Random Thoughts
D Dhanuraj
Download as PDF
Print this Page
Send to Email
Post a Comment
 


Scam after scam captures the headlines at breakfast news these days (not sure when it breaks out, as it is mostly the work of the visual media). The Radia tapes may be a forgotten story, but the dialogue and debate on legalising 'lobbying' is still very much in the air. Before it vanishes, I would like to focus on how lobbying is very much a part of the system in a country like India. There are different types of lobbying; this is not a new phenomenon and I don't understand why it caught the attention of the media and general public for this particular incident.

For the last few years, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, referred to as Mamatadi, has won the heart of West Bengal. This is because she launched several trains and railway projects for the State, to encash returns in the coming assembly elections. The money involved (of course, the state exchequer's) runs in crores; Radia's talks are miniscule in comparison. Yet, Didi is not termed as a big time lobbyist! Maybe because she is the daughter of a schoolteacher, to the disenchantment of not only the Bengali Bhadralok, but also the aspiring Indian middle class. Of course, several TMC MPs are industrialists and business group representatives. While the Radia tapes talk about several industrialists, including Ratan Tata, Didi's action and inaction has cost the general public at large. I must confess that lobbing is a profession and if Radia has sought to favouritism (fixing the appointment of ministers and telecom licence options); it has more to do with the failure of the governance system in the country than lobbying as a menace.

The Indian administration system is very colonial in nature with a basket of redundant laws. The Official Secrets Act, 1923, has been around for more than seven decades. Information and data sharing was termed as anti national and anti democratic not long ago. While poring through the Indian Railways' website, it amused me that technology can be misinterpreted and mismanaged. The popular SMS feature that tracks train schedules looks redundant and does not augur well. It is a mockery of the SMS (those interested can visit http://www.indianrail.gov.in/sms_Service.html). I'm surprised that there is no information on how one can take different connecting trains to reach a particular destination.

Changing the mascot of the Indian Railways will not instil confidence in the millions of passengers, unless quality services are offered. This is what a lobbyist should do - bring positive changes in the system. If the debate about the rationality of Radias rages, it is self-shocking realisation that the media is also adopting similar tactics. Debates over Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act prop up every time the Union Budget is presented. I believe what we need now is a swift railway build up management. We need to lobby with Mamatadi and the Railways on this account.

MindTEXT
Advanced Search
div
div
div
div
div
div
div
div
div
div
div
div
div
 
   
  1 Comment          
[1]  July 13 2011
Thanks guys, I just about lost it lokiong for this.
 
--- Elora
div  
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © MindTEXT