[Re: Why India’s political earthquake is the most significant turning point of 2014, Monday]
John Hulsman’s euphoric eulogy on India’s “political earthquake” is fully understandable, but may I put forward some reservations? Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi may want to clear India’s Augean Stables – the corruption that has been strongly embedded into the system. Unfortunately, the track record of the party he leads is rather dismal on this score. When the BJP’s Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yeddyurappa came into power as the first chief minister of a southern Indian state (Karnataka), people were just as enthusiastic. But corruption did not cease, as evidenced by the iron ore mining scandal in the region. Yedurappa even ended up in prison. Perhaps Modi’s strong leadership can uproot the deeply embedded malaise in the country. But it is also worth noting that both the BJP and outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party opposed including the position of Prime Minister in the ambit of the recent anti-corruption Lokpal Bill. Perhaps Modi could be persuaded to overturn his own party’s opposition to this. And finally, the BJP’s policy on economic liberalism is rather selective. It has expressed opposition to foreign investment in multi-brand retail, aiming to protect its political base of traders who provide neither the small producer or the consumer with a fair deal.