Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Lalu farce

Me and my colleague were discussing this year budget implications and gradually the topic veered towards Lalu and railways. It got into a rigorous discussion and I craved to get more info on it.

The world surely has gone gaga over Lalu and his ingenuity with with which the fate of the Indian railways has changed. First some facts:

  • After getting into a terminal debt trap. the worlds second largest rail network has managed too have $2.5 billion in fund balances. And over $3billion dollars in internal resources.
  • Top management colleges of the world like Harvard Business School, HEC Management School, France and IIMs have taken this subject fr their case study.
Picture perfect, rosy fairy tale. But isn't it too good to be true. How has a man with no formal education whatsoever brought about a change of this magnitude? The point of contention was this. He never had the wherewithal to carry out this. How would the knowledge and sagacity to forge private public partnerships come too an illiterate. I tried my best to look for resources to know whether the men behind this were the able and educated administrators who constitute the work force or it was his own brainchild. I failed to get any such resources. I can shout on top of my voice and bet that a rustic Lalu who carries on his shoulders a heritage of corruptioon, nepotism and abrasive fiefdom in his home state is playing to gallery and shamelessly taking accolades for the efforts made my his educated subordinates.
Politics, media wield great power to alter stories, make heroes out of no one. This is one such example. I will leave you with this video clipping where Lalu sings his success song...


Sanjay Sunday, March 16, 2008 4:26:00 AM  

I have given a lot of thought to this but i do not think you are right in assuming something which you don't have even a clue of...

Ravi Kumar Monday, March 17, 2008 11:31:00 AM  

I appreciate your opinions and I agree that I do not have facts to corraborate my statement. I tried to dig into lalu's past again. This is what Wikipedia described lalu in the first paragraph "
Lalu Prasad Yadavo, sometimes spelt as Laloo Prasad[1] or Lalloo Prasad, (Devanāgarī: लालू प्रसाद यादव) Lālu Prasād (born June 11, 1947 Goplaganj, Bihar[2]) is an Indian politician from the state of Bihar. He is currently the Minister of Railways in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

He is one of a few ministers charged and investigated in a number of corruption cases. He is currently a Member of Parliament in the 14th Lok Sabha from the Chhapra constituency. Criminal convictions were almost unheard of in the reign of Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi. With the new government of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a new system of speedy trials helped secure nearly 10,000 convictions in 2007. Kidnapping for ransom, Bihar's biggest industry in Lalu's days, has fallen four-fold. In the past two years, more than 200 cases have been registered against corrupt government officials, something also unheard of during Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav's tenure. He is known for his charismatic leadership and mass appeal among some of the so-called backward castes and religious minorities,[3][4] as well as his notorious corruption cases and explicit caste-based politics.[4]

Earlier, Lalu served as Chief Minister of Bihar from 1990-1997, when he was forced to resign following escalating corruption charges in the Fodder scam."

Where is the credibility?

Saurav Tuesday, March 18, 2008 6:31:00 AM  

Definitely the brain behind the success cannot be of Lalu entirely, but earlier we have had railway ministers with better reputation and they too must have had access to the thinking brains. I wonder why we did not get as much success then.

Ravi Kumar Tuesday, March 18, 2008 6:46:00 AM  

Hi Saurav, I appreciate your views. But any turnaround especially as big as this, needs a fair amount of gestation period. It takes years of policy implementation to change order. And this it seems was carried out since long be previous railway ministers. Its only incidental that it bore fruits in Lalu's tenure. The same is the case when Delhi Metro was unvieled by Shiela Dixit, whereas the project was initiated long back by Shushma Swaraj.

Ravi Kumar Tuesday, March 18, 2008 6:47:00 AM  

Also if he had such genius on why did the state of affairs of Bihar remain the way it was when he was the CM.

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