The Scylla of Corruption and the Charybdis of Communalism by Ratan Bhattacharjee SignUp


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The Scylla of Corruption
and the Charybdis of Communalism
by Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee Bookmark and Share
“Which government would you like to support?” 

The question may be more tough if you are asked at this moment: “Do you like a corrupt government or a Communal government?”

The third question seems like much easier than both the earlier ones: “How much do you despise a corrupt and communal government?” 

Now the choice is yours.

The present political scenario is something like this above. 100 crores of people in India are divided over these three questions. The next Loksabha election may be fought on these three questions. Many after Ramdev’s hobnobbing with RSS and Kiran Bedi’s support for BJP had started believing that people want a change of Congress-led UPA and it should be replaced comfortably by BJP led NDA. But after the life imprisonment of Dr. Maya Kodnani in the Narodia case the ugly communal face of BJP in power at least in one state has been revealed. People shudder to think what would happen if tomorrow people vote BJP to power in the next Lok Sabha election.

In an article in Counterview, a senior social activist Fr. Cedric Prakash opined that communalism and corruption go together in Gujarat. People accepted to support the campaign against corruption because it seems to have become a way of life for many, in most parts of country. But now “in Gujarat one may see that corruption has not not only become institutionalized, but in fact, has entered our system in such a big way”. Gujarat is famous for trigger-happy policemen. Even as MLA, Dr. Maya Kodnani used her pistol to force gangrape and killing of the minority people in Narodia simply to fulfill her lust for power.

The crimes against the tribals in Gujarat are a daily news as in the other parts of the country. A Gujarat activist Rajesh Solanki of the Dalit Hak Rakshak Manch (DHRM) had written a letter to KG Balakrishnan, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi, expressing serious concern over high acquittal rate i.e., 96 % in the cases under the SC and ST Preventional of Atrocities Act, 1989, against the accused who committed offenses against the tribals. Thus casteism and communalism are rampant in the BJP-ruled Gujarat which ironically is the home state of Mahatma Gandhi, the undaunted fighter against communalism.

Now the less you speak of Congress led UPA is better. Probably that is why the Prime Minister of that party maintains silent which in no way can be called golden. The UPA government is submerged fully in the mire of corruption. It is still not going to be branded communal because of its pseudo secular image. You may call majority of the Congress leaders corrupted, immoral, and unethical without thinking twice of the consequences, because they are in reality. The latest is the coalgate allocation scam in which the Prime Minister himself is not yet freed of his guilty role.

17 billion tons of coal reserves worth Rs.51 lakh crore were given to 142 private companies for free by the government and the Congress is alleged to have gained financially in the deal. Again as the Supreme Court has shown in 2G, all these allocations are to be revoked and all blocks opened for open bidding. Even remotely, the top brass of Congress and UPA do not look innocent and corruption has written its masterpiece. But the third option is not yet there.

The Third Front is a myth. It could have emerged during the Presidential election. It did not. It could emerge when the PM ouster campaign started. But it would not emerge really. The reason is not much deeper to find. There are so many opportunists and corrupted politicians even outside UPA and NDA that the Third Front formation seems next to impossible in spite of all the earnest efforts of Left Parties. There is no person to play the role of Jay Prakash Narayan.

It sounds like cock and bull story that overnight a new party will emerge such as the India Against Corruption and it will be elected by people to gain absolute majority so that Indians will have a clean government at the centre. This is nothing but wish fulfillment with leaders like Mulayam Singh, Jaya Lalitha, and Sharad Yadav. Many allies in the NDA deviated from the coalition during the Presidential polls and the Congress President candidate won frustrating all hopes of a new alignment around the NDA candidate P.Sangma. There was some hope of emergence of a non-BJP and non –Congress third alternative with Anna Hazare and Ramdev jointly sharing a campaign against corruption which gradually rises the height of popularity and acceptance on the national level. But without the support of either of the major party, BJP or Congress having taints of communalism and corruption respectively, it is simply impossible to see such a new political scenario which is healthy for the progress of the nation.
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