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1984 and 2002: Comparison is galling

Ten years is a long time in the life of a nation. More so, when the nation itself is only a little older than six and a half decades. It is long enough for voters
India TV News Desk January 29, 2014 11:27 IST
India TV News Desk
Ten years is a long time in the life of a nation. More so, when the nation itself is only a little older than six and a half decades. It is long enough for voters to make considered assessments on performance, in terms of both what was promised and what was delivered.

Equally, an hour and twenty minutes of prime time television provides a reasonable basis for lasting impressions. The interviewer, at his politest best, chose to allow his guest to do the talking. It was anything but a cross examination. A benign interview, the examinee was, however, consistent. No matter what the question, he insisted on being the perennial outsider wanting to reform the system and empower women. This needs to be applauded.

Not said was why 10 years of unfettered and total influence on the government was not sufficient to get the reform required. Also not stated, how the next five years, in the unlikely event of a Congress/UPA victory, will substantially improve the prospects of reform and the empowerment of women.

Cynics might argue that rampant corruption, scams and food inflation were not the only reasons why the Congress party was routed in the elections to the four state assemblies in December 2013. It may well be that in spite of seemingly impressive performances by the central and state governments where the Congress was in power, voter disillusionment may also have something to do with fatigue and anti-incumbency.

Given the Congress party's humiliation, surely an attempt should have been made at the level of the prime minister Jan 3 and the person likely to succeed him, in the unlikely event of electoral success, the Congress vice president, Jan 28 to set the record straight.