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India’s never had it so bad

Mohan Murti
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The German press has savaged India’s misgovernance.

The Brussels-based European Commission Standing Committee on Global Foreign Direct Investments last week listed the top 20 destinations the EU 27 will target for the next five years. Sadly, but for well-known reasons, India does not figure in the list. Stocks of European Union direct investments to the rest of the world amounted to €5.6 trillion at the end of 2012 and the EU continues to have a fixation with China. As for India, senior EU officials noted with quite a bit of scepticism: “India is probably getting there, but not quite arrived”.

An editorial in the highly circulated German national newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine screamed: “India has never had it so bad. Stealing in government has never been this brazen. Government officials are now so audacious in their corrupt practices that they do not give a damn about who is watching”.

“Supreme Court directives are routinely flouted. Crime rates are up and security of life including women’s safety, which is the first responsibility of every government, is at its lowest ebb. India must then be more than qualified to be called a failed state.” In the Manager magazine, one of Germany’s leading glossy business journals, an article said: “Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has a natural inclination to be a follower, not a leader. ”

Despair and Hopelessness

The article states, “India is a country where merit and integrity have no value and the country continues to sink beneath the suffocating weight of mediocrity and unrestrained, rampant greed. The majority of citizens feel excluded and disrespected at all levels of their daily lives. The youth of the country that make majority of the populace clearly feel helpless and many are pushed to take to misdemeanour and crime.”

Failure of Governance

Der Spiegel wrote in an edit article recently: “While the main functions of the parliament are to make laws and hold the executive accountable through oversight, Indian lawmakers make very few laws, pass incompetent motions and engage in rampant disruption of the proceedings.” The German business newspaper Handelsblatt wrote: “For India, it seems clear that the hope of becoming one of the best twenty economies in the world will only remain a daydream. Corruption is the bane of the society. The Government knows this and the crusade against corruption is being handled with kid gloves.”

(The author is former Europe Director, CII, and lives in Cologne, Germany.)

(This article was published on September 4, 2013)
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