ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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State of the Union Retrospect and Prospect

State of the Union: Retrospect and Prospect H K Paranjape THE country is now clearly in bad shape. Leaving aside shortsighted politicians with their fatuous talk of the 21st century, and their coteries and camp followers, discerning observers and students are genuinely worried about the persistent deterioration in the country's situation. Forty years after Independence, destitution and poverty continue to stalk over one-third of our people. With all the glitter of superficial modernity, superstition, ignorance and even illiteracy continue to prevail among large masses in the country. In spite of the large scale expansion of security forces and expenditure on them, the break-down of law and order is becoming common in many parts of the country and a situation of semi-anarchy prevails in some. Insurgency, which was earlier confined to certain north-eastern regions has now taken hold of a major state like the Punjab, and there appears to be no leadership in the country capable of checking the forces of disintegration enveloping such areas. The break-out of violent outbursts on one ground or the other, in one part of the country or another, has become a common occurrence. Low productivity, inefficiency, and corruption have become the norms in large parts of our organised industry and services. Public morality is at a low ebb, and this is increasingly and cynically accepted by most of us. In spite Of India having one of the largest standing armies, and with a very large and growing defence expenditure, India is not able to ensure that even its small neighbours like Sri Lanka, Nepal, or Bangladesh in reality defer to her in essential interests. While formally much respect is shown to India and her leadership

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