Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently presented his government’s report on completion of the first year of the second stint of the UPA government. The report is pretentiously called the ‘The Report to the People — 2009-10’. The report is a make-believe that the UPA government is accountable to the people, is concerned about their welfare and takes decisions after consulting them. One quick reading of the report dispels all such illusions.
A large section of the report talks about various government programs and how they have been delivering as promised. But no explanation is given why, if these programs have really delivered, is there growing unemployment, mounting poverty (according to the Arjun Sengupta report, 70% of Indian people live on less than Rs 20 per day), soaring prices and growing attacks on the people. Will this “Report to the People” really wash away the crimes that the security forces are committing everyday in Kashmir, North-East and in the mineral-rich belt of India extending from Karnataka to West Bengal. The PM declared that the government will seek “new frontiers and new directions” to strengthen social and economic foundations during the remaining tenure of four years. In the same breath he vowed to fight terrorism “root and branch and enforce the writ of the State in dealing with naxalism and political extremism”. Perhaps he meant that all opposition by the people to the super exploitation of the mineral resources of India by multinationals will be ruthlessly dealt with. In reality, the “new frontiers and new directions” that the UPA government is contemplating have nothing positive for the people. They are the frontiers and directions that the ruling elite of India and the big multinationals and business houses would like to step into in order to become world scale super powers. This is a cruel joke that the government is playing in response to the demands of people’s organisations such as Lok Raj Sangathan that the government and people’s representatives should be accountable to the people.