Let’s call it the Padmavat syndrome: if a militant enough group of protesters can be mobilised to try to ban a film, a factory, a hospital, what have you, then India’s political leadership will speedily set aside its professed desire to improve ease of doing business, and sacrifice it at the altar of ‘popular sentiment’.
This week Tamil Nadu government has summarily ordered a permanent closure of Sterlite Copper’s plant in Tuticorin, disregarding far-reaching economic consequences. And up north Delhi government has proposed sweeping regulations that assume private hospitals are carpetbaggers who prey on patients’ vulnerabilities, disregarding how these regulations may foreclose several avenues of healthcare.
Even as questions are being raised about whether due process has been followed for sealing the Tuticorin plant permanently, chief minister EK Palaniswami says this has been done “in deference to the sentiments of the people”. But his is a highly selective and misleading representation of public sentiments. Read More