The Weimar Republic was established in 1919 in Germany. Although started with good intentions, in fourteen years, the governance was marked by an overall lack of direction, hyperinflation and rampant corruption. In 1933, the Weimar Republic was overthrown by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. Although a well known extremist, Hitler was a very popular leader, who spoke of modernization, industrialization and militarization of Germany. Hitler did what he promised, but at what price?!
In many ways, India under UPA-II is similar to the Weimar Republic of Germany. The past 4 years of governance is marked with inflation and corruption. According to a research by PRS, the 15th Lok Sabha, which entered its fifth and final year this month, would go down as the most disrupted House in more than 60 years of India’s parliamentary history. The disruptions have mainly been because of the corruption charges, the uncontrolled price rise and the introduction of some very unpopular bills in the parliament, like the FDI in multi-brand retail. The amount of corruption this government has pulled off is maddening! From the Commonwealth Games, through the 2G spectrum allocations, the Adarsh Housing scam, the Westland helicopter scam, the coal allocations scam, the banking and money-laundering scam and, most recently, the Railways appointment scam – the current governance has proved itself unworthy. A clear lack of direction in the governance under UPA-II is also evident. Compared to the 173 bills, the UPA-I government had managed to pass in the parliament, which included the landmark Right to Information, Right to Work and Right to Education legislation, the UPA-II has pushed only 96 Bills through.
Under the current scenario, when India’s question for the ‘next leader’ has boiled down to a choice between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, Indians will be bound to make the unhappy choice a year from now. Under the current situation, India might not want a friendly leader from a party in denial. Modi clearly has a better shot. No Indian leader in recent times has spoken with such passion about governance, accountability and development. Modi is the most likely candidate to provide a corruption free governance and restore the economy to high growth, create masses of jobs and lift millions from poverty. But his communal past is a huge threat. India’s biggest dilemma is that if Modi wins, then for the first time since Nehru and Indira Gandhi, the future of this country will be thrown to one man’s wishes. Will Modi prove to be the ‘savior’ India desperately needs while keeping the secular threads of the nation intact, or will 2014 mark the marching of the Third Reich in India? Is this dusk or has morning arrived? Well, no one really has an answer to this question.