November 25, 2020
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'The Scandal Of Indian Politics...'

'The Scandal Of Indian Politics...'

The Financial Times on J&K:

Mr Abdullah – English-educated, tech-savvy and earnest – is struggling to restore a semblance of normality to his deeply troubled realm, and secure New Delhi’s backing for a political package to redress some of Kashmiris’ long-standing grievances.

His battle to pull Kashmir back from the brink of chaos is the first serious test of India’s heralded new generation of political leaders – a cohort that includes his friend and contemporary, Rahul Gandhi, heir apparent to the ruling Congress party. So far, though, 40-year-old Mr Abdullah’s performance does not auger well.

“A lot of these political princelings think their own good intentions are a substitute for governance and hard political decisions,” said Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of New Delhi’s Centre for Policy Research.

“It’s ‘I am a nice guy, I care for the poor’,” said Mr Mehta. “In a sense, your virtue becomes your policy. But beyond a point, nobody cares about your virtue.”

Read more at FT. com

Moving from J&K to Delhi, it pretty much continues and elaborates Pratap Bhanu Mehta's column of a few days back for the Indian Express:

The scandal of Indian politics is not simply that the prime minister is politically weak; it is that those who are politically strong are constantly running away from political responsibility. 

This is diminishing the ability of the government to do anything imaginative. It is also founded on the illusion that politics can be detached from policy. Andhra should have taught the Congress the lesson how quickly it can become vulnerable because of casual political judgments. But exempting Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi from serious political responsibility is beginning to extract a toll. It is letting the Congress get away with the illusion that the hubris, callousness, even charges of corruption that are now sullying the party will somehow not affect its core image. It is as if in case the Commonwealth Games turn out to be a bit of a financial scandal, it has nothing to do with the party as such. Second, it has created a political culture where Congress politicians always seem stuck in a nether zone: many are smart, have independent ideas, but are simply unable to move. And it has sent a message: the purpose of politics is not solving problems; it is the evasion of responsibility.

Read the full piece here

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