Thursday, May 21, 2020

Uneven Covidentiary Steps


Fear and uncertainty – these are the two biggest tools for politicians to keep a vast population under control. “Don’t cross that Lakshman Rekha”… “Don’t allow anyone in” … “Get the Arogya App”. And add to it the trick of scheduling a speech at 8pm or if it’s late, then schedule it for 9am the next morning. All this does is to increase anticipation, anxiety and endless discussions on what will Modi say, what is this about, is there more lockdowns or is there some relief or is there an attack on PoK? All these questions start getting thrown around, some even in fun and entertainment. To fuel the uncertainties and fears, many “experts” form all sorts of mindless theories to project the calamity that awaits us and that the sky will indeed fall on our heads and therefore we must wear a skullcap:
 
At the time of writing there are some 1.07 lakh total Covid cases in India and 3000+ deaths. The beauty of being wrong in our wild projections is that there is no punishment for it. You can project any number in anything with any kind of reasoning behind it and can peddle it. There is no legal liability to it, unless you force someone to base purchases on it. There is no legal liability for fake poll promises or changing prepoll alliances either. For instance, fake TRP numbers can be punishable because the advertising industry and media uses TRP numbers to quote ad rates. Unscientific TRP numbers can invite legal action. Most of our decisions are not based on analysis but on gut feeling, past experience and instant experience. We understand what “past experience” is. What is “instant experience”? We all go through instant experience of something almost every day as PM Narendra Modi discovered.

In December 2019, Modi was in Kanpur to take stock of the progress in the Namami Gange project. It is a major project to clean up the Ganga and is well intentioned. The Atal Ghat project in Kanpur was executed by the govt=owned Engineers India Limited. This is an age-old company with vast experience in public projects and they are the ones who constructed the Atal Ghat that Modi visited. But while climbing back up the steps from the ghat, Modi slipped and fell. Nothing unusual, we have all slipped and fallen a dozen times at dozens of places and on many a staircase. But a PM slipping and falling at the steps thrilled his detractors and they were happy at the silly incident. That incident was over and we all forgot about it. But no one ever looked back and investigated why the PM slipped and fell. Was it just an accident, was it just a mis-step or was there something else? We will find out that this is how “instant experience” deceives us when it takes an unscheduled change or turn and causes problems.

The Corona epidemic is one such unscheduled turn that had everyone deceived. Health workers and security providers are struggling to save people and keep order in society. After almost two months of lockdowns, the GOI is now looking to reopen businesses and restore normalcy of life and economic activity. After a couple rounds of “financial relief” measures by RBI and GOI another big round of packages was released by GOI. This is worth 20 lakh crores. However, some part of this package may work and most of it may not work. To start with, the GOI doesn’t know what the nature or size of the problem is. Almost all of its package, excluding the cash doles to some poor sections, is based on estimations and opinions of a few. During the lockdown, there has been a huge fall in supply and demand of most goods and services as they were simply absent. This image below is a snapshot of the package 5lakh crores for the MSME sector that the govt hopes to re-energise:
 
This is akin to the belief that if the body is badly damaged and inflicted with illness, throwing all the money you can will repair it. It doesn’t really work that way. I have mentioned in my previous posts and I do so again, PM Modi has zero clue on the Covid thing or how to handle the extended lockdowns. The first one was fine – because of fear and uncertainty. After that, Modi was the one spreading fear and panic. And it wasn’t Indian economy or re-energising it that matters so much to him but getting accolades from foreign govts and diplomats that matters more to him. It’s not just me, even his ardent fans like Minhaz Merchant have acknowledged this poor craving for recognition by Modi that drives his decisions rather than sound logic.

Taking the MSME example, most of the loans are meant for those who already have loans or outstanding loans. Within an industry, most players are likely to face problems of the same nature. In the case of goods, the biggest problem right now is “demand”. In such a situation, the govt has redefined the MSME and its financial upper limits. The new upper limits would serve new businesses but not the existing ones. There is an uneven handling of operators within the same industry. The MSME package is targeted at 45 lakh operators whereas the total number of MSMEs are around 6-7 crores. One has to wonder what happens to the rest. Will they perish or have to survive on their own? Given that the highest employment in India is in the unorganized sector, the death of crores of MSME units not within the targeted 45 lakhs will cause more unemployment:
Most people backed Modi in his lockdown announcements. In the fourth lockdown situation it has been left totally to the states to decide which areas need a lockdown. This should have been down from the second lockdown itself. But Modi wanted to play the “Superman” and single-hero role and didn’t delegate to the states. Consequently, states had all kinds of problems with floating labour, rioters and “Thookiyas” running helter-skelter. The 20-lakh crore package is huge but it has still not created the kind of excitement it should have created. This is mainly because many are still understanding the nitty gritty of the offering. Some feel more should have been offered. But in reality, the lockdown has been like an earthquake. Some damage is visible but most damage is not instantly visible. The “instant experience” of an earthquake doesn’t show all the damage it causes overall:
 
Each time PM Modi talks about some grand economic plan there is a lot of hollow ring to it. At the start of this second term he blabbered about a 5 trillion economy. While the ambition is welcome, he had zero clue on how and what will get us there other than pipe dreams. He also claims India has demographic dividend. This is a falsehood he lives in that will cost India heavily. A big chunk of this demography is absolutely useless, unproductive lot. Tall talk of Vishwa Guru, Vasudeva Kutumbam are all nonsensical bhashans uncalled for in a pure economic plan. So-called “structure” if Indian economy is sound, they always claim. But the structure does need a review frequently as do the steps of Atal Ghat that Modi fell on.

Instant experience when you climb the stairs of any building. Your feet quickly adjust to the height and interval of the stairs. And after initial slow climbing, many people can blindly climb up fast without looking at the stairs because their feet have adjusted to the experience. Now, look at the steps of Atal Ghat. They are absolutely idiotic construction to say the least. The steps are of different heights at different levels as I have marked and shown. God is in the details. It is natural anyone who climbs them at the same speed could fall as the height and intervals are not the same. The Covid Lockdown too gives us all an uneven experience with lots of uncertainties. ModiSarkar would have been prudent if they had looked back at the construction of Atal Ghat just as they should completely review the structure of Indian economy.


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27 comments :

  1. This is an amazing analogy :"Your feet quickly adjust to the height and interval of the stairs. And after initial slow climbing, many people can blindly climb up fast without looking at the stairs because their feet have adjusted to the experience." An economy has businesses of different capacities and understanding . Making the operating context changes easily understandable allows businesses to plan and absorb those changes and focus on competing and making their businesses successful ( rather than waste execution capacity on just figuring out the context). Lot of insights encapsulated in that analogy!!

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    1. Apologies not contextual to your reply. But for Ravi ji to notice it....[REPOST: Ravi ji, time has come to release all posts that you planned for fraudster gaurav pradhan (saxena). He is planning to start his another round of raising funds from his gullible fans. Since some time, like he always did before, to win trust of people, he started posting emotional pitches of his family and peers.]

      Vande Mataram

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  2. Article by Sherlock Holmes of journalism. .. Grt insight

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  3. A withering, honest look at how Narendra Modi has failed on the economic front and continues to fail with his poor decisions. His FM Nirmala has zero comprehension on how to energize the economy. Modi unless he makes drastic changes India is going to suffer very badly.

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    1. Honestly (and it's an unpopular opinion) none of the FMs in Namo govts have 'got' the economy. Nirmala ji is simply the one left holding the seat when the going has become untenable. Right from not putting up a white paper on the economy in the first term, to not fixing banks in one go, to the dogged pursuit of people who take risks and make profit, to the unexplainable obsession with taxing stock markets at a time when they are the easiest way to attract capital, to continuous tinkering with GST rates thinking that it will fix demand issues, the complete ignoring of several warning signs over the last 6+ years on a tottering economy, one can go on. Finance ministry is not a "learn on the job" kind of work. With due respect to Namo and be will always have my vote for other reasons, he has missed more hoops than he shot as far as the economy is concerned.

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    2. Nirmala Sitharaman is one of the best bet academically and putting efforts. From day one fingers are pointed and environment is vitiated against her. She doesn't talk in husky tones, favouring stock market rise or chocolate lacing jibe on taxes. India in budgets has performed much more than any INC govt. in the past did and economy had been chugging quite well. The issue is people are not getting leeway to get-away-with. Yes white paper should have been brought but when you start your govt. it cannot be crying from day one - there is no money in treasury, we are bankrupt etc. etc. This V.P. Singh did and was never considered good PM thereafter. WHEN YOU SAY YOU WILL ALWAYS VOTE MODI HEART IN HEART YOU KNOW THEY ARE WORKING BETTER. Its the media that paints as if every single tinkering is havoc. Anybody who is producing good is easy to manage with changing rates. Yes he has to be involved which he is as it is. The changes in GST rates have been downward only and people must have earned in the process (not lose definitely). No body in India like to go online to deposit taxes. Now when it looks easy and good, post experience they feel relaxed (they don't say so though). All the online initiatives of govt., going digital, etc. etc. are helping population in this Pandemic big time. Otherwise with pre-2014 days with practically no digital literacy and meagre infrastructure we would have been very badly affected and would not have as well complained. We are in new normal, then it would have been far different normal much worse than today.

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    3. Mind you, Chidambaram hatred for Nirmala is more due to anti-Brahmin culture in Tamil Nadu and has nothing with economic planning.Kudos to Karnataka for sending Nirmala from that state despite her being a non-Kannadiga.

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  5. यथार्थवादी विश्लेषण है।

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  6. Amazing analysis. I hope at least Mr Narendra Modi reads this.

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  7. Perfect analogy to the govt engineers shipshod work, and it is prevalent in all levels of the government, starting with PMs choise of ministers. Population control should have been the top priority right after 2014, as we may reap the benefits knly after a few decades

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    1. Population control works only in Hindu segments,on the other hand Muslims and Catholics going overboard with an average of five children per couple.

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  8. Mediacrooks over the decades have offered brilliant doable suggestions that any organization /country would be proud to implement but it is a misfortune of honest india that none of these have got implemented with vigor though modi agreeing with it in principal ! what was the need to bow down to shaheenbagh and tablighi jammat that has destroyed india .
    1) Law & order 2) Population 3 ) ek hath guran nonsense 4) gareeb non sense 5) low self esteem and high inferiority complex 6) Fake News 7) Judiciary in cahoots with Terrorists & enemies 8 ) zero nationalism

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    1. What u said is right, we 78% Hindus elected pm in 2014,to make India zero nationalism, Hindus karma is like that.

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    2. What u said is right, we 78% Hindus elected pm in 2014,to make India zero nationalism, Hindus karma is like that.

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  9. That idea of grandstanding has failed Modi. He went with Demonetisation at 8 pm on some November day and could not get much out of it. Only the crooked bankers gained something from it. The poor were hit hardest. This time too, the same problem. Modi may have believed that WHO guideline of 14 days quarantine is sufficient. But he never bothered about "What if" scenario. He started lockdown without understanding the complexity of the situation and possible consequences. He should have gone for phase-wise lockdown, starting with major cities where infection from international passengers would be higher. That would have allowed smooth passage of migrant labours. The next step could have been lockdown of more places based on emergence of new trends. That way, Industry & overall population would have suffered much less. On political side, the trains could have been free for people. The 85%-15% arrangement could have been done behind the scene, without affecting common people. Regarding quarantine part, GOI should have allowed participation of NGO and local communities too with some controls. The affected person should have the option to chose any of the quarantine centre he liked. That way, the outcome would have been better. Similarly, implementation should have been left to communities with enough responsibility on them - just like the Panchayats in Odisha are doing.

    But Modi thinks he understands better than everyone else and his penchant for grandstanding has created this problem.

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    1. Yes the banks surely failed demonetisation. Axis bank was the biggest culprit.

      Reg. Covid lockdown we are much better because of nationwide lockdown. Its the dirty politics and less-committed opposition govt. of the state in scoring brownie points in the eyes of their high command who have played havoc. Except Bengal (Whose CM is close to lunatic), all others who do not have High command have done much better over those who have (Again Tamilnadu is exception due to Tablighi issue). Sir, phase-wise lockdown may sound logical but in no time people and products move to hinterland. You cannot originate a train or flight without urban participation. So when you say only metro lockdown won't have worked. As it is most of rural India was working in fields and things were near normal except in bazaars and yeah there was no transportation. Gullible migrant labours are playing in the hands of crooked political manipulators. In this era - world and India works in a connected way. You cannot run an Industry when no spares would come from urban centre. The trains were free for people. The 85%-15% arrangement was done behind the scene only, without affecting common people; the only problem went into listing and medical screening. Telangana train to Jharkhand went very smooth. Actually trains went smooth, it was crowd outside which were assembled by badmash fellows. You yourself are giving exemplary work of Panchayat in Odisha. So if someone is working good, they have participated. RSS has been on ground with all its wings with prepared food, dry ration, transport and what not. Majority of Christian NGOs are only service oriented namesake. In this COVID-19 pandemic none of them - be it world vision, or CRY or like came out in flying colours.

      Modiji surely considers everyone as committed Indian which many of us are not.

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  10. Nvr knew Engineers India do such a shabby work.. Thanks Ravinar, for the excellent analysis, both of Atal Ghat and Covid lockdowns The awards he recd from ME might have blunted his mind as not to take any action on Shahidbagh and Sad, which has boldened THEM. We thought he would become Bose in his second term, but unlucky India got MKG2.

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  11. Mind you sir,in !947 Hindus had to suffer only Muslim forces led by M.A.Jinnah,but now Christian forces led by Sonia Gandh and her children are becoming another force to reckon to contend with.Murder of Hindu Sadhus at Palghar is just an indicator of things to come for Hindus from violent Christians.The language used by Priyanka Vadra's assistants against Yogi Adithyanath is unprecedented.Thankfully,Priyanka was exposed in her diabolical plans to undermine Yogi.Now,she is talking like a saint,if only her bus plan had succeeded there would have been massive shouts by Congress fellows for Yogi's resignation.

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  12. Modi and his ministers must take control of the Govt from the Babus, who have no connect with ground or common people.
    Modi has a major problem with Talent deficit in the team. In 2014, beginning Arun Jaitley was minister for Finance, Defence and one more, possibly I&B. Is he a superman to handle 3 big ticket ministries and do justice. Obviously, there will be inept handling of all. Only Manohar Parrikkar brought some value to the defence ministry and did a good job. Nirmala , has no idea about the ministry , that she is trying to handle. Her news briefing is enough to get that feel for a commoner like me. Modi's grand standing, fake Gandhism ( that idea itself is fake and out of context ), penchant for international awards and bouquets is causing irreperable damage. I feel , he, deep inside him, is having terrible inferiority complex. His laxity in punishing the big ticket corrupters , even after 6 years in office is a big disappointment. And where is the promise of Max Governance and Min Government that he promised? Overall, I am very disappointed, but as there is a strong TINA factor, as a Hindu, I have to keep voting him.

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  13. Good analysis Ravinar sir. Problem with Modi is he seems to be very tired and looks disinterested. Economy is a problem but bigger is that destruction planned against Hindus and India in the longer run. The other problem that might be coming is that majority of people down South seems to be loosing faith in Modi. The allocation of infrastructure be it be highways or railways seems to be concentrated near Delhi and this is really not going well with the people of Southern states. After paying substantial tax to Center kitty there needs to be some help for Southern states. As a patriot I do wish for an all round development of the nation and also wish to see a new generation of leaders in BJP.

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    1. You have a point in that, fatigue seems to have set in for Modi. And it is compounded by the lack of good talent in the ministry. Just to run a Govt, as it is, is a very low level output from Modi

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    2. Regarding matter of South: On the contrary I feel south especially Tamilnadu were able to corner Central resources. What with blackmail politics of DMK and populist schemes in the run up to election which necessitated high corruption that every electorate has State given Colour TV, Mixie, Sewing Machine, etc. Besides as we go tapering from South Maharashtra onwards the land mass decreases but affluence increases. So per capita availability of funds is more besides cornering of national resources. Other point is infrastructure may initiate from Delhi but it has to go to several parts of India especially ports. Delhi is strategically located to connect Punjab, Haryana, Western UP and further above northern states i.e. Himachal, J&K, Ladakh. So all the highways and rails that start from western, southern and eastern India need to concentrate towards Delhi to serve North. Yes efforts should be made to decongest near Jhansi, Bareily, Bihar and I am sure those efforts must also be on anvil. Don't you feel Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project is therefore planned much away from Delhi. Another circuit can be Bengaluru, Chennai and other cities in the lap.

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    3. Though your comment seems off-topic but siñce it has been published;Are there any AIIMS in South?

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    4. As if southern states political leaders come on bicycles that they need AIIMS.

      Is that not private Doctors protested in TN against AIIMS being set up near Erode- Perundurai and later in Madurai.

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  14. Ravi ji, time has come to release all posts that you planned for fraudster gaurav pradhan (saxena). He is planning to start his another round of raising funds from his gullible fans. Since some time, like he always did before, to win trust of people, he started posting emotional pitches of his family and peers.

    Vande Mataram

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