When they ruled the country, the British colonial officials sought to concentrate all power in their own hands. They refused to share even a smidgen with the people of India. At the same time, while they came down hard on Englishmen who cheated other Britons, whenever an Indian was cheated by a Briton, that perpetrator was treated with kid gloves and let off with a friendly admonition to be more careful the next time. Cheating a native was fine, cheating a fellow Brit was out of bounds. Almost from the day they entered the service of the Raj, officials were taught that the people of India were like naughty children. There was a constant need for adult supervision (by the colonial officials) not to mention frequent punishment. There was a separation between the rulers and the subjects, and the two came into contact as little as possible. The colonial officials enjoyed their “chhota peg” and their card games as they devised ways of further impoverishing the country by fleecing the people and looting its resources. It was no accident that the “enlightened” rule of the colonial authority left India in tatters, in hunger and in illiteracy. Much water has flowed underneath Howrah Bridge since the Union Jack was replaced by the Tricolour atop what became known as Rashtrapati Bhavan, but there are still patches of poverty in India. A much smaller country, Japan, has a higher GDP than India, while Taiwan, which is about the size of Goa, exports more than India does. Was the decision by Prime Minister Nehru and Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel to continue to rely on the British colonial construct including in laws and regulations the correct choice for India? Was the introduction of the Soviet model into India the best choice? Was the denial of freedom to get a passport with ease or to set up a business the best way to go? The licence raj was used to throttle competition to such an extent that it was said of an automobile produced in India (itself a copy of a British model that had gone out of production in its own country) that every part made noise except the horn. It took the first Congress Prime Minister from outside the Nehru family to last a full term (Shastri was found dead in circumstances still kept hidden) to go through with some of the reforms that ought to have been carried out in 1947 itself, and would have been, had Babasaheb Ambedkar or Sardar Patel been chosen by Mahatma Gandhi as the Prime Minister of India instead of an Old Harrovian who had the advantage of being exceptionally close to the Mountbattens thanks to his immense reserves of charm. The colonial administration hoarded power and refused to delegate or share. This was in contrast to their behaviour in the UK, where there was substantial delegation of responsibility. In contrast to the UK, where the administrative structure has undergone a series of reforms, in India there has been very little change. Efforts at inducting outside talent have been less than successful, as those inducted are treated in a manner different from the rest. There ought to be complete equality of those who entered through civil service examinations and others who were brought in at a later stage in view of their domain expertise and proven capability in getting results. As long as times are tranquil, the colonial structure of governance chugs along, but when a crisis hits, its mettle gets tested. Given what was happening in Europe with a second SARS CoV-2 wave, preparations needed to have been made in India in the eventuality of such a wave. Judging by the chaos that has followed the onset two months ago of the second wave, none of this was done. Medication and oxygen were missing, while exports of pharma were banned in defiance of contracts rather than having taken measures earlier to ramp up production. Should such a state of affairs continue, it will only be a matter of months before the goodwill enjoyed by the Union Government evaporates into thin air. There is anger and disillusion across the country, and in household after household, bitter words are being exchanged about the manner in which citizens have been made to face the pandemic despite the government having been warned of the danger several times. This is reminiscent of what happened in 2020. In March, it was obvious that PLA forces were massing on the Ladakh border, especially abutting Daulet Beg Oldi. April saw no effort to ensure that regular troops were brought to the Line of Actual Control in place of forces that were not part of the army. In May the PLA entered, as it had been obvious they would. In February 2021, Indian Army was made to withdraw from Kailash heights on the promise that there would be matching withdrawals by the PLA elsewhere on the Line of Actual Control. Those who warned against such a move were ignored. The PLA has yet to withdraw, and the country has yet to know the names of those who recommended withdrawal by the Indian Army from the hugely advantageous Kailash heights. Such a litany of errors must not continue. The way to avoid this is to decentralise authority and accept that all wisdom does not reside in government, that those outside may have some insights as well. The time is ticking where the continued support of the people is concerned. The time has come to act in such a manner than confidence is restored.