Politicians have failed to evolve long-term perspective: PM

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New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today lamented that under the political system, the politicians in India were''unable'' to evolve a long-term perspective as elections make them concentrate on electoral battles.

Addressing Indian Administrative Service probationers of 2007 batch here, he said, ''We have a political system where politicians are unable to evolve that long-term perspective. Comparative politics, governments change every five years and now that we have elections in some state or the other all the time, the minds of the politicians get concentrated on electoral battle.'' Dr Singh said, ''politics in our country, unfortunately, does not play the part of looking at the evolution of our country -- the challenges, the opportunities that we face as a Nation, what measures we should adopt and what measures we should not adopt in order to realise our tremendous growth potential.'' But at the same time he added ''that does not mean politics is not important. Politicians are in many ways very close to the people. They bring insights, they bring inputs which are very essential for the governance of our country even for development and, therefore, their input is important.'' He lamented the way comparative politics is played out, the political process does not throw up men and women of visionary, zeal which our country needs in order to emerge as one of the front ranking countries in this game of development and prosperity.

Expressing happiness at the number of women jonining the administrtive services, he said any country needed a vision to move forward ''and that implies that you need a group of influential men and women who can take a long view of their country's prospects.

And that's the reason, I think our founding fathers, the great Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel recognised that at the very time of India's Independence. So he gave a privileged, secured position to All India Services in the governance of India which would be the establishment.

''The establishment sometimes is used as a dirty word. But I think every modern organised society needs an establishment by which I mean a group of men and women who can think long-term, who are secure enough, who have a stake in the long-term evolution of this country and therefore, who will worry about where we are going, what corrective measures we must adopt in order to realise our chosen destiny and the All India Services have been given that privileged role in our society, in our polity,'' he said.

''Our first and foremost task is to get rid of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease which afflict millions and millions of our people. It is now at one time we believed that the State by itself could do all this. Subsequently we realised that the State has a very important role in the development process in social transformation, in maintaining law and order but by itself it should not take on all the burden and, therefore, market forces have a role to play in the development process. That's how we started the process of liberalisation in 1991,'' he explained.

''If an economy grows at the rate of 9 per cent per annum, you double the national income in a period of 72 divided by 9 in 8 years. So, if this process is sustained and maintained, I think we can hope in our life time to see an end to chronic poverty that afflicts millions and millions of our people. But, this whole process cannot go forward unless there is security both external security, that our external borders are secure, also that there is an internal security that we enforce the rule of law without fear or favour,'' Dr Singh added.

With the economy growing in many directions, the processes of state craft have also got extended into areas hitherto unknown, he said, adding governments in India have a vital role to play in the processes of creating a secure environment, also in creating an environment where the creative impulses of people could find full expression.

''In all this, one has also to recognise that the public image of the government is not as it should be. There is a lot of dissatisfaction in the country about the way public services are delivered to our people...there are more possibilities of better delivery of these basic public services. And yet, we haven't developed new organisational structures to tackle these tasks as effectively, as efficiently as we should. And therefore, as guardians of the future of Indian State, I think, you must be on guard against evils which today permeates many sections, segments of our society,'' Dr Singh stressed.


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