February 16, 2010citizenshipgovernanceIndiaPublic PolicySecurity

My op-ed in Mint: Indifferent India

Failure of governance is as much a failure of the government as it is of the governed to be engaged”

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

In today’s Mint V Anantha Nageswaran and I renew our call for citizens to set aside civic apathy.

That leaves the middle class as the key catalyst for change. But it is focused on inflation in goods and services, in property prices and in the stock market. It needs to display sufficient grasp of the common thread between price rise, budget deficit and security threat. All three are marked by a failure of governance. Failure of governance is as much a failure of the government as it is a failure of the governed to be engaged.

Sadanand Dhume wrote in a Wall Street Journal article carried by this newspaper on 29 January that, over time, Indians would start demanding the same intellectual sophistication from their intellectuals that they do from their mobile phone service providers. Whether or not they demand that of the intellectuals, Indians need to demand integrity in governance and sophistication in public policy. After 26/11, there was a flurry of initiatives for active citizen engagement in governance. They died down as the stock market and property prices recovered in 2009.

Although United Progressive Alliance II is yet to get into a governance overdrive, it has opened up some avenues for us to demand better governance. They remain under-appreciated and under-utilized. [Mint]

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