In every society the elite plays the key role in determining its value system and policy direction. Politicians govern and people vote but the elite sets agenda. In India the public displays better sense than the elite. These thoughts occur after viewing TV debates sparked by several new books of former officials revealing inside details of the UPA government. In TV panel discussions celebrities display a lack of basic civilized behaviour. Panel discussions are a cacophony of noise as half a dozen participants shout simultaneously. TV anchors encourage this conduct by interrupting participants and airing strong personal views instead of eliciting opinions. But beyond bad behaviour consider the quality of discussion.
Former government officials Mr. Sanjaya Baru, Mr. PC Parakh, Mr. Natwar Singh and most recently Mr. Vinod Rai have authored tell-all books relating their experiences in the previous government. The media highlights their exposures. TV anchors berate the former government in the light of their new exposures. New exposures did one say? What new exposures have these books revealed? I have not read any but from all accounts these books fill in details about what the public knew all along and a few critics frequently commented on.
Everybody knew that Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh was a factotum and the real power was exercised by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. The PM could not reverse any decision. He was aware of the corruption but remained a mute spectator. Therefore Mr. Vinod Rai’s vague revelations sound hollow. If ministers tried to exert pressure on him they broke the law by influencing the course of investigation. Mr. Rai had a duty to put his objections on record through written notes. He did no such thing. What is the point of writing about it now? Ministers named by him are contradicting him and claiming their own efforts to warn the PM. Everything on all sides is based on verbal claims with nothing on record. And yet the media is excited.
This writer frequently commented on UPA corruption. On September 29 2011 he wrote:
“Mr. Mukherjee’s latest letter to the (the PM)…creates powerful circumstantial evidence that the PM, the FM and the HM were all aware before April 2, 2011, when Mr. Raja was charge sheeted, of what he had done during 2008-2009 when he was issuing the (2G) licenses. But it was the Supreme Court and not the government that ordered the CBI to probe Mr. Raja… The Prevention of Corruption Act makes clear that… any official is aware of the state being defrauded and does not act to prevent it, he or she becomes an abettor … The question raging in public debate is which ministers of the UPA government are guilty. In the light of the above facts should not the question be which ministers are not guilty?”
Today journalists are tearing into Mr. Manmohan Singh like tigers. Tigers do not attack fallen prey. Jackals do that. To emulate tigers journalists should focus on questionable decisions of Mr. Modi!