Anil Thakraney: PM’s last desperate act

17 Sep,2012

By Anil Thakraney


There is just one reason behind the PM’s sudden burst of energy (following his comatose posture since the year 2009) and the announcement of a slew of economic reforms. Uski lagi hui hai, as my tapori pal from Colaba says. MMS has been battling one mega scam after another, and at this rate, not only are his own days numbered, so are his government’s. Singh has also been getting repeatedly trashed in the media, both local and international. He knows he’s going down the tube, and the reforms are a last ditch measure to gain a few quick brownie points. The reforms package announcement has also moved the media’s attention away from the assorted scams, and this must have been a part of the master plan.


No matter. Whatever be the reason, the reforms are more than welcome, at least some of the foreign investor confidence shall get restored. Even if the Congress’s allies and its rivals put in roadblocks along the way. I was in London recently, and over a drink, my corporate friends out there said to me the India Inc story is pretty much over, that the focus is back on China. And this is the general sentiment across the world. Clearly, something had to be done and done fast, and one hopes that MMS, now that he knows he’s crashing out, will set into motion many more reforms. Not just in aviation and retail, FDI needs to be invited into many sectors, particularly those related to core infrastructural projects, education and health.


That the UPA isn’t coming back in 2014 is a given. It is also true that things won’t be any rosier under BJP’s leadership. (Unless Narendrabhai becomes PM, which is highly unlikely, what with his aides being sent to prison enmass on charges of rioting). Therefore, am happy that MMS has woken up at last, and is thinking about India for a change.


It doesn’t sound very nice that the fading Manmohan Singh will be best remembered for facilitating the arrival of Wal-Mart and IKEA into India. But I can live with that.




PS: Although I am not really a fan of swear words – I believe it’s the cheapest way to get attention – it is true that they are being flung around quite freely these days. And the ad world guys and gals are most notorious for this habit. Here’s an interesting article on how to use swear words effectively, and without causing offence. And how it can actually help in bonding with people.




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