NO PLACE FOR ETHICS IN TODAY’S POLITICS

It is true there is no place for ethics in the politics of the day.

Had it been so, Sushma Swara, Vasundhara Raje Schindia, Smriti Irani, Vinod Tawde and some more BJP members would have resigned or would have apologised for their roles in the alleged controversies related to them.

Had it been so, Congress would have come clean on Robert Vadra and other scams and controversies related to the party leaders.

Had it been so, some politicians would not go so berserk in different Indian states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal among others.

Had it not been so, we would not be talking about the ‘practical norms’ of the politics of the day where ethics have no space left, where every political outfit is seen on the same platform when it comes to follow the value-system.

Had it not been so, the elector would not have gone with a new political entity, the Aam Aadmi Party, with no history and credentials. Unfortunately, that experiment has started losing its steam within few months only and the deterioration looks ‘planned’ and irreversible. Before the assembly polls this February, the BJP had eight months to deliver but couldn’t gauge the mood.

Had it not been so, the dynasty politics would not be a debatable issue in Indian politics.

Had it not been so, family-bias, nepotism and political corruption would not have become so routine, like it has become now.

Had it not been so, politicians would not consider themselves in a different, higher class than us. Had it not been so, we would not have such a common VIP culture.

So, unless and until it becomes too impossible to ignore, unless and until it becomes too corrosive to hurt electoral prospects, the leaders named in the Lalit Modi controversy would not step down. Yes, the BJP is at the receiving end this time, but it knows it is in the government and even the opposition has many weak spots and it knows next parliamentary elections are four years away. The BJP strategists know the political opposition is trying to squeeze in the maximum political mileage from the ongoing episode and they are ‘focused’ at minimizing it.

So, Arvind Kejriwal didn’t ask Jitendra Singh Tomar to step down when questions were first raised about ‘fake degrees’ of the law minister. Ideally, Arvind should not have made him minister because the row around his degrees precedes his electoral victory. Probably, he feels he is safely home for at least five years.

So, Indian politics is dominated by personality cults around political parties and political parties evolving and revolving around a person or a family.

So, a norm sans ‘ethics’ – in the name of being practical – has become the political pragmatism of the day.

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

FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: ANTI-INCUMBENCY

RELATED POSTS:
MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA VERDICTS AND MODI WAVE*
FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: RULING PARTY/ALLIANCE CORRUPTION**

The discontent was telling. And it was the ‘most’ popular sentiment in the just concluded elections.

In Maharashtra, the ruling NCP-Congress combine was in government for 15 years, the last three terms. And like the political dispensation has been in India so far, even if it bring some development, it is riddled with corruption and allegations of corruption, as we saw in case of Sheila Dikshit’s government in Delhi. Sheila was Delhi’s chief minister for three terms, for 15 years.

Her government’s track record on development was good, but was not free of corruption. And as the terms went on, from five years, to ten years, to fifteen years, the governance got riddled with more and more allegations of mammoth levels of corruption. Yes, the Delhi that we see today, that can claim substantial development during her terms, kept on oiling the wheels of corruption as well, that put even her under the scanner.

And Maharashtra could not claim even of this front – development (with corruption).

Coupled with political arrogance and insensitivity reflecting in political statements on issues of social relevance, the lack of development or rather the lack of balanced development created heaps of anti-incumbency against the ruling coalition government.

Then there were ‘popular’ measures adding to the anti-incumbency, the discontent, like verbose talks even if Vidarbha farm suicides continued unabated, like a chief minister on a Taj Hotel tour with a filmmaker just after the 26/11 terror strike, like the continued Maratha Vs Non-Maratha rants, like the consistently bad show of vital social indicators, like the Maratha reservation card and so on. The list seems pretty long.

The discontent had brewed to its full ‘ripeness’.

Similar is the story of Haryana.

A Congress ruled state for 10 years had a family sort of rule, of the Hooda family, a Jat leader from Rohtak who never crossed the ‘culturally backward Haryana’ line on social evils like Khap dictats and honour killings, a Jat leader whose rule was basically focused on Jat dominated areas of Haryana, in and around his city Rohtak, who, as well, played the reservation card, a Jat leader, who like other politicians, and in typical Congress fashion, promoted interests of his family, his clan and the families of his party members first. Allegations of widespread misappropriations in recruitments were common and even the civil services were not left out.

And the Hooda government even bungled the case of Gurgaon, the once dubbed Millennium City of India that is increasingly being identified as a concrete jungle with unplanned development on social indicators and a city of horrible crime rates.

Also, the associated corruption that came with its lucrative real estate dealings did not leave even the first political family of India. Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra is facing allegations of corruption and misappropriation in land deals and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is facing allegations of going out of the way and mending rulebooks to help clear the Vadra land deals.

And naturally, these are not the standalone cases where allegations have erupted. There are many on the lines of nepotism, casteism and regionalism spread over the last 10 years – a perfect recipe for sky-high discontent.

And so, the anti-incumbency built was huge and saw its desperate way out in the Modi Factor, as in Maharashtra, in the promises made by Narendra Modi, in the day he has been able to add to the development of Gujarat, a state Modi ruled for over around 14 years, a good enough stretch of time to let the discontent and the associated anti-incumbency creep in. But, anti-incumbency has never been an electoral factor all through the Narendra Modi’s tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat.

The huge anti-incumbency reflected in the higher turnouts as well – highest ever in Haryana with 76% voting and 64% in Maharashtra, fourth highest ever and 5% more than 2009 assembly elections – a measure of increasing ‘popular discontent’ against the ruling establishment.

*https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/maharashtra-and-haryana-verdicts-and-modi-wave/
**https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/factors-at-play-in-maharashtra-and-haryana-ruling-partyalliance-corruption/

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

FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: RULING PARTY/ALLIANCE CORRUPTION

Though NCP has announced unconditional outside support to BJP for forming the government in Maharashtra, when Narendra Modi addressed NCP as ‘naturally corrupt party’ during campaigning in the run-up to the assembly polls, it was not without reasons.

Many high level politicians from NCP and Congress have been facing allegations of corruption and many had to resign. The list includes chief minister and deputy chief minister besides many other ministers and politicians.

The nation cannot easily forget the ‘forced resignation’, a hastily brought whitepaper to declare Ajit Pawar clean in the irrigation scam and his ‘reinstatement’. It was all in bad taste.

And the 15 years of NCP-Congress combine rule had no dearth of such newsmaking headlines going deep on follow-ups.

Every year, if thousands of farmers are forced to commit suicide, in a so-called prosperous and industrialized state, Maharashtra, and if the state sees huge scams like the irrigation scam worth 70,000 crore, nothing but political corruption is to be blamed.

Similar was the case in Haryana.

A chief minister belonging to the main opposition party was out on bail sighting health reasons. He was jailed after found guilty in a recruitment scam. He misused the terms of his bail to campaign in the polls and was sent again to jail by the high court.

The last chief minister was alleged of mammoth scales of corruption, though nothing proved yet. Family biases and nepotism ran deep in Haryana. And it is not always necessary that court verdicts drive the sentiments. In electoral politics, it is all about perceptions and the perception that corruption was running deep in Haryana had made deeper inroads in the psyche.

The nation cannot easily forget the largesse shown to Robert Vadra and the witch-hunting against an honest official, Ahok Khema, for taking on Robert Vadra because he found his case violating norms. The Hooda government went out of the way in clearing the deal for Vadra the nation saw it. And the nation also saw how defiantly the previous chief minister defended his acts perceived to be wrong and corrupt by the common man, the common man who sent him packing in the just concluded elections.

Allegations of widespread corruption and nepotism in Haryana civil services are a regular feature to decorate the news headlines. Then there were case studies like Gopal Goyal Kanda.

And the electors were watching, in Maharashtra and Haryana, waiting for a chance, that they saw in promises of Narendra Modi, to bring the politics of development back on track, and to deal with political corruption.

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

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.

Continue reading

ADARSH SCAM REPORT REJECTED: RAHUL GANDHI JUST MISSED YET ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY

Symbolically shambolic or shambolically symbolic! – “Biggest issue is corruption, it is an unacceptable burden on our people. We must fight corruption”

Rahul Gandhi, was, again, delivering a speech remixing the verbal elements of his speechmaking which we have become so familiar with. He was discussing the problems of India with corporate leaders. And he again spoke on corruption, in his usual style, talking big, when the acts of the many of the Congress leaders directly defy his words. In fact, if we go by the need to set the precedent, even his family needs to come clean on corruption allegations on Robert Vadra, his brother-in-law.

Anyway, that is the regular, usual stuff, keeps on happening, and keeps on defying Rahul’s words.

This time, the push for writing this came from a coincidental turn of events involving Rahul Gandhi, Congress, a speech on corruption and an act of corruption cover-up.

On December 20, the Adarsh Housing Society scam report was tabled in the Maharashtra assembly and summarily rejected by the state government. The chief minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan, considered relatively clean on corruption, didn’t give any reason.

The report was prepared by a two-member commission (Adarsh Commission) headed by a retired Justice of the Bombay High Court, JA Patil, to look into the allegations of corruption and irregularities in the construction of Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society in Mumbai.

The report indicted four farmer Maharashtra chief ministers and Congress politicians including Sushilkumar Shinde, the Union Home Minister now, and Ashok Chavan and Vilasrao Deshmukh, former chief ministers of Maharashtra. With many bureaucrats, the report also indicted two influential NCP politicians who are ministers in the Maharashtra cabinet.

This happened on December 20, Friday.

On December 21, Saturday, Rahul addressed the corporate leaders at FICCI Annual General Meeting, talking big again on corruption.

How hollow, how disconnected such statements sound when the reality defies them upfront; when the reality and such statements by Rahul Gandhi become extremes to bridge the gap?

It is as counterfeit as Congress rushing to take credit of passing the Lokpal Bill even if the Congress is the main culprit to let the Bill linger for almost 45 years!

“Corruption is bleeding our people dry. It is an unacceptable burden on the people of our nation. We must fight corruption with all our strength and determination” – how could Rahul speak so, on December 21, addressing the FICCI AGM – just a day after his party’s government and chief minister rejected an impartial judicial commission report on a scam that shook the nation and cost a chief minister his chair?

It was really an opportunity missed and it also tells Rahul and Congress didn’t learn anything from the recent poll humiliations in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and from AAP’s unprecedented victory in Delhi. On December 8 evening, Rahul Gandhi had conceded the defeat saying his party needed to learn from AAP. Corruption and anti-establishment demands anti- the ‘present system of governance’ were the major poll planks of AAP, or the Aam Aadmi Party.

Had it been a serious thought on December 8 evening when the election results of four states were announced, we would not have seen happening what happened on December 20 in Maharashtra.

The time is running out. Talking big and talking radical is not going to help. Such a veil cannot be maintained for long and the prevailing political circumstances make it imperative for Rahul and Congress to change when the electorate is ready for political experiments like AAP. Yes, AAP is not beyond valid reasons of doubt, but it is certainly a point to begin.

Rahul and Congress need to act now, and given the mess, the political abyss, they are in, they need to act radically.

Adarsh Commission report could have been an opportunity to begin but it has been missed. A positive approach on the Adarsh Commission enquiry report, indicting big names, would certainly be a fitting, radical anti-corruption step taken.

The ‘change in politics’ that Rahul Gandhi has been talking about, even more repeatedly after his elevation as the Congress Vice-president, needs ‘politics of change’ that is much bigger than saving a Sushilkumar Shinde.

Mr. Gandhi you must, (if not react on), read and think over what Justice Patil said on rejection of his report: “We have a clear idea in our mind of what happened (referring to the Adarsh scam). Based on that we submitted our report after recording the evidence of several witnesses and perusing relevant documents. The findings were not palatable to the government and hence it must have been rejected.”

Start acting. It is already too late!

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

LOKPAL BILL PASSED: IN 10 DAYS FLAT!

The Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill yesterday paving the way for its implementation. Implementation – that is the big, another complicated battle lying next.

Passage of a ‘compromised’ bill with some good and some ‘can and to be manipulated’ features is just half the battle won.

And the day comes after 45 years if we begin with 1968 when a related legislation was tried for the first time in the Indian Parliament or it may be after 50 years if we take the first discussion on an anti-corruption ombudsman in 1963 in the Indian Parliament as the point to begin.

And see the brazenness of the political class who kept delaying it for so long, for five decades, is now singing paeans of its efforts, of being the anti-corruption champions.

Now who is going to tell them again that we are not fools? Okay, we, as electors, have acted and act erratically and foolishly every now and then, but many of us are not fools.

Yes, we didn’t have options. All in the political lot were similar. So many of us didn’t vote or if voted, we went for the best of the available, even if we were not satisfied.

We needed option. NOTA is now one. Yes, we cannot say the Aam Aadmi Party way is an option but its remarkable electoral show in Delhi tells us and everyone in clear terms that anti-corruption is the central poll plank and is going to play big in the upcoming general elections scheduled for next April-May.

The AAP show tells the politicians about centrality of corruption as ‘the’ poll plank and to ‘look’ sincere on anti-corruption measures. And this centrality forced the mainstream political parties to go into a huddle, to form an ‘alliance’ to pass the Lokpal Bill, and that too, in 10 days flat.

Yes, 10 days, since December 8, when the assembly election results of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were announced, results that gave AAP, the one-year old political debutant, 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly making it the second largest party after BJP’s 31 seats. And AAP’s success has its origin in the hugely successful anti-corruption movement of 2011 for Lokpal led by Anna Hazare the epicenter of which was Delhi.

The aspect that is to be seen here is how the politicians came back to their tricks of delaying the Bill once the anti-corruption movement got derailed in 2012. In spite of passing a lame and inefficient bill in Lok Sabha in December 2011, they were not sincere to pass even this diluted version, and they did not present it, debated it or pass it, until the assembly election results of December 8, when they were slapped hard by the electorate on the issue of corruption.

Before this, their arrogance was dismissing the corruption plank, the anti-corruption movement was being seen as long dead and they were back to treat the Indian masses having short memory believing they would forget the acts of political corruption soon.

Had it been for a poor show by AAP in Delhi, even Anna Hazare’s ongoing fast would not have ensured such a ‘lightening fast’ passage of the Lokpal Bill by the Indian Parliament.

But the Delhi public had an option this time that was ‘unlike’ the others in the political fraternity and though yet to be proven, it went for them.

And that forced the mainstream political class to scramble to ‘at least look sincere’ on coming down heavily on corruption and this forced-necessity pushed them to pass the ‘compromised’ Lokpal Bill, the many provisions of which can still be killer for the corrupt politicians and officials, in a hurry, because there is no time left in the big political battle, the Lok Sabha polls.

Their scare and not their commitment that the centrality of corruption as the poll issue may reflect across the country in the 2014 general elections made them pass the bill in such haste.

And dear political folks, we realise it.

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

RAHUL GANDHI CONVICTS ‘CONVICTED NETAS’ ORDINANCE: WHY IT IS PREMATURE TO TRUST HIS ‘DELAYED’ CONSCIENCE?

Because, the Representation of the People (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013, brought by the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) government led by the Congress is very much alive and kicking.

Rajya Sabha has already passed it. Disruptions didn’t allow it in the Loksabha in the Monsoon Session but it is slated to be presented and passed in the lower House of the Indian Parliament in the Winter Session.

Where was Rahul Gandhi when all this was happening?

The ordinance cleared by the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Manmohan Singh, which Sonia Gandhi was also a part of, is nothing but yet another attempt of political brazenness to subvert the guiding principles of democracy by planting the provisions of the RP Act Amendment Bill ‘immediately’, that would otherwise be in place by December, to save some big political names from immediate disqualification.

….everybody does this….but would Rahul Gandhi stop this nonsense, the RP Act Amendment Bill that, in essence, is the inspiration behind this silly ordinance, in the Winter Session of Parliament?

We need to wait till then before making any opinion.

Because, Rahul Gandhi says the political parties should stop making small compromises!

But what about big compromises?

Should the political outfits continue singing the ‘compromise’ (say the coalition ‘Dharma’) tune when it comes to some big compromise like the crucial number games of forming the government even if it means taking support of some historysheeter member of Parliament or someone like Suresh Kalmadi.

What is this small or big segregation?

Does it mean ‘not shielding the convicted politicians by not manipulating the lawmaking authority given by the Constitution’ is a small compromise while subverting every administrative, legal and moral norm to save someone like Robert Vadra, whose only connect to the fame is that he is son-in-law of the Nehru-Gandhi Family, is a big compromise and so is to go for?

Ethics cannot be compartmentalized as ‘small’ or ‘big’.

Rahul’s sudden outburst, that many would have thought be a masterstroke of positioning him again as an outsider, as the politician with a difference (that he sounded so when he had begun), falls flat by the record of his active years in politics.

There are plenty of other reasons to reason why taking Rahul Gandhi’s voice of conscience as ‘a genuine voice of concern of an outsider politician’ needs much more than this ‘public’ outburst of his anger?

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

TENS OF THOUSANDS ARRIVED TO WELCOME HIM OUT OF JAIL: WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

September 2013

Thousands gathered outside the jail to greet him.

Tens of thousands arrived in Hyderabad to welcome him, to join the procession to his journey back to home, from the Chanchalguda prison to his palatial house in Hyderabad’s posh locality, Banjara Hills.

As if, a freedom fighter fighting some colonial oppression or an activist resisting a authoritarian government was coming out of jail. But sadly it wasn’t the case.

And that is acidic for the democratic health of the country. This celebration was, once again, representative of a deteriorating mindset of the masses. Yes, it is a deteriorating mindset that owes its sustenance to the continued political manipulation of the masses.

It is acidic because the person was detained in jail against charges of corruption. In a short time, he has amassed huge wealth. In his area of influence, he is seen as a strongman. We fail to trace his political history beyond his political lineage. Apart from amassing disproportionate assets, he has not done anything to be known as a great politician, a humane politician, in making. Yet, he has emerged as a big political alternative, in course of three years only.

That is certainly not good for the democratic spirit of the nation because the malaise here represents the larger malaise in the society where people fail to understand what is right or wrong and how corruption is eating the concept of the ‘Republic of India’; where people fail to put politicians facing serious allegations out of the office till such politicians prove their innocence.

The person in question was in jail for the last 16 months on many counts of violations in Disproportional Assets (DA) case. The ‘symbolically central’ Central Bureau of Investigation has filed 10 charge-sheets against him in the DA case.

Son of a popular politician, who was also a former chief-minister, the fellow is a powerful politician, running a diversified business empire. His jail-term is supposed to correlate with his assets, that are, by most analyses, disproportionate in nature.

It was alleged and widely reported that when the powerful politician father of this powerful politician son had died in an unfortunate helicopter crash in 2009, fake reports of several people dying of shock of the untimely demise of the great leader were propped to gain mileage of political sympathy. Silly!

As a natural corollary to the dynasty politics in India, nurtured and propagated by the most powerful Delhi-based political family of India, this powerful politician son demanded to succeed his father’s chief-ministerial chair, a chair that was denied to him.

Miffed with the denial of the royal chair of the chief-minster ship, he broke away from the grand old political party of India and formed his own political outfit. And in remarkable turn of events, in a pseudo-democracy with an alienated and ignorant electorate, he emerged as a strong political force in a short period of time, and so a political threat. That could have been a call for the opponents to move in 2011.

Threat to the establishment in office and court’s interventions were motives enough for the shambolic CBI to act differently from its character. Subsequently, resultantly, this powerful politician was forced behind bars and left there languishing for 16 months.

But, he kept on growing politically stronger and became even more relevant for the political equations in the changed circumstances after the Union government announced bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Maintaining a strong anti-Telangana stand and riding on a strong support base in the Seemandhra region could have changed the thinking of the grand old party of India that is facing an imminent danger of being wiped out in Andhra Pradesh after the bifurcation decision taken by the Congress led Union Government.

The political cliché that there are no friends or foes in politics shows us this ugly face of Indian politics, that, with a largely ignorant electorate, is eroding the democratic health of the country; is polluting whatever that is left in the name of democracy in India.

Whatever be the reality of the reported deals, between his political outfit YSRCP and the Congress, or of the BJP’s feelers to him criticising the CBI for his plight, we are going to witness some uglier political deal-making in the days to come.

No denial to this fact that Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of the former Andhra Pradesh chief minster Y S Rajashekara Reddy, has amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income.

The detention for 16 months of a son of a powerful politician with a regional clout tells us of the veracity of allegations. Had it been the case of some common man, who could even be one of Mr. Reddy’s die-hard supporters, like those swarming outside the Chanchalguda jail or on Hyderabad roads leading to the Jagan’s house, we could have believed a detention of 16 months was possible even if all the charges were false. Running a strong media empire and sitting on huge assets, Mr. Reddy had access to the resources, to finest of the legal minds in the country.

What becomes finally of Mr. Reddy in courts in his corruption cases will take a long time. It could go even beyond his lifetime. And meanwhile, he will keep enjoying his political kingdom with loyal supporters in the world’s largest democracy.

And Mr. Reddy is not alone. He is just one among the countless of the politicians facing serious corruption allegations. And he is just one among this lot of the countless that continues to enjoy to public support in spite of serious corruption allegations. Making people with serious corruption allegations politically stronger is also corruption and we are making so many of the breed stronger with every election.

That is detrimental to the democratic concept of India envisioned in its Constitution.

It reflects again and again in celebrations like these.

*“Why democracy in India is in imminent danger of disintegration?’ is a regular column on my blogging platforms to take a periodic look (say a weekly or a fortnightly or a monthly round-up of events depending on the factors in play) on political developments that are dangerous to the democratic health of the country and contribute to the process of social disintegration of the nation..”
https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/why-democracy-in-india-is-in-imminent-danger-of-disintegration/

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

POLITICAL REFORMS: STILL ABOUT RHETORIC AND EMPTY WORDS

Writing about this problem doesn’t make any difference on its state of perpetual apathy. The almost of who are in the fray are beyond redemption. They all are same under the skin, an illicit brotherhood to further their common interests.

Ignoring or maintaining a distance from the epidemic cannot help either. It is heading for a systemic failure and the best fight back to it can be while being in the System, while being a part of it.

And so, the fresh thinking and new entrants with a vow to fight the wrongs in the System are in urgent need.

Sadly, that is not happening. Reform, there, is still about rhetoric and empty words and even the beginning of the process, that no one can decide, define or conceptualize, sounds like daydreaming.

The grip of rotten values and insensitive politics has spread so deep and wide that it rapidly co-opts almost of such entrants. Those who still maintain the stand are made ineffective, cornered or wiped out.

If we look back to gather some names in the recent past, when the process of deterioration has frighteningly speeded up, we don’t find any.

But even if we go back into the history of the post-independence India, we don’t find many names. All we have is apolitical Vinoba Bhave or social and political icons like Ram Manohar Lohia or Jayaprakash Narayan.

But continuance of Congress as the major political force in India, during and after them, and its sustained rule even after the Emergency of 1970s tell nothing much has moved in the name of political reforms in the country.

Initial day of post-Emergency period did give the nation its first non-Congress government but it fell owing to its own fault lines. Worse, many of its firebrand leaders are prominent politicians today, comfortably co-opted by the brand of politics that has come to be known as insensitive, corrupt and increasingly dictatorial, a brand of politics commonly associated with the Congress party.

Recently, after over three decades of the days of the Emergency era, we had first genuine hopes for Political System reform when the country was swept by a huge anti-corruption mass movement. Though it was urban in nature, its wide base and self-propagating nature told there could be some leaders from the movement, who if took the political plunge in future, would be serious players to reform the Indian politics.

For some time, Arvind Kejriwal or even Anna Hazare (in spite of his age) looked as probables for the alternative to today’s politicians. But, the way Kejriwal looked in haste and split with Anna Hazare to form his political outfit was shadowy.

Now fully in politics, he is yet to reach out to tell us if he is different. Only time will tell about it but his ‘could not rise to the occasion’ performance on two of the recent anti-reform and anti-democratic moves by politicians to scuttle the Supreme Court decisions on electoral reforms and to dilute the RTI Act, disappoints. There are clear and pertinent risks of him being co-opted in the future.

Political reforms in country have lingered on for long. Except for some high points, there has not been much to talk about. But, at the same time, the need for a political alternative is more desperate than ever.

And it has to come from within only, from this rotten System only. This System has to be won from within only. The need to fight back the rot is more desperate than ever.

BUT HOW? Still, no one can decide or define it.

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

WHY DEMOCRACY IN INDIA IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF DISINTEGRATION?

Democracy in India is in imminent danger of disintegration. The fissures are getting clearer. The underlying reasons are getting more and more visible. This visibility looks sinister and sounds scary.

Political events and their sociopolitical and socioeconomic repercussions that are acidic to the health of social weaving and democratic principles are growing, in frequency and in corrosiveness.

If it is not dystopian, the scenario is certainly gloomy, and if the course of political deterioration continues unchecked, like it is happening now and looks set to follow the trend in the future, it is going to create a disorder (in India) that would be beyond control.

‘Why democracy in India is in imminent danger of disintegration?’ is a regular column on my blogging platforms to take a periodic look (say a weekly or a fortnightly or a monthly round-up of events depending on the factors in play) on political developments that are dangerous to the democratic health of the country and contribute to the process of social disintegration of the nation.

A natural follow-up to this process is inclusion of the developments, spin-offs or causal, that anyhow relate to the political developments under purview in the column.

The principal themes and concerns of this column (in Indian context) are:

Political Authoritarianism
Political Corruption
Nepotism in Politics
Crony Capitalism
Sociopolitical Milieu
Socioeconomic Consequences
Political Kinship (the flipside of it)

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