Cabinet reshuffle: the dampest squib
The much hyped cabinet re-shuffle by our PM, has unsurprisingly, turned out to be yet another non-event.
Dr Manmohan Singh, true to his meek, evasive style, has dared not touch the two ministries that are responsible for most of the government's woes - the External Affairs and Finance Ministries. Instead an honest (even though whimsical) Environment Minister has been shunted out to another Ministry. Apparently this could be an attempt to bring the Environment Ministry at par with the higher levels of corruption rampant in other ministries. So one shouldn't be surprised if contentious industrial projects now get instant environmental clearances or if new townships/constructions flouting environmental norms are given an easy go-ahead.
Railways, which urgently needed a dynamic leader, remains usurped by temperamental coalition partner. The average age of the ministry remains just as old, with the PM showing little or no faith in the party's hyped youth brigade. Not one of them finds a Cabinet rank.
Nobody in his right senses expects miracles from Dr. Singh. But what disappoints is the sheer absence of effort or intentions. Our erudite PM perhaps doesn't realize that these peripheral alternations don't qualify to be called Cabinet re-shuffle. As a political analyst whose name I forget, bluntly noted on a debate on NDTV recently, "You could have expected Dr. Singh to be the PM for 2 or 3 years, not 7 years. The PM has simply exhausted his legitimacy."
Nothing can manifest this better than the way the former MOS for Railways Mukul Roy snubbed the PM just a day before the re-shuffle. Sadly, the PM has squandered away another opportunity, perhaps his last (since the PM believes this is the last re-shuffle before 2014 elections) to set things right. After all, a captain is as good as his team and vice versa. What never ceases to amaze though is how a captain and his team, as mutually mediocre as this, could master the art of staying afloat.
More about Tuhin A Sinha
Tuhin A. Sinha is an author, scriptwriter and columnist based in Mumbai, India.
Tuhin was born in Jamshedpur. He has studied at Loyola School, Jamshedpur, Hindu college, Delhi and the National Institute of Advertising, New Delhi.
Tuhin is best known for his novels, Of Love And Politics, That Thing Called Love and 22 Yards. That Thing Called Love is now out in several regional languages as well. Tuhin has scripted several TV shows, apart from having worked as story/script/creative consultant with leading Film and TV production houses.
Tuhin is also a guest columnist with TOI, DNA and some lifestyle magazines. A keen observer of national politics, the subject finds its way in many of Tuhin’s writings.
Tuhin is presently working on his fourth book, the Autobiography.
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