Friday, March 18, 2011

SHOULD WE LAUGH OR CRY, MR. PRIME MINISTER ?

B.RAMAN

The Wikileaks cables will not most probably be accepted by a court of law.

But they will be accepted by large sections of the people of this country as indicating how rotten the State of India has become .

We have had instances of political bribery in the past too.

But those who committed bribery in the past to distort the democratic process understood they were committing a shameful act.

Those who have committed bribery under your watch as the Prime Minister of this great country, which held its head high as the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, did not show the least sign of shame over what they were doing. They proudly admitted to junior US diplomats their lack of political morality and their readiness to stoop to any methods, including payment of bribes, in order to survive in power.

What will these foreigners think of us? That question never even came to their mind.

When "The Hindu" published the cable from the US Embassy to the State Department on this subject yesterday, many of us who continued to think well of you despite all the corruption allegations of recent months that have led to a melt-down of our public and political morality, expected strong reactions from you as the person who is constantly projected as the most honest Prime Minister the country has produced since Independence.

Indignation.

Shame.

Embarrassment.

Anger.

A determination not to tolerate any more of this political immorality even if you have to lose office in the process.

Instead, what reactions we got?

Denials.

More denials.

And yet more denials.

Not even by you directly.

But by those in your entourage.

And after a day of silence by you, we have been told that you never authorised any bribery.

What does it mean? Does it mean that those who committed it did so without your knowledge or permission?

Presuming this is correct, is it a mitigating circumstance in judging the state of political morality ?

Doesn't this reflect badly on the state of affairs that such things can happen under your Government without your knowledge and that when they come to your notice, you react as if such things are part of the normal processes of democracy that one has to understand.

Previously, you used to speak of what you call the coalition dharma under which you had to close your eyes to undesirable happenings in the interest of coalition stability.

Now, you have introduced a concept of bribery dharma under which you have to close your eyes to widespread corruption around you in the interest of the stability of your Government.

Is the survival in office under such conditions worth it?

As one watches with shame and bewilderment what has been happening since yesterday, one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry . (18-3-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retired), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

4 comments:

Vaibhav said...

The present congress govt is bring shame to the nation on a weekly basis. Corruption after corruption, not just worth hundreds of crores but thousands and lakhs of crores. The govt appears to be playing by the hand of US, and busy in appeasement politics, be it for a coalition or minority vote bank. MMS has lost all political grace, either by being ignorant of what's being done by his officials and ministers or being kept in dark by the powerhouse on 10 Janpath....Indeed a sorry state for a country which projects to aim for regional powers...It is high time for a re-election. Infact the cost of re-election and getting rid of these corrupt congress ministers is much less than letting them sit for 3 more years in offering.

A sad Indian.

Esoteric said...

1) Whats surprising about Cash for vote?..Its the fact that the bribe is cash and not property,shares or something else like a cabinet seat etc..Funny..I think so.

2) I disagree that we should be clean to look good in front of foreigners.I thought probity is for self,family and community.If you think US is not corrupt esp at high levels...please 'wake up'

3) Leaks are selective...N Ram and his Pro-China,Anti-Dalai,Pro-Left leanings are well known...What about other cables?? They have over 5k of them...lets see what reveals in days to come.

4) Lets not target MMS.His resignation right now will allow all accused in all scams to find a way to get away...even if chance of conviction are low...right now..we must take them.MMS is our best hope given the dyanmic between PM and Cong President right now...Period.

Anuya said...

I didn't like your view on how we'd look in the eyes of the foreigners. The question must be how the government looks in the eyes of the common people it claims to represent and govern. If it loses their credibility and become a butt of jokes in common conversation, even if a trust vote allows the government to continue in office, they've lost their moral ground. Precisely what has happened today...

Neel said...

In Civics while in school we read that the Prime Minister has to own collective responsibility of the government. He cannot shirk away from the government he is leading.

If he cannot be responsible for it, he should not govern.

Without accountablity we will remain a banana republic. No better than the nations where the people have revolted against the corrupt governments.

Our political class is aware that Indians are too caught up in their daily struggles to even bother about the plunder that the politicians are committing on our country.

There is such a rot in every sphere of our political landscape: judiciary, bureaucracy, legislature and media that there are no checks and balances. They are all hand in glove to hoodwink the nation.

Shame on us for selecting such a government and also for keeping up with such a government.