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

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If Lips Would Keep from Slips

Tempers are on short leash, feuds break out. Once suspicion spreads that the powers that be are playing a partisan role in ongoing feuds, or are actively conniving with the maldistribution of spoils, there is a sudden eruption of violence. The authorities, already overwhelmed by the scourges of inflation, unemployment and foreign debt, now face a situation of near- insurgency. Small-scale uprisings graduate into big-sized rebellions. Variations on the theme, such as guerrilla-type skirmishes, are not absent from the picture either. The government's resources were already under severe strain; the fiscal crisis now takes a turn for the worse. If it were merely a show of defiance in one particular part of the country, it could perhaps be taken care of without causing too much exhaustion to the system. Once the number of uprisings is on the rise and the armed forces have to be out on 'pacification' assignments in twenty or thirty different locations all at the same time, it becomes a qualitatively different situation. There has to be a new regimen for deployment of public funds, calling for further cuts in developmental and social services outlay. Cut-backs are the order of the day. These cut-backs will be discriminatory in nature, or it will be alleged that they are discriminatory, and will add a frightening footnote to inflation and unemployment.

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