Manmohan and Bushie cosying up at the G8 summit.
The standard of Indian politics, while never stellar, is astounding about the levels that it has fallen to in the wake of the nuclear deal.
The political machinations of a government trying to ensure that it stays in power, the opportunistic twists and turns of its new allies – the Samajwadi Party – that has as many votes as it has criminal elements who are Members of Parliament, its heads’ volte-face, the Left with its archaic strategic worldview and almost messianic behaviour of its head honcho Karat – just leaves the mind bewildered. Not to speak about the BJP who inititated discussions with the US under Jaswant Singh, now opposed to everthing UPA does – the hell with the country and its larger interests.
Its amazing to think how we got to this and more importantly, even more to realize that the country has been growing and thriving (till very recently) under the leadership of such spectatularly incompetent and intellectually starved leaders.
My personal take is that but for the Civil Services (IAS, IPS and IFS), our nation would have self-imploded under the morass of such unbelievably incompetent leadership. That we had the Civil Services and the beaurocrats who had the knowledge and the savvy to negotiate a deal of this nature for India is probably not that surprising given the general smarts and competency of the beaurocracy – but the fact that the government didn’t just take kickbacks and sign a totally nefarious deal like is wont with the Indian political establishment (e.g. Bofors, the submarine deal, Enron etc) is eminently surprising.
But surprises aside, the Indian political establishment is back to what it is best at – Horse trading, under the table shady deals, looting the exchequer and ensuring that every 2 penny criminal turned politician gets paid (reportedly 25 crores) for ensuring their support for a deal that can deal with a part of India’s impending energy crisis.
I laughed out loud when someone sent me an SMS – and it sadly accurately described the state of Indian politics – “The UPA government is so inept that it can neither stay nor fall”.