been a staunch supporter of the deal ..............even one of my reports is there to prove this.....................

But the horse trading in the great indian MP bazaar which both your party and the opposition are employing will bring iNdian polity to a shame.......I always was of the view that if the Left goes ahead and pulls the plug the BJP instead of doing cheap politics should stand by the govt...........but it unfortunately didnt

like vir sanghvi wrote in his sunday column that if the BJP storms back to power it will sign the deal with 'MINOR FACE SAVING CHANGES'

The PM should better resign before the trust vote

Aymen, Y.F.I. 'Azad' Mohammed said...

Our's might be an unethical nation, but our corruption has actually fallen down since RTI was implemented.

½ FREEDOMS! said...

@ A drop...:
(1) I admit that the entry is somewhat polemical: the Agreement (not, Deal) wasn't part of the CMP, and the Left are probably justified in walking out on us. Having said that, I also believe that apart from this solitary fig-leaf of a technicality (non-inclusion in the CMP), the Left are left with absolutely no other reason for withdrawing support: surely, the ending of India's nuclear isolation without conforming to the (clearly asymmetrical) diktats of the international nonproliferation regime - we have signed neither the NPT nor the CTBT and still gained access to both nuclear technologies and materials long denied to us- is a masterly stroke at par with the greatest feats of realpolitik accomplished by the likes of the Cardinal Richelieu & Prince Von Metternich in the service of their respective nations (France, Austria). Its benefits, especially in terms of energy security, shall most certainly be immense if future leaders should decide to draw inspiration from that feisty Frenchman, Charles de Gaulle. (Realizing how little oil- or coal- his twice-ravaged country had, he decided to harness atoms with single-minded determination.)

(2) Apropos your second assertion (about horse-trading), at present they are nothing but wild allegations; remember also that there is not an iota of evidence (which in any case is not hard to come-by in this age of Stings). Moreover, it is equally hard to ignore that the SP has taken a principled decision to support us, even at the risk of eroding some of its Muslim votebank (given that the Agreement has been portrayed as pandering to President Bush, arguably Muslim world's most-hated figure). Now, no political party- and especially one that aspires to play a pivotal role both nationally and in UP- would take that kind of risk for any amount of money (of which, I imagine, the SP have little shortage). The JMM is already part of the UPA. That members of these parties (sp. the SP) should abandon ship is proof of the pot calling the kettle black (!)

(3) Counting the support of the SP, then, implies that the UPA is not yet a minority government. As such, there is therefore absolutely no need for the PM to resign.


Riva Sharapov said...

Let's unite against BJP(NDA)-CPM(Left)-BSP-UNPA alliance.

TV, Thrissur said...

TODAY...CPM and BJP join hands against the largest SECULAR political party in the world.
From TODAY onwards...
Communism and Communalism are synonyms..!!!

Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said...

शांतिपूर्ण तरीके से नुक्लेअर ऊर्जा के उपयोग के लिए अमेरिका से किए जा रहे समझौते का इससे अच्छा राजनैतिक विश्लेषण सम्भव नही है.

शैलेश नितिन त्रिवेदी

Alok Singh, Pune said...

Heartiest Congratulation on UPA Govt won trust votes@parliament.....Keep rocking!
"It is high time to think for future India where we have to elect people who can take decesion on developement of our country than to fight among selves there by voting in favour or against Govt., playing with sentiments of Indian Voters, who has voted them with a feel that they will work for developement, instead of using their hard earned money in purchasing the MPs.....Really,Shame on them......!UPA govt 100% get trust vote that i belive Dr. Manmohan Singh Is a very intelligent person he know better then Advani what is good for India."

दीपक शर्मा said...

डील बिहाइण्ड डील
और अंततः सरकार नही गिरी इससे फ़ायदा यह हुआ कि अब न्युक्लीयर डील होगी और हम विकास के नये रास्ते गढने लगेंगे !! परंतु जैसा कि अखबारो ने कहा इस पुरे ड्रामे मे अब एक बात खुलकर सामने आयी वो यह है कि लोकतंत्र अब इन सत्ताधिशो कि कठपुतली हो गयी है ,कोई सरकार को इस बात पर समर्थन देगा कि उसे कोयला मंत्रालय चाहिये या किसी को सरकार इसलिये गिराना है कि उन्हे प्रधानमंत्री की दावेदारी करनी है ,इस पुरे खेल मे सांसद ३५ करोड तक कि बोली मे बिके और खरिदे गये किसी को वोट देने और किसी को खामोश रहने के लिये दाम मिले (जैसा कि अखबारो ने कहा ) और आज की राजनीति मे यह असंभव या आश्चर्यजनक नही दिखता ्तब सचमुच यह विजय किसी काम कि नही है !!

नेताओ के स्वागत और विज्ञापन मे जब हम करोडो खर्च कर सकते है तो इस डील की बारिकियो को भी जनता के सामने लाया जा सकता था ,वोटो कि जोड्तोड से थोडा वक्त निकालकर कोई भी महत्वपुर्ण पदाधिकारी देश को इस मुद्दे पर संबोधित कर सकता था यह संबोधन स्वतंत्रता दिवस पर दिये जाने वाले संबोधन से कम महत्वपुर्ण नही होगा ऐसा मै मानता हु !!

मै खुद न्युक्लीयर डील के समर्थन मे हु लेकिन इस "डील बिहाइण्ड डील "को देखकर नेताओ पर रहा सहा मेरा विश्वास भी तिरोहीत होने लगा है !!

मैने अपना सत्य कहा है वही जो मेरी नजरो ने देखा है और सत्य से लंबे समय तक मुह नही मोडा जा सकता फ़िर भी मेरी बाते किसी को कठोर या अप्रिय लगे तो इस पर मुझे खेद है पर इन प्रश्नो से लंबे समय तक मुह नही मोडा जा सकता !!

Dr Archana Chauhan said...

This victory is of all those countrymen,leaders,parties ,our own congress party,who wish to see INDIA on a much higher platform of development;this is a victory of those dreams which wd eradicate poverty,hunger,unemployment from our society;this is a victory of all true Indians.

Dr. Uday 'Mani' Kaushik said...

सादर अभिवादन
आपकी शाक्त रचना के लिए बहुत बधाई मित्र
आनंद आ गया बंधु
आपसे परिचय होना अच्छा रहा
चलिए अपने परिचय के लिए
एक कविता भे रहा हूँ इसे आज ही मैने अपने ब्लॉग पे पोस्ट किया है
और हाँ बंधु मेरा ब्लॉग भी एक बार देखिए गा ज़ाऊर , क्यों , देखेंगे ना..
और मेरे ब्लॉग मे आपको कोई दम वाली बात लगती है तो बड़ा अच्छा लगेगा यदि मेरे ब्लॉग को अगर आप अपनी ब्लॉग लिस्ट मे जगह देंगे

मैं जो हूँ
मुझे वही रहना चाहिए

वन का वृक्ष
खेत की मेढ़
नदी की लहर
दूर का गीत , व्यतीत
वर्तमान में उपस्थित

भविष्य में
मैं जो हूँ
मुझे वही रहना चाहिये

तेज गर्मी
मूसलाधार वर्षा
कडाके की सर्दी
खून की लाली
दूब का हरापन
फूल की जर्दी

मैं जो हूँ ,
मुझे वही रहना चाहिये
मुझे अपना होना
ठीक ठीक सहना चाहिए

तपना चाहिए
अगर लोहा हूँ
तो हल बनने के लिए
बीज हूँ
तो गड़ना चाहिए
फूल बनने के लिए

मगर मैं
ऐसा नहीं कर रहा हूँ
जो हूँ वही होने से डर रहा हूँ ..


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