HD KUMARASWAMY IS THE MOST HONEST OF THE LOT

HD Kumaraswamy is the most honest of the lot – it is proved thus – he accepted the merit of what everyone else was hesitant about.

He has dared to venture beyond – where no other politician, big and small – had ventured so far.

And he has accepted it in a grand style – going all across – addressing whosoever seeks to approach him.

And he firmed his position on it every time a hostile question was thrown at him – his iteration was perfect every time – his tone sharpening every time.

We have been listening to about cash-for-seat, cash-for-vote and horse-trading medleys in Indian politics for a long time.

But no one accepts it unless it is otherwise, unless someone is caught on the wrong side of the law, and is forced to accept it.

The logical way out of this is to place this practice on the right side of the law.

Tickets of political parties on sale during elections, especially in elections involving indirect voting process like the Rajya Sabha or the state legislative councils polls, prices being propositional to the weight and the prospects of the political party, has been a seasoned open secret.

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LOKPAL, LALU AND CONGRESS-RJD ALLIANCE: THE POLITICAL CACOPHONY CONTINUES

On one side, there is going to be this rat-race to take credit on who got the Lokpal loaded finally into the enactment line of the legislative procedure, with a rush to loot the ‘certificate’ of being the anti-corruption harbinger in a country where corruption has been at alarming levels and where it is has just found the status of being the central poll plank to become the dominant factor in the Indian elections with Aam Aadmi Party’s stunning debut in Delhi, ironically, the events happening concurrently, once again confirm, on the same day, the duplicitous nature of these claimants and their make-shift honest intentions.

Though, there is an amicable atmosphere prevailing right now in sharing the mileage from the outcome, it is bound to get stinky as the Lok Sabha polls approach near. And the ones in the ruling coalition, who will be crying over the top in taking the credit – their acts, on the day itself, were defying their very intent.

Consider this.

Lalu Yadav, who has been convicted and sentenced with five years of imprisonment under anti-corruption charges leveled against him in the much publicized Fodder Scam of Bihar, is given a grand welcome, after he walks out of jail after getting bail from the Supreme Court, after spending 8 weeks in the jail.

There was elation. There was jubilation. And there was celebration. One could not say if there was anything demoralizing being felt on his part, in the camp of Lalu Yadav, the former Bihar chief minister and the former rail minister. It seemed after being convicted and jailed, Lalu has got his acceptability even more increased.

And this Lalu says Sonia Gandhi, the number one in Congress, in the UPA and in the government and politically the most powerful person in India (save some big corporate names) called him to express her happiness on getting bail and walking out of jail. A Times of India report quoted him: “Congress president Sonia Gandhi had telephoned me after my release from Ranchi jail. She graciously extended greetings to me and expressed happiness over my release, Prasad told reporters.”

Okay, we do not have any right to comment on if it is a personal matter. But once it gets into the domain of forging political alliances, it becomes a public matter. And the way Lalu is speaking on forging alliance with Congress and supporting the Congress PM candidate for the upcoming general elections gives us valid reason to raise questions.

It is sure we are going to have another addition in list of repetitions that Rahul would tells us again and again in his electoral rallies – we gave you the Lokpal, we passed the Lokpal Bill, like he claims about RTI, Food Bill and other policy measures.

How pathetic, how phony, how ironic it would sound then claiming to be the anti-corruption crusaders while forging alliances with those convicted by the courts for their corrupt activities!

But, then, it not the first time for them, the politicians! Isn’t it?

Yes, but the two developments coincided ironically on the same day, when reported today, giving us yet another reason to remain beware of the difference between what our politicians say and what they do; to remain alert to the disconnect between their promises and their intent.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

TEN CARDINAL SYMPTOMS OF INDIAN POLITICS

  1. The natural, prevailing discourse about the value-system of the Indian politics is that there is no value-system at all.
  1. Politicians are a class apart. They are a new, separate, higher class, exuding elitism and are well beyond the reach of other social classes in a multilayered Indian society.
  1. Politics of the world’s largest democracy is being run by the political outfits that do not believe or practice internal party democracy. The top leadership in almost every political party is in an exclusive zone and thinks, decides and acts unilaterally.
  1. The dynasty is the flavour of the developments. Barring few outfits, almost every layer of the leadership in most of the political parties is infested with the dynasty bug. The political dynasty at the top leadership acts with absolute rule and the practice of promoting the family (sans the absolute rule element) trickles down to other layers of the party hierarchy with every other politician rushing to push his/her wife, husband, son, daughter, father, son-in-law or daughter-in-law in the political foray.
  1. The law of the land is not for the politicians. They are increasingly sacrosanct. A criminal or a person with a higher degree of notoriety has almost certain chances of taking a winning dip into the viscous and opaque flow of the political developments of the country.
  1. ‘No politician is corrupt’ is the baseline of the political corruption. Corruption allegations are motivated acts by the adversaries to derail a luminous political career.
  1. Likewise, going to jail under corruption charges are more like excursion trips now. Scores of politicians are visiting jails after being sentenced by the courts yet they return with aplomb by the cheering fans, fight elections and win them, too. Likewise, sackings are the acts of adversaries. Likewise, forced resignations are the exemplary acts of morality.
  1. The oft-quoted line that ‘there are no friends or foes in politics’ is at its evolutionary top of its dominance. The shameless display of ‘washing the dirty linen’ in the public and use of ‘supercharged and sub-standard war of words’ are nothing but cover-ups to keep the prism of ‘being different’ shining and reflective in the eyes of the voters. Political parties and politicians in these outfits are ‘friendly adversaries’ who engage in friendly fights only to become first in the race to form a government but when it comes to the common concerns, they unite to thwart any attempt to encroach on or to ‘rationalize’ their acts even if seen by the public as the acts of political immorality, overall moral depravity and absolute degradation of the ‘politics of values’.
  1. Extending the line of the political camaraderie to the kinship, it is ensured that the families and friends are left untouched in these ‘friendly fights’. Applicability of ‘the law of the land is not for the politicians’ practice is a natural extension to them.
  1. With all this, the Indian politics is now the safest career option for the ‘have’s’ – the existing political class, their extended families, the business class with political interests and criminals and scamsters. Joining the Indian political league doesn’t require high academic and intellectual credentials but ensures brilliant returns on even the minimum investment made, be it of time, or money or energy.

 ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE INDIAN POLITICS HAS EVEN SHED THE GUISE IT WAS PUTTING ON TO LOOK FOLLOWING A LIFE OF PROBITY

After all, our politicians have lost one game, of not being able to maintain their duplicity in the public eye. They cannot lose the other.

Thankfully for us, some of them had felt embarrassed then. Now to be thankful to them, they do not want to embarrass them anymore for such silly overtures and baggage from the past.

Indian politicians of the time have become synonymous with everything negative in the terminology of the Indian socio-political scenario.  In fact, it can be said they have effectively redone the political science terminology where they see the universally accepted ‘negatives’ in positive ‘luminescence’.

And so, they cannot lose the other game in the series of the ‘game of the throne’, of telling the people that this time they are going to walk the talk what if they could not do it earlier by failing to maintain the spectacle where they looked like following a life of probity.

Okay, if that didn’t click, better to change the rules of the game. Why any spectacle, why any cover-up?

Why to bother about the relics of the past even if they happen to be the thoughts of the forefathers of the Indian Independence?

If the earlier set was not feasible, why not go for the next one, in the Indian case, the antithesis of what was envisioned in the August of 1947.

Why to take so much of pain when the other, easy and shortcut way to the riches is available? All it needed was to change the parameters where the nation was to be ticked off from the priority list and the self-serving political goals were to be placed at the top.

After all, pain and labour was for the likes of Mahatma Gandhi who could not even think of arranging for the better future of even one member of his family. Selfless saints like the Mahatma are indeed a learning lesson for the politicians of the day. It reminds them where not to falter. It tells them to secure their political career and riches for seven generations of their clan first.

The process of comfortably forgetting the Mahatma had begun much earlier and in last two decades, the Indian politics has even shed the guise it was putting on to look following the ideals and thoughts of the forefathers of the Indian Independence.

Many in the country are well aware of the family trees of the many of the political families ruling India now and amassing riches but how many of us know about the family tree and history of the Mahatma’s family? Not many would vouch for it.

The present breed of politicians has successfully played it out after it decided that following the Mahatma was not feasible for it in an India that was giving an open access to establish its own kingdom and many associated fiefdoms (for the reasons we all know now).

And in order to maximize their efficiency, they threw out the little headache, the laborious efforts to look sincere and honest, and joined the theatre with no guises, playing out in pure documentary style, without any make-up – where they openly accept that they are here to breach the trust of their voters; that they are here to subvert every definition of ‘probity in public life’; that they are here to see the democratic India envisioned in 1947 and expressed in 1950 effectively killed.

And, for the moment, they are looking well settled in their game.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SHOCKING: THE BOLD NEW FACE OF THE INDIAN POLITICS

This is a bold new face of the Indian politics that is brazen, arrogant and shocking.

This is an audacious new front of the Indian politics that operates on zero tolerance for morality.

This is an immune new insensitivity of the Indian politics that says, “We will do it the way it pleases us, come what may. If the democracy is in peril, let it be.”

This is a political class that indulges in corrupt activities but flatly denies any accountability on behalf of the public office and public life it is supposed to preserve at any cost.

Keeping in line with this deafening tradition where any voice demanding probity in political life has been made a fringe voice, we have had many political developments of such proportions, especially in last five years. A simple Internet search with search-tag ‘list of corruption cases or scams in India’ would dish out volumes of information.

Pardon me, if I am sounding redundant as such political developments have become so many and have become so of a norm now that we are growing immune to their impact on our lives, on survival of the Indian democracy.

True, the Indian democracy is not so weak that a generation of self-serving politicians can erode it. We recently saw massive spontaneous public uprisings on issues like corruption and law and order. But we have not been able to leave any impact. In fact, our voices have been pushed even farther away from the splurging core of the political establishments. The growing hostility in the political class to act on matters of accountability, morality and honesty tells us this.

It is true that we are raising voices now and the process has begun but are we realizing the scale of task that is before us?

Are we prepared to battle it out over a longer period of time in face of an increasingly immoral political class that is hell-bent to defy every norm set by our forefathers to run the independent India?

The fact is erosion is happening and the political class intends to employ its full capacity to delay the process, at any cost.

So our lords, the chosen ones, the elected gems of the Indian democracy, in their new political avatars, are laughing, enjoying, while we, who elect them, are looking at the developments with eyesight of morons.

How long, we the Indians, electing the members of such a political class, can take it?

The answer is important for both the stakeholders. We, the Indians, would like to see it happen soon while the political class would do all to kill even the question.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SUPREME COURT TO SPEAK ON GOVERNMENT’S MEDDLING IN THE COALGATE PROBE BY THE CBI: WOULD IT FORCE SOME ‘FORCED MORALITY’ IN THE INDIAN POLITICS?

It is being discussed that today is a big day for the political developments in India when the Supreme Court is expected to put forward its views on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) affidavit in which the central investigating agency of India has detailed out the changes made by the government of India (under scanner for its role in the scam) in the CBI’s status report in the coal blocks allocation irregularities. The affidavit named all those who met the CBI Director Ranjit Sinha and described all that was changed after back-to-back meetings with Ashwani Kumar, Minister of Law and Justice, and officials from the prime-minister’s office and the coal ministry.

CBI has filed two affidavits to explain its transgression after the issue surfaced with a report in the Indian Express on April 13 this year, on April 26 and May 6. April 30 when the Supreme Court heard the first affidavit was a sad day for the Indian democracy and it reflected in the apex court’s observation.

The bench headed by Justice R M Lodha had said: “You don’t need to take instructions from political masters. If it’s deliberate, intentional, why was it done? Was it decided to do so? All these things should not happen. Is the law minister entitled to ask for the report under the CBI manuals? Our first exercise will be to liberate CBI from political interference. This suppression by CBI is not ordinary, there is a very disturbing feature in the affidavit.” – The Economic Times, April 30, 2013

On April 26, while filing the first affidavit, Ranjit Sinha admitted in the Supreme Court that the status report on coal block allocation scam was shared with the political executives including the law minister “as desired by him”. The court slammed the CBI for sharing the report and for violating the SC’s guidelines and asked the agency to file a detailed affidavit naming all those who met the CBI and pushed for the changes as well as the changes made.

The apex court termed it as a ‘massive breach of trust – a matter that shaken its foundation’.

While hearing the case on March 12 on two Public Interest Litigations on irregularities in the coal blocks allocation, the apex court had set the norm. According to the media reports including this Business Standard report, the court laid out: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government appears to be headed for a trouble similar to the one it faced in the telecom scam. The Supreme Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not to share the details of its coal scam findings with politicians or the executive.

It was politically explosive and the country heard the explosion. There has been a political chaos in the country after CBI’s affidavits and SC’s initial observations over the first affidavit. But as expected, this has also met the same fate as most of the terror explosions in India have – they remain unsolved.

The difference is, in terror explosions, faces behind them are not known most of the time, be it the intelligence failure or any other reason, but in politically explosive developments like this, a whole nation of over a billion knows very well who all are responsible.

Even, then, they do not move. They simply refuse to take responsibility. They deny every principle of accountability that a democratically elected public office commands.

Today, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R M Lodha is going to hear the coal block allocation scam and given the developments of the past, it is expected that the top court is going to make life tougher for the government.

But given the political scenario in India where corruption and unaccountability has become a chronic problem of every political outfit, it would take highly scathing remarks by the Supreme Court if the law minister and the concerned officials are to go.

A political opposition that is gunning for heads then would become even more aggressive in pushing for its demands to sack the rail minister Pawan Kumar Bansal who is in the eye of a political storm after a bribe deal to appoint an Indian Railway General Manager on a lucrative post in the Railway Board, brokered by Bansal’s nephew and his election campaign manager in the 2009 Lok Sabha election, was unearthed by the CBI.

If the SC’s observations today force Ashwani Kumar’s ouster, the government would be in no position to save Bansal.

The Manmohan Singh government has shamelessly defended these two ministers till now refusing every demand of their resignation and so compromising every ideal of an ethical political life. Even, the comfortably numb Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has come forward to tell the nation that there is no need for them to resign.

But what about Manmohan Singh’s accountability in this whole issue? His office, too, is involved in this mess and he too, may face the top court’s ire.

The government would be expecting a breather from the SC. But some acidic words would make the life hell for it. If that be the case, it would try all to dilute the negative effects of SC’s remarks shielding behind irrelevant logics like it performed well in the Karnataka assembly election and that should tell the nation (and to the top court) that the Congress party led government is on the right path. As the Congress is expected to perform well, be ready to listen to this sham today, again and again, when, by this afternoon, on the counting day of the Karnataka assembly election, trends declare the Congress party has performed well.

That would give the Congress a fresh arsenal to hit back on its political adversaries.

So be prepared to witness yet another round of ugly political war today and in the aftermath with unparliamentarily war of words following and flowing freely in the air.

But be clear of one thing. SC response on the matter that makes life even tougher for the government would not push the government to move because this is a bold new Indian politics that doesn’t believe in the universal values of political morality.

If political morality has any chance left in the Indian political scenario of the moment, it has to be a forced one.

What is needed from the Court No. 4 of the Supreme Court of India today is some response that makes the life hell for this government. Only then we can expect that some ‘forced morality’ will prevail in an otherwise immoral political atmosphere.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE BOLD NEW INDIAN POLITICS & ASHWANI KUMAR, PAWAN BANSAL AND THE MS-OFFICE (MANMOHAN SINGH, WHO ELSE?)

Let’s take the trend-setting and norm-establishing deeds of the breed of politicians of this generation who are neck-deep in corruption but are refusing to budge, who are in denial of their wrongdoings even if it is proven beyond doubt, even if it is there for everyone to see.

We have, here, the ruling coalition of India and its leading party, Congress, in the driving seat topping the corrupt-pack, with its high-profile leaders zooming to be in vogue of new highs of corruption and manipulation of the public office.

And this all is happening under the ‘able’ guidance of the prime minister of India, Mr. Manmohan Singh and his office, which has become exceptionally active, an otherwise comfortably numb prime minister.

Our dear Manmohan Singh and his ‘MS Office’ have enriched us with such many developments in the last few weeks and Manmohan Singh is clearly emerging victorious in the latest incarnation of the Indian politics that is bold,  brazen and immune to any criticism, even if a justified one in the public perception. The list of his gems adorning the list of corrupts is long, from Suresh Kalmadi to A Raja to Ashwani Kumar to Pawan Kumar Bansal.

While the development of the long list did involve some cases of surrender by the politicians when they had no other option left to manipulate and continue clinging to the power, the recent high profile cases of Manmohan’s two trusted aides, who incidentally come from his home state Punjab, Minister of Law & Justice Ashwani Kumar and Minister of Railways, Pawan Kumar Bansal, are representative of the new thinking of the Indian politics that has started believing in its right to absolute denial, not caring even if they do not have any option left to manipulate any more.

Now, they simply say they won’t surrender even if the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court of India, alleges them of breach of trust.

If they don’t care for the Supreme Court of India, who we are then to be taken seriously, though, we elect them and therefore, we give them the power to manipulate?

So the Congress is up, in arms, in brazen defense of its these two tainted ministers saying they won’t resign, when they should have resigned already, even if they go by the standard set by A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi.

And all this is happening the under the watch of MS-Office.

One of the duo, safe in the troubled waters, Ashwani Kumar, has subverted the guidelines set by the Supreme Court. The apex court had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) not to share the status reports of the coal block allocation scam probe with the political executive. But, as the reports say, Mr. Kumar, the coal ministry and the MS Office directed the CBI Director, who says he is very much part of the government (the government that beats the bush every day claiming CBI’s independent functioning), to modify the status report in the investigation of a case in which Manmohan and his government is facing the heat.

Isn’t it like asking a thief to probe himself and come up with the investigation report so that he could be sentenced?

The other one, safe in the troubled waters, Pawan Kumar Bansal, until now seen as a non-controversial and clean politician, has got embroiled in an age-old scam of India where, in case of government jobs, a huge sum of money changes hands before any high-profile and lucrative transfer and posting takes place.

With every passing day, more and more skeletons are tumbling out telling us how companies were built in the name of Bansal’s son and wife; how they registered meteoric growth in a span of few years only; how the main accused in the case, his nephew Vijay Singla, was so close to him and how he managed his 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign; and how the Bansal family members share business interests with Vijay Singla. Being the Railway Minister, appointment for the Railway Board position for which the bribe was offered comes under directly overview of Mr. Bansal.

Had there been even an iota of verity in the claims of Mr. Bansal of being a clean politician, he would have resigned on the day his nephew was arrested for brokering the bribery deal misusing his department and his name.

He needed to come out clean. He needs to come out clean. And so Mr. Ashwani Kumar, and so Mr. Manmohan Singh, and so every other politician charged with allegations of manipulating and corrupting the public office.

They simply cannot be allowed to trade and tread our trust, again and again.

But this bold new breed of Indian Politicians is doing exactly that. This bold new breed of Indian Politicians believes in killing every such spirit. And they get support when they see that we, the voters, are short of options; when they see that we, the voters, are not able to make informed decisions while electing them.

A good case in point is the Karnataka assembly elections. Congress, neck-deep in corruption is poised to win when the votes are counted on May 8 because the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government has lost its credibility due to massive and widespread corruption in the state under its regime.

See! We, the voters, are replacing one corrupt regime with regime of another political party that, in all probability, is going to lose the next parliamentary elections, due to the massive and widespread corruption in the country under its regime.

We, the Indian voters, wandering in the troubled waters, facing the classic dilemma of choosing between Scylla and Charybdis! Isn’t it?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/