The patient has been on the operation theatre for a month under the emergency rule in an effort to remove a tumour. And sooner the operation is over and the patient taken out of the theatre, the speedier will be the recuperation.
Unfortunately, the emergency can treat only one of the current economic ailments, i.e. those related to security. That means, the recuperation regimen has to include an extensive range of surgery and medication in addition to the current emergency rule if we look at the symptoms noticeable on the body economic.
The state of emergency was, in a way, as demanded by the private sector which had been pestering the government to beef up security. Hence it is being welcomed with enthusiasm by the private sector. And the emergency indeed seems to be effective in restoring security to the business community. Except one or two sporadic cases reported in the beginning, there has been no serious incident of terrorist attack on business establishments during the later weeks of emergency.
But with the lengthening of the emergency the business has started experiencing another problem. Working hours have to be reduced considerably as the employees do not like to stay longer at work in the evening. Restaurants and shops are closed down soon after dusk. Public transport also is affected as a result. Proposals for new business are being postponed. The economic slowdown that was already going on before emergency was clamped has now further worsened. Obviously, the cost of peace is going to be much higher than what the government spends as additional expenditure on security. However, every one accepts it is a cost, which had to be borne anyway (sooner or later, you must remove the tumour if you have developed one).
That means, the time right now is ripe for the government and the business to go on administering any additional medication that they feel as needed by the economy. The patient will accept them all as long as the administration is made palatable. But, as there have been some indications already, the government and business both are likely to exceed the tolerable limit. The example may be the proposed revision in the labour law. Though the law needs extensive rewriting, if the reforms are rushed through without allowing the society to first digest the proposed changes, the results may not be as desired. Alternatively, the medicine should be sweetened to make it acceptable. We can only advise for restraint.
So the only thing we can do now is to wish for a speedy success of the on going operation so that the recovery will start early.
Therefore, we think the best way to greet the readers on the occasion of New Year 2002 would be to wish for a speedy success of the operation and speedy recovery thereafter.
Happy New Year 2002 !