India’s political culture of “Brazen Corruption” has been sordidly on full display in the last two weeks as readers would have helplessly watched the unfolding drama of an uninterrupted sequence of financial scams plaguing India’s political governance and in particular the Telecom Scam involving Minister A Raja of the present Cabinet and the CWG Scam involving a senior Congress Party leader. The entire Indian political spectrum has been involved in multiple corruption scams of varied amounts, whenever in power. With the “Telecom Gate Scam” touching the unprecedented astronomical figure of Rupees Seventy Lakhs Crores as reported in the media, the Congress Prime Minister and the Congress President appear perceptively as fallen icons. Not that these two apex level Congress leaders were personally involved in the financial scam but because both abdicated the personal and political oversight to come to grips with the Telecom Gate Scam which has been in public focus for at least the last two years. The “Coalition Dharma” assiduously used as fig leaf to cover inactivity by the Congress Party may now open it to charges by its political opponents of “Collusion Dharma”
In the instant case, the Congress President has been ill-served by her close political advisers and consultants, who arising from the loyalty that they profess, should have cautioned her against the impending political storm and its adverse impact on her image and that of the Party that she leads. This could have enabled the Congress President to indulge in damage control at the early stages when the Leftist Parties, the BJP and people like the Harvard-educated Dr Subramanian Swami were continuously drawing the Congress Government’s attention to Telecom Gate Scam underway.
The Congress Party Prime Minister, however personally sincere and of unquestionable personal integrity, cannot as Prime Minister of India continue to take refuge in his personal credentials. As Prime Minister he is accountable to the Indian Parliament and the Indian Republic’s citizens that ‘clean governance’ is not only delivered but also seem to be delivered. He has utterly failed in this direction. Dr Manmohan Singh too has been ill-served by those who staff the Prime Minster’s Office. The Prime Minister’s Office should have functioned as eagle-eyed watchdogs to bring to the PM’s notice that a Minister of his Cabinet was indulging in unprecedented corruption and even defying the PM’s directives. Seemingly, they were tardy or afraid to give honest opinion to their political master or just being dismissive on the whole issue just because it was brought to the notice of the PM by Opposition Parties and Dr Subramanian Swami.
The citizens of the Indian Republic cannot be blamed for arriving at the conclusion that the seemingly lack of masterly inactivity at the apex levels of the Congress Party and Government to pre-empt or nip in the bud the Telecom Gate Scam arose from sheer political arithmetic of political survival of the Congress Government at any cost and less by any urge to enforce exemplary political probity. It is blasphemy to term the sheer crassness and political opportunism in play with the moralistic label of “Coalition Dharma”. It is defiling the spiritual connotation of the word “Dharma”
The Congress Party’s spokespersons have come out poorly trying to defend the indefensible. By resorting to sustained interruptions against their critics in TV debates on this issue, at times with pronounced brazenness, they only seem to be harming the credibility of the Congress Party. They are ill at ease as to why the Congress Party and the Congress Government are reluctant to concede the main demand of the Opposition Parties for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe. What are they afraid of?
The Telecom Gate Scam is unlikely to fade away from public focus and the sooner the apex level leadership of the Congress Party and the Government recognize that the Telecom Scam Gate cannot be reduced to a two-sided duel between the Congress and the Opposition Parties, but that it has evolved into a much bigger issue where at stake is the entire political reputation of leaders and political culture of India’s polity, right across the board ,and that the citizens of the Indian Republic are now sitting on the ringside not as passive spectators but as involved judges on the political probity and political moral fiber of their political icons.