Kejriwal Flip-flopping for Power?
Ballot is bullet. Elect upright, shoot corrupt. India needs armies of Kejriwals to empower Aam-aadmi-voter to ruthlessly destroy colluders to make voters rule and rulers serve not for 5 minutes of voting time when rulers listen but for 5 years. For that destroy corruption before it destroys us!
Three Elders -- American, Russian & Indian -- went to see God and complained. The first said: “When will America come out of Recession?” God replied: “100 years!” The American said crying: “I will not live to see that day.” The second said: “When will Russia become prosperous?”(Workers’ Paradise?) God replied: “Fifty years.” He then cried and said: “I will not live to see that Day.” Next the Indian asked: “When will India come out of corruption?” God started crying and said: “I will not live to see that day.” I received this from an internet friend Kalarikal. To my mind it tells best the ominous Himalayan weight crushing us Indians.
Corruption is the one hydro headed monster devouring the country. Thanks to India Against corruption campaign led by Hazare and Kejriwal jointly in the initial stage, and now in different paths, more and more of the public are made aware of the stinking, sinking state of our so called democracy. The worst affected in the process are the Aam aadmi caught between devil and deep sea, the ruling coalition and the opposition, both labelling each other black like pot and kettle. Both are supported by big business, industrial houses and dynastic caravans. Thanks to Kejriwal, “sweet heart” dealings, or “gold plaiting” to embellish themselves, indulged in by all three sections behind closed doors are exposed for the benefit of the gullible public especially the illiterates to see for themselves
After all it is their vote alone that can usher in a change for the better or worse. True their role in democracy is short lived, only of five minute duration they are in the voting booth when they act independently and are acknowledged as masters in Indian democracy. Yes ours is a true democracy. But it is of five minute duration of voting time only which decides who rules.
Before voting the contesting parties are busy cajoling the voters with tall promises of freebies like colour TVs, cooking utensils, laptops, free ration, free current, nay even downright payment of Gandhi notes of 500 or 1000 per vote. It is always a contest to divert attention of the voter from real burning issues to fanciful dreams by intoxicating him with false promises so that like any one drunk he/she votes for the deceiver, concerned only about power, position and pelf, not the least about the voter or democracy.
Voter: Five-Minute Master
After voting the voter is dumped in the dustbin to be forgotten for good, except when, he/she approaches the elected with larger sums of cash as bribe even to get an audience with the elected to listen to one’s woes or to get a fraction of the tall promises made. That makes the “five-minute-master” of our democracy a literal slave of the elected to be kicked about or crushed irrevocably to shut his mouth for the next five years.
What Kejriwal has achieved, at least partially, is to highlight that short lived five minute moments of truth in our democracy and to wake up the voter to stay sane and sober during that voting time, unmoved by electoral rhetoric which is just a lot of hot air and nothing more. He has shown it even for the blind to see when he unveiled the real face of our contesting parties aided and abetted by money bags; how they actually collude among themselves behind the scenes; why their public opposition to each other is fictitious, all part of an agreed drama played out to deceive the voting public.
When Team Anna fought corruption in the abstract, without naming names, the really corrupt in parties and big business were happy since they were not directly touched. Even at that time I had argued and wrote that the team should go political exposing the corrupt in all parties, without entering party politics. When they targeted the corrupt UPA candidate in a by election they were accused of being in collusion with the RSS and BJP. They were even challenged to form a party and get elected to be taken seriously. When Kejriwal did that even against the advice of Anna and respectable persons like Hegde, the corrupt began shouting, they knew it already, that he was power hungry like other politicians.
Name & Shame Corrupt
After parting company with Anna, but not working in cross purposes, he trained his guns first against the ruling party and associates like Kurshid, Vadra and even Manmohan, the opposition was aglow with appreciation. Next came his attack of Gadkari, the BJP supremo and his fictitious business empire to which even the UPA allied NCP was allegedly connected behind the scene. Similar nexus of congress ruled states was brought to public for the meteoric rise in the fortunes of the Son in law of Sonia. Then came the bolt from the blue against the Ambani empire and business leaders in crony capitalism.
Even before that I was feeling ill at ease with the contrived losses of Oil Companies and I even twitted to Kegriwal asking why a CAG report on their business dealings could not be brought out. I even gave a piece of advice to try not to look autocratic especially in body langue when countering bitter attacks, unlike Salman Kurshid. So it was refreshing for me, whether right or wrong, when he trained guns against the Ambanies since I was following the fight on Kavery delta excavation during former AP chief YSR who died in a mysterious copter crash. The latest is the fourth front he opened naming to shame account holders in Swiss banks and the spell he casts over estranged persons like Swami Agnivesh to follow his foot steps.
Now that Kejriwal is joined by Bhushans, Subramaniam Samy, BJP and some sections of the media with alleged proof of improper financial dealings even in the case of National Herald affair, the Congress cornered on all sides, had to come out in public with a mammoth rally to save its face disfigured by various real and vested interest groups. As of today the public perception, which is what counts most in democracy, seems to weigh heavily against the Congress, since the BJP Chief Gadkari, now attacked even by his own party stalwarts, had offered himself repeatedly for an independent probe, while no such semblance of probity has come from the Congress regarding Kurshid, Vadra and Ambanies. Meanwhile Subramaniam Swamy approached the Election Commission to get the Congress party derecognised, hoping perhaps a Seshan like response, but to no avail. So he is planning to approach the court.
Of course all are vary at taking strong sides with any of the fighting factions. But the indefensibly corrupt stake holders of all hues seem to be sticking together to divert public attention from corruption the main issue of contention, to salvage their diminishing credibility and stem further loss of illegally accumulated profit. Hence the refusal at the Congress rally to take corruption head on or to answer allegations made by Swamy or Kejriwal.
It is in this light I see even the views of Wipro chairman Azim Premji, described as an exemplary business man who is said to travel in “cattle class” as proof of his simplicity and affinity to common folk for which I salute him. He advised Kajriwal not to flip-flop from topic to topic but to stay focused on one till it is settled for good.
Unfortunately he was not equally frank when asked for his views on crony capitalism, alleged misbehaviour of Salmon Kurshid’s NGO, government favours to Ambani, or Vadra’s land dealings, since he couldn’t as a business man and in self-interest afford to displease these sections, as critics have pointed out.
Besides if Kejriwal stays focussed on one scam until it is settled only after years of court battle, we all know it is for getting breathing space to relax for all other culprits before they are dragged in for public scrutiny and shame. Even the media aware of these malpractices didn’t have the courage to dissect them publicly, until Kejriwal took the risk to play the leading role.
Parting of ways Good
All these brings to the fore the on going discussion on the sidelines, whether it was right for Anna and Kejriwal to part company in fighting corruption. As long as they are not at cross purposes it must have been, even a wise move, since a multipronged attack is needed to eliminate corruption. In fact many more fronts should be opened by patriotic NGOs, honest business men, citizen journalists and even religious groups in the country to expose the nexus and network of the corrupt to public view. When gangs of corrupt hang together overtly or covertly to loot in different spheres what we need is an army of Kejriwals and Anna Hazares who take different paths to eliminate them, so that any reverses on one front is made up by other fronts.
For right or wrong reasons, there are now fans of Baba Ram Deve, of Anna Hazare and of Kejriwal. All are agreed on fighting corruption. The bulwark of the corrupt united at all cost, may easily discredit any one of them taken singly. In that case other teams could step in to carry forward the campaign to conscientize the public against the corrupt. We know all teams, or all in every team need not be totally clean like Caesar’s wife. Anna has his infallibility complex, Kejriwal his autocratic streaks and Ramdeve a corruption tainted empire.
But what is important is they are all agreed to fight corruption and help open the eyes of the Aam Aadmi before election 2014 arrives on our door steps so that the vast mass of poor voters is fully prepared, enlightened and empowered to exercise their five minutes of democratic right to use their ballot as a bullet to eliminate the corrupt. Only an army of Kejriwalls can do this mammoth “flip-flop-job” of highlighting hundreds of dark and dirty dealings and their Netas -- whether in politics, in big business, in paid news, in NGO movements or even in so-called other-worldly religious movements -- to be targeted. Netas in all these areas, busy only with amassing perks, privileges and profit to the accompaniment of honorific treatments and appellations and not with the plight of the downtrodden, must be made to go.
Transparency & Free Speech Needed
Ultimately transparency in public dealings of public servants must be helped to grow and prevail so that the will of the voting public is made to endure, not just for five minutes but for five years, the life time of an elected government. A functioning democracy concerned with common weal must care first for the least, last, lost and marginalised driven to commit suicide in despair. Only after that the needs of those battling for a tolerable life or those living a comfortable or affluent life in higher rungs of socio-economic ladder are to be attended in a welfare state.
So let public discourse on daily unearthed or still to be “flip-flopped” dirty dealings continue since discourse and debate on them in parliament is blocked by its own champions to protect themselves. May it be aided and abetted by electronic and print media, without breaching the Lekshman Rekha of decency and public decorum. That alone is the proper way to get the public ready to cast their vote for probity and transparency in public life and to achieve the change we are crying for in politics, in government and in socio-economic life in the country. For that corruption must be destroyed before corruption destroys our country!
The writer can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org