Tuesday, October 23, 2012




This has been a Dussehra like no other since we became independent in 1947.

A negative atmosphere and negative forebodings everywhere.

Our dreams of emerging as an Asian power on par with China have received a set-back.

Everything about us seems to be in a bad shape---- the state of politics, the economy, the administration, the style of governance.

There is talk of corruption everywhere, in everything.

The people’s faith in the political leadership has been badly shaken.

The success of a democracy depends on its people and its political leadership.

If the political leaders come to be viewed by growing numbers of citizens as a pack of self-serving, unprincipled and opportunistic money-makers, democracy suffers.

The nation suffers even more.

India presently has the most uninspiring leadership it has ever had.

Leaders with no pride in the country.

Leaders with no principles.

Leaders with no qualms of conscience.

Leaders with no sense of political morality.

It is so in the Congress which is now headed by a set of leaders who will make our greats of the past like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajaji,  Vallabhbhai Patel etc shed tears in heaven.

It is so in the BJP which has become a party of opportunism and cynicism.

It is so in other political formations.

It is so in the civil society.

When Anna Hazare made his appearance in New Delhi last year and took over the moral leadership of not only India Against Corruption, but also India of The Common Man, we all thought we are going to be born again Indians full of pride and hope for the future.

Anna’s moral crusade has lost its momentum and its moral fervour.

The virus of cynicism and political opportunism has infected his followers too.

As we wake up every morning, what we see on the horizon is not messages of hope and good cheer, but forebodings of more bad things to come.

More allegations, more scams, a further weakening of the moral fibre of our society.

Anything goes. That is our driving force.

People like Shri Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Mrs.Sonia Gandhi of Italian origin, and Shri Nitin Gadkari, son of the soil who heads the BJP, are not exceptions to the rule. They are the alleged rule of wheeling and dealing.

Look at the way they have been unabashedly stonewalling demands for the truth, for their explanations on the allegations against them. .

By failing to insist that Shri Vadra account for his huge wealth and remove the suspicions of the people, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi has let herself be suspected as a possible accomplice through silence and inaction.

She has made the Congress that won our independence look no different from unscrupulous political parties of Italy in which  anything goes.

By failing to enforce standards of rectitude on his Ministers and officials, the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh has made himself be suspected as an equal accomplice.

By failing to insist that Shri Gadkari quit the leadership of the BJP and satisfactorily reply to the allegations of wheeling and dealing of the worst kind indulged in by a political leader, the BJP and the RSS have forfeited their claims to be seen as parties with a difference.

By surrounding himself with aides of dubious credentials, Shri Arvind Kejriwal of IAC has lost his moral authority to lead a  new self-rejuvenating movement with a difference.

It is darkness everywhere.

Only people’s anger can dissipate this darkness.

Where is that anger? (24-10-12)

(The  writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com  Twitter @SORBONNE75)




Krishna Kacker said...

A brutally frank assessment of the present situation.
Some sort of churning is inevitable.How when and in what shape we dont know.
Maybe,we are in for chaos over a long period of time.
Let us keep our sense of proportion and hope for the best.
Yet be prepared for worse to come.

Paresh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paresh said...

Remember the French Revolution and German Third Reich were the result of extreme disillusionment and frustration of the masses towards their respective governments. One resulted in Napoleon and the other in Hitler. For a while both these leaders gave high hope and pride to their people. But the frenzy of nationalism that they generated could not be controlled, leading to an ambition for world-wide empire. Eventually, both were crushed by a coalition of countries terrified by this ambition. Today India is at the same place as these two countries before their respective revolutions. I fear a people's revolution in India if the sad state of affairs continue, eventually leading to a madman taking the reins of power flaming an ill-fated ambition for world empire.

This is exactly why the entire country should have come forward and supported Anna Hazare. His critics in this forum should hang their heads in shame. Anna Hazare was the perfect way to direct the people's anger in a democratic and non-violent manner. Sure, he made some mistakes. But who doesn't? Gandhiji also made mistakes, he also had critics, but still the masses supported him until full independence was achieved.

It is not too late, lets still support Anna Hazare! Otherwise the Maoists and/or religious fanatics are close behind! Do you want that??? I know I don't!

Visible Trade said...

Dear Mr. Raman, I have been following your blog only for a few months, and this is your best blog till now. But you have explored only one possible outcome of the present situation. :) I know you can do much better. You certainly have the knowledge for it.

I personally do not agree with ANY of Paresh's observations. The understanding reflected from the comments of events past and present is quite limited.

What They don't Want You to Know said...

I read here or maybe elsewhere that the western democracies all experienced a corrupt nexus between politics and business in the early stages of their development and that is what India is going through now. Japan and ASEAN have had the same and Russia too. The challenge is to address and banish that nexus as most of the western democracies (not Italy) have done.

In a democracy this can be achieved peacefully only through the ballot box. Anna Hazare galvanized public opinion but by rejecting the political route he has disenfranchised the very people, that is we Indians, who could have expressed our support for change through the ballot box.

Sadly the only alternative is a people's revolution and I can't see that happening anytime soon. So commentators like you should be advocating the political route.

Paresh said...

@What They don't Want You to Know

Anna Hazare is a social activist, not a politician. He is protesting against the huge problem of corruption in the entire government machinery in India. He has a legitimate right to do that under the Constitution. He does not have any opinions on other matters of governance, for example should same-sex marriages be made legal? or India's foreign policy. That is why he did the right thing and stayed out of politics.

For instance, would you ask striking employees of Air India who are protesting lack of payment from the Government to enter into politics? No! They are protesting against one issue. Another example is, did the US ever ask Martin Luther King Jr. to enter politics? No. He was a social activist and his agenda was the upliftment of African Americans. Heck, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his fight.

Now the Maoists are a different story. Their aim is the overthrow of the Indian democratic system. Them, we can ask to join politics!

@Visible Trade

History repeats itself. I respect your disagreement with my views, but unfortunately the recent world events are all proving my predictions correct, right from US's ill-fated wars in Asia to the events in the High-North (IF you are aware what is going on there).

What They don't Want You to Know said...

Fair point, Paresh, perhaps the better point I should make is that the anti corruption campaign should now go political, who leads it is of secondary importance but given AH's popularity he should be seen to be the spiritual guru of the political movement. Whether Kejriwal is a suitable leader of the political movement I'll not attempt to answer here.

Similarly you may consider that Gandhi eschewed politics once independence was achieved but he continued to heavily influence Nehru.

Somewhere else Mr Raman bewails the Congress of pre 1947 and the Congress of now. They are not the same: pre independence Congress were freedom fighters (analogous to your social activists) and post independence they became politicians so maybe AH has done the right thing to eschew politics!

But there is an important difference - pre 1947 we were looking to overturn the colonial system of governance; I don't think today AH is looking to overturn the system, he is trying to clean it up and ensure it remains clean.

What They don't Want You to Know said...

Addendum.......so we need to achieve change under this system by altering the laws. Any other course must by definition be revolutionary!