We trusted our economists, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. We thought that the “professionals” would deliver satisfactory results. Alas! they have only fobbed us off. Inflation has caused all round hopelessness. Prices of essential commodities shot through the ceiling. Our economist leadership has been celebrating it as a sign of growth. They rubbed salt into the wounds when they hypothesized that incomes in the hands of more number of people have led to more consumption and resulted in price rise. This is a facetious argument because there has been no real shortage in supply. It is due to regulated release into the market by players only to manipulate prices. In the decade of the 1960s, it was commonly heard from economists that the USA preferred to throw its excess wheat production into the sea rather than giving it to the hungry in the world. Our market forces and their economist mentors are doing worse: they engineer food grain rotting; wastage of vegetables & fruits; rotting of precious dals/lentils; manipulating price & supply of edible oils; artificial shortages and political crisis for lobbying.
When the Economic rulers of the country fail in checking price rise, they fob us off more and more. One tells us that prices will come down in next three months. It turns out like the weather forecast about rains in the next 24 hours, whereas it does not rain for the whole month. They tend to misapply common knowledge that the crop cycle is bound to affect the economy, as India is not an industrialized nation but its economy is agriculture based. The prices still go up, not because of shortage of production but due to the manipulations of the market forces. Still one set of economists is so prone to such predictions that it is normal to have them indulge in such daylight reveries at least thrice a year. Because checking price rise is an honest function of the government, and the government is anything but honest, fobbing off substitutes honest governance.
During the three months period itself, another set of economists predicts rise in prices and inflation in the next two months. Fuel, gas etc are used as subterfuge to actualize such predictions, because their prices are justified in the name of the import bill. These predictions appear at regular interval. If they draw strong public reaction, there can be no surprise. The public is tricked in the name of austerity, whereas the political class indulges in the feudal practice of splurging public money for narrow political purposes like mass bribing of the voters for winning elections by distributing free television sets or mobile handsets or lap tops etc. When the Civil Society resents such wasteful expenditure of the tax money, questions are asked “who is Civil Society”? How can it be answered when the national newspapers and electronic media joins the political class for personal gains and repeats the same question? They should rather inform the people that the role of the Civil Society has been recognized by the World Government or the UNO for checking corruption in the member countries. India is a signatory to such United Nation’s Convention.
The Prime Minister’s assurances that this period of difficulties will not last long or the fundamentals of our economy are sound, really don’t cut much ice. He just keeps the word of promise to the ear and break it to the hope! The Indian Economy at present stands devastated.