The dirty tricks department is working overtime
Prasanna Mohanty | April 18, 2011
The dirty tricks department of the Congress and the government it leads is out in the full force. Look at the speed with which it has acted to discredit Anna Hazare and his associates in the drafting committee on Lokpal bill personally. The real motive is to discredit the anti-corruption crusade and through it, the move to set up the Lokpal.
In quick succession, property deals and a CD involving the father-son duo in the committee – Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan – are out, raising doubts about their credentials. Former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who last surfaced at the time of the cash-for-votes scam in 2008, is back in action. True or false, the charges against the Bhushans shift the focus to their personalities, away from their cause. Predictably, they will be busy fighting their personal battles for the next few months. The plan seems simple: 'Throw enough dirt and some will stick'.
Anna, of course, has been the target right from the beginning. He was derided for undermining democracy for saying that he doesn’t want to fight election because he will lose his deposit if he does. "(People) Take Rs 100 and vote, take bottle of wine to vote, an election costs Rs 6-7 crore," he had said. Those backing the politicians in the fight against corruption turned it on its head and said this reflected what faith he had in democracy. The naivety was touching, as if Anna had made a shocking revelation to us, even if it may not be the whole truth.
Veteran Congress leader Digvijay Singh has been after Anna tirelessly. He found fault with Anna for praising Narendra Modi for his rural development projects, questioned money mobilised and spent on organising the dharna and also questioned his association with RSS. He even asked for inclusion of NGOs in the Lokpal’s ambit.
Now, Anna has been made to repose his faith in parliament and its supremacy. He was last heard replying to a question about his stand in case the parliament rejected the Lokpal bill. He said it would be acceptable to him. It may seem the right thing to say but make no mistake. The politicians will hold it up to him and the rest of us if the Lokpal bill falls through.
The historical evidence of past 42 years shows that that may indeed be the case. Eight Lokpal bills have come before the parliament, the highest democratic institution of the country, and yet, failed to pass the muster. Now that Anna has endorsed parliament’s right to reject, the Congressmen and other politicians would be laughing their hearts out.
The Congress, having been in power for the larger part of free India, knows how to keep an inconvenient law at bay. There are enough “allies” whose services can be used at the right time to shout down the law in parliament on some ground or the other.
Yes, indeed, the motive of the politicians, particularly those in power, is suspect and that is why we don’t have an effective mechanism to fight corruption in the first place. The crusade is against that very intention. And don’t doubt, even for a moment, the politicians’ capacity to manipulate their way through.
The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World By Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan HarperCollins / 284 pages / Rs 599 Professor Noam Chomsky, linguist and public intellectual, has often spoken of &ls
The brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has left a significant death toll in its wake. Health experts advise that the imminent third wave can be delayed by following simple measures like wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing. However, near the end of the second wave, we witnesse
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has emphasised deciding driving hours for truck drivers of commercial vehicles, similar to pilots, to reduce fatigue-induced road accidents. In a Na
In a step towards Telecom Reforms which aim to provide internet and tele connectivity for the marginalised section, the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communica
Raising concerns over rising seawater levels and climate change, Mumbai First, a 25-year-old public-private partnership policy think tank, has written letters to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, minister for environment and climate change, tourism and protocol, Aditya Thackeray and Mumbai munic
After the recent announcement of the government guarantee for Security Receipts (SRs) to be issued by a public sector-owned National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), there is a surge of interest around this desi version of a super bad bank. The entity will acquire around ₹2 trillion bad debts fr