Saturday, 4 July 2020

Politics Of Opportunism

Updated: February 25, 2012 10:52 am

The probity and integrity seem to be touching their nadir among our political parties so as to remain in or capture power—whether they be the Congress, the BJP, the BSP, the SP or others. But today, I would talk about only the Congress and the BJP. The multi-crore rupees worth of 2G scam has seen the Congress-led UPA government in a blundering retreat from one indefensible position to another. The operative part of the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment has quashed all the 122 transactions executed by former IT Minister A Raja, as the Supreme Court has held these licenses as illegal and unconstitutional. Under the regime of this Congress-led UPA government, the country has witnessed innumerable scams—whether they be cash for votes scandal, Commonwealth Games scandal, agrarian distress and farmers’ suicides, Quattrocchi case, Adarsh Housing case, appointment of Chief Vigilance Commissioner, PJ Thomas, abysmal failure to get back the enormous Indian black money stashed away in Swiss banks, etc. All these scams have besmirched the name of Indian democracy. And if the Congress hoped the court judgment of the last week would give it breather, it would be delusion. For, if a comprehensive history of these corruption scandals in Independent India were to be written, I would have no doubt that both in respect of the number of these scams as well as in terms of their financial dimensions and their gravity, no earlier government can beat the stinking record of the UPA government. Further, to aggravate the situation, the former ISRO chief R Madhavan Nair is challenging the government’s utterly arbitrary, and self-serving action against him and his key scientists in the bizarrely hyped ISRO-Devas “scam”. To add fire to the fuel, we also have SY Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner, writing protest letters to the Prime Minister that his autonomy is under threat. Meanwhile, there is already an ongoing argument with another constitutional authority, the CAG, over its crown jewel, the UID scheme. It seems that the government is in a permanent state of war with itself.

While the Congress is writing one chapter after another in the country’s history of scams, the BJP too does not want to be left behind. In an acute political embarrassment to the ruling BJP, Karnataka Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi was caught watching pornography on his mobile phone while the Assembly was in session on February 7. The BJP in Karnataka never fails to entertain the people of the state, albeit for all the wrong reasons. It has been long since it lost the claim on the title it gave itself—the party with a difference. It is disgusting to know that Karnataka BJP government is filled with such people. Firstly, Renukacharya kissing a nurse, who alleged that the minister had raped her. Next comes Hartal Halappa who allegedly raped his friend’s wife in her house. Then came a bolt from the blue, watching blue films inside the assembly when discussions were taking with regard to suffering people of drought-hit Karnataka regions, which include Laxman Savadi’s constituency also, it is shameful that the minister was watching pornography. What was the need or the necessity to watch porn videos in a place where only the concerns of the state and people should matter? The state assembly may not be the sanctum sanctorum where the noble and divine souls gather, but it does have some significance. It is the place where people’s concerns and the well-being of the state should matter. The BJP has a long and arduous task cut out for itself, if it desires to be in the race for the next elections.

The representatives in a democracy are elected by the people and as they owe their position to the commoners they sign an invisible bond to work selflessly for their good. However, democracy too is flawed and is far from what we ideally should have. Therefore, the tainted and infected form of governance that we have is practically nothing short of oligarchy. The major causes behind the emergence of corrupt politicians in any democracy are adverse government structures, concentration of powers in the hands of the decision makers who are practically not accountable to the people, lack of transparency in decision making, contempt for freedom of speech, weak legal profession and most importantly imperfect electoral processes in India, these conditions are further aggravated by illiterate, apathetic and ignorant populace and communication gap resulting due to the one way flow of information for politicians to public via bureaucrats and not the other way round. This is substantiated by the fact that UP Election Watch found 35 per cent candidate in Uttar Pradesh with criminal cases pending against them. No wonder, we appear to witness a new scam each day, and consequently the nation’s moral moorings are in tatters, as the governance in our country is as fraudulent as never before. There has been always lots of mischief, corruption and unlawful act in the realm of administration, which got hushed behind the priestly privileges of the powerful. Unless this dangerous trend is reversed, India’s future generations will be vulnerable to a situation where they cannot afford to be even minimally honest.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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