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By Default Hardcore Hindutva Has To Replace Soft Hindutva! No Option!
Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, chapter: 814
Skype ID: palash.biswas44
The free market economy destroyed the political system in India.The mango people have no spce anywhere. No escape route at all. No option to chose. Purity based hindutva emerged most viable political alternative with media hype thanks to anti corrution campaign corporate. By default hardcore hindutva has to replace soft hindutva and we have no option in the banana republic!The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today said it has nothing to do with the controversy sourrounding BJP chief Nitin Gadkari. Issuing a statement on the controversy the RSS said it is saddened by the efforts to drag the organisation into the row.Saddened fo what? sangh pariwar is not sad about the dirt within.It is sad that the dirt is spilling in the street now.Congress had an alternative in Priyanka Gandhi as the crown prince failed miserably. But the bhadra scam robbed the option which stands nullified.It wasn't just Haryana where Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra went on a land buying spree between 2008 and 2011. At least 20 plots measuring over 770 hectares were picked up by Vadra's firms in Bikaner, months after the Ashok Gehlot government assumed power in the state. After examining the records of properties purchased by Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son in law Robert Vadra and his companies, the deputy commissioners of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Palwal and Mewat have communicated to the state government that there has been no under-valuation of these properties.
“The stamp duty paid by Vadra and his companies were in accordance with the collector rate. The DCs have examined the entire record,’’ said an official who has seen the communication.
In separate communications, the deputy commissioners have virtually cleared Vadra’s name as far the issue of under valuation of properties was concerned.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday accepted the resignation of SM Krishna as the Union External Affairs Minister. Earlier in the day, Krishna had sent his resignation to the Prime Minister ahead of the proposed Cabinet reshuffle, which is expected to take place on Sunday. Krishna said he wanted to give the youngsters a chance.
"I want youngsters to be given a chance...I am a loyal party worker and I work for the party without any conditions," said Krishna. He is now likely to be given an important position in the Karnataka unit of the Congress party.
According to sources, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik have also offered to step down and do party work.
This comes even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, reportedly, to discuss the Cabinet reshuffle, which is likely to take place on Sunday.
Krishna was expected to resign on Friday evening as he wanted to give a free hand to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the reshuffle. The timing of Krishna's resignation has raised a lot of eyebrows within the government as Spanish king Juan Carlos I is in India and the Ministry of External Affairs play a crucial role during the visit of a foreign dignitary.
There was a speculation that Krishna would be dropped in Sunday's reshuffle as there have been several controversies involving him including a Lokayukta report against him and his England tour to watch tennis matches at Wimbledon.
This also comes a day after a special Lokayukta court ordered its police to probe the involvement of SM Krishna, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Devegowda in the alleged Mysore-Bangalore Express Highway scam.
Certain irregularities have been reported to have taken place in the acquisition of farmers' land for the project that was being developed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Limited (NICE). A private complaint was filed by social activist TJ Abraham specifying the role of each of the persons named in the case.
The BJP core group is due to meet tonight to assess the impact of the corruption charges against Nitin Gadkari.Earlier, RSS leaders led by Mohan Bhagwat and Bhaiyya Joshi apparently advised Gadkari to hold on. On his part, he too would rather dig in his heels, put up a "brave front" to fend off charges against him till any official probe actually established his guilt. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/10/26_10_12-metro1.jpg
Adopting a "wait-and-watch" policy, RSS leaders wanted to see the shape of the war engulfing Gadkari being played out and how far the UPA machinery would go after him. By that time, they expect the polls to be completed in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat in December, and they could think of a contingency plan, RSS sources said.
RSS insiders said Gadkari apprised the Sangh leaders about the "whole" controversy and even expressed his desire to resign, if necessary.
The dilemma before the RSS centred on the fact that it had anointed Gadkari as BJP chief in 2010.
His "hasty exit" without a clear understanding among RSS and BJP leaders would undermine its own standing, sources added.
Consequently, there's no ready "exit plan" for Gadkari, RSS sources said, though a rethink on his second term from January next could not be ruled out "if the need so arises".
According to property agents in Bikaner, the land was barren and worth precious little at the time Vadra purchased it. However, its price has appreciated by as much as 40 times in three years. Most dealers agree that the escalation in the price is because of the industrial projects sanctioned for the region.IBN Live reports.
These sanctioned projects include:
- Solar projects under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission,
- Rs 45,000 crore silicon chip project with Vavasi
- A power grid substation in Kolayat
Documents accessed by CNN-IBN show that between 2009 and 2011, Vadra's companies – Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd, Sky Light Realty Pvt Ltd, Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd, North India IT Park Pvt Ltd and Blue Breeze Trading Pvt Ltd – purchased 770 hectares at an average price of Rs 40,000 to 50,000 per bigha. One bigha now costs between Rs 8 to 9 lakh in the area, with one hectare equaling just under four bighas.
The opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleges a conspiracy, saying the Rajasthan government delayed identification of specific areas for the projects to provide unfair advantage to property buyers.
One Mahesh Nagar, brother of Haryana Congress leader Lalit Nagar, is the common link between Vadra's land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan. He has executed all lands deals on behalf of Vadra and his firms. In fact, the sellers found out that Vadra is the purchaser only after they received cheques signed by him.
Area dealers say that Vadra's companies sold off at least 300 bighas of land earlier in 2012 to a Spanish solar power company.
From Haryana to Rajasthan, Robert Vadra arguably found land deals to be his calling, all between 2008 and 2010, with public information suggesting all his purchases were in Congress-ruled states. As more information comes out, two specific questions are being raised:
- What was the source of funding for such massive land purchases?
- Were deals done on the basis of privileged information and access?
Robert Vadra paid Haryana farmers less than circle rate
CNN-IBN accessed documents showing how Vadra bought acres of land in the Mewat region of Haryana below the circle rate. The documents suggest Vadra has been on a property buying spree in Haryana and had picked up acres of land directly from farmers in 2008 and 2009.
Vadra's firm Real Earth Estates Ltd purchased over 27 acres in Mewat region and paid rates way lower than collector's fixed circle rates for the region. Villagers say land sale at rates lower than circle rates is common in Mewat. The Opposition now alleges low price land sale to Vadra should be investigated.
Documents in possession of CNN-IBN suggest Vadra bought land around Mewat at an average price of Rs 2.6 lakh an acre during 2009. Registration documents show a firm, Messrs Real Earth Estates Private Limited as the purchaser through its director Robert Vadra. Strangely, while the collector's circle rate for property in the villages Shakarpuri and Ferozepur Jhirka in Mewat is Rs 16 lakh per acre, Vadra's firm purchased land from the villagers at lesser rates.
Haryana IAS officer, Ashok Khemka who on capacity as director general consolidation had on October 15 cancelled the mutation of 3.5 acres in Shikohpur (Gurgaon) belonging to Vadra had also asked the deputy commissioners of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Palwal and Mewat to inspect the land documents of Vadra’s companies and estimate real value of property.
Khemka had ordered the deputy commissioners-cum-registrars to inspect all documents registered from January 2005 by or on behalf of Robert Vadra or his companies in the capacity of either vendor or vendee and compile such list and transmit to this office for examination. “ They shall estimate the real value of the property conveyed through the registered documents and in case of under-valuations, the matter shall be referred to the collector under Section 47-A of the Indian Stamps Act for correct assessment of the stamp duty payable.
The names of some Vadra’s companies included Sky Light Realty, Sky Light Hospitality, Real Earth Estates, Blue Breeze Trading, Artex and North India IT Parks. The report must reach the office by October 25,’’ Khemka wrote.
The spokesman said that the stamp duty paid, had also been found to be much higher than the collector’s rate duly notified by the district collector. Therefore, no loss of revenue to the state has been caused by these sale deeds.
He said that as per Gurgaon deputy commissioner the tehsildar-cum-sub registrar, Manesar has stated in his report that the sale deed no 4928 dated February 12, 2008 for purchase of an area of 3.53 acres in Khasra no 730 of Shikhopur village has been evalued at Rs. 7.5 crore. The collector rate for the land was Rs. 50 lakh per acre for the year 2007-08. The total stamp duty for the 3.53 acres as per the circle rates/collector rates comes out to be Rs. 10.50 lakh whereas the purchaser has paid Rs. 45 lakh for this sale deed as stamp duty which is above the collector rate/circle rate. The tehsildar was inquiring into undervaluation of property registered between Vadra’s Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd and M/s DLF Universal.
In subsequent transfer of the land vide sale deed no 1435 dated September 18, 2012 for Rs. 58 crore, the stamp duty for the deed as per collector rate of Rs. 1.55 crore per acre for 2012-13 should be Rs. 25.97 lakh whereas he has paid stamp duty of Rs. 2.90 crore again higher than the collector rates. Hence, no loss of revenue of the state had been caused by these sale deeds, the spokesman said.
Deputy commissioner, Faridabad also reported that the inquiry conducted by him through sub registrar, Faridabad/Ballabgarh and joint sub registrar, Sohna revealed that no deficiency was found. He said that deputy commissioner, Mewat had also reported that for land measuring 229 kanal seven marlas purchased by Vadra as director of M/s Real Earth Estates Pvt Ltd at Shakarpuri village entire stamp duty and registration fee have been paid. Similarly, deputy commissioner, Palwal has stated that all documents have been registered after paying stamp duty as per the prevailing circle rate and no financial loss has been suffered by the state, the spokesman said.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wendesday urged for "perfect honesty" in public life and warned against "rise" in corruption. His speech would have been considered as routine but for the fact that BJP president Nitin Gadkari was listening to him from the audience.
In the past few weeks, activist-politician Arvind Kejriwal has accused Gadkari of wrongdoing in land deals in Maharashtra. A series of media reports have alleged that companies associated with Gadkari got undue favours when he was Maharashtra's PWD minister.
"Right from our homes up to the social sphere, are we in a position to project ourselves as the perfect examples of purity, lawfulness, discipline, honesty in dealings and sensitivity?" said Bhagwat at the RSS's annual Vijaya Dashmi gathering of swayamsevaks (organisation workers) in Nagpur.
"The consequences of incomplete thought had made the lack of national and individual character in our country more pronounced and painful. The mindboggling revelations about corruption have not come to an end yet." Bhagwat made no direct statement on Gadkari.
"Knowing well that corruption is on the rise because of lack of character, the Sangh continues to concentrate in its work of character building. People should be made aware of the need to change the system, taking care to ensure that they do not fall prey to disappointment or develop any aversion for the system. A situation similar to the one developed in the Middle East countries where fundamentalists and foreign forces have created almost an anarchic situation to serve their interest, should not be repeated here," he said.
Hindustan Times asked him the allegations against Gadkari but Bhagwat refused to comment.
Senior RSS leader and spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said the allegations against Gadkari seem like a media trial. "Let the BJP and Gadkari himself respond (to the allegations)," he said.
Vaidya said the RSS has not asked Gadkari for an explanation. "We have not issued any ultimatum and have not sought any explanation. The RSS is not in the picture as it is purely an internal matter of the BJP," he said.
Who’s worse — the Congress’ dynasty or BJP’s RSS?
by Akshaya Mishra Oct 26, 2012
The dynasty fixation of the Indian Right — it comes in many shades between the liberal and the rabid, between the confused and the hypocritical — borders on the comical.
When the mighty Narendra Modi, the supposed future saviour of the nation, wants votes in Gujarat, he has to attack the Gandhis in New Delhi with all ferocity. When Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray wants to hand over the reins of the party to the gen-next in the family, he has to vehemently deny any parallels with the so-called first family. When required to introspect their own failure in assembly elections, the many shades of the Right would point to the failure of Rahul Gandhi to work miracles in Uttar Pradesh. This is dynasty worship by other means.
The convenient excuse for this is intra-party democracy. The Gandhis, as the argument from the Indian Right goes, have stifled democracy within the party. The presence of ‘the Family’ and its loyalists has denied more efficient Congressmen the opportunity to even aspire for higher positions in the party hierarchy. They want to enjoy power without any responsibility and do backseat driving in the government by arm-twisting it on policy matters. They are dictatorial to boot.
Curiously, it’s the same group which professes fawning admiration for Modi’s style of functioning, which many believe is ‘dictatorial’ and allows little room for dissent. This is also the section which is unequivocal about the need for a strong, authoritative leader – whatever that means — but would ignore the fact that the ideas of strong leadership and democracy within are incompatible. It is the group which would denounce vigorously the centricity of religion in the formation of Pakistan, yet would champion religion-based politics in India aggressively.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat performs worship during a Vijayadashmi function in Nagpur. PTI
The Indian Right is elastic in its interpretation of democracy, secularism and liberalism. Probably it’s normal in a group of people who exist in such diverse social spaces and are share an abstract bonding through one holding theme: religion. Whatever the reality, the contradictions and the accompanying hypocrisy are galling. Let’s get back to its dynasty obsession of the Right to understand this.
The BJP, the political face of the Indian Right, loves to call itself a democratic party. Unlike the Congress, it claims, where decisions are taken by members of one family, it believes in collective leadership. Ability is respected in the party and despite many competent leaders at every level of the organisation, it remains a disciplined outfit. All this and many other noble qualities make it a party ‘with difference’. How far from reality this could be!
Check these out. The party is one of the fronts of the mother organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, an entity promoting cultural nationalism. Thus it is not a no strings attached independent existence for the party. The RSS often foists its choices upon the party, the choice is often someone with deep roots and connections within the organisation. If other senior leaders are not comfortable with lightweights being imposed upon them — Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari are examples – they don’t have too many options.
The party recently changed its constitution to allow a second term for the BJP president, an apparent move at the RSS’s behest to extend the tenure of Gadkari. If Sangh insists upon continuing with Gadkari despite all the allegations of financial irregularities against him, the party does not have a choice.
The freedom of party leaders to express free opinions is limited. They have to operate within the ideological framework of the mother organisation. The party’s most successful leader, Atal Behari Vajpayee, dared to be different and he was hated across the Sangh fraternity. LK Advani, the party’s tallest leader even now, was cut down to size promptly after he praised Jinnah during his Karachi trip. Narendra Modi is in a continuing battle with the RSS in Gujarat despite being the party’s showpiece leader. The tussle began after he sought to restrain the interference of the powerful members of the Sangh in governance matters.
For the party members going hammer and tongs at the ‘dynastic’ rule in the Congress, the dependence on the RSS is baffling indeed. The reasons of this are obvious. The BJP, which does not have too much independent penetration at the grassroots, needs the organisational reach of the Sangh for voter mobilisation. Thus it has to bend to the dictats of the latter for its political survival. The recent case of a poll-bound Modi rushing to the RSS headquarters to quell anger within the Sangh affiliates in Gujarat is a case in point.
The point here is not to be judgmental about the merits of the RSS or the BJP but to highlight the double standards of the India Right in the context of the so called ‘dynasty’. The ‘dynasty’ functions within the party and is responsible for the consequences of its actions. The RSS functions from outside the BJP’s political space and is not accountable for its electoral performance. The power without responsibility phrase applies here more than in the case of the Congress.
It’s time for the Right to instrospect.
Between The Lines
The unimportance of Modi
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is testing the water. It too realises that elections are many months away but wants to know whether Hindutva is acceptable to the voters. Spreading the name of anti-Muslim Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is meant to assess if his non-secular image would attract the ordinary Hindu voter. The party has not yet got over from the defeat of last parliament elections when it was all set to occupy the treasury benches only to find out that the communal tag attached to it had pulled the party down. Its Hindutva image brought the surprised Congress back to power.
The BJP is open to all options this time. The RSS is in the picture from the beginning. Its chief Mohan Bhagwat has not only welcomed Narendra Modi at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur but has also announced that Modi would get a higher position in the BJP after the Gujarat assembly election next month. This, indeed, reaffirms who controls the reins of the BJP. However, to lessen the party leaders' humiliation, Bhagwat has said that the selection of prime minister's candidate is the prerogative of the party. Yet, on the other hand, he has rubbed the salt on their wounds by making it clear that Modi is the best candidate available in the party.
Modi does not go higher in the estimate of people just because Britain says that it wants to do business with him, though it does not endorse his actions. Taking the initiative of sending its envoy, James Bevan, to Modi after maintaining the touch-me-not stand for a decade conveys London's keenness. America or other countries may follow suit in due course of time.
Yet this does not make him acceptable to India, which is the subject matter. Modi has bamboozled Gujarat in the name of identity as if its people have a different entity than the rest of Indians. Had Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal done it, the entire nation would have pounced upon him for leading the Sikhs to separatism.
Modi is responsible for misleading the Gujaratis, who look like re-electing him. They have been daring the country for almost for 15 years that for them the state government is more important than the nation which is sworn to the principles enunciated in the constitution. For the Gujaratis, equality before the law and separation between state and politics has stayed on paper because their Chief Minister Modi has been determined to flout the principles. This was visible in 2002 when some 2,000 Muslims were butchered because they were not considered equal and because they were sacrificed at the altar of Modi's innovation of mixing religion with the state.
Had the guilty been punished in 1984 when the Sikhs were the victims at Delhi, the Gujarat Hindus would not have dared to indulge in ethnic cleansing. The burning of 46 Hindus in a compartment at Godhara was a provocation. But the pogrom in Gujarat would have taken place even without the Godhara incident as a few plucky journalists have brought out in their write-ups.
The guilty in Guajrat have not yet been brought to book. There are some pending cases in which Modi's name is mentioned. To project him as India's next prime minister tantamount to dragging down the country to the dust of shame and oblivion. How can a political party think of Modi even if it shuts its eyes to the murders, rapes and lootings?
The BJP has been hurt by another unexpected quarter. Its chief Nitin Gadkari is allegedly possessing bogus firms which he has created to make money while he was the PWD minister in Maharashtra. The charges against him are so serious that even the RSS sources have reportedly said that the BJP's image has been severely dented. The Congress has been given a god-send opportunity and it has already ordered what it refers to as "soft inquiry." In any case, the BJP will not bse in a position to roar in parliament as it did in the last session. Its image of cleanliness has got a serious beating.
The party will have to reckon with Gadkari's episode in the next election. Therefore, it does not have to confine its strategy of finding out whether the wind is blowing in favour of Hindutva by giving currency to Modi's name. There are other issues which the opposition will be exploiting. And corruption, so far tagged to Congress, will be a charge against the party to which it will have to reply. One's scams will be pitted against another's to the confusion of the electorate.
As for Hindutva, India, with all its faults and failings, is a country which prides itself in the spirit of accommodation and a sense of tolerance. Unfortunately, communal riots still take place, not at the scale as they used to be in the fifties, sixties and even later. But the nation is sensitive enough not to return those who have only religion to sell.
In the last six decades, India has come to settle down as a democratic, pluralistic nation. Whatever else happens -- it happens to the country's shame -- democracy has got entrenched deep. Religious slogans cannot destabilise it. It may well be truism but the fact is that there can be no democracy without pluralism. It is a pity that the BJP has not yet understood this very basic thing. It should remember that when it came to power at the centre, it had to cut off its communal fangs and give an undertaking, among other things, on giving a special status to Kashmir and not build temple on the place where the Babri masjid stood before destruction.
In fact, Modi himself should withdraw his claim for the post of prime minister because he reduces the stature of the position as well as the chances of the BJP. If he were to say sorry and undo the wrongs he has done to the Muslims, he would perhaps come to be known as a reformed Modi. Then there may be a chance for him and his party.
Democracy alone won't modernize India
By Ding Gang (Global Times)
10:15, October 25, 2012
Recently I hosted a backpacker from China visiting Bangkok. She started to look for cheap airline tickets as soon as she received her India visa. Finally she booked a flight from Bangkok to Chennai.
"What does Chennai look like?" She asked me. I told her it's the fourth largest city in India. In the words of locals, Chennai is the "Shenzhen of India," it is the manufacturing center of the country.
Nevertheless, Chennai is much less well known in Asia than Shenzhen. This is related to the position of India's manufacturing industry in both Asia and the world at large.
Talking of India and China, Indian scholars often prefer to use the labels "the biggest democratic country" and "the biggest authoritarian country." In my eyes, it might be more accurate to describe India as "the biggest service country" and China as "the biggest manufacturer."
Some believe that India, with a more flexible political system, will catch up with China sooner or later. It sounds like the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, which we've heard a thousand times.
But they forget that no matter which development path they choose, developing countries like India and China have to experience certain stages, rather than simply jump over them.
Across the world, there is no single poor country that can develop through service industries. Manufacturing growth is indispensable, especially for populous countries like India and China.
Without development in manufacturing, neither India nor China could address the problem of employment and improve service industries.
It is manufacturing, rather than democracy, that has the key gap between India and China. Generally, industry is divided as follows: Primary industry includes agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery, secondary industry includes industry and construction, and tertiary industry mainly refers to service industries.
India awaits an Arab spring
Aijaz Zaka Syed
Friday, October 26, 2012
From Print Edition
In Ridley Scott’s epic, Gladiator, Senator Gracchus says of Emperor Commodus: “He knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they will roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate; it’s the sand of the coliseum. He’ll bring them death – and they will love him for it.”
No matter what Edward Gibbon would have us believe, if the Roman Empire eventually collapsed, it was as much for the corruption of its elites as it was for the impetuous zeal of the mob. The kind that Robert Vadra, son-in-law of India’s most powerful politician and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, so ingenuously describes as “mango people.”
The overzealous, new faithful that corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal has gathered around himself and goes about breaching red lines and demolishing revered icons left, right and centre has the political class in a tizzy. His self-righteous, holier-than-thou grandstanding against the high and mighty grates on the delicate sensibilities of the elites. Kejriwal is a man in a hurry. Since he parted ways with Anna Hazare, the original spark behind the anti-corruption crusade, to float his own political party, he has been springing up one nasty surprise after another against the UPA coalition.
By going after Vadra and the cloistered, first political family of the country, he has signalled that in this game of big stakes, he’s ready to play dirty. And he can be vindictive too. When Salman Khurshid, the soft-spoken Oxonian law minister, stuck out his neck to defend Vadra, offering his blood for the Gandhis’ honour, he invited the mob’s wrath on himself and the trust his wife runs in his constituency.
When accused by the Congress of being the ‘B’ team of the BJP, Kejriwal turned his attention in the other direction. The attack on BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, exposing his theft of government land and overnight metamorphosis of his group of companies, has set the cat among the pigeons in the so-called party with a difference. Gadkari’s driver and astrologer are named as directors and investors in his group of companies. After the initial loud protestations of innocence and solidarity with the party president, the BJP and larger Sangh Parivar seem to have abandoned the skipper.
The BJP spokespersons, who have all these weeks and months been permanent fixtures on national television egging on the media in its nightly inquisitions against the governing party, were nowhere to be seen when their own party is in the dock. Evidently, no one in this Turkish public hammam has a stitch on. The government’s muted response to the damning accusations against Gadkari only proves that it’s a mutually protective club. With its own first family in the spotlight, the Congress is playing it soft, clearly hoping for some quid pro quo from the opposition party.
Corruption isn’t just part of life; it has become our way of life now – an open loot of national resources with everyone helping everyone else. We have lost the count of the number of scams involving hundreds of billions of rupees that have blown up in the nation’s face over the past few months and years. At least two former ministers and several senior civil servants, not to mention their minions are behind bars. It’s a tiny minority that accidentally exposed itself. Who knows how many are out there who continue to quietly bleed the great republic to death?
Why even Dr Manmohan Singh, the once honest and sincere face of this government and architect of India’s economic revolution, finds himself under a cloud of suspicion. Indeed, the honest Dr Singh now enjoys the distinction of having presided over the largest number of scams in the nation’s history.
Is it any wonder then upstarts like Kejriwal are being feted as the hope and future of the billion-strong nation? The overbearing, moral certitude of the India-Against-Corruption crowd acting as the prosecutor, jury and the judge, delivering swift, instant justice is breathtaking.
The “vision document” that they have unveiled to run the country is even more terrifying. Full of half-baked, ludicrously naive ideas to “save” the country, this “vision” may very well end up making a mobocracy of the world’s largest democracy, little different from Hitler’s idea of a pure nation. But who is to blame for this state of affairs? If the people’s trust in the system and political and democratic institutions of the nation stands decimated, the politicians have no one to blame but themselves.
Our politics has long been a rotten, putrid cesspool. But the stench has become unbearable now. Institutions are falling apart all around us. In government offices no file moves without money changing hands. Politics is now the easiest and quickest way to get rich – and stinking rich. In the global corruption index, India has jumped from the 87th position to a humiliating 95th rank.
Of course, being the grand old party that has ruled the country for four out of six decades and still does, the responsibility for much of this rests with the Congress. And with the Hazares, Ramdevs and Kejriwals constantly gunning for the governing party over the past year or two, it has suffered the most, effectively losing all the support of the rising middle classes. Sonia Gandhi’s dream of seeing her son succeed PM Singh in the top job may well remain a dream.
However, a loss for Congress won’t mean a victory for the BJP. From Yeddyurappa to Gadkari, there are enough skeletons in its own cupboard. In fact, no political party, perhaps with the exception of the Left, can today claim to be above board.
The two main politic