Baba Vs. the Black Sheep

 Baba Ramdev’s fast against corruption is riling the Congress high command even as it attempts to be seen as proactive on the issue. But now the Dayanidhi Maran revelations only proves what we always suspected – that the Congress has spawned a regime that protects, even encourages, black sheep.

The events surrounding the spate of corruption scams in the country makes me recall pop-star Brittany Spears’ year 2000 hit single, ‘Oops, I did it again!’ to capture the latest shenanigan from the Congress’ cronies. If the plot plays out to script, Dayanidhi Maran could well be the next fall guy, but the moot point would remain pretty much the same and the polity will still beg the question – what is it in the governance code of the Congress that so much corruption crawls of the cabinet each time it hits the Lok Sabha with a comfortable majority?

It is now testing the limits that we should still have to debate in subtle language the rapacious greed of the ruling junta and its Machiavellian tactics to defend, hide and protect such people as we are seeing unmasked almost each month. That the UPA-2 stumbles along, in spite of all this is a testament to how well the Congress party has mastered the art of outsourced responsibility.  It not only uses allies, friends and accomplices in its network of operations and as quickly dumps them, it has also patented the mechanics of protecting its troika of leadership consisting of the Congress President, the Prime Minister and the heir apparent from the fall out through a matrix of subterfuge and political ventriloquism.

Holier than thou

It uses standard procedures of power play like having its own members attack itself to ward off real opposition – a role earlier outsourced to the left while in government with them, and now to the NAC. It appeals to both the higher and the baser instincts of the public – officially celebrates the Osama Bin Laden breakthrough and then uses servile henchmen to mouth palliatives for the Muslim community. It engages  cussedly with civil society groups on the Lokpal bill while its dirty tricks department by the side tries to bring them down publicly. It dallies with Baba Ramdev, even as it details family friendlies like Shahrukh Khan and slavish secularists to besmirch him. It assuages the nation about the spotless intentions of the Government on corruption but balks at the mention of Swiss bank accounts. It projects its leaders as messiahs of clean politics even as it offers sustenance to graft and victimizes those who would fight it.

This game of changing masks is achieving a sophistication that the country has never seen before and I daresay the enormity of the web of deception that has been woven around us all is still not clear to many. Even the media is incredulous, arguing against itself even as it uncovers scandal after scandal unbelievingly. This paralysis of judgment, even reticence to route the crime to its masters, is more intriguing than the scandals they tend to unearth.

Thuggery and jugglery

In Delhi, where the crime is no less cardinal, the media is looking even more menial. The Shunglu Committee report, a byproduct of the Committee set up by the Prime Minister to enquire into the excesses of the Commonwealth Games indicted a number of people including the Chief Minister Shiela Dixit and CWG Organising Committee boss Suresh Kalmadi. But while Kalmadi is in jail, Shiela Dixit was accorded the unique privilege of sending a rebuttal to the Committee’s findings – unbelievable but true, and a first even by the glamorous double standards of the Congress. But if only it were to stop there!

A serious case of ministerial corruption in Delhi where the PWD Minister was found influencing the state tax department against a high profile business house was indicted suo moto by the Lokayukta of Delhi Manmohan Sarin who, on the basis of a preliminary, and then a fuller enquiry recommended the Minister’s dismissal on account of charges of attempting to obstruct a government official from carrying out his duty. That the case pertained to VAT evasion of hundreds of crores of rupees and which was enough to get the business house into trouble and its owner into possible incarceration was precisely the reason the Lokayukta acted in the manner that he did. But once again, the Delhi CM got carte blanche. In a splendid display of self righteous contempt, she first publicly berated the Lokayukta and then once the file was escalated to the LG and the President of India, lobbied hard with the Congress President to get her man off the hook. For a man that the Lokayukta had asked the President to “withdraw her pleasure” now continues, with her pleasure, thanks to the raise of an eyebrow at 10 Janpath.

The sinister code of protecting one’s own and those who can spill beans is now a counter movement to the whistleblowers we are prone to toast. If the President of India can walk all over the Lokayukta with such élan at the behest of a party president and her all-powerful acolyte, then we have hit the nadir of institutional decay.

Crooks, cronies, charlatans…..lend me your ears

That the Congress has hollowed out every institution of worth since its last run at the hustings is plain to see and below the worth of notable discussion anymore, but the dazed silence of the middle class, the media and the men who matter is a breathtaking paean to the state of our self respect and self worth as a nation. Each time we say this, there are howls of protest at the yeoman service media has provided in outing the Rajas of graft, but that is precisely the point  – we are investigating sitting ducks; it is as if it were an investigation of convenience. We have seen nothing of anyone even attempting to challenge the validity of the PM to continue in office even as ministers and members of his party fall like nine pins in a game of bluff.  We see no body with the courage to challenge the propriety of allowing Kalmadi to sweat in jail while his colleague in the party – or partner in crime as far as Shunglu is concerned –  is signing her own clean chits. I visualize no one, for instance, having the gumption to question the President’s move to supersede the Lokayukta.

If this regime is allowed to carry out its devastating design, the country will pay for it for decades. There is a run on our morality, and somebody has to stop it. The President of India’s decision in the context of the current mood of the nation and the squeeze on graft is not only a signal in the opposite direction but in effect a marker to the tendencies of the Congress’s innate organizational DNA. This weltanshauung, as it were of the Congress, is the next demon we have to slay.

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Picture Credit: uttrakhandspider.com

This post has appeared under a different headline in The Pioneer, Delhi of Saturday 4th June, 2011.

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Comments
8 Responses to “Baba Vs. the Black Sheep”
  1. sanjaykaul says:

    Thanks for the feedback, but do point out if you find any words used inappropriately.

  2. Niraj says:

    Hi Sanjay,
    I have been listening to your debates on Times now and I think you have been doing a really great job. Your points are extremely valid and well thought out. Unlike the other panelists your views are normally expressed very lucidly on the debate.
    Keep up the good job!

  3. Jyoti Balasundaram says:

    Sanjay, this is not in response to this blog but the debate I watched on “What next for Baba Ramdev. I must say you were saying absolutely crap in the debate. The debate is about what next for Baba Ramdev and you were blasting Acerkar for what he thought of what next for Baba Ramdev. You came with your discourse on ” The cause is biiger than the prsonality”. UInfortunately what you nugged up with out understanding was not the topic of this debate. The debate was on what next for Baba Ram Dev. I got the impression that you are mugging up a lot of things without understanding and spweing it out impressing some gullible guys. For any educated guy you will be seen as a piece of crap.

  4. loyola says:

    I am increasingly becoming a great admirer of Sanjay Kaul , but without seeming to to diverge from such important matters on hand I would like to sugest that while the blogs are an eye opener, it might be easier to read if there was’t over the top usage of complex English words which are’nt always used appropriately . Keep the Language simple like the way you speak ….which is phenomenal by the way . this is only a suggestion not a criticism , as what you are doing is far more important than the choice of Words ..

  5. sanjaykaul says:

    Your comment still stands!

  6. Chitra Batchu says:

    As far as anyone challenging the validity of PM continuing in office, i really doubt whether we have a PM? We never hear his voice in any matter. We only hear the voices of his ministers , the arrogance of Kapil sibbla, the ubsurditiy of Digvijaysingh and the bickering and mudslinging Ms.Natarajan.

    Though now the congress is looking as if it is crumbling like a pack of cards standing on its scam ridden foundation
    but what other parties do we have , what other leaders can we look up to? The choice of the Indian voter is between the devil and the deep sea. He has to choose depending on what is he more scared off

  7. Santosh says:

    Well I take back my comment. It seems you are part of a political party: BJP.

  8. Santosh says:

    Great job Sanjay. We need to expose the so called civil society people paid by congress or as a matter of fact any political party. Unfortunately they are the only voices in media (Vinod Sharma, Vinod Mehta, NDTV to name a few) as we all heard in Radia tape. I wish eminent people like you start a media group (print as well as TV). We might have to arrange initial cost to setup such an enterprise but as we gain credibility it can be run on donations and trust me with growing middle class we will get enough money to run such an impartial, nationalistic enterprise. Goal should be to voice the right message (not paid advertisement) to the people.

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