22 April, 2021

Our Mary, Queen Of Blots

Any clean approach is sullied by a foul politics-business clinch

Illustration by Sorit
Our Mary, Queen Of Blots

When Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the ‘world’s most complex cocktail’ called the Bloody Mary, little could he have seen that, almost a century later, India’s complex government-business relations would, in comparison, make it look clearer than water. For a country that got democracy before full-blown capitalism and has got its own mocktail of State-directed markets, what are the implications going forward? The one rough thumb rule one can use is the reaction of business bodies and lobbies to the Union finance minister’s budget speech. One is yet to come across a single instance where corporates have had the guts to do a fair and valid critique of it! It doesn’t need a genius to comprehend the reason—almost every one of them has broken the law somewhere or the other and doesn’t want a tangle with the government.

The recent invitations by prominent associations to both perceived and potential candidates for top government posts needs to be viewed against a different lens. What makes the business-government...

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