You might ask, with this great story, what keeps me awake at night?
To which I would answer, a number of things.
Devolution, defined by Webster as the surrender of powers to local
authorities by the central government, is serious threat facing
India. It stems from a process of gradual deterioration with
potentially important political, social, and economic consequences.
While some signs of devolution are already apparent in political and
social contexts, questions remain as to whether the general process
can be turned around or limited. The economic reform efforts of the
early 1990s were insufficient to stem that process. Launching a new
wave of economic reforms will be crucial to reduce poverty, promote
growth and thus prevent further political and social deterioration.
The root cause of India's devolution is a fundamental lack of strong,
progressive and centralised political leadership. After roughly 50
years of nearly uninterrupted rule by the Congress Party, Indian
politics have been a comparative "free-for-all" since 1996.
then, three national elections have produced six different coalition
governments led by four prime ministers.
There is a trend today toward less qualified people among career
Indian civil servants. The Indian Administrative Service, long
staffed with well-educated, highly regarded graduates, is no longer
attracting the best and the brightest. The service has become
politicised and meritocracy is dying. The capability and experience
of individuals available to occupy key ministerial secretarial
positions is declining.
In addition, the number of accused and in many cases convicted
criminals occupying elected positions in state and central
governments is alarming.
The current coalition government in New Delhi, led by the BJP, is
composed of 23 parties, representing a wide range of primarily
regional and caste-based parties. While both the Congress and BJP
claim to be "national" parties, it is clear that neither will...