From where shall I begin in the wasteland of Indian politics, should I begin with Lord Acton’s phrase -Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Or begin with George Orwell’s famous lines- But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. Or begin with Bernie Sanders remarks on Democratic socialism-Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system that is corrupt, that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.
Scam after scam is tumbling out of BJP’s cupboard which has forced the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to change the rhetoric from development and corruption free India to communal and castist politics. From promises of good governance to cow vigilante, Love Jihad to mob lynching and beef ban the nation is busy in debating trivial issues. The standard of Indian polity is declining by the day and winning the election seems to be the main agenda of the ruling party come what may and governance seems to be the last priority of the central government.
Narendra Modi came to power with high rhetoric of giving corruption free governance, development and prosperity to all Indians. As one scam after the other resurfaces from the cupboard of the Bhartiya Janata Party, he is maintaining a stoic silence on corruption. In a complete U-turn Narendra Modi is trying to protect all the accused in various scams associated with his party. In the last three years more than 14 scams have come to light under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much hyped corruption free India.
The Prime Minister’s holier than though policy was exploited during the much hyped 2014 elections. United Progressive Alliance II government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was voted out due to the alleged involvement in 2G scam, coal, Adharsh and commonwealth games scam. BJP came to power with high promises to bring back black money from foreign countries and punish the guilty involved in corruption. But within three year of its much desired clean governance at the centre, the BJP has come out with its own menu of scandals to serve the nation.
AICC spokesman Manish Tewari alleged that NDA came to power with high rhetoric of giving corruption free governance but today it was protecting corrupt elements.
Counting major scams that occurred under the incumbent NDA rule, Mr Tewari said that Vyapam scam in MP, Chhattisgarh, Lalitgate, Vijay Mallya safe escape, Gujarat Petroleum, Gujarat Land Arunchal Ex-CM suicide, Rajasthan Mining, Birala and Sahara Paper are prominent scams besides bungling of thousands of crores in the country. Terming the Modi government a ”complete failure” on every front, the AICC alleged that on the front of internal security, the law and order deteriorated resulting in riots and communal violence.
Even if we term AICC spokesman Manish Tewari’s allegations as politically motivated. How shall we react to the information provided to lawmakers on the floor of the Lower House of Parliament. According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, as many as 350 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs. 150 crore or above, have shown cost overrun of Rs. 2.65 lakh crore due to various reasons including delays.
“As on October 1, 2017, a total of 1,263 projects were on the monitor of this Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Of these, 297 are showing time overruns, 350 are showing cost overruns and 103 are showing both time and cost overruns. These 350 projects are showing cost overrun of Rs. 2.65 lakh crore,” Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister Vijay Goel said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors on-going Central Sector Infrastructure Projects costing Rs. 150 crore and above on time and cost overruns on the basis of information provided by the project implementation agencies. The Minister informed the House that causes for time overruns are project-specific and depend on a variety of technical, financial and administrative factors.
Who is to be blamed for the 350 projects showing cost overrun of Rs. 2.65 lakh crore. Is it not the responsibility of the government to complete the work in time and within the approved budget. Who is to be blamed for draining government exchequer of Rs. 2.65 lakh crore. It seems that NDA government neither has a policy nor the will to monitor the on-going projects of the government. Who is to blamed for the mess bureaucrats, technocrats or the government.
The impact of demonetarisation and GST is troubling the business community and the farming community but government has been able to doge everyone by indicating that both the measures were good for the economic stability of the country. Just a cursory look at the figures of growth under UPA and NDA government can clear the air who was better- under Manmohan Singh’s rule the ‘Economy was growing at the rate of 8.09 per cent in the financial year 2013-14. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government the growth rate has come down to seven per cent in 15-16 and now was growing just at the rate of 5.10 per cent.
Leave aside governance and economic policies and talk about internal security and external affair policies. During the last 36 months rule the PM has undertaken 36 foreign visits. But India has not been able to achieve any significant support on Pakistan Terrorism. Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10, and 110 times along the IB till November-end in Jammu and Kashmir this year, killing 30 people, the Lok Sabha was informed in the winter session. In these incidents of firing — 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel — were killed. In 2016, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations in which 13 civilians and 13 security personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured. This clearly indicates that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is becoming from bad to worse.
As the atmosphere becomes more vicious it’s better not to say anything but to conclude with William Hague’s famous quote- Governments that block the aspirations of their people, that steal or are corrupt, that oppress and torture or that deny freedom of expression and human rights should bear in mind that they will find it increasingly hard to escape the judgement of their own people, or where warranted, the reach of international law.
30 May 2020
31 May 2020