Let us not reduce time-honoured institutions partisan politics!
This will rebound on the government and the party system in our democracy!
The Public Accounts Committee(PAC) of Parliament has come out with a report that, to say the least, is as troubling as when the Supreme Court said about the PM’s inactiveness in the first place when Subramanyan Swamy raised the issue before the apex court.
Now, the PAC report is in the public domain here what we are concerned with is the larger picture, the larger question of where will all these troubling questions will lead to.
When we will get back to some “normalcy” in our present governing process.
Will we reach some stability and settle for the rest of the term of this Parliament or will there be an interim general election?
It looks the whole Indian scenario, especially after the Anna Hazare phenomenon which saw the sudden rise of a new public mood of rebellion against the current hypocritical political process.
In such a time of confusion in the political system it is better to go for a change and ask some fresh and basic questions.
It seems that the Indian democratic system has got some maturity or even we can say Indian democracy has acquired some internal dynamism when everything looks failing some new inspiration comes along and stirs the people.
Anna Hazare was such a new source of inspiration.
For the first time we started talking of a civil society movement. Civil society groups have been operating all along. Even the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council comprised of some civil society groups and some landmark legislations like the RTI act was passed and stirred things. Is the NAC an NGO or a government-constituted body? It is clear it acted as an extra- constitutional body, right?
So, now, the government seems to pretend that it has the sole power or constitute the Lok Pal panel. Now, under pressure from public opinion, from the civil society it has succumbed to a morally-driven policy. A policy that might not wipe out corruption conclusively but surely it would present a situation like another 2G!
But only when Anna Hazare raised the corruption issue the whole country came calling the government.
For the first time, some say since Gandhiji, someone from the civil society could come along and shake the government.
We saw how the Prime Minister and the Congress President responded.
The pretended for the first or two days that nothing happened. When they saw the TV screens, they saw the youth, the very respectable middle class faces, the very rich and well-meaning good faces, men and women, they got frightened. Yes, we mean the PM and the UPA chairperson!
PM and Sonia must have done the right thing. They must have visited Janpath and pacified the fasting man. They didn’t. They didn’t care to do the normal thing; they didn’t exude the normal feelings.
They knew that corruption was high on the minds of aam aadmi. Oh, no!
This time, we saw how pretentious and how artificial our leaders have become. In fact, as now the PAC report reveals they were part of the corrupt system!
Now, the PAC report notes that the PM was directly colluding, any other word or expression won’t be in order, we feel.
Since the 2-G case is before the Supreme Court we have to restrain ourselves. Otherwise, the media has to do its job; it is to call the spade a spade.
The 2G has exposed how rotten the system is.
Who are all responsible? Everyone at the top.
The Indian democracy is not well-served by tampering with the well-laid down and well-established norms and traditions of democracy. Parliamentary democracy is well-served by a long tradition as it is in the UK.
Every other Indian who had gone to UK for education or some training must be only too familiar with all these issue. I may be pardoned if I indulge in some personal reminiscences. I studied PPE at Oxford and one of my papers in politics was Parliamentary history. In UK Parliamentary history evolved through various stages of citizens getting the right to vote, it took nearly the whole of the 19th century to reach universal suffrage and other privileges and that is why through elaborate protocols that there is fairly clean government and clean and transparent governance.
Now, it looks that the PAC in this instance has uncovered to some extent the way the 2G was mishandled. The PM might not be directly involved but the PMO was responsible and involved in an indirect manner.
Now the question is whether the PM would be held responsible in a personal manner? This will, as it is, be judged not through any parliamentary procedure, the Manmohan regime itself is partly responsible, though the Prime Minister is also responsible to select or approve a minister for a particular portfolio.
In an ideal, open and democratic governance, the selection of a person for a high ranking Cabinet job, especially with the sort of background in which A. Raja came to be selected, for the second time for telecom, there is now ample evidence to show the PM was helpless. A.Raja was thrust on the government, may be the Congress President is also partly responsible.
In an ideal democracy again, the party president has no role but in actual practice in the Congress as headed by Sonia Gandhi and as she is running the party affairs lately, you have to indict her directly or you have to take recourse through a court of law to fix moral and legal and constitutional responsibility.
In this rather very demoralising situation as it prevails in New Delhi now the 2G money trail, as they call it might even lead to some unexpected quarters.
Where did the election funds came to TN elections where the Congress party too was found distributing money in a lavish way, in spite of so many obstacles.
So, the 2G scam might not be strictly a matter between the telecom minister and the government, or the apex court, the beans might be spilled out more openly and even might lead to the fall of the government. Already after the PAC draft report leaked out, we saw how the ruling party was reaching out to unlikely allies, SP and BSP!
So, where is the limit to corruption, political corruption? It seems a free for all affairs, we mean, this type of politics the unfortunate PM came to hand over us, the unfortunate citizens!
There is hope after the emergence of the phenomenon of Anna Hazare. The silent majority, the middle class, the youth are all vibrant and active and there could be a groundswell for the really corrupt to be driven out, the really weak and inefficient government to give way to new vigour and a new sense of purpose and determination to governance.
The Opposition, specially under such leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitely gives hope.
May be Indian democracy is maturing and we are able to look for alternatives and the Congress in the present form and mentality, one of meaningless and empty arrogance, is rather fit to get out of the mess it has created by sheer inefficiency and such self-indulgence of non-coherence as far as shared beliefs and principles are concerned. Given the PM’s now clear inefficiency and lack of a political leadership quality there is no shared vision, everyone seems indulging in their own empty glory.
Such a team is unfit to rule. So, better get out. That seems to be the national mood today.
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