Republic Day 2011 celebrations come to an end today with the colorful and spectacular Beating of the Retreat Ceremony where the Massed Bands of the Indian Armed Forces put up a magnificent display of military music and colorful splendor. As I write this Column the Beating of the Retreat Ceremony is coming to a close on TV with the Massed Bands playing the soul-stirring tunes of “Saare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara” which translated into English means “Our India is The Best In The World”. One wishes that this sentiment and pride would really be true. But it is not so on Republic Day 2011, when while the rest of India is pulsating, throbbing and economically vibrant, India led by the Congress Government has gone into a sordid tailspin of rampant political corruption of unprecedented magnitude. The Congress President and the Congress Prime Minster seem to be in a ‘politically comatose state’ in not attempting to sternly arrest the corruption ‘tsunami’. In the process India seems to be a “politically failed state” and the image of these two Congress Party icons stands severely diminished.
Those readers who would like to join issue of my classifying India as a politically failed state as India by any stretch of imagination is not like Pakistan, Somalia or North Korea my answer would be as what follows. How do you classify a State where its apex political leadership hesitates to take action on rampant corruption whose footprints lead to the very doorsteps of the ruling political establishment? How do you describe a State where political leaders, barring some honorable exceptions, feel it is their birthright to amass billions of dollars in slush money? How do you describe a State where the ruling establishment obfuscates their lack of political will to take strong action against political leaders and their dubious contacts who act as conduits to convey their monies to Swiss Banks?
How do you describe a State where the very integrity of high Constitutional appointments calling for untainted pasts and probity are tampered with by imposing on grounds of political expediency individuals whose credentials are being challenged in the Supreme Court? How do you describe a State where a former Chief Justice of India, the upholder of the Constitution, is being thrown questions at for impropriety?
Obviously, in light of the above one is constrained by pain, anguish, anger and frustration to term India in 2011 as a “politically failed state”. Is this the India that Mahatma Gandhi had in mind of an independent India? What a pitiable spectacle that those who claim to be the inheritors of Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy and mantle should have landed India in2011 to such a sorry corrupt state where foreign investors are now having doubts on further investments in India
How do you describe a State where the political icons of the ruling party maintain a ‘Sphinx-like silence’ on the corruption scams and feel constrained to take stern actions as it may rebound on some of their own and where the entire political class is so being thrown open to ridicule and contempt of the citizenry of the Indian Republic?
India today on TV Channels is being treated to a daily dosage of unending political scams and worse misrepresentations to cover up political culpabilities and confusing and blowing smokescreens on corruption scams by the official spokespersons of the ruling party. In defending the indefensible, the ruling party spokespersons resort to brazen outbursts or walk away from panel debates on TV in a huff in full public view or resort to theories of relativities in corruption that exists today with what might have existed when their political opponents were in power.
It was utterly disappointing to hear a young and promising Congress Member of Parliament like Scindia asserting on a TV debate that why blame the politicians for corruption as the politicians only reflect the trends of the society to which they belong, or words to that effect. He has conveniently forgotten that it is the other way around as a Sanskrit saying reflected in colloquial Hindi says: “Yatha Raja Tatha Praja”.
In such a dismal and sordid political scenario with shades of a politically failed state hovering over the Indian Republic something has to give. Would this moment throw up another Babu Jaya Prakash Narayan to stir up India’s conscience to action to stem what seems as an irretrievable tailspin into rampant political corruption and political brazenness?