Thursday, June 09, 2011

Fight against Corruption can not ignore vital issue of communalism in India

Fight against Corruption: Are we Serious ? By Vidya Bhushan Rawat Those were the years when the people in Uttar-Pradesh and Bihar thought that now the change was about to come. The crowd at his gathering was increasing regularly. The speeches were laced with new adjectives of ‘future of India’. Rajeev’s clean image had taken a beating. The expose had jolted his government. As finance minister, he ordered that the corruption charges against prominent industrialists be probed. Many of them had to go to jails. He selected his officers on the basis of their probity and personal strength. They gave him results. Soon, the ‘best finance minister’ was shunted out of the Ministry to ‘defend’ the country. The Industrialists wanted him out. He ordered an inquiry against corrupt politicians too and they too wanted his exit. No industrial house in India can survive without corruption. Tax evasions were rampant and he was trying to find out the big fishes without understanding that these sharks would connive together and throw him away. He was send to Defense Ministry ignoring big public opinion against him. Government of that day was habitual of such things. Rajeev was surrounded by the coterie and completely ignored saner advises. As he moved to defense ministry, he found that there was a commission paid in HDW Howitzer deal ordered from Germany. The Bofors report also came out and it became difficult for Congress to hide its face. This he that time was V.P.Singh who we all love to hate despite his personal integrity and honesty in political life. Yes, V.P.Singh was dismissed from the primary membership of Congress Party for his fight against corruption. Yet, the successful thing was that he became symbol of fight against corruption in India in the late eighties. The students, middle classes jumped and joined hand. His personal image remained cleaned all the time. The government of the day, started personal vendetta and fictitious reports were created. Editors were hired to write in papers. Some of the biggest name of Indian media jumped into the fray and allowed themselves to be used in a vicious propaganda against Singh. A fake account was opened under his son Ajeya Singh’s name in St. Kitts islands which later turned out to be fictitious. He ancestral property issue also cropped up. Yet, V.P.Singh could survive because he was simply a man of integrity and his life was open for probe. The upper caste middle classes were first to jump on his bandwagon when they realize that he is now ready to overthrow the government. The Brahmins of Varanasi anointed him with title ‘ Rajarshi’ and he developed tremendous good will of the people i.e. upper castes. V.P.Singh came to power in 1989. He ensured that people with integrity take charge of the ministry. The government was functioning well. It started allowing freedom to Doordarshan and all India radio. It was refreshing to see news that time. It was working on labor and election reforms. Lot of other issues including Lokpal was under consideration that time. That apart, the Janata Dal as a political party had promised to fulfill 27% quota for the OBCs. On August 7th, 1990, V.P.Singh announced the acceptance of the Mandal Commission Recommendations in Parliament. Till one month nothing happened and slowly the upper castes realized that their control over power is slipping and unless a slanderous campaign is started, they will be completely out of power. So, not only slander but everything that was available in dictionary was used to defame the Dalits and OBCs. The middle class Hindus were in the streets against OBC quota. V.P.Singh became one of the most hated politicians of our time. So much that none of the Hindu journalists ever want to say few things about him. Today, when we are fighting against corruption, none of these leaders bothers to even mention his name. Why? The answer lies in the upper caste hatred against anything that provides connection of power to the Dalits and marginalized. V.P.Singh was the greatest person as long as he was talking about corruption and everything but he became the worst since he started talking about the Dalits and OBCs. His government not only did the OBC quota but it also provided reservation for Neo Buddhists and the Centenary celebration of Baba Saheb Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar and honoring him with Bharat Ratna. Similarly, Mayawati is not corrupt as long as she placate the upper castes but as soon as she has erected those monuments of Dalit Bahujan icons in the city of Lucknow, we are angry because we feel that the natural inheritor of our roundabouts in the city center, are the Gandhis, Nehrus, and our so many Gods and Goddesses. The upper caste middle class feeling is that Dalit Bahujan icons should remain in the Bastis and dalitwadas When we talk about corruption, how can we ignore the illicit land deals in our country? How can Anna and his team just feel that corruption is just in terms of money? The biggest corruption in today’s India is selling of our natural resources, our land, forest and water. What is their stand on it? What will they do that powerful and well connected people do not buy land just because they have money. Will we put a ceiling on land in India despite people’s purchasing power? When civil Society want to judge every one, who will judge civil society? What is this civil society. Did Anna and his team follow any principle of democracy in forming his team? How does democracy survive? With such blackmailing tactics of Gandhi who used it to foil the separate electorate of Dalits?’ The issue of corruption is not light but then those who want to fight against it should also remain clean. Yes, for people like us, they should not only be clean but also have faith in our secular pluralistic values and can not be hate preachers. How are these multi billionaires who have acquired their property in each state and even outside India interested in fight against corruption? Do Anna and team not know that Baba and his games, his property and his money? Is it a fight among those who say you have grabbed over one hundred million rupees and it is our term to do so? How are we going to talk about individuals? Democracy will have to come out of these individualism and work. Yes, corruption affects us all. So why not we start to work developing a movement from the ground involving those who lands have been grabbed by the local elites who may be donating huge sums to these anti corruption fellows. Should we not see who these forces we want to project an alternative are. Just because there is a crowd does not mean that it has right to do anything. Crowd does not provide legitimacy. Many of our friends actually feel that any one who brings out the crowd is great. Yes, Babas crowd was not a crowd of social justice. Anna’s crowd is similar. The stupidity of the Sangh’s propaganda is that the Ramleela ground incident is being portrayed as Jalianwallah massacre. And see their gleeful faces in Rajghat. Sushma was dancing while Advani was comparing this incident to Jalianwallah Bagh. None ever question about the fictitious land deals of Ram Dev and other Babas. If we ignore the vital corruption in terms of land in the name of mutts, temples, Gurudwaras and mosques, we can not fight against corruption. In fact, we provide legitimacy. We can not start a movement in which India majority population feel isolated, and fearful. The concern of 20% Indian Muslims and other minorities are important and can not be ignored. It is not just corruption but also their place in India and partnership in decision making. How do allow Dalit, Adivasis, Muslims and other partnership in our movement if we allow the entire reactionary forces in our decision making. Just because you want to eliminate Congress Party does not mean you can ally with any one. Yes, if the government and those who claim to work for us, are serious, then they must talk corruption of all kind, in all forms, anywhere. And not talk what is suitable to middle classes who started corruption and want to lead the movement against it too. We want the government to release all the land papers of temples, mutts, Gurudwaras, Churches and Mosques. Let the people know how much money is lying there and who is using it for what purposes. Anna Hazare and his team would do great danger if they do not consider it as corruption. Will they speak on it ? Will they take on the religious thugs sitting on our land and water and preaching us of austerity? The Hindutva forces are working over night on their agenda. They will use all the platforms which brings back power to the bramanical social order. After Ramdev, they want to bring back Uma Bharati to fight against Mayawati. While Congress is shamelessly sticking to Brahmin elite in Uttar-Pradesh, the Hindutva is busy with experimenting and who else can do it better than the Shudras. It is time we understand the dangers of such fight against corruption and expose them tooth and nail. None can be a bigger threat to India than the ascendancy of the Hindutva forces to power. Let us fight against corruption and expose the very source of it.

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