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For almost a decade, Dr Manmohan Singh has failed to deliver the goods when it comes to decent economic policy making governed by common sense. Given his background and past experience, this has come as an unpleasant surprise to all Indians. This coming budget is perhaps his last opportunity to stamp his authority and secure his place in history. He can still remain silent; but his policies must do the talking for him

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.”

“Leadership is about solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded that you do not care. Either is a failure of leadership.”


“This light of history is pitiless; it has a strange and divine quality that, luminous as it is, and precisely because it is luminous, often casts a shadow just where we saw a radiance; out of the same man it makes two different phantoms, and the one attacks and punishes the other, the darkness of the despot struggles with the splendor of the captain. Hence a truer measure in the final judgment of the nations. Babylon violated diminishes Alexander; Rome enslaved diminishes Caesar; massacred Jerusalem diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. Woe to the man who leaves behind a shadow that bears his form.”

This is the thirteenth time in 13 years that I am starting the presentation of my Alternative Budget. Yes, my friends and dear readers, it has been 13 years since I first presented a set of suggestions to the then Union finance minister and branded it as an Alternative Budget (of course Dr. Malay Chaudhuri – the Founder Director of IIPM – had been writing budget alternatives for many years before that and our jointly authored book, The Great Indian Dream, also deals with the same in a great detail). There have been a few, rare occasions when finance ministers have unveiled proposals that have made me hopeful about the future of India. On most occasions, the budgets have been a series of fatuous statements and flogged-to-death proposals that have done virtually nothing to make a difference to the fundamental problems that confront India. But I don’t need to repeat and rehash a list of those proposals since every Indian with some knowledge of economics and some common sense knows that budgets have been a spectacular and persistent failure when it comes to solving India’s problems.

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An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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