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 27, 2010


File photo of Mayawati and her garland of currency notes
File photo of Mayawati and her garland of currency notes

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

India will set example of post-Covid-19 economic revival: Modi

India is determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including

3,543 ‘Shramik Special’ trains transport 48 lakh people in 26 days

Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker

How Jeevan Raths have helped 52,000 migrants in Maharashtra

Before the novel coronavirus hit it, Mumbai about 10-12 lakh labourers from elsewhere had made it their home. The figure for the state of Maharashtra was another 18-20 lakh. As the pandemic spread and the Maximum City emerged as the worst-hit place in India, all economic activities came to an end, and with

China is practicing attack as the best form of defence

For the rest of the world, it is not easy to understand China when it comes to politics or economics. Under pressure from the international community, it has accepted to open the country for a “comprehensive” probe into the origin of the deadly coronavirus. But it is not clear whether the Asian

Corona warriors to “flush the virus” in Mumbai

Even as humanitarian support is pouring in to help distressed migrants amid Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, civil society organizations and NGOs are working for sanitation of community toilets which have become breeding source of virus infection. Every community toilet has 20 seats. Each

How lockdown was used to shore up health infrastructure

India, completing about two months of lockdown to protect against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, has made good use of the time to improve health infrastructure, the government has said. Countering media reports “about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implem



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter