India’s Road to Egypt?

There are many young Indians on Twitter and more so in private conversation who yearn for an Egyptian style revolution occurring in India. Are they indulging merely in wishful thinking? Not necessarily. It should happen. It could happen. God willing, it will happen. But if it does happen it will happen very differently from what happened in Egypt although bringing about change no less profound. This is why and how it could happen.

Following the debates in parliament has become irrelevant. Listening to the politicians in parliament it would appear that they are convinced that the fate of the nation rests only in the hands of those elected to that august body. Apart from scoring debating points against each other not one leader either in government or in opposition has risen above generalized platitudes to outline specific measures to introduce reform. Politicians seem out of touch with reality.

A revolutionary change cannot be sparked by the words or deeds of our worthy leaders who adorn parliament. The change can be ignited only by giant exposures that might rock the nation. Is there hope of any such exposure erupting? Indeed there exists a faint hope. To see if it is realized focus attention on just one man. And that man is Mr Suresh Kalmadi. He is India’s best hope for clearing the path to Egypt.

Recent events indicate that Mr Kalmadi’s arrest may be imminent. His close junior colleagues have already been arrested. As the threat of impending arrest approaches there is a subtle change in Mr Kalmadi’s public utterances. Earlier he stressed that he was entirely innocent. He averred that if even one rupee of bribery could be traced to him he would resign from parliament. Now his tune has changed. Mr Kalmadi has not accepted any wrong doing of course. But his emphasis has changed. He now asks why only officials of the Organizing Committee (OC) of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) should be targeted when its budget was only a fraction of what was spent by the Union and the Delhi governments. 

Mr Kalmadi has demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the CWG. Mr Ajay Maken the present Sports Minister retorted that the JPC was not justified when the CBI was already probing the CWG. It was a pathetically weak response. The CAG, PAC and CBI are all probing the 2G scam. That did not prevent the government acceding to JPC probing the 2G scam. Why not the CWG also when the main suspect himself is demanding a JPC for a thorough probe against all involved in the CWG? Logic is on the side of Mr Kalmadi and not on the side of the government. 

Lest there be any doubt about his innuendos Mr Kalmadi went on to demand that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union Ministers MS Gill and Jaipal Reddy should also be questioned. These are not the leaders who have the power to prevent Mr Kalmadi’s arrest. By naming the leaders he has given warning and notice to those leaders who do indeed have the power to prevent his arrest. According to the grapevine Mr Kalmadi in private conversation has named VVIPs of the UPA as the ultimate victims of his exposure if he is arrested. Is this empty bravado or an ominous reality? Only events and time will clarify that.

The question is whether Mr Kalmadi’s arrest is really imminent. The CBI officer in charge of probing CWG has suddenly sought voluntary retirement! He will move to greener pastures to probe corruption in cricket after being recruited by the ICC headed by Mr Sharad Pawar widely regarded as Mr Kalmadi’s political mentor. So one must wait and watch how wheels move within wheels. 

Meanwhile if an exposure to rock the nation does emanate from Mr Kalmadi the aftermath will be quite different from what occurred in Egypt. It could lead to the fall of the government, the discrediting of the entire political elite, a massive realignment of political forces and a mid-term poll that might introduce new forces and a new political culture to govern India. So watch Mr Kalmadi, our last faint hope. At the very end he might surprise us by emerging as the one least blameworthy in the prevalent den of thieves!   


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

Top | Analysis

Views: 3380      Comments: 2

Comment In Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and such other countries where it is brewing, democracy is not the form of Gobvernment and nom,periodical elections, as has been pointed out by Mr Behra.
In India, though we have democracy alright, the working is hampered by the hybrid unitary-federal form; first to hit the post elections; too many "recognised" political parties, making the elected parliamentarian representing a fourth or less of the votes polled, which may itself be only a small part of the total electorate of the constituency; to cap it all, due to several developments, one State or another go to polls every year, i.e, between two parliamentary elections, discouraging the Central Government from any forward-thinking or long-term approach.
Any 'uprising' the blog looks forward to, has to get the Consttution reviewed: electoral system and ... and ... and ....relook of the reservation system and.. and... secularism as practised under this constitution.
To what extent is the problem understood and how many will accept a solution as above or rather, what are th chances of a majority consensus of solutions?
All the same, let us hope for the best: India deserves a better government and better rulers and better welfare of its citizens.

02-Mar-2011 05:31 AM

Comment Dear Sir,

Indeed, the change is long awaited.

There is sufficient background & ammunition for the 'prospective grate leader' to bring upon the change, but the 'prospective great leader' is unseen so far. He is still missing. In such a scenario, if situation is not quickly exploited for the benefit of 'Bharat' then the situation will again change in favour of the existing leaders who are responsible to bring us to the current situation in reference to the corruption.

Second, I don't see a significant mass getting agitated by unearthing of great scandals. I keep fingers crossed if Kalmadi's possible disclosure of name of VVVIPs will act as catalyst to the masses as well.

So far, the sense is that the mass is passive to the corruption news.

Part of the mass is passive as it is able to earn its bread, butter and some luxuries despite huge corruption (such as upper middle service class living in metros).

There is larger part, that is earning bread but half butter or no butter, which is not angry as well. For them, the world can exist only in the way they can see. They don't know if things can be better if policy makers in Delhi are honest and efficient, they don’t even know if the policy maker in Delhi are not honest and not efficient !

How can they know - we are discussing this on internet in English language, and the only few TV channels who really take on the politicians are very few and that too in English, but those people able to earn bread and half butter do not watch English programs or do not read blogs on net. So how will they know that something is totally wrong out there ?

One of the reasons, Egypt witnessed revolution was that the citizens could not bring any change since last 30 years or so, therefore it kept boiling inside till it busted out. But here in India, citizens are tired of expressing the anger since it does not bear the fruit - governments have been changing since 1989: Since 1989, 2 years of Janta Dal (third front), then 5 years of Congress, then 2 years of third front, then 6 years of NDA, 5+2 years of UPA-1 (the unfortunate & unexplainable change) till date !!

People have probably learned that it's better to be passive in matter of corruption (and bad governance) because it would only result in individual's BP getting higher.

Can we expect that passive mass - that belongs to both the categories stated above, to get activated by introduction of some catalyst, such as disclosure of VVVIP names by Kalmadi ?

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
27-Feb-2011 14:25 PM

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.