A serious ideological articulation is needed!
Prime Minister must imbue certain gravitas!
His words must carry weight and conviction!
Truth should be the touchstone!
Ultimately, it is public opinion that would decide.
The current set of players would be judged by the series of scams and scandals.
The government might ignore things for the moment.
But the public seems quite awake. Parliament is sensitive and active.
The Supreme Court is no less unrelenting, be it coal scam or other issues.
Much more challenging is the state of the Congress party.
It seems to be too late to change course. Sonia Gandhi also seems to have run her course.
She is unlikely to do much. So too it looks like in the case of Rahul. Rahul seems to have lost his chance. He won’t become the PM. If imposed he might fail.
The very temper of the country is for some new, radical and drastic change.
Given the nature and complexity of the Indian democratic framework, it is very likely a new, even a third front like combination of new alliances emerging.
The most worrying point is the country must hold together on some basic serious principles of ideology.
An ideological articulation is needed and it needs to be done urgently.
Of course, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had lately shown some change of countenance. Instead of his usual demure and even sometime a sullen look, this time in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha we saw a different Prime Minister in action.
There was what the media immediately called a certain aggression, some described his aggression artificial, yet here was aggression for the viewers when he spoke both in Parliament this time. His speech this time was in the context of the Narendra Modi’s choice of words and phrases when he, the Gujarat Chief Minister spoke at the BJP National convention in New Delhi.
Of course Modi was rather over-excited at the prospect of his national visibility. So the CM chose his words very intentionally. Modi’s words and phrases were rather very harsh and of an unbecoming style. We don’t know Modi’s Gujaratthi language style. If he is also one like the counterparts in some states like TN, then, there is every reason to believe that when he reverts to English it must be a horrible massacre of Her Majesty’s tongue.
So, Manmohan Singh thought rightly he too must change this time.’
Hence the PM’s so-called ‘artificial’ aggression!
The words must have surely hurt the PM personally hard. So, there was some welcome relief when the PM sought to defend himself.
But then who gained and who lost? In this game of tit for tot?
The point is that the PM is not just an individual only. He is a collective personality. He represents the country. In fact he is a symbol of all that is great and valuable in the country’s own dignity and sovereignty etc.
It is an office of the state, perhaps the highest office. As such, what the Pm said, more than what the Opposition said becomes more important.
PM and PMO are the same and when the PM quoted Tacitus, the Roman historian, it was clear that the work was that of the PMO. Whoever drafted the speech and had the quotation of a Roman historian in support there was some surprise.
Tacitus said of envy something. This the Pm sought to use to claim that the Opposition party was jealous of the achievements of the government, his government, over the last 9 years and the PM compared the economic growth, his favorite topic, if not the favourite phrase and said the BJP rule always had a lower rate than that of the rates under the last 9 years. But the figures the PM quoted were all are not correct. The figure for the last year of the BJP rule was 8%.Also, the PM sought to say that the current government would achieve 6% in the next three years! What was the current rate? When he was speaking right there?
It was pathetically a mere 4.5%! Isn’t it so?
The PM is just a reputed economic expert and the very discussion proceeding these days was all about what the CSO was giving out as 4.5% and the FM sought to say the figures were dated and the PM didn’t say anything.
So, the atmosphere was not so conducive to the PM or his team to score any great point in the debate. Of course, pat came the reply from the Leader of the Opposition Mr.Arun Jaitley.
Jaitely asked: “what is there to envy with so many scams and scandals of corruption contributing to the economic growth?”
Of course, the entire country and the world must have watched this debate.
The PM must seek to reflect the mood and the sentiments of the people; he is the voice, the very hopes and aspirations of the people.
Unfortunately, we all know how this reality is sadly distorted today.
Here we have a Prime Minister who ironically doesn’t reflect the mood of the people. He knows it and yet he doesn’t hesitate to score points on such thin data which was not even given in full and the PM didn’t also ender himself to the wider public by his rather pointed personal attacks on the senior BJP leader L.K.Advani.
Why the PM chose to taunt the senior most leader of the BJP when he was to reply to the general economic policy.
Now, if we seek to go deeper, if just to pick up holes in the PM’s rather pathetic defense of his government’s performance, Tacitus (AD56-AD 117) lamented the loss of freedoms of the republic, accepted the necessity of the rule of one man, praised the few who served the state honourably and without servility. The historian of this brief biography writes further:”Yet pessimism and hints of a darker underlying reality are ever present motives are rarely simple. Innuendo often suggests that the less creditable explanation is the more probable.”
The note doesn’t stop here.
The next line or lines are more contemporary-sounding!
We quote:”An awareness of the gulf in political life between what was promised and what was practiced informs all his writings…”
So, the PM must have been unaware when he quoted Tacitus.
These classical writers are so dangerous that what they say on their own times often are so deep and profound that they Sounds true and echo to our own lesser scholarly times?
Ironically, they do!
The mood in the country is not forgiving for the series of scams and scandals. Not a hint of guilt or sensitivity!
Yes, we can understand the lesser placed. How can the people excuse if the PM doesn’t even sound he is sensitive to the various shortcomings.
He might not come forward to speak so openly. But he must have used and deployed his speech to cover a wider ground, to paint a bigger picture.
The short-comings of the polity, the various reforms in the polity, electoral to party funding etc to governance reforms? The Supreme Court asks for police reforms. So much police brutalities. And yet not a word, no hint of action.
Some of the key ministers are found wanting. No hint of any change. The portfolio changes only invited rebuke from the Rashtrapathy Bhavan? In such a short time. What lies more in the near and far future?
People are awake and people are waiting.
But there is no wider anxiety. The same dynastic small talks, the same dynasty-driven appointments. Policemen, army men, IAS officials are all you got to appoint as Governors? What is you rationale, you vision?
Where is India going? Is India a country that belongs to people? Or, one family?
These questions would come up and rattle in time, we are sure!
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