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UPA Government Finally Shows its True Color!
by Dr. Gopal Singh Bookmark and Share

The meeting on May 30, 2011 on Jan Lokpal Bill between the government and the members of the Civil Society was quite disastrous in the words of the Civil Society members. 

It is very hard to predict political maneuvers since they are seldom based on rational and benevolent thought process.

“It started with Anna demanding more frequent meetings as the progress had been quite slow till now. Anna also said that the government had been postponing discussions on even simple issues so far. At this rate, the meetings would continue indefinitely. Broadly, the government disagreed on almost everything.”

So far the government strategy has been as follows:

  1. Keep the cards close to the chest, delay the talks, agree on trivia, stall any real progress and hope by then the heat of anticorruption movement cools off. Then show your real cards.
  2. Use the political strategy of negotiations. Make all absurd and unreasonable demands. Wear down the opponents. Slowly give in on a few points under the cover of being responsive to the country. Gain major concessions from desperate Civil Society members. Eventually maintain the status of the executive, legislative and judicial members as those beyond any effective legal accountability to the nation.

Why Are They Doing It?
The current situations in terms of the expected events in the immediate future are volatile at best. Baba Ramdev starts his Satyagraha on June 4 against corruption and illegal money stashed abroad. 

  1. Does the government truly believe it is right in demanding that the Prime Minister, higher judiciary, MPs (during the course of parliamentary actions) are beyond any meaningful accountability to the people and the nation?
  2. Does the government believe that the outpour of public support the Civil Society received during early April was a one time event? Does it believe that the Indian public is too indifferent to sustain the kind of commitment required to see the Jan Lokpal Bill through?
  3. Is government deliberately pushing the Civil Society to start phase two of their Satyagraha in the same time frame as Baba Ramdev movement?
  4. Is this an attempt to keep these two camps from joining and helping each other? Would the country’s focus be so heavily directed toward Ramdev that nobody will pay attention to the outcry of the Civil Society?
  5. Is the government so arrogant and self centered as to ignore any outcry from the nation as eventually inconsequential?
  6. Has the government decided that going along the demands of the Civil Society and Ramdev would eventually spell its demise anyway and therefore why not fight it out?
  7. If point 6 above is plausible, is the government ready to use force to quash the Satyagraha movements? In this scenario is it ready to face the situation similar to what happened in Egypt and continues to play out in other middle-east countries?

It is very hard to predict political maneuvers since they are seldom based on rational and benevolent thought process. People enter the political career with one of the following motives:

  1. To serve the country.
  2. To serve the self and in the process end up serving the country.
  3. To serve the self without regards to serving the country.
  4. To serve the self at the expense of the country.  

The UPA government has finally started showing its true color. 
It does not take a genius to figure out where our “leaders” fit in the above spectrum. One has to also wonder what would NDA and other opposition parties do now? Would they actively support the Civil Society any further as in the past?
As I have said earlier, we are at crossroads here and fast approaching a point of no return. The Civil Society will have to choose its course of action very carefully. Their assets are limited in terms of national intellectual and emotional support. They have to utilize these assets very judiciously. One thing is for sure – They cannot compromise on the basic objectives of the Jan Lokpal Bill. They have no choice but to prepare themselves for the next Satyagraha. They have to coordinate it well with the Ramdev movement organizers.   

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More by :  Dr. Gopal Singh
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Comments on this Article

Comment >Couldn't understand jist in your comments:

"Once the evil British were out, saintly India could come into its own as a nation of satyagrahis. How wrong Gandhi was can be appreciated today." <

Nehru was called a brown Englishman. It was an omen even then of the modern culture of alienation between rich and poor in India, similar to that of the British and his colonial subjects. Gandhi had a vision of India freed from British Rule synonomous with foreign exploitation, but initiated satyagraha as the means to achieve independence. This would, as a national movement affecting every member of the population, make each Indian a satyagrahi. It would make independent India a land of satyagrahis, saints, who would retain this spirit of character and ensure harmonious development, mindful of the needs of the poor, the great bulk of India's population, at every step along the way. In a modern context, this has proved to be impracticable; where the poor are just an inconvenience to greater plans, and their constitutional rights ignored with impunity. This was not Gandhi's vision.

06/03/2011 07:07 AM

Comment Dear rdashby,

Couldn't understand jist in your comments:

"Once the evil British were out, saintly India could come into its own as a nation of satyagrahis. How wrong Gandhi was can be appreciated today. "

Secondly, one should follow correct people in such matters as current affairs. There are many, posing as 'experts' & 'analysts' creating illusions and misconceptions among viewers & readers through media.

Arundhati Roy surely does not merit to be followed or listened to - if one wants to understand things correctly as they are. [Even through I agree with her saying in Newsnight yesterday.]

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
06/02/2011 01:35 AM

Comment I have just watched a Newsnight interview with Arundhati Roy in which she denounces Indian government policy that overrides the constitutional rights of the poor, calling the Naxalite-Maoist reaction, among others, a fight for the those very rights the Indian government is vandalising. We are witnessing behind the facade of a thriving economy conflict within India caused by the sell-out of natural resources to corporations wich bring no benefits to the people on the land. Is not this a variation on the very argument used to oust the British from power?

Of course, when Gandhi summoned up support against British Rule, there was this fervent passion for an independent India of crystalline purity: it was this that fuelled the satyagraha movement, whereby each participant exemplified the purity of self-sacrifice to attain the end, and by that very means, gave the notion of an independance so achieved as being incapable of corruption. Once the evil British were out, saintly India could come into its own as a nation of satyagrahis. How wrong Gandhi was can be appreciated today.

06/01/2011 19:15 PM

Comment I believe both Anna hazare and Swami Ramdev are honest, so also many politicians. The problem is the ego. Can the third party divide these two stalwats - Anna and Ramdev, by boosting one's ego vis-a-vis another? Then it will be the story of 'Little Brave tailor', there two demons were destroyed, and here two 'giants' will perish!!

Every wing - judiciary, legislative and executive, has role to maintain the balance of democracy as a tripod. Letting off any one will destabilise the sytem. Seeing the lapses on the parts of these three wings, the present situation has arisen.

PM is a lofty position, but the man occupying the seat should be lofty too. Every MP is addressed as Hon'ble, but how many MPs have acted honourably over the preeceding years? Every citizen is worried of these lapses.

A country like India with excellent man power, natural resources and very rich tradition should not crawl with dire poverty, illiteracy. There is some problem, and what is it. Do we feel nice when India is called a corrupt nation? Let us get out of this unfortunate stigma once for all. In the process, let us make some sacrifices. Let us walk with our heads held high.

Dr Kumarendra Mallick
06/01/2011 03:25 AM

Comment This is what I was emphasizing earlier.

The cause is bigger than person(s) supporting it. Ramdevji's recent soft and uncertain position about bringing the Prime Minister and the CJI under the purview of the Lokpal was a mistake. It is already being exploited by the government. The same government will exploit Ramdevji as well by creating similar differences between him and the Anna Hazare people. Any such differences will only help the politicians.

Once again, I sincerely hope that both these groups talk to each other on any issues they feel contentious about and resolve them before making any public statements. This is in their own best interests. It is obvious while they are sincere and well intentioned, they are not politically savvy like Gandhi. Satyagraha demands total competence in every sphere and selfless adherence to Truth. We all have a long way to go to master Satyagraha by carefully following Gandhi.

05/31/2011 13:26 PM

Comment Dear Dr Gopal Singh,

This was the hot topic today with some of my friends & colleagues - why Baba Ramdev chose 4th June as date of Satyagrah and not any other date, why it was not after 30th June - when Lokpal bill was supposed to have got drafted.

No solid reason came out behind this.

We are still puzzled, how come a man like Baba Ramdev took such a decision which would create obstacles to the goals he is fighting for ?

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
05/31/2011 13:08 PM

Comment Dineshji,

I wish Baba Ramdev consulted with the Civil Society first before setting the date for his Satyagraha. He is sincere in what he is doing and has undertaken a great cause to push for reforms, but we need to be organized to maximize our chances for success. The right time to start his Satyagraha was after June 30 or even after August allowing the Jan Lokpal Bill to run its due course. It will be interesting how Anna Hazare, who planned to join Baba Ramdev's fast on June 4, handles the new situation.

One possible course of action is to go through the formalities of June 6 and the next meeting and show a sincere effort to resolve the issues again and then set a date for another Satyagraha after middle of June. Hopefully by then Ramdevji’s fast would have ended.

The crusaders against corruption have to realize that they are all on one team and there is no room for individual glory. Any selfless cause has to be motivated by a totally unselfish objective. That is what is Satyagraha! Next few days are very critical for UPA, Ramdev and Anna Hazare. Let us see who have the perseverance and the right strategy to succeed.

05/31/2011 11:24 AM

Comment Dear Krish,

With you and me in battle, how can the India lose a fight ?

We have to win and we will win, only a little more push is needed.

To push little more, we need to believe in victory first.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
05/31/2011 09:18 AM

Comment They have cunningly brought the Prevention of Communal Riots bill. They perhaps think it is a master-stroke.Firstly, with this they will win the minorities and many secularists whose number is not insignificant, to their side. So they will forget about corruption and will get busy in this WWF like fight. Half the battle won there. Secondly they can conveniently accuse Anna Hazare and company of being a Hindutva sympathiser which is considered to be worse than a multiple murderer like Dawood's brother. That will be the end of India Against Corruption.

05/31/2011 07:45 AM

Comment Dear Sir,

I think the government planned to derail Lokpal bill preparation process just before start of Swami Ramdev's movement on black money. They purposely slowed the lokpal bill process and took complete U-turn 5 days before start of movement to bring back black money.

This is as you mentioned in the article above.

They are relying on the calculation that one movement will overshadow the other, and this time can be utilized to derail the other one. Later on, movement to bring back black money can be derailed using similar tactics.

Therefore, I strongly believe that it is in interest of all Indians to focus on one movement at one point of time, complete it quickly and move to next.

Let's assume that Lokpal bill is derailed but Swami Ramdev succeed in getting govt declared all money abroad by Indians as illegal and legally authorize itself to take it in possession.

In such a scenario, the black money will come to India, but at the same time,
- most of the culprits will remain hidden or left free, especially big ones
- the money acquired will then again be used in bigger corruption scams, who will be there to check it anyway ?
- After a jerk, the corrupt system will be restored and India's sole will be auctioned in global market

Therefore, we must have either Lokpal bill that will eventually ensure ending career of corrupt politicians OR, we immediately have a strong govt having honest politicians that will reverse trend of corruption in India. Since later is not likely, we badly need strong and effective Lokpal in place even before getting black money from Swiss and other banks !

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
05/31/2011 03:03 AM



05/30/2011 22:38 PM

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