Friday, August 03, 2012

A dark night of the soul for India...


This week’s disastrous power outages were the culmination of what has become depressingly familiar. They were unusual only in that they happened to everyone at once, and for such a long stretch. Instead of parts of a state or a city being left without electricity, most of northern and eastern India was affected. For two successive days and nights, around 670 million people were left in chaos as even the capital’s metro system stopped working. Miners were trapped underground. Certain states were alleged to have taken more than their share from the national grid, confident that they could get away with it. This was the largest power failure in history, impacting on almost one in 10 people alive on the planet.

At the root of all this lies the Indian government’s abject failure to keep pace with the way the country is changing. Whether it be power lines, roads, schools or ports, infrastructure is not being built or upgraded fast enough. Electricity is often stolen from overhead lines, and the government has not been responsive. The influential regional politicians can leave prime minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition government in Delhi looking weak, and at the mercy of events. Unlike China, where the centre is strong and directional, India’s centre is starting to look more toothless than it has for decades.


Many democracies have voters who feel angry with their leaders, but in India the extent of the disconnect is shocking. Some of the basic institutions of the Indian state appear to be falling apart, and while both business and the public are crying out for leadership and reform, politicians are not responding. The collapse of the power grid, plunging urban India into darkness, is only the latest symptom. Full story...

Related posts:
  1. Meet Electricity Mohan, India's human conductor!!! Amazing...
  2. Male electricity officials in India made to wear bangles over power failures!!!
  3. India: power cut at mass wedding messes up bride choice!!! Hilarious!
  4. Saviour or Sonia's poodle, asks UK paper about India's PM Manmohan Singh...
  5. Pakistani worker in Germany dismissed for "stealing electricity!!!"
  6. Pakistan PM becomes one of lucky few with 24 hour electricity ... at his own home!!!

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