Rulers are strong—but the Rupee is sick! The Bumper-editions
of almost all dailies and weeklies, publish interesting
items, delightful portraits, happy anecdotes, sweet
sonnets, messages from leaders all over the world, about
the Independence attained, and point out how strong
the Rulers are! True, they are strong—even Hon’ble Bakthavathsalam
pines for the emergence of a well-organised opposition—which
is but another way of saying that theirs is a ‘one-party’
rule. Devastating Budgets are passed by thumping majorities—at
the Centre as well as the States. Criticisms are pooh-poohed!
Oppositions are brushed aside! The caravan they say,
passes on, unmindful of the pitfalls! —and the courage
is applauded. The Rulers are mighty strong, but the
rupee is sick. Their position as far as the political
set-up is concerned is as yet unchallenged—though there
are danger signals all over—but the economic situation
with which they are faced, is not strong—in fact, that’s
why expert economists say, that the Rupee is sick—which
may be said in another way, the blade is sharp but the
arms are amputated.
The Rulers are strong—not because they are the strongest—but
just because Democracy being in its infancy, is prone
to suffer the first-comers to retain what they hold
for the time being.
And as the leaders pointed out during these festive
days, they do represent the struggle for freedom from
an alien imperialism and the people show a sense of
gratitude to the “Last of the Romans”. But the gratitude
shown by the people, though helpful in maintaining the
rulers in power, cannot possibly control the other factors—especially
the economic situation. And the dislocation discernable
in this field is alarming. And that is what is meant
by the saying. “the Rupee is sick”. In fact the Rupee
is sick in spite of the efforts taken by the Rulers
to make it strong! And that is not to be wondered at,
because, the methods through which the rulers wanted
to strengthen the rupee, happened to be the very causes
for its weakening; which means again, that the present
rulers, are not experts in economics—and they refuse
to accept that truth. Strong politically means strong
in all fields—that seems to be their argument.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, pinning his faith in Plans—has
led the country through a maze of activities, which
has resulted in,
Adverse Balance of Trade
Depletion of reserves
and has landed him in a domain of doubts and difficulties.
“The first five year plan is considered”
says a professor of economics—Mr. T.K.Doraiswamy—”on
the whole a success since the targets of production
in most spheres were more than realised. Still there
were disquieting features which should have called for
caution in the formulation of the 2nd five year plan.”
But, Pandit Nehru is endowed with vision they say, and
‘caution’ is a defeatist term—which he would not advocate.
Reckless—one would say—but those who flatter him say
that Nehru is enthused with an energy that none could
curb. Whatever may be the proper term to be used, the
failures discernable in the first five year plan, were
not properly appraised, and caution which ought to be
the key-note in a policy concerning millions of money
and men was thrown to the winds and the second plan,
bolder than the first was initiated. The coffers were
empty but the courage was abundant. Was it courage,
or bravado? The future will pass the verdict.
In his frantic efforts to implement the plans, Pandit
Nehru, ate in to the sterling resources—or rather over-ate,
and induced his Finance Minister to bring out a lashing
budget, coaxed the public to lend the Government a hundred
crores loan—and even went to the length of persuading
British Financiers to lend a helping hand.
These frantic efforts did not improve the position—they
cannot. On the other hand these efforts created such
an unfavourable impression in the minds of the rulers
of various countries, that they began to wink their
eyes, twist their lips, nod their heads, and mutter
though in muffled tones, that Pandit Nehru’s pace is
a bit, hasty.
And the currency commentator, Mr. Pick who a year back
said that the Rupee was strong, has now come forward
to say that the “Rupee is a sick currency”; which means,
that there is the danger of India sinking—unless extra-ordinary
efforts are taken to cross the danger zone.
Encomiums are showered on Nehru, from many a land far
and near—but of what avail, when the expert points out,
that the Rupee is sick! It speaks volumes about the
ill-advice, haste, recklessness, amateurish attempts
at managing the economics of a vast country! How can
one feel happy, at the thought, that the Rulers are
strong—when they are told that the Rupee is sick.
Did not the doctor say, that the operation was successful,
only the patient died. So too, the plans are brilliant,
the rulers are strong and bold, only the Rupee is sick.
What a state of affairs! And how to rectify it? We throw
out our hands in awe and despair! What else can we do?
The rulers are strong—and yet the rupee is sick, because
the rulers are strong—too strong? Who knows!