The UPA government has introduced a new art form: convert any problem into an Act of Parliament. The latest Food Security Bill (Right to Food), forced down our throats through a short-term ordinance, will ensure food in the stomachs of the Indian hungry. The Right to Education will guarantee a smart workforce, ready to face the pressures of skill requirements and global markets. The Right to Information has overnight made the government more transparent, a few wrinkles here and there notwithstanding.
But why stop here? Unlike petty arts like painting and writing that can be and often are smothered, shifting the responsibility of execution and governance to Acts of Parliament is an art form that no democracy can stop – not even the world’s noisiest Opposition. As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said in his Budget speech of 1991, quoting Victor Hugo, “No power on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come.”
Now, as the musical chairs of a Congress-led coalition aspires to create UPA-3, here are 20 suggestions that build on the legislative strengths of UPA-1 and UPA-2. I hope UPA will find some of these interesting enough to list in their election manifesto.