The BJP used the ‘India Against Corruption’ campaign to vilify the UPA. The Lokpal lives in oblivion, untouched by prevailing graft. And Kejriwal continues to sell himself.
As the Buddha said, the three things that cannot be hidden for long are the sun, the moon and the truth. The former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) now, in a way, admits that he told a lie when he named Sanjay Nirupam as one of those who pressurised him not to include Dr Manmohan Singh’s name in the CAG report on his outlandish claims about presumptive loss to the government due to non-auction of spectrum. As it turned out, Sanjay Nirupam never met the man. The CAG provides no explanation; only an apology.
It is this presumptive loss theory that provided both ammunition and nobility to the campaign of “India Against Corruption”. The campaign won, but in retrospect, India lost and lost badly. The lead actors of that campaign were then and perhaps even now, economical with the truth. They turned out to be harbingers of an era where deception and institutionalised corruption was perfected into an art form. At the beginning of the campaign, their leaders committed to the public that they would never enter politics. But they did. The lead actor, before becoming the chief minister of Delhi, said that he would never surround himself with security. But he did. He publicly stated that he would never move into an official residence. He was alas persuaded to do so!
The BJP used the campaign to vilify the UPA. The campaign proclaimed that a model Jan Lokpal Bill was the answer for dealing with corruption at high places. The Lokpal lives in oblivion, untouched by prevailing corruption. Kejriwal continues to sell himself. Mainstream media, which was sold out for his revolutionary ideas, is now fed by him through advertisements for propagating his cause. All of us know that corruption, far from having ended, has grown by leaps and bounds. The Jan Lokpal lies dormant, buried, and is likely to never surface. Not a single act of corruption has been investigated by the so-called Lokpal. “India Against Corruption” has turned out to be the dawn of “India for Deception”. Today, the Anna Hazares are nowhere to be seen. No candle-lit marches, no sight of emotive faces disgusted with the misuse of power. All is quiet at Jantar Mantar. We do not see the politicians dancing at the samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. We do not see the crowds gathering at Ramlila Maidan. Theatrics have ended and lies prevail.
This is not limited to that movement alone. Our prime minister, who epitomised truthfulness and the courage to fight against corruption, also proclaimed from the pulpit that he will not spare anyone, even those from his own party. He would ensure that there are no corrupt politicians in Parliament. He espoused the cause of the Jan Lokpal Bill. However, seven years have passed. Lokpal has been appointed but the “Jan” is missing altogether. I guess, there is no corruption in India anymore and the people of the nation have suddenly gone through a transformation with the passing of the Lokpal Bill. The moral fibre of this country has changed!
The prime minister attacked the then government for its policies towards Pakistan and China. Ironically, the Chinese occupy our territories while we flex our muscles through the media. Some believe that they have recently infiltrated five kilometres into our territory in Ladakh. Our prime minister says that we will give a befitting reply. At one point, he even denied the Chinese having occupied any of our territories. While the Chinese are flexing their muscles even in Arunachal, we are only using words to respond.
The political class has shed its moral fibre. It has become a collaborator with the rich, using their wealth to further its political ends. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which was mocked and vilified by the prime minister in Parliament, is now a favourite of this government. The prime minister, at global forums, refers to India as the mother of democracy, but he is seen to throttle it at home. Corruption now seems to have been institutionalised through processes of law. Electoral bonds represent the quid-pro-quo for benefits showered on big businesses. The mainstream media, which was used as a vehicle for change, has now become, barring a few, his master’s voice, wagging its tail at a few crumbs thrown at it. Institutions like the Election Commission and that of governors seem to be part and parcel of the establishment, with the latter owing allegiance to the government at the Centre and not to the Constitution and the oath of that office. They have become the mouthpiece of the Centre.
Federalism, which the prime minister espoused back in 2014, has been targeted through investigating agencies like the CBI and the ED. Judiciary stands weakened. Those having rendered judgments perceived to be against the establishment find no place in the Supreme Court. Price rise, which was bemoaned by the BJP led by its potential prime ministerial candidate at that time, has reached a level not seen before in the history of India. The price of petrol at `110 and that of diesel touching `100 per litre continue their upward spiral. The poor man’s shoulders are burdened with unprecedented high prices while the rich man’s stock market is on the up. This is the India we are living in. The conspiracy of those who led the “India Against Corruption” movement has belittled the values that we as a nation stand for. There may be many things that the Congress party did not do, which ought to have been done; there may be many decisions that can be questioned. But the Congress party did not bring the nation to its knees, leaving the people of India without a voice.
Those who spoke the loudest, silently rule. The poor continue to suffer.