Tuesday 27 May 2014

No Cabinet berth to Uttarakhand in Modi's Cabinet... Why it's Surprising!

Written by Anil Singh

Yesterday, 45 Ministers took oath of secrecy along with Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi. No one from Uttarakhand was given the Cabinet Berth. It's surprising, for the following reasons.

With all the five Lok Sabha seats from Uttarakhand going to the BJP, it's surprising not a single Cabinet berth is given to Uttarakhand. But that's not the point of surprise. As if India is One Nation, then it doesn't matter if Uttarakhand got a cabinet berth or not. What is surprising are the claims of Uttarakhand BJP that a cabinet expansion is soon in the offing, and in that expansion Uttarakhand will get a cabinet berth. This is surprising as if the next cabinet expansion is down the corner, then all the claims of a small cabinet go down the drain. In that case, it will be better to say that the yesterday's swearing in ceremony was nothing but a marketing gimmick, aimed at showing the Nation that Mr. Narendra Modi hasn't wasted money on a big cabinet.

Speaking of the Union Government, Mr. Narendra Modi and BJP want to convey certain messages through yesterday's swearing in ceremony. The two main messages are : 1) It's aYoung Cabinet 2) It's a small cabinet (Half of 80 ministers Limit). But in an over enthusiasm to score the points, Mr. Narendra Modi and his party fumbled badly. Having a young cabinet doesn't mean, you can give HRD Ministry to Model Actress turned politician, Smriti Irani. Not much is known about Smriti's education, that apart she has literally no experience in running a ministry. It would have been better if some academic (professor , teacher ) was given the responsibility to head the Human Resource and Development Ministry. We must understand that Age is no substitute for Experience. That apart, Age is no substitute to academics and intellect.

We are often told that a small number of ministers is good. Such a belief can be be misplaced. Why? As a small cabinet means a single person handling two or three ministries. This means the person not having enough time to read the Government files , based on which, he/she has to take decisions. Not having enough time to read files means depending too much on the Bureaucrats (secretaries etc.) for interpretation. Since a Minister is there to safeguard the interests of the citizens, this too much reliance is not good. That's why it's not a very bad idea to have a big cabinet.

We have elected Narendra Modi as country's PM, but now we must stop praising him on almost everything. We need to examine everything dispassionately.


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