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Failure of leadership is root cause of India's problems, says Arun Maira, author of new book on outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 - 6:24pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

Open letter to the next Prime Minister: Failure of leadership is root cause of India's problems

Honourable Prime Minister,

You have been given the responsibility by the people of India to improve their lives. They want opportunities for decent livelihoods, better public services, health, education and safety. They have lost faith in most institutions of governance and administration. Indeed, the deterioration in the country's institutions is also the root cause of the declining growth of the economy. Investors are wary of starting or expanding enterprises when there is so much confusion and corruption in governance. The scenario analysis made by the Planning Commission in 2012 revealed that the root cause of the poor progress the country is making, which is neither meeting its needs nor the aspirations of its citizens in improving human development, building infrastructure, growing the economy and creating more jobs, is the deep mistrust citizens and investors have in the country's institutions. Indeed, it was estimated by the Commission that fixing this root cause could add about 3% to GDP growth.

The root cause of the deterioration of our institutions is a failure of leadership. So-called 'leaders' sit atop institutions with important titles bestowed on them. For them, institutions are only pedestals from which they can speak, and on which they can be seen. They do not care to improve the substance of the institutions they are responsible for. Nor are they being held to account for failing to discharge this vital responsibility to the people.

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