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/

WE, THE INDIANS, BUT WHO ARE WE?

We are to be blamed. We cannot shirk the responsibility. And so we are rightly to be condemned.

But who are we?

Are we the idiots, the nonsensical stuff, who are tailor-made to remain so.

You may disagree but, logically, I am correct.

What else should we be when we, so foolishly, elect the set of corrupt and criminally tainted politicians year after year, election after election?

What else should we be when we blindly follow the godmen who defy every tenet of godly behaviour?

Who else could we be when we fail to identify what is good for us, what is bad for us, what is practical for us, and what is logical for us?

Who else could we be when we repeat the mistake, again and again, not learning from the innumerable chances that our mistakes, that our errors of judgement, that our misplaced sense of discretion, give us, again and again.

Politics is supposed to be the sociological function to shape and strengthen the democracy in a country like India. Politicians are supposed to be the elected custodians to serve the cause of the people to support the elements of democracy.

Religion is supposed to be the ideological, spiritual and social function that inculcates a discipline to follow life according to the norm in a society, a norm that intends to promote the humane values, the concept of ‘humanity first’.

But, both, politics and religion are creating effects, events and undercurrents in the society and in the country that are antithesis to these supposed functions.

Add to it the cancerous concoction of religion and politics. It completes the circle of exploitation, of democracy, in the name of democracy.

And we, the idiots, are source of this jeopardy.

We keep on electing leaders while they are in jails. We keep on voting them in power even if they are illiterate, have been incarcerated for their criminal attributes, have court cases piled up against them, and are even alleged of murdering other human beings. The proportion of such politicians in the political lot is increasing at a dominating rate.

We keep on following and worshipping babas, the godmen, like fanatics even if they are jailed for allegations like rape and murder, even if they throw tantrums like film celebrities, even if they defy the god the name of whom they use to sanctify their unholy godliness.

Yes, we are to be blamed. We cannot shirk the responsibility. And so we are rightly to be condemned for the predicament we are in, for the imminent threat the Indian democracy is in.

©/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/