MODI WAVE, JUGNAUTH WAVE



A Modi Wave swept BJP to power over the 1.3 billion Indians in 2014.
A similar Jugnauth Wave swept MSM&co to power over the 1.3 million Mauritians later that year. Admittedly a huge difference in scale but at the United Nations for example it’s still the democracy of one country – big or small – one vote. For example India is planning 100 smart cities by 2020, we are doing 8.

In its expert analysis of Modi’s and the BJP’s first year, The Economist found 2 major defects despite some success in his promise to “bring India good times”. The first is the pace of reform; Modi thinks he has time on his side and unpopular decisions such as changing labour laws and privatization can wait. The second is his belief that he and his ‘not that strong’ team of ministers and parliamentarians can do it alone.

Both defects described above can apply to our equally new LEPEP government.

But instead of hurrying the pace of reform and developing much needed new laws they go on long vacation. The second defect (‘they can do it alone’) can be easily fixed with some humility to identify and accept weaknesses in their team and wisdom from the PM to make the right choices of people to strengthen the ruling team. Ministries such as those of Finance, of Health, of Education (too large despite having an able minister) and certainly the PM’s office itself need strengthening by bringing in the best available and willing talents from the private sector, from UN and the banks, from the diasporas. It can be done.

Modi strongly consolidated India’s external relations; he spent 52 days outside India on 18 official visits to countries, including China, the USA and even small Mauritius. His internal record, however, according to The Economist , is underwhelming, despite successes such as auctioning resources like coal deposits to the highest bidder, getting 150 million Indians to open bank accounts, linked to biometric data for 850 million people, creating a structure to better enable poverty relief. He also made a good start in devolving power and funds to the states, no doubt due to his successful experience in Gujarat state. But he fails to control Hindu-extremists. The result: his party was beaten in the last local elections in Delhi itself !

Mauritius has no such good or extensive record of achievements in external relations. Internally (and this has been said by many observers) cleaning Mauritius of corruption and corruptors in position of power and influence has been partial. The will to clean up is an extraordinary boost to this country, but will is not enough? In the name of democracy and equality all cases of fraud (already identified of being investigated) must be treated with the same vigour and within the framework of the law. And the test (local elections) are due this month!

Amendments to existing laws and institutions (or development of new ones) require research, analysis consultations and debate before being voted in and implemented. This takes time and precipitation is the worst enemy of planning. Take as example the question of land (and lagoons), their optimal utilization, traditional and planned, the preservation of soil fertility, the control of building etc as well as allocation of common (state) lands and the development of an overall master plan for land utilization in Mauritius, backed by laws and enforcement agencies to ensure respect of rules. How long and what energy (and competencies) will that require? And this is only one sector. Take energy, take food self sufficiency, take education and training etc. A 5th major educational reform is being announced with the 9-year schooling to be ready by 2017, following the first major one in 1975 with the mauricianisation (i.e. decolonization) of the curriculum.

Both India and Mauritius have their specific problems and identified priorities areas; scales differ of course but many problems (e.g. facing the energy transition with the end of the petrol era) are similar. Will the impetus of these Waves be enough or will they die out before making real impact, making way for others? In both cases, time is of the essence: such majority in parliament, such popular support may not again be available, nor can they last without clear, concrete, achievements, made known to all, benefitting many.

Posted by on Jun 5 2015. Filed under Politique. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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