December 30, 2005

NRN: Are not politicians accountable?

Says Blaming IT Industry Will Not Help; Leaders Should Clean Up The System


Bangalore: It could have been a pure coincidence but even as the Panchayat poll results poured in, IT czar N R Narayana Murthy tore into the political system, calling it inept in handling the vast changes to achieve a sustained economic growth and end poverty in the country.
Infosys chief mentor Murthy appeared to have picked up the issue left behind in his spat with former PM H D Deve Gowda, who said IT companies were not creating enough jobs and giving back to the society. He had also accused Infy of land-grabbing. Murthy had denied the charges in a long written rebuttal.
“Politicians must learn to respect those who create jobs,’’ he said at the valedictory of the 2nd international alumni meet organised by the National Institute of Technology’s Bangalore chapter.
Then, he declared: “There is no point in blaming the IT industry for city’s woes. It’s their responsibility in fact to plan the city better because they have sought power, they have sought seats.’’
“Just as I will be held responsible if Infosys does not do well, the politicians must take responsibility if the city does not do well, state does not do well, country does not do well.’’
“Our institutions — from our Parliament and legislatures to our courts and distribution systems — have become pervaded with corruption,’’ Murthy said.
Indians, Murthy said, spent over Rs 21,000 crore in bribes and illegal payouts in 2004 — close to 1% of the country’s GDP. He said India’s private radio stations are only allowed to broadcast entertainment, and not news and informational programmes. “There is absolutely no good reason for this restriction. Only reason is they (politicians) do not want the poor people to know what’s happening in the country.’’
He said radio is a low-cost media with the highest penetration in India — it reaches 27 of every 100 households in the country. It is easily accessible to low-income, illiterate people, and can be an important source of knowledge, news and information.
Stating that India’s political and economic systems today are plagued with problems and inefficiencies, Murthy said elections in the country are determined on the basis of caste and religion, rather than real-life issues and concerns of the people.

How have we performed so dismally in achieving our objectives of broad-based economic and social development? 
India has the highest percentage of reservation in the world - it is the only country where merit has been relegated to second place. There is a strong incentive for our politicians to maintain the current status quo by keeping people ignorant and illiterate.

No comments: