An Open Letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram
Dear Mr. Chidambaram,
This letter is addressed to you instead of the Prime Minister for two reasons. First, he is terribly busy these days and I don’t want to burden him any further. We all know he is devoting his time an effort to improve the image of the government.
The cabinet reshuffle, where the ministers were shuffled like a deck of cards, and daily scams are already enough to reckon with.
Second, I doubt he is any mood to communicate with the country. Choosing to speak to a select few news editors behind closed doors, and not the country at large which is what any responsible leader on a relentless mission to salvage the image of his government would have done, has sent a distressing message to most folks.
Our anti-social PM could not care less. So this is addressed to you. A perspicacious leader I have profound respect for.
These days, we’ve become cynical people. From inflation, rampant corruption, an inept PM, the all pervasive threat of terrorism, thoughtless recrimination by party incumbents when they should be expressing their condolence to the family of the bereaved, land grabbing by political “leaders”, to incarcerated accused who live a life luxury in Tihar Jail, the events around us paints a very gloomy picture.
The callous government, in a very careless statement, said that the recent Mumbai attack was not an intelligence failure. What else could it be then? It was an intelligence failure and colossal one indeed.
Other notable leader claimed that every terrorist attack cannot be prevented. This is not what we expect from a government.
It seems to us that no one is willing to take any responsibility or wants to be held accountable. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan conceded that the labyrinth of red tape has delayed the procurement of vital security equipment. Why is this if I may ask? VIPs can ensure their safety as they travel comfortably in shielded SUVs, and with an army of black cat commandos, but what about us?
Then we have Delhi’s Police Commissioner who recommended to the women that they must be accompanied by a diver or their brother to ensure safety. Is this what we should expect from the police force of the capital of the world’s largest democracy? No body in the government or the people vested with the responsibility of protecting us seem to be empathising with the beleaguered public.
Our days just go by trying to earn a decent living and channel surfing (if there is no power outage) between sitcoms, movies, entertainments shows, and news that reeks of decadence and malfeasance.
Off late, the news is quite boring. Scams are as common as suicide bombings in the neighbouring country. We strive to earn an honest living while simultaneously enduring the brunt of galloping inflation. Investing in a fixed deposit seems like the last option when inflation is sky rocketing. Upon reinvesting our savings in the stock market we find that the country is rocked by a series of scams, and our earnings are washed away.
I can’t even begin to imagine the plight of the poor. Their land is ruthlessly grabbed by political “leaders” in return for a miniscule compensation. The impoverished of rural India have to routinely bribe the bureaucracy to obtain a benefit they are in principle entitled to. I have always believed in Indian democracy and the resilience of our great nation. But it is hard to be the purveyor of hope when everything around you is falling apart. The dreadful state of affairs forces us to wallow in self pity. The best we can do is hope that the government will do everything in its power to tighten some screws. The distrust is palpable.
My question is can anyone in the UPA feel it?