New Delhi: Indian Parliament is all set to discuss the issue of FDI (Foreign Direct investment) in the retail sector.
But not many of you seem to know the various strands that make up this complicated tapestry. But I don’t blame you people, because you have bigger and more bothersome problems to tackle, like whether Tendulkar should retire or not and will Talash be a police thriller or a sentimental drama involving two women.
We at Crank’s News, in a bid to inform and educate you, have broken down the FDI issue to its essential parts. So when the matter is taken up by Parliament you won’t be confused, you will be positively confounded, too. In other words, you will be on par with the Indian media.
When mighty international business corporations, overcoming India’s bureaucratic red-tapism and corruption and many other local problems, choose to invest here, it can be only be for only one reason: Yes, it is to help give a better deal to the obscure Indian farmers and suppliers.
If the retail sector is opened up for international investment, Indian farmers need not be at the mercy of the short-changing middlemen. Thanks to their policy of direct-sourcing from the producers, farmers can heave a sigh of relief, and enjoy the freedom of being at the mercy of big foreign companies.
Consumers stand to benefit as it is well known that biggies like Walmart and Tesco generally like to offer amazing and unbelievable deals and incur lour losses.
It’s quite obvious that when a large departmental store, mostly situated outside the shopping hubs, reaching which itself would be a big task, sets up shop, you will shift your business to it from the store located at your doorstep.
Large shops offer choice, which from a consumer point of view, can be very confusing.
And when you have choice, you also start talking of quality, which as an Indian businessman will tell you, is totally needless in every-day products. Quality is an evil western construct.
Now we will see how the political outfits are stacked up:
Before we begin to find out what is UPA’s position in this issue, we need to find out what is UPA’s composition in this issue.
For, these days, UPA, like many international cricket playing nations that have different teams for the different versions of the game, turns up with different players for different matters.
On matters of communal import, the Left parties show up with the UPA, out of nowhere, as an inspired pinch-hitter at the top of the order.
On matters of commerce and economics — in general when money is involved — the Samajwadi Party bolsters the tail with some slog hitting.
And, of course, there is Laloo Prasad Yadav’s party, which seems to be the Harbhajan Singh of politics, largely around for possessing the biggest skill needed to survive in any team environment: Closeness to the team captain/ party chief.
Anyway, the UPA is sticking its neck out and opening up the retail sector for foreign investments based on two facts: 1) It will be beneficial to farmers. 2) Sharad Pawar is a farmer. Also, Robert Vadra has many farms.
The country’s principal opposition party is going out on a limb arguing against the idea of FDI in retail sector based on two facts: 1) It will not be actually beneficial to farmers. 2) Nitin Gadkari is actually a farmer.
The DMK is thoroughly opposed to lifting the shutters on FDI in retail sector. So it will vote against the motion in Parliament? No. Why? Because small Indian kirana shops sell communalism in Maggie-like two-minute DIY Hindutva packets. Ergo, the need of the hour is FDI.
(Editor’s Note: We tried to give a spoofy spin to DMK’s stand. But we realised that we cannot possibly better the original. We concede our defeat to the DMK, which is anyway a worthy opponent in these matters as it is verily the brain behind the longest-running farce in this country: The Dravidian politics)
Accept it. The issue is a complicated one, and as such in matters like these there cannot be ‘one single’ position that can be deemed totally correct or incorrect. Born out of this nuanced and responsible thinking is the Samajwadi Party’s stand: It is supporting the motion for opening up the retail sector for FDI in the Lok Sabha, while opposing the same in the Rajya Sabha. Or so it appears, as of now. Such practical wisdom has not been seen since King Solomon’s times.
In general, with regard to the current dispensation at the Centre, nobody knows whether the Samajwadi Party is in it or out of it. At this rate, sooner or later, a separate post needs to be created for the SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in Parliament under the head: Opposition Party Leader (Ruling).
The Trinamool Congress is protesting the Central government’s decision on the grounds that there are plenty of grounds around Kolkata to protest. We know it sounds so silly. But what to do, we are trying to capture the quintessential ‘voice’ of Mamata.
It will vote in favour of the motion to allow FDI in retail sector on the sound democratic principle that the country’s judicial sector is still in Centre’s hand.
Crank’s News View: As a libertarian, we welcome the opening up of all markets, except, of course, the strategic ‘re-tale’ sector, because that is where we spoof writers operate.
(Disclaimer: With capital drying up, India may actually be in a position where it will be happy to get some retail in FDI sector)