“In the last few days of his life, my predecessor earned the sobriquet of ‘Annus Horribilis’ – regrettably so. Blaming him for all that happened in that 365 days is unfair. But that’s how it’s always. Like the ‘Mayfly’ insect which lives for few hours, our life span is fixed for 365 days. And in that short span we are expected to bring great amount of good to humanity. We don’t have the fortune of being known by great names – just numbers and that too in a sequence. So in spite of carrying a supposedly unlucky number 13 as part of my name, I am supposed to bring in loads of luck to people. So here I am, born just few days ago – 6 days to be precise as ‘2013’ – carrying the expectations of a few billion people. With my predecessor’s innings not going so well or so people have concluded the pressure on me seems to be immense. I don’t have the time to grow up. However I’m resolute. While the world has its expectations from me, I’ve my own set of expectations from the people as well. Particularly I’ve expectations from India and its people who by their acts of omissions and commissions contributed to the ignominy of my predecessor –2012. The expectations span across from the leadership i.e. the political class to the common man – ‘aam admi’ and here they go: (some of the important ones)
- The Ruling class: The Government in India for most part of few years has been in a state of paralysis. It shook itself up few months ago and I sincerely hope that the Ruling class focusses on the unfinished legislative tasks in hand and work over-time to pass a few bills as early as the budget session of the Indian parliament.
- A New Anti-Rape law as per Verma Committee’s recommendations is passed sooner than later. I fervently hope that one doesn’t get to hear of what happened in Delhi in Dec ever again in India or elsewhere.
- The Lokpal bill – now that a score of standing committees, GOMs and parliamentary committees and what have you have value added to the bill, please table it in both the houses and get it passed.
- Land Acquisition bill: This was again missed during 2012 but I hope I will be fortunate to see this bill passed in my life which can prevent another ‘Nandigram’ or a ‘Singur’. The key is adequate compensation, transparency in acquisition and of course re-settlement and rehabilitation. I’ve high hopes on the passionate minister Jairam Ramesh who is piloting this bill. But I hope his colleagues in the ministry don’t put spokes in his wheel to stall the bill once again. If passed, this can make India Inc. once again to start focusing on capacity expansion, new projects,.. in India or Bharat rather than in Indonesia!
- GST reform: ‘PC’ as India’s finance minister(FM) P.Chidambaram is fondly known is sharp, intelligent and articulate and hopefully with a good memory too. It was he as FM in 2007 announced that GST will be introduced in India by Apr 2010. My predecessors were not that lucky. And I don’t want to be labeled one either. So, I hope PC can use his persuasive skills to address the concerns of the states in migrating to GST. This will be one ‘Game Changer’ as per me in simplifying the Indirect Tax regime in India. So, Go PC Go!!!
- Again I expect PC to come up with if not a ‘Dream budget’ but certainly not a nightmare of a budget like his predecessor. I hope he and his team are not either in a ‘regressive’ or a ‘retrospective’ frame of mind while preparing the budget of my life.
The Opposition: In India they have an opposition which performs it duty religiously by its definition i.e. it opposes anything and everything. Even initiatives which were conceived when they were in power few years ago – are not palatable to them now. My predecessor years had to bear the brunt of their whims and fancies – which delayed reforms like FDI in retail, GST,.. and thereby removed the sheen out of India’s shining story.
- So my expectation is that the Opposition performs its role of opposition constructively and value adds to the Governance. Please don’t oppose for the heck of it. Soon the roles may reverse and you may have to face the situation of walkouts and boycotts. Please support the Government in key legislations which will finally bring goodwill to you.
Civil Society (Aam Admi): The last few years have been witness to some positive activism and energy of the civil society and I’m glad to see this development. I hope that this will continue which will keep the ruling class on its toes. Ofcourse I do hope that they save precious water by not using those water canons on common public!
Men: Just one thing. Please leave women alone in Delhi and everywhere.
Others : Apart from the above there are quite a few hopes and expectations like :
- India’s Prime Minister will speak/read less and communicate more with people. Teek Hai? !!!
- Indians will buy less of the yellow metal and help to reduce the Current Account deficit
- Rupee will strengthen against the dollar and come to near 50 levels
- RBI finally cuts the interest rate at least once!
- Indian Cricket team learns the spelling of the word “WIN” once again! And a certain God retires from all forms of cricket!
- Bollywood puts an end to the torture of ‘Sequel’! Kamalhaasan acts in a movie without make up and Rajnikant well at least appears in a movie in my time!
- Fewer politicians suffer from foot’n mouth disease !!!
The wish list is certainly long. And may get longer as I get older. I can hear you saying “If only wishes are horses! But I’m desperate. I don’t want to be another ‘horribilis’. I as 2013 want to end up as ‘Annus Mirabilis’. Please help.