“Republic Day 2011: India Presents Image of a Failed State (29 January 2011”; “Public Anger and Contempt Brewing in India (26 February 2011)”; “India Shining to India Stinking and Sinking (20 March 2011); were the titles of my Columns in the last three months reflecting the anguish, disgust and frustration with the political misgovernance and unrestrained rampant political corruption by the Congress Government. Histories of any nation have always demonstrated a unique characteristic and that is that when gloom and darkness descend on national affairs, history in an uncanny way throws up “The Man of the Moment”.
In the case of the Indian Republic in 2011 “The Man of the Moment” happens to be Anna Hazare. His fast unto death on the issue of corruption has ignited India in the last five days.
In my Column of 29 January 2011 whose title is referred above two salient points were made by me, namely
• “The Congress President and the Congress Prime Minister seem to be in a ‘politically comatose state’ in not arresting the corruption tsunami.”
• In such a dismal and sordid political scenario with shades of a politically failed state hovering over the Indian Republic something has to give. Would this moment throw up another Babu Jaya Prakash Narayan to stir up India’s conscience to action to stem what seems as an irretrievable tailspin into rampant political corruption and political brazenness?”
In a divine providential intervention to save the Indian Republic, “The Man of the Moment” has been thrown up in the person of Anna Hazare. In the last five days India has rallied around this selfless and self-effacing personality of Anna Hazare. Steely resolve, selflessness and dedication to a cause of Anna Hazare are striking personality traits; these presumably arise from his early years in the Indian Army and participation in the 1965 War against Pakistan.
India’s governing establishment seems to have misread the Indian public mood secure in the belief that they can run out their remaining tenure of two and a half years. Here once again I would like to quote selected excerpts from my Column of 26 February 2011:
- “India’s public mood today cannot be said to be vastly different from anger and rage that has generated the massive upheavals in the Middle East.
- Cynicism in the Indian public mood at the gross misgovernance is giving away to anger, frustration and contempt for the Government in New Delhi and that is not a healthy sign contextually.”
- “The Indian public is in a questioning mood as to how all this massive corruption could flourish under the very noses of the Congress President and the Congress Prime Minister”
No further explanations are required to explain as to how thousands all over India are rallying for the cause spearheaded by Anna Hazare. What requires noting by political managers of all Indian political parties is that educated youth in large numbers are drawn to Anna’s cause and further that this time around it is the traditional “Non-Voting Classes “ that are crowding India’ streets in support of Anna Hazare’s crusade. This could upset a lot of electoral arithmetic practiced so far by all political parties.
The citizens of the Indian Republic in 2011 have emerged as generally contemptuous of the political class as a whole, irrespective of their labels. The Congress Party becomes more noticeable for they have been in continuous power since 2004 and corruption scams have cascaded in their tenure and swept away whatever little political decency that existed. Not only that, the ruling establishment seems to be unaware as to how all this affects India’s international image. This is why one had to agonizingly shriek in my Column of 20 March 2011:
- “Pitiably for the Indian Republic, India in the last seven years under Congress rule in2011 is being perceived by the Indian public as “India Stinking and India Sinking’
- India’s stinking political corruption in the absence of forceful intervention by the Congress President and her nominated Prime Minister, in the eyes of the international community looking for sizeable investments, reduces India’s international image to that of ‘India Sinking’
Regrettably while India is on the move against political corruption spearheaded by Anna Hazare, the political classes, their sycophantic drawing room chattering classes and some prominent media personalities are critical of Anna Hazare’s crusading intervention in political affairs. Some suggest that this could lead to a breakdown of the Constitution.
One would like to question these worthies and especially those from the media supporting Government’s apathy towards political corruption, as to hasn’t the Constitution already broken down when those who swear on oath every five years to uphold the Constitution, allow the Constitution to be trampled upon by brazen political corruption.
The present public mood in India should be a wake-up call for all Indian political parties. The anger with which the Indian public booed away two political leaders from approaching Anna Hazare’s dais at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi reflects the utter contempt and loss of public confidence in India’s political class. They have no alternative but to transform themselves.
The Government was voted in by the people and the people have the right to ask of its Government to set up the Jan Lok Pal on the lines suggested by Anna Hazare. Anna Hazare’s daily statements while fasting is to awaken the citizens of India to one simple reality and that is ‘India’s Politicians and Political Leaders are not the Masters of the Indian Republic but that they are the Servants of the Indian Citizens who Place them in Governance’
In short, what one is witnessing today is the Third War of Independence. “Quit India” the clarion call of Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 now seems to be replaced by “Quit Governance of Corrupt Politicians.”