The possible transformation of India from the impoverished nation with chaotic system of governance to a developed and dynamic super power in the world is not far for dreamers. But fortunately for us, we all have the right to dream. As a nation we have expended that right many times before as we are doing it now.
In 1984, the first general elections after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Indians put all their hopes and aspirations on a young leader, with an un-corrupted clean image. Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi came to power, riding on the dreams of ordinary Indians, with a mandate never before and never after any leader in India got. Rajiv was an able leader with a vision to change India to a modern and vibrant nation, to assert its place in the world. Instead India’s corrupt system has changed Rajiv Gandhi as inefficiency and wide spread corruption swallowed his administration. The disappointment of the masses were evident in 1989 general election. Since then Indians were never offered an opportunity to dream, with the same old crooks running the show.
Once again, Indians have dared to dream. This time, the man behind those aspirations, is neither young nor had an aristocratic upbringing like Rajiv Gandhi. Narendra Modi’s credentials lie solely on his performance as the Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat and that is a good news.
India is one of the highly corrupt countries in the world. The deeply rooted corruption in every section of society, makes it difficult for any leader to bring any change in India. Well thought after plans and projects end up as milking cows for the political and bureaucratic elite and the benefits never reach to the downtrodden. The much cherished change will materialize, only if a strong leader is willing to shake the foundations of India’s inefficient and corrupt existence.
Rajiv Gandhi – Former Prime Minister of India
Only a strong leader, willing to take unpopular decisions will be able to make a change. The decisions, which we postponed for the past 67 years, to have an easy but worthless state of life. Democracy is not the freedom to throw stones on everyone, but the power to be protected from being stoned.
The issues that need to be addressed in Narendra Modi’s India.
- Uniform Civil Code – As long as we have weak leaders, current system will continue. It is time to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of major religious communities in the country. These laws will divide India forever. The laws from the scriptures may be best suited to the times and the countries they were written but irrelevant for India. It will only help divide India. It is time we leap into the mode of a modern vibrant nation. India should be moving towards a uniform civil code at the earliest. It is a well known fact that support for religious laws are limited and the proponents are in favour of it for the soul reason of exploiting the masses in the name of religion and religious fervour..
- Addressing Corruption – Taking bribe should be punishable by law but not giving bribe – There are two parties to the corruption saga, the bribe givers and the takers. Without the help of one party, it is difficult to prosecute the other. The rich may give bribe to have the privileges, but for the poor ordinary Indians, they are forced to do it, as nothing will happen in India without it. It is sensible to spare the bribe givers who provide evidence to prosecute and control the culture of corrupt practises.
- The Government Sector – Different set of stricter laws for Government employees and Office Holders – To improve the efficiency and reduce the corruption in Government sector special courts and different laws should be constituted to deal with Government employees and office holders including politicians.
- Political Parties – Political parties and charity organisations should be made accountable for the money they receive and spend – There should be some accountability in these areas to control corruption in India.
- The Quota System – Removal of quota system for backward castes and minority communities review required on a state by state basis.
- The Kashmir Issue – Kashmir has been a burning issue for years and it will remain so for years to come unless we take the brave decision now and face the consequences of removing Article 370 which treats Kashmir like a separate country.
- Foreign Investment – Allow up to 70% foreign investment in all areas including defence and not more than that level. This level of investment will keep the foreign investors happy and will provide some control in Indian hands and it also will provide the effect of Bhumi Puthra policies implemented by countries like Malaysia, but in a different perspective.
- Eliminate Subsidies – Limit all subsidies to save money and move to a market oriented economy. The money thus saved should be spent in the education sector. The money should be spent in helping the underprivileged get education focusing on the socially backward communities thus eliminating the need for quota system in other areas.
- Environmental Policies – Stricter environmental policies to protect national assets like water and forests – As India loosens foreign investments regulations more and more environmentally unfriendly businesses will try to relocate to India. This will have adverse effect on our environment. In the future the most valued asset for any country in the world will be its pristine beauty and clean air. We should take steps to preserve it.
- The human factor – Government should make laws to assert that the most valuable commodity in India is its people. India has a population of almost a Billion. A law thus made will ensure the welfare of many communities being displaced for profiteering by mining groups or any other lobbies. If we best utilise this commodity, soon India will be a super power in the world.
- Tort Laws – India has to introduce American style Tort Laws. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to another’s person, property or other protected interests (e.g. physical injury or reputation, under libel and slander laws). Tort reform advocates focus on personal injury common law rules in particular. Higher level of damages will ensure some respect for Indians. Even though debates may run around the actual profiteers like insurance companies and lawyers, only such laws will ensure some dignity to human beings and put some control on the exploiters. Money value will make all the difference.
- Indian Judiciary – Indian court system is a disgrace. According to 2005 report, there are 30000 cases pending in Supreme Court. 34 Lakh cases pending in High Courts and 2.35 crore cases pending in lower courts. It is time; we look at the process that makes our judiciary system lethargic and slogging. A process improvement is required to make the system efficient. When we copied the British System, we failed to make adjustments to suit a country of 1 Billion people. It is time we take that initiative. We also need to increase the number courts in the country to address the pending court cases. Justice delayed is justice denied.
- Integrity of Judiciary System – The integrity of Indian Judiciary system is a shameful episode. The judges found to be corrupt should be hanged publically. Only the fear factor will be able to save the Indian judiciary as common man lost faith in the system.
- Removing speculation from basic necessities – India is a country of nearly 50% under poverty line. India is fast moving to a market economy reducing government controls against the market forces. It is a good step indeed. But Indian Government should make laws to take speculation out of property and food sector. These are the bare necessities of every human being. Once speculation comes into effect, food and shelter will go out of reach of the poor. The middle men who make money controls the media too as the poor and down trodden will be completely ignored and will fade away from the lime light.
- Entrepreneur spirit – The laws should be changed to encourage entrepreneur ship. This can be done by eliminating bureaucratic interference in setting up businesses and reducing taxes and providing incentives for self-employed people compared to the employed. Only such steps will help reduce the unemployment in India.
- Administration- Singapore Style – India followed the British System of Administration which has its advantages. But the system is created for the British. The British society is individualistic in nature, with lower Power Distance Index and lower uncertainty avoidance Where as India is collective in nature with higher Power distance and higher uncertainty avoidance. For this reason British System will never work in India effectively. We need to make changes to suit our people. A Singapore style of stricter laws and implementation is more suitable for India.