State of affairs of affairs of the State

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Thinking about governance is rather difficult. I find too many intricacies involved and hence if someone asks me about the performance of a government or the result of an election I am confused and unable to give a coherent answer. I of course have no deep knowledge of the subject of governance. But being governed is good enough an education in the subject. There are areas that bore us to death to comment upon or to read or listen to the comments. Say corruption. Sonia’s foreign origin. Lalu. And much else. But I think we need to think seriously on the emergence of a certain insensitive governance. Not that governance was ever very sensitive to people or morals or duties. But in the age of mass media when tv has overexposed the good old field of political scandals with profuse daily doses of them, people involved in governance seem to have developed resistance to even this mode of humiliation and shaming. The result is that accountability is further eroded. There was a time when a few stories in Indian Express had the power to unsettle the cabinet balance. Today, no amount of hidden camera exclusives lead to much change. I read this as not merely an insensitivity but a change in the relation between the public sphere and the state institutions. I think what we are witnessing today suggests that a severance is now appearing between popular politics and politics of governance. Policy framers, political institutions, bureaucrats are all thick skinned about public opinion whatever its intensity. The only quarter that has all their attention is the corporate world. Is this an indication of a shift in the institution of modern politics? There has been a long historical association between the middle class and governance. It seems to me that middle class is losing out to the corporatism – a term better suited to describe present day capitalism.

 

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