Staring at last chances
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- Pune Warriors withdraw from IPL, 'disgusted' by BCCI's attitude
- IPL spot fixing: Accused Sreesanth claims innocence
- Li Keqiang visits TCS, Cyrus P Mistry says China important for growth of Tata Group
Mass psychology plays a very big role in determining the shape of the political economy. If economic agents, such as producers and consumers, start believing things are turning for the worse, indeed they do start becoming worse. This has broadly been the case with India over the past year and more. A combination of circumstances — a virtual paralysis of domestic governance and the rapidly worsening economic prospects in the West —- has created a somewhat depressed sentiment in the local political economy. However, it is equally true that bad news also has a natural cycle of playing itself out. One view is that the political opposition against UPA 2 may have peaked too early. Hereafter things may get better simply because it possibly can't get any worse! Of course, the government will have to start doing something substantive for this to happen.
Whatever the nature of their mandate, many governments go through a serious mid-life crisis, but what differentiates one from the other is how it handles the challenge. Even the Rajiv Gandhi government, with a 400-plus presence in Lok Sabha, had suffered one. However, UPA 2 has been somewhat unique because it suffered a series of early-life crises like no other government possibly did. This happened partly because there were many contentious issues which had spilled over from UPA 1. For instance, the telecom scam had already acquired some momentum at the end of UPA 1 and had simply got stoked when A. Raja was reappointed minister for telecommunications. In fact, UPA 2 started on a controversial note when it became public that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had opposed Raja's reappointment as telecom minister. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since UPA 2 was afflicted by early crises, it may appear to have time on its side. Earlier, governments would face a serious crisis during mid-term — typically in the third year — and the momentum of political opposition would normally carry through till the year of the general election. In the present instance, however, this is not likely to happen as the general elections are still two-and-a-half years away.
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