India – Whither?

I attended a Retreat in Goa hosted by the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI) for policymakers and regulators. The timing seemed right with the newspapers not getting enough of the ‘Coalgate’ scandal and opposition baying for the PM’s blood. I met several power producers who were affected by what seemed like a biased awarding of the coalmines. Many issues were raised by a host of speakers. Suhel Seth in his talk on the pernicious influence of the media commented on how Indian media had become the battleground for corporate warfare and demanded that ownership structures of media companies be made public. A politician and a former ambassador to the US spoke about the two India’s and how prosperity of India depended on them coming together to similar levels of prosperity. Corruption, scandals and scams took much share of voice and time without any resolution in sight. It was a forum for different thoughts and views – I spoke about globalisation and the new emerging world order, Jaya Jaitley hit back at consumerism and the exploitation of rural farmers by global companies. Prof. Aggarwal of UPSC interestingly described India as a question mark. There were not many who disagreed with him.

I left with a sense that we will, in the ultimate analysis, muddle through and land on our feet.

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