Thursday, February 17, 2011

Manmohan Singh: Disgracefully shameless

India is seeking a permanent seat at the United Nations and constantly boasts about its readiness to join the 'big boys' club yet here is its Prime Minister talking like a besieged potentate of a banana republic. Shame. Utter disgrace. When I read the excerpts I simply could not believe myself that this was a man loved by many and looked upon by many as a man of integrity. Manmohan Singh has no integrity.

When we hear outlandish stories of corruption by Laloo, Mulayam, Jaya, MK we do get outraged but in the same breath we just roll our eyes and sigh "what do you expect". To hear Manmohan feebly protest how his cabinet was practically foisted on him by allies, while an open secret, is plain unconstitutional. Here is the PM saying on live telecast that his cabinet was not formed by him. A sheer mockery of the constitution. Maybe we should thank him for saying on camera what is an open secret. The worse part is when he claimed that he did not know what Raja did. Utterly irresponsible statement that reflects badly on his lack of control as the head of the government. Again, should we rather thank him for his guts to say that his ministers do not in fact report him but to their own party bosses and special interests.

What was he thinking when he had to say "I am not such a big culprit"? Did he think he was delivering some sort of Nixonian "checkers speech" or a Nixonian denial "there shall be no whitewash in the white house". What do we do with a statement like this "I had no reason to feel that anything seriously wrong had been done or that I had the authority to object to Raja's induction. Complaints were coming from all sides -- from companies, which had not benefited. I was not in a position to make up my mind if anything was seriously wrong". The PM of a country that is boasting of becoming an economic powerhouse on par with the most developed countries, is stating that he had no "authority to object to Raja's induction". There are complaints from all and sundry and the Oxford economist says "I was not in a position to make up my mind if anything was seriously wrong". What more should have gone wrong for him to think 'anything was seriously wrong'.

Not satisfied with expressing his utter helplessness and figure head nature he rubs salt with a Marie Antoinette like remark equating food and fuel subsidies with notional loss in 2G scam. Did this guy really come out of Oxford or did he just saunter around Oxford? Do we call this chutzpah or brazenness or chicanery or plain pig headed logic.

When Manmohan Singh (defeated in 2004 Lok Sabha election) was foisted on India by Sonia Gandhi through a backdoor Rajya Sabha seat (Assam, where he had not resided) the intelligentsia actually rejoiced despite the chicanery involved. It was seen as necessary evil in a country where a man like Singh can never get elected in the rumble tumble of politics. The re-election of Congress in 2009 was in large part due to Manmohan's clean image and of course the alliances. The second time Manmohan became PM on his own right. After a brief moment in the sun his image took beating thanks to a dour corrupt politician from South,  M.Karunanidhi, who wanted cabinet ministries for his children (from two wives) and patently corrupt figure heads. 

Indira Gandhi haughtily declared "corruption is a global phenomenon". Asked whether he should have called out the army earlier to stem the anti-sikh pogrom, Rajiv Gandhi imperiously declared "when a large tree falls the earth is bound to shake". Karunanidhi's bedrock principle of public service is his motto, "he who take honey from the honey comb is sure to lick his hand". Laloo, Mayawati and Jaya set new standards in looting the state. By all that standard Manmohan is indeed a incorruptible saint. It is very probable that Manmohan did not make a penny out of all these scams. If that is the standard to judge leaders then he is surely exemplary. The only reason that he was loved by the intelligentsia was his incorruptible nature and India sure invested high hopes in him. 

Integrity is not only being personally honest its much beyond that. Manmohan is now seen not as somebody who is trying to do good within the conflicting demands of a fractious democracy rather he is seen as somebody who has sold his soul to cling to power. He is now Dr.Faust pure and simple. I don't buy the trope that he is helpless. If he had fired Raja much earlier and read the riot act to DMK he would have called out their bluff. Today CBI is contemplating questioning Kanimozhi and there is no whimper of protest from DMK. Manmohan could have called the shots at several stages, pleading compulsions of alliance is whining. I guess he is fit only to be a beaurocrat not a leader. He is an insult to any concept of 'leadership'. 

To quote Oliver Cromwell, "you have stayed far too long for any good you might have done, in the name of God, GO".

1 comment:

Shiree said...

Love your article on Shameless MMS.