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Indian Republic Failed by its Political Leaders
|by Dr. Subhash Kapila|
Thus spoke a middle aged woman to a TV correspondent covering Baba Ramdev’s unprecedented massive rally against corruption in Central Delhi. This telling remark pithily sums up Indians disgust with their political leaders. Indian Republic failed by its political leaders to stamp out corruption by their own ilk and those around them has arisen in fury as one to back Baba Ram Dev’s crusade aimed at recovering black money stashed abroad and stamping out corruption.
Indian political leaders stand rattled by the massive responses given by average Indians to Baba Ram Dev’s call for a crusade to retrieve India’s missing trillions from foreign accounts and imposing stringent punitive measures against those involved. The Government stands unnerved not only by the mass mobilization in support of Baba’s crusade, but at the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of Indians rallying to the cause which no Indian political leader can so mobilize. It could trickily manage Anna Hazare’s crusade some time back but the challenge for the Congress Government is far more complex this time around.
In the debates that followed in the wake of Baba’s announcement to begin a fast unto death on the issue of black money and corruption what was becoming clear abundantly was what I had written in an earlier Column at the time of Anna Hazare’s fast that “Decadent India” was fighting a rearguard battle against “Resurgent India”. There was open resentment and criticism being offered by ‘Loose Canons” of the Congress Party, their media cronies and the elitist stalwarts fro South Delhi’s drawing rooms against the mass upsurge.
The laments of these so-called worthies was that this endangered India’s democratic institutions and democratic processes and amounted to political blackmail. They evaded or side-stepped the main issue as to whether India had enough of corruption, that Indian political leaders had not been serious in eradicating corruption especially those emanating at highest levels of India’s polity and India’s current political leadership was soft-pedaling black-money and political corruption cases.
As I had pointed out in earlier Columns that what bothered these political class and the elitist segment of “Decadent India” was not the merits of the issues at stake but that through movements like these of Anna Hazare and Baba Ram Dev, the political leaders and the elitist cadre was feeling threatened that their monopoly over formulating and manipulating Indian public opinion was being robbed.
India’s political leaders of all hues have never bothered seriously to tackle the issue of black money and political corruption. So also were quiet the elitist classes of India and especially the media aligned to the ruling party. They were quiet or soft pedaling such issues while India’s black monies were being stashed away in secret bank accounts in Switzerland and other tax-havens amounting to trillions of rupees. Reportedly such accounts belonged to Indian political leaders, bureaucrats and business tycoons or operated by proxy through disreputable individuals with links to international crime syndicates.
In the last seven years and more pointedly in Congress-led Government’s second term, multiple political corruption scams involving billions of rupees have surfaced in a cascade of tsunami proportions. Never before has the Indian Republic witnessed such an unashamed display of political brazenness in the sixty three years of its independence. The Indian Prime Minister has offered lame excuses for his inactivity arising from political compulsions.
Rather than denigrating Anna Hazare or Baba Ram Dev, India’s political leaders should recognize the stark reality that what is at issue are not non-political eminent persons encroaching on their political turf, but that citizens of the Indian Republic overwhelmingly are looking for a political transformation which neither, Sonia Gandhi or Dr Manmohan Singh or even BJP PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee attempted.
The citizens of the Indian Republic, today perceive that India’s political leaders having let them down, have now to embark on a “Second Freedom Struggle” to cleanse India of all sorts of corruption and particularly political corruption.
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