the hidden state

Perhaps the most important reason for the decoupled debate phenomenon is that the big development challenge in the developing world is not the state-market boundary but the more mundane yet fiendishly difficult question of how to improve the state and its basic capacity to deliver law and order, security and other essential services such as health, water, sanitation and education. That was so before the crisis. That will remain true in its aftermath.
from here.

improve the state and its basic capacity to deliver. who needs to improve? the politicians or the babus? elected officials, of all kinds, don't number more than a million in this country. of them politicians in local bodies wield very little power because very little power trickles down to them from state capitals and delhi. so, politicians who do enjoy some power and authority, across the country, don't number more than a few thousands. and you can change them if you don't like them. every five years or earlier.

that leaves the babus, much more than ten million in number. they represent the state's capacity to deliver more than the politicians, and as the history of the last sixty years has shown, they also represent the state's unwillingness to deliver more than the politicians.

and the babus have built a country of their own. not on their own, but along with their cousins in organized industry, their uncles still on the large irrigated farms, their bright nephews in the class of university teachers, doctors, lawyers and media professionals (like those who are now celebrating the return to normalcy and the rejection of excess).

and in this country within a country, a state hidden within a state works on its own plans and goals, decoupled from the excessive clamour outside.

yes, mayawati thinking that she could gain control over this hidden state was pure excess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh please. Mayavathi is also part of this hidden state.

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