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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An NRI govt

Published on :-24 Jul 2008,

After July 22 a strong sense of revulsion is spreading among people who are beyond party and organizational boundaries and love their nation. Is this the India that has kept the Tricolor fluttering all over the globe on the basis of her children’s brilliance, entrepreneurship and integrity?

India has fallen. Fallen in the eyes of the world and in her own eyes. No use blaming this party or that. It's a collective loss, a societal failure. More than the political people, it's a sad reflection on our national life, our teachers, preachers, monks, Sufis and faith healers. Where are they when the nation that gives them shelter and identity and an opportunity to practice whatever they believe in, turns into a fish market? The poets and authors and literateurs, the professional candlewallahs and non-political leaders – did all of them go into a slumber? Or do they feel they don't have to do anything about it?

If cow protection deserves agitation, Church movement is necessary for the faithful, Urs and hajj is necessary for the day of judgment, why don’t they feel protecting the nation's constitutional dignity also forms a part of their religious and spiritual responsibility? If politicians fail and have lost credibility, should we look towards firangis to come and salvage the situation? Ram has given one great message – the motherland is greater than the heavens. The motherland for us is Durga incarnate, Bhawani Bharati. Should we leave our motherland's affairs in the hands of the soul-sellers we saw shamelessly fighting and then rejoicing at the end of it with crackers and laddus? Who won if the nation lost? What was there to celebrate?

If 9/11 was a catastrophe for the US, which changed its outlook forever and the jihadi attack on Parliament shocked us, July 22 turned out to be the day when the Indian Constitution’s soul was assaulted by those who were saved by the brave security men outside Parliament. Those who lived to enjoy parliamentary privileges destroyed the sanctity of the sanctum sanctorum from inside. Now, jihadis like Afzal look a paler version of these honourable people counting notes brought to them in sacks.

If sackful of crores are necessary to save a government, how many sacks need to be given to soldiers to save the country from foreign attack? Those who are celebrating do not realize what they have done to their land and the political morality which keeps Parliament relevant. Now instead of a multi-party democratic norm, currency notes and ministerial berths have become decisive factors. If a party like the BJP, resonating disciplinarian and cultural vibes had the largest number of MPs defying the leadership, the CPM, another well-knit organization of ideological solidarity, lost a giant in Somnath Chatterjee. Was there any other choice left for Karat except to expel Chatterjee who preferred his way to the organisation's path? In one go, the Congress destroyed the chords of parliamentary functioning and administrative sanctity. It’s time for ideological and cadre-based parties to pause and reflect.

Now, with what moral authority can the same gunny-bagged ministers ask their officers to campaign against corruption or to include lessons of high moral values in textbooks for children? What will be their level of credibility and sincerity in the war room giving instructions to service chiefs at the time of an enemy attack? It is indeed an NRI government – Not Related to India.

It’s so naturally acceptable to politicians that one of my friends in a responsible position in the UPA said that it’s all “bakwas” – “any party would have done this to survive in such circumstances”. “After all what was the option left? We had given our word to the US govt, we earnestly believed like many others including Prof. Abdul Kalam that the nuclear deal is in the country's interest, the Left remained lukewarm till the end and finally seeing elections near, pulled the rug, anyone would have done anything - yes anything to emerge victorious and we did that outsourcing – you know what I mean? The mean job was outsourced. No party today can claim to be above board”.

I am sure the situation and the general revulsion it has created among the people will start a great Indian churning. The day is not too far when politicians will be thrashed by angry people publicly if the decay is not immediately checked.

This political system breeds corruption and thrives on deals done under the shadows of darkness. Changes in the system have become necessary as we have faced new challenges and demands but that needs consensus among various parties and boldness to discard the old.

For example, why should MPs be given Rs 2 crore per year to spend in their constituencies? Why shouldn't the political parties be asked to submit their accounts to the Election Commission after it is audited? Shouldn't there be a reasonable minimum qualification to run for a public office and become a lawmaker? Why does every month and year become election time and there is hardly any time left for focusing on governance and initiating new reforms?

Why can't we have a fixed election time for every level and office? Why shouldn't it be necessary to have inner-party democracy in all recognised parties? Politics has to be a non-lucrative commercial venture and people entering it must be able to sustain their life without burdening the exchequer. Today, politics is an investment opportunity – invest a hundred and get a million in return.

Those MPs who received money and voted against party lines are much bigger threats to the national security than visible anti-nationals like Islamist terrorists of Afzal's ilk.

People, passive and loving to be big mouths are as much to be blamed as are these leaders. Indian society has always risen to the occasion on its own, be it during foreign invasions, during 1857 and the freedom struggle. The rot in our polity will be cleansed by another peoples' revolt based on just one ideology – India. Just wait and watch. The petty sultans of Delhi are only helping accelerate the process.

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