India’s Disappointing Elite

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!


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3373      Comments: 2

Comment Mr.Rajinder Puri has very uprightly pointed out the scenario that prevails in India today.There is no point in retelling the scams which have vitiated the public life in India today and claiming that the author of the book or the story was sincere enough to enable the laws and procedures follow their own course. The public at large knows who are at fault and the kind of connivance which make possible all these scams to take shapes and benefit people in power.Those who claim the status of elite in this country should be introspective rather than being critical to what has already happened.

16-Sep-2014 13:33 PM

Comment With journalists accepting gifts (a subject of concern raised by Prime Minister Modi in a cabinet meeting) from government, we can't even call them jackals.
The people percieved as elite in our country can be classified as -1. Descendents of collaborators / supporters of the Britishers of the pre-independence era, 2.Businessmen,3. Politicians,4.Members of the Civil Service,5.Criminals disguised as politicians,5 Members of the academic fraternity.
Oxford Dictionary describes elite as "those superior in ability or quality from rest of a group".
Excepting the fifth group of academicians, the rest have vested interest and need to cover up their tracks all the time. Their superior abilities are - having no conscience while perpetrating crime (white collar crime gives even more respectability). Thus, they can never be expected to take on the people in power.

16-Sep-2014 12:25 PM

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