Date : 29.06.2013
The Hon’ble Sri Nitish Kumar,
Government of Bihar,
Sub: Your break from BJP alliance: what next? “Nitish Kumar at historic cross-roads!”
Dear Sri Nitish Kumarji,
This is a letter from one of your many admirers and sympathisers. As I often introduce myself to strangers I want to say that I grew up under the shadow of Pandit Nehru and Kamaraj.
I was elected as an MLC to the then Madras Legislative Council, from 1968-75. I had known most of the old time Congress leaders and also most of the then Socialist leaders too. I was a long time friend and associate of the late Chandrasekhar.
Now, I am active in TN politics, very much a Congressman, though the Congress in TN is totally in disarray, more so just now after the Congress came around to vote for the DMK in the Rajya Sabha elections, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi came all the way to TN in a special flight to admit him into the Congress Party!
I may not know about other states, more so in the North. The point is that we live in such a degenerate political culture and you now have to shine like a lonely star on the planet!
So, there must be many to be sceptical as to what is your next direction, your next alignments?
As a thinker and intellectual I can say straightaway, you at a deeper level must stand for some ideas. As one philosopher writes in an introduction to Plato’s Republic that “people live by ideas and the rise and fall of ideas by which people live. Ideas are like freedom and democracy, or justice, citizenship or knowledge “Simon Blackburn: Plato’s Republic” 2006. Again the critical point is that today ideas don’t matter in politics. It is real politik; it is the Machiavellian pursuit of naked and even aggressive power for the sake of power. So, to come to the point that Rahul Gandhi will be the dynastic heir to the Congress party, a party that had grown for 128 years and survived. If you look at the India’s long past history, this is a drop in the ocean and we can’t be sure whether India will remain united for long. This is a historic question that has to be asked by everyone who wants to play the role of political leaders today.
But then what are your choices?
You have an unenviable task and a challenge. My point is to ask questions and also give some tentative answers, though very tentative to be of any immediate use. You have to articulate your ideological vision. You come from the Gandhi-Nehru tradition and also the JP, Lohia and other Socialists path.
Today, we can’t talk of an egalitarian society vaguely. We have to pitch our tent in a highly corrupt corporate world. Corporate corruption both fostered and protected by an aimless power-seeking enterprise the Congress party has become today.
Most central Congress figures are outsiders, some plain traitors to the cause and most are adventurers. So, you have to have a very broad canvass to seek out regional, ego-centric leaders. They won’t come so easily. The Congress will be your toughest challenger than even your own Third Front partners! Much tougher than even Mr.Narendra Modi. How to impact the public perception?
About becoming more sensitive to growing corruption and also utter cynicism to do anything about it?
You may have to draft even such public faces like Anna Hazare and other prominent civil society members. How to rouse the middle classes and the youth?
Of course, I am optimistic and also we can draw up an action strategy keeping in mind the new tools of mobilisation, like Face book and other tools. We have also been seeing what is happening in other countries like Turkey and Brazil where popular agitations have taken a new dimension. We have to defend democracy, democratic changes, Constitutional Reforms and Electoral Reforms etc.
A perceptible change is also taking place in public opinion for a serious and credible change in the polity, for a clean and open society in India. So you might have to work hard at many levels.My one suggestion is to call a think-tank of sorts of broad-minded intellectuals and draw up a civil society-inspired development vision. Secularism and anti-corruption might lose their appeal once the din of power seekers assemble. So, we have to have some refreshing jargon and new priority agenda of action. Lokpal too has to be carefully put forward. Let the ideas come from the front leaders, from individuals. CMs and other state level heavyweights. So, there must be a broad-based thinking and even some contradictory ideas might do contribute to some orchestration, so to say.
I have attached herewith some of the recent letters I exchanged with some senior leaders here in the South. You might go through the same.
My other journals are also attached herewith for your perusal.
With warm regards,
Copy to :
1. Sri Sharad Yadav.P, President, Janata Dal(United), Jantar Mantar, New Delhi
2. Chandra Babu Naidu, Hyderabad, AP.