Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Two Roads For The Country

What if India had followed Masani's and Rajaji's vision rather than Nehru's?
Today is the death anniversary of two noteworthy Indians. They started off as ideological comrades but later became antagonists, each representing two opposing economic worldviews.
Their anniversaries too will be observed in contrasting ways - one with pomp and publicity, the other in obscurity. There's a certain irony in that.
Jawaharlal Nehru will be feted at various functions and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government will pledge itself to his ideals, never mind that the country has turned its back on his eponymous model of development, which was heavily biased towards state intervention in the economy. This shift away from socialism — half-hearted though it is — would not have pleased Nehru had he been alive, even though his name has been constantly invoked by the Congress to show continuity with his policies.
There will be no public functions to mark the 15th death anniversary of Minoo Masani, co-founder of the erstwhile Swatantra Party, even though since 1991 the country has been travelling the road he tirelessly championed for 40 years along with another political stalwart, C Rajagopalachari or Rajaji - that of a liberal, market-oriented economy. But Masani, too, would shudder to have his name linked with all that is happening today, in the name of the model he advocated.
Nehru and Masani forged a deep friendship when they were both in the Congress, strengthened by their common love for socialism and admiration for the Soviet Union. Masani was one of the founders of the Congress Socialist Party within the Indian National Congress, in the early 1930s. Soon, disillusioned by Stalinist excesses in the Soviet Union, he became one of India's foremost and forceful critics of communism.
In 1947, he articulated the idea of a mixed economy, with three sectors - a small sector of nationalised industries (which would be decided by an independent commission), a larger sector of new public enterprises in areas where what he called 'free enterprise' was unable to venture into, and a third, largest sector of free enterprises. "Such a programme of state plus free enterprise is, in fact, the only practicable programme that the government in India can possibly adopt in the coming years...it is important that it is done, not sullenly for lack of anything better, but with enthusiasm and drive," he wrote in a paper detailing the idea.
After Independence, his nuanced approach would bring him in direct conflict with Nehru and what he called the latter's zeal to foist the Soviet pattern of state capitalism. Since the only non-socialist alternative to the Congress in the 1950s was the Jan Sangh, with a strong Hindu bias, Masani teamed up with Rajaji and farmers' leader, NG Ranga, to form India's first conservative-liberal Swatantra Party in 1959. Through the party's short life and after its demise, Masani never tired of pointing out that state involvement in industry, trade and commerce would result in the neglect of its primary responsibilities of maintaining law and order and the provision of drinking water facilities, primary healthcare, primary education and physical infrastructure.
He also relentlessly pointed to the lurking dangers of the licence-permit-quota raj that Nehru and later Indira Gandhi promoted. Nehru apologists argue that his model was vilified because of the distortions that his daughter introduced in the 1970s. But Masani and Rajaji always warned that the model was susceptible to such distortion.
So when, in 1991, India took its first steps towards a freer economy, Masani should have felt vindicated. Though he was glad, he also had a sense of foreboding. The government, he noted, took the path of liberalisation out of compulsion and not conviction and he fretted that this would not be sustained. He was clearly quite prescient.
State meddling in the economy continues; in the name of helping the poor, the government continues to artificially suppress prices and distort markets rather than working seriously for a shift towards targeted subsidies; inefficient public sector undertakings continue to be cosseted; inspector raj continues to throttle small and medium enterprises. Despite what the critics of liberalisation might say, India is not a market economy in the true sense of the word.
While Masani, were he alive, would have been pained by this, what would have horrified him is the prevailing rampant corruption - the result of a pernicious cronyism that marks the relationship between government and private business. What would devastate him is that this is happening in the name of liberalisation.
Crony capitalism is not the post-1991 phenomenon that those railing against what they dub 'neo-liberal economic policies' make it out to be. Though a strong supporter of private capital, Masani took a dim view of most Indian entrepreneurs of his time who, he believed, took the easy way out by bribing ministers and bureaucrats instead of facing up to competition. Naturally, he blamed the controls-driven system for fostering this. Masani would have been the first to speak up against the shenanigans in the telecom, coal and airlines sectors.
As economic liberalisation increasingly comes under attack for fostering oligopolies and sowing the seeds of plutocracy, there are not enough voices pointing out that the mess the country is in is a direct result of the state continuing to have the power to make or mar fortunes of entrepreneurs, that the country needs more economic and governance reforms to strike at the root of corruption. Masani would have been that voice.
Minoo Masani, the country misses you.
The writer is a senior journalist and author.

Monday, 27 May 2013

It’s time planners did some jugaad on rural public transport

On the face of it, the Supreme Court order of May 15 directing all states to ensure that jugaad vehicles  do not ply unless they are registered with the regional transport authorities and have third party insurance needs to be welcomed.
Jugaad vehicles are those makeshift, rickety contraptions powered by irrigation pump motors that pass for public transport in many rural areas of north India. It doesn’t require a Supreme Court order to make one realise that these are extremely risky to the life and limb of its passengers. The Court’s order will have the effect of getting them off the roads.
That’s great from the point of view of public safety, but has anyone spared a thought for those who willingly clamber on to these? Why would people knowingly get into patently obvious death-traps? They do so only because there are no alternatives for them. Affordable public transport  is practically non-existent in the areas where the jugaads operate.
The jugaad passengers are those at the bottom of the pyramid, who may not possess even a cycle. The jugaad offers the only means of getting from point A to point B, and those points will be from home to work and back. Not getting on to a jugaad could mean having to forsake a day’s wage. As for the risk of injury or death, that is to be left to fate. The Supreme Court order will leave them stranded.
Is this article, then, a plea to let these death traps stay? Not at all. It merely seeks to question the practicality of implementation of the Supreme Court order, given the complete lack of alternatives in rural areas.
It is not as if these jugaad vehicles were off the official radar till now. In July 2007, the Union Roads Ministry had sent out a circular to all states that jugaads fall under the definition of ‘motor vehicle’ in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Therefore, they would need to be registered, get a number plate and insurance. Getting registered would mean adhering to certain quality standards, which the jugaads would not have been able to do.
If, therefore, in 2013, the Supreme Court has to issue another directive to states, it shows that governments have not been able to deal with the ‘menace’, as the Court termed these vehicles, in these past six years.  Action has been taken against them, but they are soon back on the roads after greasing a few palms.
The continued existence of jugaads is nothing but a damning indictment of the state of rural public transport. According to the report of the Working Group on Road Transport for the Twelfth Plan, less than one-third of the nearly six lakh inhabited villages are serviced by the State Road Transport Undertakings. Is there any discussion at all on this, with the kind of urgency and seriousness that urban public transport gets (it is another matter that despite all the attention, urban public transport is also in a mess)?
Servicing the rural market will be difficult, since it will not be as lucrative as the urban one. But rural India is changing – rising income levels and growing opportunities mean that people are mobile and want mobility solutions. It is up to both politicians and administrators to work out solutions to this difficult market. Otherwise, people will be compelled to take whatever sub-optimal solution is on hand.
One only has to look at a somewhat similar situation in Delhi, where the public transport system is in shambles. There are around 5,000 buses on the road, far short of the required 11,000. (Incidentally, this 11,000 requirement was set by the Supreme Court in 2001; Delhi’s population has multiplied since then.) For the middle class, the gap is filled by ‘chartered buses’ (private tourist buses meant to be hired by a group of people from one point to another, but which pick up and drop passengers just like public buses).
For the lower income group, the only option to an unreliable public bus service is an illegal one. Delhi’s transport department started a Gramin Seva, meant for Delhi’s rural areas which do not offer profitable routes for a full-fledged bus service. The nine-seater Gramin Seva vehicles are now, however, a common sight on Delhi’s arterial roads, catering to the low-income population, in complete violation of their permit conditions. They are dangerously overcrowded and are driven recklessly.
The only saving grace is that these are branded vehicles and not a cannibalised set of wheels like the jugaads. There is no dearth of passengers for the Gramin Seva because the section it caters to cannot afford auto-rickshaws or chartered buses. There is the Metro, but the reach is not as extensive as that of the Gramin Seva. Action is taken against these vehicles but a mixture of political clout and bribes ensure that they are back on the road again.
Delhi’s school children are also transported in extremely unsafe conditions. They are crammed into Maruti vans, with children sitting on the front seat with the driver without seat belts. Or they travel in cycle rickshaws where a wooden seat which juts out on both sides of the rickshaw is attached. These are children of middle class parents who would be willing to pay for a reliable bus service if it were available. The Maruti vans are routinely challaned but they too get back on the roads the very next day. The demand ensures that they do.
If, in the capital city, limited choice makes it impossible to enforce safe transport standards, one can imagine the situation in far-flung rural areas, where there is no choice worth the name.
Maybe, because of the sanctity of the Supreme Court order, state governments will take jugaad vehicles off rural roads. But if they don’t take steps simultaneously to address the unmet demand for rural public transport, things will be back to square one. The Indian jugaad spirit will only replace the current lot of vehicles with some other means of transport, which could be more unsafe. They will continue till another Supreme Court order some years down the line.
So long as there is demand to ensure that earnings more than make up for the bribes paid, such services – whether Gramin Sevas in Delhi or jugaads in the rural areas – will continue.
That is the bitter truth.

A history lesson on India Inc for Manish Tewari

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari has sent out a word of advice for Corporate India through the media. Be careful of whom you support, he is supposed to have said while addressing journalists in Mumbai, according to this report in the Economic Times.
He also gave our industrialists a lesson in history. Remember Europe in the 1930s, he warned. The leader European businessmen supported wholeheartedly then “caused a lot of harm and destruction all over the world.” He left the leader unnamed but the Economic Times rightly identifies him as Hitler. And we all know who the Indian `One Who Tewari Did Not Name’ is. The Economic Times identifies him as well.
But why does Tewari have to go back eighty-odd years? And to a different continent, at that? Why not look within the country and go back just forty-odd years? Specifically, India in the 1970s?
Tewari was only ten years old during a certain dark chapter in India’s democracy and so he may not have any memories of this period. The history books he would have studied in school also would not have dealt with those events, so a lesson for him in recent Indian history is in order.
India was then ruled by the Congress Party and Mrs Indira Gandhi was the undisputed supremo of the party and the government. Buoyed by the stupendous mandate that she had got in the 1971 elections, Mrs Gandhi went about systematically destroying every autonomous institution that the founding fathers of the Constitution had created. The mess that the country now finds itself in has its roots in that period, when the notions of committed bureaucracy and committed judiciary were used to pack the civil and police service and the judiciary with loyalists. Loyalists not to the country, but to the Congress Party and by default Indira Gandhi and by further default a certain Sanjay Gandhi.
The arrogant disdain for democratic processes kept escalating, finally culminating in the declaration of Emergency in 1975. The Congress likes to paint the ‘One Whom Tewari Did Not Name’ as a dictator, but he will only be India’s second. Just as it has been the trend-setter in the case of dynastic politics, it is the Congress again which has the dubious honour of giving India its first dictator. India is Indira and Indira is India, we were told. (Before people turn apoplectic at the thought of equating Mrs Gandhi with a certain maut ka saudagar, I concede that there were no killings on the scale of the 2002 riots during her time.)
But the real point about this history lesson relates to the businessmen and entrepreneurs to whom Tewari dished out advice. As Mrs Gandhi went about making a mockery of India’s democracy, India Inc. of those days did not utter a squeak in protest. Worse, they went all out to back the Congress Party and Mrs Gandhi. When it was believed that she would resign following the Allahabad High Court setting aside her election in 1971 for electoral malpractices, a delegation of Indian businessmen went to her and pleaded that she stay. These were not small-time businessmen. They were respected industrialists, led by none other than K. K. Birla.
Why should we think these industrialists were better than those who, thirty years later, hugged the One Tewari Did Not Name and called him king of kings (disgustingly servile as that was)?
There’s only one thing that’s clear from all this. Industrialists and businesspersons aren’t bothered about the ideology of the party or leader in power. All they want is a stable business environment, tax sops and other freebies and if they can indulge in some crony capitalism, well, that’s icing on the cake. They are not even interested in parties or persons who espouse their cause if they are not in power. What else can explain the fact that the Swatantra Party, which kept championing the cause of free markets, hardly got any funding from business houses? Businessmen preferred to pay fat bribes to ministers and bureaucrats in return for assured licences and pour money into Congress coffers to ensure favourable competition-killing policies.
In the 2006 West Bengal assembly elections, it was well known that a significant section of businessmen in the state were hoping that the Left Front would return to power because Mamata Banerjee was not seen as a very credible leader. In fact, there’s talk now that during the next election, they will once again back the Left Front.
Nor are they unduly bothered by things like genocide. The only thing that worries them about riots is how it disrupts their supply chains and affects their business operations. Forget Gujarat, Indian businessmen have no qualms about setting up manufacturing bases in China, never mind a certain problem called Tibet.
This apparently cold-blooded attitude is not unique to Indian businessmen. The change in the United States attitude to China in the seventies and its silence over human rights violations in that country is dictated by the agenda of American businesses. So is its support of tinpot dictators everywhere from South America to West Asia. China will never be faced with an economic blockade, something other dictatorships with less attractive markets are subjected to.
So if you want India Inc. to stop singing the praises of the ‘One You Did Not Name’, Mr Tewari, just get your government to take away his USP. In the remaining months that your government is in power, get it to create an environment that is investment-friendly (no, that does not mean encouraging cronyism), end the policy paralysis, take policy and other measures to set right the infrastructure sector. Get the economy back on track and deliver results. When you do that, India Inc. will come running back into the Congress fold.

Amartya Sen, jholawalas, and the wrongs of rights-based laws

That Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has once again thrown his weight behind the Food Security Bill, lambasting the opposition for not allowing Parliament to pass the legislation, isn’t surprising. The venerable economist has been a champion of the rights-based entitlements approach for long.
This piece is not going to get into whether Sen is right or wrong about the National Food Security Bill 2011. This article, which links to other articles on the subject, effectively demolishes his argument.
The rights-based approach was discussed at the recent annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Greater Noida, where an ADB policy report, Empowerment and Public Service Delivery in Developing Asia and the Pacific, was released. Sen was part of the panel that discussed this report, which admits that its basic foundation is his “influential work on freedom, participation and agency”.
The report makes the point that despite tremendous economic progress made by Asian countries, they haven’t done very much in reducing poverty, malnutrition, improving health and education indices, among other things. This, it says, is largely because of inefficient delivery of public services. There’s little to dispute in these purely factual statements.
So how is this to be addressed? Being heavily influenced by Sen’s work, the report naturally tends to lean towards the rights-based approach to empowering people to demand better public services. But it also discusses community participation in service delivery, participatory monitoring of service providers (social audits, citizen’s report cards, grievance redressal mechanisms etc) and public-private partnerships.
Fortunately, it also highlights the problem with a rights-based approach, which Sen and other defenders of this approach almost never seem to talk about.
One, there’s the problem of resources. Two, the lack of institutional channels to enable citizens to claim their rights. Indeed, there’s little point in saying I am entitled to 100 days of work, or education for my child, or a certain quantity of foodgrain, or basic housing (another right that’s in the works) without adequate systems to ensure that I get them. Saying that these are justiciable rights also doesn’t mean much when I don’t have the time or resources to knock on the doors of overcrowded courts manned by overburdened judges.
Take the flagship National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). According to the latest Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on the scheme, employment was not provided to job seekers within 15 days of their requesting it. Yet, they were not paid an unemployment dole, which they should have been.
Or take the Right to Education Act, which has come into force since 2010. Can the government really claim that this has been a resounding success? Far from improving access of children to schools, the Act actually runs the danger of reducing access by laying down a slew of impractical stipulations that even low-cost private schools have to comply with or face closure.
That is the basic flaw in any rights-based approach to welfare entitlements – their implementation is hugely problematic.
Assuming, for argument’s sake, that this is a good approach, why not, then, use this to enforce existing Fundamental Rights in the Constitution? Why not ensure the right to “practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business” as enshrined in Article 19 (g)?
Why are self-employed people like street vendors, hawkers, rickshaw pullers and the like subject to a plethora of restrictions that make it near-impossible for them to earn a decent living and perhaps move up beyond the poverty line?
A cap on the number of cycle-rickshaws in Delhi has made rickshaw-pullers (for whom there is great demand in the suburbs) vulnerable to not just rapacious owners of rickshaws but also policemen and transport department officials. Street vendors too have their goods being routinely confiscated. If these people are freed from the licence-permit raj, there would probably be no need for NREGA or a Food Security Act in their present form.  That will make for a truly inclusive growth model (unlike the cronyism that we are seeing currently, which merely benefit a few corporate fat cats).
Similarly, if low-cost private schools were allowed to function freely, the problem of access to schooling at least in urban areas will be solved to a large extent.
Why not also restore the right to property as a fundamental right? This will allow poor people who may have land to use it as an income generating resource in whatever way they deem fit.
Let us also concede, again for argument’s sake, that the state alone will – and can – provide essential services to the poor. The record of its doing so is, well, poor. Ration shops routinely claim they haven’t got supplies, making a mockery of the public distribution system. Government hospitals claim they don’t have medicines. Teacher absenteeism in government schools is high.
If, as the report says, the government has to be made accountable, legislating a right to education, or food, or health is not going to solve the problem. As the report itself concedes, this has to be accompanied by changes in the way the government machinery works. Only one right is necessary to ensure that – the Right to Information (RTI).
The RTI movement in India gathered steam after it was used in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to successfully get details about the working of fair price shops. If a below poverty line ration card holder can use RTI to find out why he hasn’t been getting his monthly quota of rice, wheat and sugar, that will do far more to make the system accountable than any food security legislation can. Because as the working of the NREGA shows, the mere enactment of an Act will not ensure that a poor person does get 100 days of work or 25 kg of foodgrain. It is an RTI which will tell him why he hasn’t. The RTI Act is already in place, but its implementation is patchy and there are constant attempts to dilute it.
Sen and his band of jholawallas would be better advised to focus on ensuring that rights like those to livelihood or information are enforced and implemented properly, than insisting that a plethora of meaningless rights are legislated.

UPA model has slowed down both growth and inclusiveness

In his speech at the 46th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Greater Noida, Finance Minister P Chidambaram declared, “India’s potential growth rate is 8 percent plus and we cannot afford to become complacent and sit back”.
Sure, one can’t. But will the solution he offers – ‘focus on inclusive growth’ – get India back to the 8 percent plus levels that it once reached (and crossed briefly)?
This is not to argue that India must pursue an economic model that benefits only a small elite (as it had been doing in the years before 1991). Growth needs to be, as he puts it in the same speech, ‘broad-based’.
Unfortunately, the ‘inclusive growth’ model that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has been following has all the potential of depressing growth and, only the most fanatical leftist will argue that inclusion can be achieved without growth. Employment guarantee and food security legislations may be inclusive in the short run but have the potential of harming growth in the long run.
If Chidambaram is looking for clues to solve the growth-inclusion challenge, he should perhaps go through a background paper that ADB prepared for the annual meeting – Beyond Factory Asia: Fuelling Growth in a Changing World.
Factory Asia is a model that ADB describes as one of “regional production networks connecting factories in different Asian economies, producing parts and components that are then assembled, with the final product shipped largely to advanced economies”. This model, adopted by China and the southeast Asian countries, helped put these economies on a high growth path.
There’s an Asian Century on the horizon, the monograph says, based on the rapid rise of its manufacturing sector. India isn’t a part of Factory Asia – since its manufacturing is more focused on the domestic market – but is on its periphery and would perhaps do well to follow that path, the paper suggests.
Circumstances, however, have changed. The Factory Asia model faces new challenges: the weak outlook for the advanced economies which provided much of the markets for the Factory Asia countries; growing protectionism in these markets; rising production costs (supply chain disruptions, wage increases, volatile exchange rates, skill shortages) are eating into the price advantage Asian manufacturing enjoyed.
But these issues and challenges can be addressed and India (which the paper puts among the developing Asian economies) could adopt and be part of a New Factory Asia model.
With consumer demand shifting from developed to emerging markets, developing Asian economies should tap into their own domestic demand as well as regional markets, fostering free trade and pulling in manufacturing investment by improving the investment climate. They need to build strong, competitive brands by ensuring globally compatible labour and safety standards. The private sector should be encouraged and helped to move up the manufacturing value chain, to make up for the narrowing wage differential.
Focusing on skill development is also important and necessary, given the increasing sophistication of manufacturing processes and the shrinking of the labour pool in some countries. Moreover, it is also important to encourage small and medium enterprises, which can help produce intermediate goods and provide supporting services.
Chidambaram’s speech had the usual laundry list of steps the government is taking to put the economy on track – the focus on infrastructure, investments in manufacturing, fiscal consolidation, the Cabinet Committee on Investment, easing foreign direct investment in hitherto taboo sectors, skill development programme, among a host of other things which we all know are happening only on paper.
There will be some who argue that the prescriptions in the monograph may not be entirely suitable to India. Sure, there is no cookie cutter model for development.
Recent census reports have shown that the number of farmers has declined in 10 years, while that of agricultural labour has increased. But with pressure on land growing, there won’t be enough employment for all of them. The service sector will require skills that farm labourers may not have. NREGA is not the solution. The answer, then, is to give manufacturing a huge fillip.
That’s why it would be good for this government and for any other government in the future to take these recommendations seriously.

Delhi child rape: Who cares for these Nowhere People?

As the father of the six-year-old rape victim was relating his woes with the police to television cameras, my maid didn’t share my shocked reaction. She merely shrugged: “Hamari baat kahan sunte hain? Hame bhaga dete hain (where do they listen to us, they shoo us away).”
Bhaga dete hain is a constant refrain in the joyless song that is the life of the nowhere people at the bottom of the pyramid. It isn’t just apathy alone. Maybe they can live with that. It’s the dehumanising contempt with which they are dismissed.
This refrain played for the family of another rape victim, a 13-year-old. The girl had been abducted and had returned home after nine days in captivity. The police did not act on the missing person complaint and, on her return, did not file a case of rape. It took a court order to get them to do so.
This refrain played for the parents of the children who disappeared from Nithari years ago. When the parents went to complain, they were turned away by the police who brusquely told them that the children may have run away because of poverty. In one case, where the girl was a teenager, the accusation was worse – she must have run away with someone. All this came to light only when their skeletons were later found.
It isn’t the police alone. When you are at the bottom of the socio-economic pile, nothing, absolutely nothing, works for you. Not a single government department. Not a single welfare scheme supposedly designed for you.
That’s what my maid found when she wanted to apply for a BPL card which will enable her to access the Delhi government’s much-hyped Annashree scheme (where BPL families get Rs 600 a month for foodgrain). Application forms were not available. I tried getting one online but the link to the form was a dead one. She finally found out that forms were available in one corporation office. She went there, only to be told that forms were available but it would cost her Rs 3,500 to get the BPL card made.
For politicians and bureaucrats, their work is over once they have designed and launched a scheme for “the poor”. How it is working on the ground is an irritating detail they don’t want to bother with.
Are politicians above the bhaga dete hain attitude? Sadly, no. Their populism will be directed at these nowhere people but basic courtesy is something they will deny to them.
I asked my maid to approach the local councillor of her area for help with the BPL card. She got short shrift there. Things were no different at the local MLA’s office. The councillor was from the BJP; the MLA from the Congress. “Jaao, time kharab mat karo. (Go, don’t waste our time),” she was told at both places.
If the politicians don’t want to waste time on them, the media too doesn’t want to waste column-inches and airtime on them. Unless there’s some sensation involved, as in the latest case. Think back to Nithari. A month before the skeletons were found, the child of a multinational company executive had been kidnapped in Noida. That captured media attention. Around that time, there was a small news item about children going missing in a Noida village. No one followed it up.
Take also the Aarushi Talwar case. The media outrage that erupted when Dr Rajesh Talwar was kept in custody initially for 50-and-odd days on what the media decided was an unsubstantiated charge was completely absent when three servants were detained for a longer period. Their relatives were not called into television studios to present their case. No follow up stories have been done on how their lives have been affected.
Is the outrage over the police attitude in the two recent rape cases going to bring about lasting change to time kharab mat karo attitude? It could, if political activists go beyond trying to capitalise on individual incidents and actually help this underclass, if People Like Us went beyond hyperventilating in our drawing rooms and actually listened and tried to help People Like Them deal with officialdom.
But the chances are that this outrage will peter out, just like the fury after the 16 December 2012 rape case did. Other rape cases kept hitting the headlines, instances of official apathy in earlier cases came to light, but didn’t cause a ripple. Activists didn’t lend a helping hand; people didn’t gather at India Gate; and the media didn’t follow up.
We all shoo-ed them away. And we will continue to do so.