Sunday, April 12, 2015

Narendra Modi's style: Debilitating control or Enabling oversight?

Shashi Tharoor has told a private gathering at the World Bank that Modi's operating style may stymie India's development. The report is as follows:

"The office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi exercises such an extent of control over policy matters that it could be impeding implementation, suggested  Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, who is on a brief visit to the U.S.
Speaking at a private event at the World Bank focused on his new book “India Shastra” Mr. Tharoor, who is also the Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, said, “Mr. Modi has said a lot of the right things. The challenge is going to be in doing the right thing, which so far, in ten months, we haven’t seen him doing that.”"
Perhaps Tharoor is right. There is an ocean of difference between Modi and his predecessor. Manmohan Singh escaped legal responsibilty for all ministerial scams under his 'able' leadership because he never intervened in any decisions. He was only a 'pass- through prime minister'. (In Finance, pass- through entities do not attract taxes. Similarly, Singh did not attract any culpability for multiple shenanigans.) 
It is sad that Tharoor never commented on Singh's style and thereby lost an opportunity to save the country from a decadent decade. It is ,however, only too naive to expect him to criticise a prime minister who turned a blind eye to his misdeeds in IPL and what all followed over a period of time including the poisoning of his wife.
The Modi government has asked the state Governors to remain in the states atleast for 80% of the time and to seek President's approval for travel outside. It is strange that there was no such guideline so far. It is time that gubernatorial posts ceased to be mere sinecures.

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