When Rome was burning, Nero was fiddling

When Rome was burning, Nero was fiddling

February 10, 2018

Pages of history narrating episodes that featured the rulers at different times in some regions across the world in bad light also make people wonder if people are in the same mould in our times. Two such episodes stand out. In the first one, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days in July 64 AD destroying 70 per cent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. According to a well-known expression, Rome’s emperor at the time, the decadent and unpopular Nero “Fiddled while Rome burned.” The second episode is about Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi during 14th century. He was perceived as an unintelligent ruler especially for some of his decisions during his reign, particularly the order on relocation of his capital from Delhi to Devagiri, renamed as Tuglaqabad. The second episode, according to some astute political analysts, bears a correct allusion to the present day political happenings. Keen followers of the related reports in the land’s dailies don’t need any elaboration on this point.

India is home to personalities who have excelled in many fields in the past, some of them dating back to several centuries. Vishnu Gupta, also known by the names Kautilya and Chanakya, a teacher, philosopher, economist, jurist and royal advisor during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise Arthashastra is more quoted than being followed by present administration.

Marshalling the funds needed for public spending both by the country’s Central Government and its counterparts in the 36 States and Union Territories is giving sleepless nights to the top brass in administration, unable to rein in the fiscal deficit which is increasing steadily. The just introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, in its two channels namely, Central GST and State GST, which has received both bouquets and brickbats from different sections of the business and trade fraternity is still in the crucible of managing public funds. In this context, the disclosures of public funded projects with budgets of astronomical proportions are only antithesis of Kautilya’s guidelines.

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People who have elected the law-makers have a right to know their performance score-card, particularly detailed account of public spending. There is cause for concern considering the no-holds-barred splurging of public funds on projects of low priority, such as the just announced facilities for water sports at Varuna Lake and such moves by the administration. One doesn’t miss Neros and Tughluqs of the distant past.

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “When Rome was burning, Nero was fiddling”

  1. Arun says:

    This is what PM Modi spoke in his Lok Sabha speech today. He for the first time disclosed that the total amount of NPA in the banks and said they were not 36% as claimed by the Congress but a whopping 82% of bank loans were NPA, which means that 52 lakh crores bank money was given to industrialists by the Congress government without guarantee.

    PM Modi said the economy was in a disaster when he took over and if he had disclosed the real state of Banks and economy, every investor in India would have left the country which would have caused a catastrophic effect on the country.

    PM Modi said…“Earlier calls used to be made for facilitating loans to their people (close to those in power). Crores of money was given (through loans)…. Had I kept the facts before the nation earlier, it would have hurt the economy.” “ I have remained silent for the sake of Nation, despite knowing what Congress has done, but time has come to reveal truth as banks were getting back into good health and people should know what Congress did in 10 years.”

    After the NDA took over, not a single loan was passed which could turn into an NPA, added Modi.

    So, one may now realise what is the extent of damage Congress did to our country and economy. This just one scandal lead to a loss of Rs 52 lakh Crore to the Nation.

    Yes….520,00,00,00,00,000 crore was the total amount given to these industrialists, now compare this with 2G, CWG Coal and NH scams!

    To all Non Bhakts. After hearing the PM speech in parliament today, I hope all must have realized why the Angry Middle Class has been left without any *benefits*. 82% NPA’s are the legacy of the *Congress* due to which the present government is *still* struggling to get the economy on track. I hope you realize that the present government is not penalizing you _(by not giving more freebies and tax exemptions)_ but is forced due to the various economic blunders, nepotism and corruption of the *Congress* whom you all are suddenly considering to be your *savior* from the *honest BJP government*. If today, you still believe that the BJP government does not deserve a 2nd term, then *you* are really not deserving of an honest government and country. If you still believe that you need to vote out the BJP then God bless you all because then *even God cannot save this country*.

    • questo says:

      I am sure that no economy can stay alive with 82% NPAs. Maybe Modi misread the numbers or he was given a wrong statistic or he might have exaggerated a bit, as he usually does. If only 18% of the assets were active, then India would have turned into Zimbabwe long back.
      Also, BJP and Congress are both equally detestable when it comes to cronyism. Irrespective who is in power (bjp, cong, jds, dmk…), the industry–Reliance, Tata, etc.–will always pull some strings force the govt to write policies in their favor, there has never been an exception since 1991.

    • dr.m.shanthakumar says:

      arun well said. for our country there is only one person who can save our country in all angles and that is modiji. all those congress are most corrupt, idiits and scoundrels, see how this siddu is pleasing muslims in our own state – now bahamani utsava. i doubt whether siddu is a hindu or muslim ? i feel he might have been converted to muslim


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