Manmohan Singh has now no hope in hell to steer the ship of a rudderless Congress Party for the third time so he has decided to regain lost glory by taking centrestage at the troubled Ministry of Finance which was held very cautiously by Pranab Mukherjee and whose report card as Finance Minister is being described as awful when compared to his predecessor P Chidambaram.
It’ll be interesting to keep a tab on Manmohan’s next few moves. The need of the hour is to encourage spending and follow the Keynesian Model of economics which emphasizes on the need for shedding silly austerity measures and promote an environment of spending which in turn spurs the economy towards the higher growth trajectory. Disinvestment and resource allocation can be major revenue sources capable of going back into the economic bloodline as stimulus packages provided that the Government doesn’t commit a major goof which exposes it to yet another controversy or scam. Only a nuclear-deal like moment can now ensure a graceful exit for Singh who lost the opportunity of a picture perfect finish by being kicked up from 7 Race Course to Raisina Hills. In his long public life this is the second time when Manmohan Singh is in a desperate need to deliver in order to heal the staggering Indian economy running on a ventilator with Neo-Liberal Reforms 2.0.
Last month the ‘Kuala Lampur War Crimes Tribunal’ ruled that Former US President George Bush, his Vice President Dick Cheney, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfield and five others were guilty of war crimes.
The Tribunal was modeled after the ‘Nuremburg Tribunal’ which was set up by the United States after the Second World War to look into allegations of war crimes. The Tribunal is all set to forward its report to the International Criminal Court and UN Security Council to ensure prosecution of the guilty. The message which is being sent out is loud and clear. The United States and the other big daddies of international affairs cannot bully small countries like Sri Lanka on allegations of war crimes when they themselves don’t adhere to the laid down rules of war.
The going will only get tougher for the United States as many countries like Iraq and Afghanistan may follow suit by setting up such tribunals to look into the reasons behind the large death toll of innocent civilians amounting to more than a million during the days of ‘legitimate’ American invasion in the past decade. The principle of ‘collateral damage’ involving drone attacks on civilian belts without caring for the lives of innocent people to put down ‘enemies who matter more’ is like pronouncing a death sentence on all the accused just because the prosecutors cannot zero in on the main culprit.
This is one of the most defining moments in the history of Pakistan’s democracy. Judicial activism has successfully triumphed today as the Pakistan Supreme Court stripped Yusuf Raza Gilani of Prime Ministership with retrospective effect for contempt of court and directed the Election Commission to issue a notification disqualifying him from the Parliament which was swiftly complied with. Now all eyes are waiting to see the next move of the reigning Pakistan People’s Party headed by President Asif Ali Zardari. Will Pakistan get a new premier? India too witnessed something similar to this when Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi was convicted for electoral malpractices. Before she could be unseated, she declared emergency which many till date believe was a ploy undertaken to ensure that she wasn’t stripped off Prime Ministership. Is it time for déjà vu? Will the people occupying the power corridors in Pakistan embrace the judiciary’s decision with complete humility or will they try to snatch a sinister plot by meddling around with the constitutional provisions?