Let Maya be placated, government be saved, governance be damned

Stay silent, and thou shalt be rewarded, seems to be the mantra in Indian politics

ajay

Ajay Singh | April 28, 2010



In Mario Puzo's ‘Godfather’, the Sicilian mafia thrives on the culture of Omerta, or the code of silence. The consequence of violating this code is invariably a swift and ruthless execution of the non-conformist. The Indian political class appears to have devised a new model of political Omerta, which not only ensures silence but also gives protection to rivals for a bargain.

The manner in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been conducting itself on Mayawati's case of disproportionate assets (DA) only illustrates how the agency is being used not only to suppress the truth but also to further the interests of its political masters. The CBI claimed before the Supreme Court that it has sufficient evidence to prosecute the UP chief minister. Just by an unhappy coincidence at precisely the same time the Manmohan Singh government was facing the prospect of cut motions on the Finance Bill, notice for which was served by the Opposition parties. Simple math showed that the government's numbers to win the vote were more than a bit suspicious.

Of course, the Manmohan government was more interested in Maya's disclosed assets, which is 21 Lok Sabha members, rather than the crores of her disproportionate assets. By swinging the DA case in Maya's face, the government obviously wanted to cut a deal and cut a deal it did. After initial protestations through a counter-affidavit for public consumption, Maya agreed to ask her 21 loyal soldiers not to be found anywhere near the battlefield when the cut motions go to vote. Immediately, shamelessly, within a week of claiming that it had all proof to send Maya to the boondocks, the CBI asked the Supreme Court for time to reply to her counter-affidavit. We can rest assured that the CBI will take a long time to file its reply, or at least as long as the Manmohan government doesn't need Maya's 21 to bail it out again. To call the CBI a handmaiden of the party in power is being rather cultured in the face of extreme provocation.

This is not the first time that corruption cases against political leaders are being used by a regime to further its political interests. Just before the general elections in 2004, the NDA government used a familiar tactic in delaying the chargesheet against Mayawati in the DA case. The obvious political inference drawn was that the NDA crisis managers were keen to keep Mayawati in good humour for the possibility of a post-poll tie-up. It's another matter that the NDA lost the election and Mayawati gained further ground.

Similarly, after Mayawati won a clear majority in 2007 assembly elections, governor Rajeshwar Rao denied permission to prosecute her in the Taj corridor case. The UPA was then keen to win over the BSP which had a strong presence in the Lok Sabha, with the Congress banking on the crutches of the Left parties and Mulayam Singh Yadav. While these instances indicate amenability of the CBI, there is enough evidence to prove that the Mayawati regime managed to cajole or coerce those who filed public interest litigations related to her indiscretion as the chief minister.

All this only serves to heighten growing cynicism among people that top politicians can easily get away despite their involvement in cases of glaring corruption. Is it not a fact that Mulayam Singh Yadav was bailed out by the CBI just when the Manmohan Singh government was cornered in the Lok Sabha on the Indo-US nuclear deal? That Yadav voted for the nuclear deal was seen as quid pro quo arrangement with the Prime Minister. In Bihar, Lalu Prasad was conveniently let off by the CBI on the pretext that he was exonerated by the CBI court. The corruption cases of Sukhram and Shibu Soren have been gradually fading away from people's memory as ‘political Omerta’ appears to be duly enforced in Indian politics.

And what about good governance? Save that for later, right now, save the government.

Comments

 

Other News

Gripping graphic narrative helps make sense of pandemics past

The Moral Contagion By Julia Hauser and Sarnath Banerjee HarperCollins, 140 pages, Rs 699 The world has lar

“Globally, there is unprecedented positivity for India”

Addressing the Viksit Bharat Viksit Uttar Pradesh program in Lucknow on Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi launched 14,000 projects across the state, worth more than Rs 10 lakh crore at the fourth groundbreaking ceremony of UP Global Investors Summit held in February 2023. The projects relate to sectors

World’s biggest bird-a-thon begins in India

During the four days from Feb 16, more than a thousand birdwatchers throughout India are coming together with the goal of documenting as many birds as possible across the country’s diverse locations. Over one lakh birdwatchers globally participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Coun

Comments sought on Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advt in Coaching Sector

The Central Consumer Protection Authority has sought public comments on the ‘Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisement in Coaching Sector’. The draft guidelines are placed on the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs and are accessible through the link:

Electoral bond scheme unconstitutional: Supreme Court

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India has held the anonymous, unregulated and unlimited funding through electoral bonds and companies as unconstitutional. The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court comprising chief justice DY Chandrachud and justices Sanjiv Khanna, B

Interim Budget and frontier technology: Sab ka Vikas, Sab ki Technology

The world is at the cusp of a revolution based on Industry 4.0 and green technologies, including AI, big data, IoT, EVs, solar power, etc., which offer developing countries the opportunity to leapfrog into economic prosperity. However, India’s gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) still stands at a mea

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter