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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Arun Shourie on UPA 1’s “dream team” back in 2009

Arun Shourie

Arun Shourie is not just a noted Indian journalist. He is a renowned author and politician. The collection of the speeches he delivered in the Rajya Sabha form the first two parts of the book “We Must Have No Price”.
Shri Arun Shourie’s Book “We Must Have No Price” can be purchased from Amazon – click here and Flipkart – click here.
The 9th chapter is based on a speech that he delivered in Rajya Sabha about the situation that prevailed in 2009 when UPA 2 was just formed.
According to Mr. Shourie :
“And the team that has taken office this time is more reassuring. The principal ministers are persons of substantial experience; none of them has the sort of taint that marred several ministers in the first Manmohan Singh Government; equally important, the principal ministers are ones who are less liable to ignite the acrimony that characterised the last five years.”
He had also stated that,
“We must remember that, yes, the country has enormous potential and, in the last ten years, we have had but a glimpse of what can be achieved; but, it is just as true that, unless we mend our ways, unless we improve our governance and discourse, the country can get stuck in that well-documented pit, the middle-income trap: Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines and so many other countries also registered spurts of high growth rats, only to get stuck before attaining their full potential. In a word, all sides have been afforded an unexpected opportunity to do right by the country; they must seize it, inside Parliament as much as outside.”
Mr. Shourie had also spoken in 2009 about how precariously dependent India is on the US for dealing with Pakistan as well as China when it came to its foreign policy. He had elaborated way back then as to how the US needed help of both Pakistan and China and so will not help India. Pakistan was needed by the US to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq till the time US found an honourable exit. China was needed to finance bailout packages that were necessary then to save its economy and financial system.
With regards to defence policies during his 2009 lecture in Rajya Sabha he had said that,
“Both in regard to internal security as well as fortifying ourselves against external aggression, we face a dire situation.”
Back in 2009 during his speech in Rajya Sabha he had talked about how the countries like the US and UK had totally banned the adoption of communication systems from potentially hostile countries which had proved to plant backdoors and triggers in such hardware and software. He had also told that in India the very same companies had, in spite of the strenuous objections of intelligence agencies, been allowed to install the very same sort of equipment across the country.
During the same speech of 2009 in Rajya Sabha Mr. Shourie had talked about how in spite of the fact that a “dream team” was said to have been in place during UPA 1, reforms remained at a standstill. He had also said that,
“For we should not forget that, because Reforms had been brought to a standstill, the momentum of growth had already begun to slow down well before the international economic meltdown. By March 2008, to cite just one example, over 25 lakh jobs had already been lost in the three sectors. Several reforms, like the dismantling of the Administered Price Mechanism in the petroleum sector, were actually reversed. Similarly, several initiatives which were going to restore our competitivene3ss, had been brought to naught: when we met industrialists in October 2008, we were astonished to learn that for almost nine months there had been absolutely no disbursements from the Textile Modernisation Fund.”
Mr. Shourie in his speech had cautioned UPA 2 in regard to disinvestment and said that proposal of selling up to 51% shares in governmental enterprises while government control over the enterprises will be maintained was the worst possible alternative.
Mr. Shourie had while quoting Sachar Committee Report also sincerely hoped that the UPA 2 Government would think again about where the measures which it is pushing for the ostensible purpose of helping Minorities will eventually lead the country to ?
Sadlt for India that advice from Mr. Shourie fell on the deaf ears of the Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh led UPA Government.

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