ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Government-Enterprise Relationship and Public Enterprise Performance

national consensus of the exploiting classes is still to be satisfied. The first has no solution other than brute power, for populism has reached the point of nil marginal credibility. It will succeed so long as the armed might of the State (with the help of the Soviets and also the Americans if need be) is superior to the collective strength of the masses. Once that point is passed, then that is that and there 'is nothing more to be done except sing requiem for the dead. But the second problem is susceptible of less tragic solutions, provided the right instruments can be devised, for all the instruments wrought in the past are in a shambles. Whether Rajiv Gandhi is capable of fabricating and using them is a moot point. Till now his main asset has been the fact that Indian politicians, like race horses, are initially judged by their pedigree and only later by their track- record. His pedigree is unexceptionable but such track record as is available to date can cause no joy to those who want to save the 'nation' from chaos. His election speeches have been characterised by a wooden monotony that stands in sharp contrast to the finesse demanded by the problem he faces. To put it in the language of 'Scientific Management' that he and his cronies are said to be partial to, the variables are too many, the constraints are too complex, the feasibility region is disconnected and the objective is unclear. It will require much more than a bright- eyed admiration for computers to handle the crisis. Whether he can succeed is the problem of the propertied classes, but if he fails that can create quite serious problems for the masses.

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