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Sunday, September 9, 2012

What a fall my countrymen!


By Swapan Dasgupta

The Moghul emperors, like many of the crowned heads of the late-medieval world, loved grand titles. It was customary for a Jehangir or a Shah Jehan to be ushered into court with a flunkey announcing the arrival of the “King of Kings”, “Light of the universe”, etc.

At the height of Moghul grandeur, when the House of Timur was truly a great player on the global stage, these pompous assertions carried credibility. What was incongruous, indeed laughable, was the persistence of these grandiose delusions during the reigns of, say, Shah Alam and Bahadur Shah Zafar. But persist they did, right till the last day in 1857.

It is remarkable how these ridiculous facets of ‘ornamentalism” has withstood the transition from Empire to Republic. In the 1970s and 1980s, no reference to Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi was thought to be adequately respectful unless it was preceded by the term ‘dynamic’. During the Emergency, D.K, Barooah equated Indira with India, and Kalpnath Rai, another Falstaffian Congress leader, equated Rajiv to a diamond.

For the past eight years, ever since Manmohan Singh was appointed Prime Minister by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, it has become mandatory for everyone, not least the media, to preface any assessment of the man with references to his learning, erudition and impeccable integrity. Not that these lofty testimonials were always contrived flattery. It would be fair to say that most Indians, particularly middle class Indians, held the Prime Minister in both awe and respect. In 2009, the BJP misread the public mood horribly and launched a strong attack on the ‘weak’ leadership provided by Singh. The electorate rejected the accusation resoundingly and re-elected the UPA.

The past three years has seen a significant shift in the public mood. The early Moghul rulers, from Akbar to Aurangzeb, cannot be equated with the later Moghuls who were either hostage to marauding chieftains or pensioners of the East India Company. Likewise, popular perception has come to distinguish between the architect of liberalisation who rose to be Prime Minister and the tragic figure who presided over the transformation of India from being the great hope to becoming the greatest disappointment.

We can still preface every reference to the beleaguered PM with allusions to his learning, erudition and integrity. But these terms of endearment carry about as much conviction as heralding the state entry of Bahadur Shah Zafar with cries of him being the “Light of the Universe”. This being a more democratic age, the allusions to the PM’s greatness is likely to be reviled and, worse, mocked. The contentious Washington Post report was actually being generous and respectful: Manmohan Singh is on the cusp of being laughed into the pages of history.

Just examine the Prime Minister’s sagging reputation since August 2010, the month that saw the Commonwealth Games controversy erupt. At that time the PM was merely singed and all the opprobrium was heaped on a professional politician who had made the Indian Olympic Committee his fiefdom. The charge against the PM was that he had failed to appoint an effective Sports Minister who would be able to keep Suresh Kalmadi in check.

After the furore over the CWG came the huge 2-G explosion. In this blast, the PM suffered second degree burns. The belief that the rigged first-come-first-served was essentially a DMK scam was widespread, although the likes of Kapil Sibal ensured that the Congress was not insulated from the ignominy. However, it was also clear that the PM was kept in the loop by A.Raja and that he chose to look the other way because of “coalition compulsions”. In short, it was established that the PM was not averse to letting expediency get the better of his otherwise fierce sense of right and wrong.

The 2-G scandal has been followed by ‘Coalgate’, involving a ministry where the PM was the minister in charge. The Government may have scored a few goals against the BJP by highlighting its disruption of Parliament. But these have been offset by the growing evidence that the Prime Minister’s Office cannot be detached from the calculated prevarication over shifting from discretionary allotments to auction-based lease of coal blocks. The most recent disclosures even suggest that the willingness of the Coal Ministry to shift to auctions was stymied by the PMO’s insistence on discretionary allotments to well-connected individuals. In other words, the charge of crony capitalism hitherto levelled against venal ministers who have had to resign and face imprisonment, has been laid at the doorstep of the PM.

In the case of Coalgate, the PM has suffered third-degree burns. Now, with the accused falling back on his right to silence, hHis reputation has been seriously disfigured, He is now on a political life support system.

The defenders of the PM can still try and make the case that it was a Chandigarh syndicate that pulled the wool over the eyes of a trusting leader. It may even be argued that the poor PM, an innocent when it comes to the murky world of politics, was merely ‘following orders’ from some mysterious higher authority. Unfortunately, such pleas are certain to prompt further questions whose answers could show the PM in a very unflattering light.

The curtain is coming down on the political career of the PM. The final act may well drag on interminably, but the audience now knows how the story will end.

Sunday Pioneer, September 9, 2012 

11 comments:

samAlochaka said...

Beginning on a lesser note: Akbar, Jehangir, and Shahjehan were not as great as they are made out to be in this article. Though the oversight can be overlooked for the point that has been made in this article is more important than hair-splitting.

On the meatier issue:

Let us suppose that there is a surgeon who had a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, is awarded FRCS, and starts practising in AIIMS.

Suppose numerous patients who are under his care die as if Yamaraj was running an emigration drive through the sugeon's office.

If such is the case, would his Harvard degree and FRCS pedigree mean much?

The test of the pudding is in its eating.

MMS is far past the stage where deferential terms like erudite, impeccable integrity, etc. can mask his egregiousness.

This man is a dishonest nincompoop and an evil conspirator. Please check here, here, here and here.

Anonymous said...

I ceratnly don't want to wait till 2014.

I certainly don't want any of these congressis & their allies like DMK & communists etc drawing pensions , luxuriating in free bungalows & writing memoirs.

I CERTAINLY don't want them to be protected in Indian prisons with a Bhagavd Geetha in hand doing Vipassna or art of living patented 20-40-20 hyperventilation.

Or the uncouth kapalabhati (transferred epithet- Sri.Patanjali would understand & pardon me)

Anonymous said...

Bribery has always been thoroughly OFFICIALLY entrenched within India in all spheres.

I remember when my faux husband
S.N.Ramachandran ( incidentally his very date of birth & allied details are completely forged in his indian passport. Forged by his own father in Andhra. Yet he is a CFO in Kuwait today) was working in Maharashtra Explosives Ltd in Nagpur.

There was tambram who was the chairman of Coal India. Routinely silk sarees , mostly ornate expensive Banarasi silk sarees & huge bottles of foreign liquor like Vat 69 Scotch whisky were taken neatly packed to induce that tambram chairman to place orders for explosives from MEL.

That coal india chairman's own relative another tambram was also working in the same MEL. Today he is big time devotee of Dayananda Saraswathi of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam. One son IIT grad , one daughter carntic cum hindustani singer thumbing through Harry Potter when I last saw her. Now married HAPPILEEEE.

There was one D'Souza who was the purchase manager of MEL ( Goan christian). It was an open secret he was very corrupt thriving on bribes. No wonder his wife & children could make many trips to Australia. That Goan christian wife named her son Jason as she was fan of Robert Ludlum's Bourne Identity.

Religion does not necessarily impact one's character.

Anonymous said...

Even before Maharashtra Explosives Ltd in Nagpur shut down partially I remember almost all the Goan christians working there somehow managed easy immigration into Australia.

All of them.

There was one Tamil Brahmin family comprising of a widowed mother & her grown up two daughters. One of them called M was working as a "personal secretary". Most of them learned typing , shorthand , smattering of English phrases , put on required make up , attire & voila get permanently employed as " personal secretaries" drawing plump salaries , perks , loans thus acquiring properties also.Today they say " we are very much into computers..MCA , C+++ yadayada. But it is all same same.

Apparently very softspoken & meek.Like typical deceitful Indians.

Both the sisters WITH THEIR MOTHER's APPROVAL & CONSENT picked on one Palestinian man who had come there for pursuing some study.Indian Universities have a compulsory quota system forcibly giving grants to Middle Eastern students including Afghanistanis as India is OFFICIALLY OVERTLY & COVERTLY ANTI ISRAEL. And pro PLO, Iraq , Iran as Indian Establishment be it any party cannot survive a second without Indian muslims' votes.

They DID NOT MARRY that Palestinian man. Indian women are extremely LUSTFUL UNSCRUPULOUS MERCENARIES. Both of them slept with him. Both became pregnant & delivered two or three children.Whenever he travelled to his country they asked him to bring lots of glossy satins , silks , frilly lacey dress material wholesale.Not stitched garments. With that material they not only made salwar suits for themselves but also upholstery , panties , curtains etc etc.

After he finished his studies he left.They could not speak even Arabic.English was lousy. YET that family was very contented.

When I expressed my bewilderment both of them told me in their mother's presence:-

" We got what we wanted.We don't want any husband".

Should any hindu cry " immoral/illegitimate" they can at once "convert to Christianity" as Indian christians offer plenty of hard cash along with refrigerators, washing machines , free furnished apartments , entry into colleges , convents , plum posts even abroad if they "convert to Christianity".

Here in Kuwait one such converted Kerala christian worker ( blue collar carpenter) proudly told me he has converted an entire town in Kerala with such cash given. Yes it is very true I am not making it up.Another Keralaite Christian ( include Goans, Mangaloreans, Tamilians also )couple also told me while travelling at Dubai airport.

What zapped me was that the cash endowed carpenter asked me to give him a bottle of mineral water for FREE. One bottle of Mineral water cost just hundred fils then. I did not ask him to buy it himself when I OUGHT to have & could have.

WHY?

At once these blue collar/white collar all collared Indians wouod band together & strangle me calling me " high caste rich hindu Tamil denying just one bottle of pure water for this ohsssopoorthirstytoilercarpenter from India living in squalor in some camp remitting money to India enriching India motherrrrrland...& There are so many ministers & politicians & christian clergy to join such malicious crusades.

Agneya Shyamvarni said...

India is indeed a country of unimaginable diversities. Deadly prime ministerial reticence is admirably counter-balanced by ear-numbing loud-speakers belting out middle-eastern audio many times a day.

Anonymous said...

Bollywood's Saif Ali Khan Pataudi's son is incredibly rich. Calling himself a scion of Nawab family has inherited enormous amounts of wealth, property etc.

He has gone through devious ways of evading customs duty in procuring a luxury car from Dubai through another muslim friend. I hope people of India keep these in mind & stop falling at the feet of these scum called Indian actors & actresses.

Anonymous said...

These fishermen sought Smt.Jayalalithaa’s help on being attacked by Srilankans.

It is again the fishermen community which had planned to imprison as many policemen as possible with their wide nets drowning them in the sea it transpires.

People of India are responsible for whatever troubles they face.

A solitary Narendra Modi and Jayalalithaa can only do so much.

Why is it even today only one Sri.Visvesvariyar of Karnataka is mentioned with considerable awe & respect ? Not only known for his academic illustriousness (brilliant engineering skills) but his unimpeachable character. One Kamarajar.

Why such a paucity of good Indians??

Deepak said...

Swapanda, I am surprised to note your comment that the BJP lost in 2009 because they attacked Mannu. Fact is Congress won purely because of local issues. Local leaders like YSR, Karuna and anti-incumbency against BJP state Govts and the presence of splitters like Raj Thackerey helped Congress to win. It was definitely not a national win for Congress, they won because of performances in individual states.

And of course media has lost all credibility, as seen in the way it kowtows to Madam and Mannu. So a perception had been created that Mannu is the forefather of Mr.Clean. But thanks to Vinod Rai, Mannu's true picture is revealed - as a useless good for nothing who desperately sticks on to his chair without caring for morality or any such lofty values.

Anonymous said...

I am glad I was indeed RIGHT in my assessment of Sri.Swapan Dasgupta alone as an exceptional Indian among various good for nothing Indian journalists. T.R.Jawahar is another person whose writings I enjoy.

Aside that Pakistanis writing in a particular blog WON my instant admiration the very first time I stumbled upon it serendipitously thanks to an Australian who had highly recommended various posts by Pakistanis.

TRUTH is something that can NEVER be negated.Thanks to Pakistan my misgivings & serious doubts about useless India & its inability to shine ever stood vehemently confirmed.

Anonymous said...

" All That Glitters Is Not Gold".

I had very serious doubts & fears about this kanchan gupta. And am glad again I stand vindicated.

Made a grandiloquent show of advocating free speech in his allegedly new niticentral.

All my precious posts have been deleted by him & his sycophants.

I don't archive nor make a copy of my comments. I wonder if holier than thou pro ISRAEL posturing kanchangupta pipe smoker bong would have the DECENCY at least to send a copy of ALL my comments to my email id given.

My name is Rajalakshmi.

Ditto for equally pompous showoff IITian atanu dey who I had rightly described a blockhead. It is my blog I have every right to delete he thunders often & thus deleted most of my comments after absorbing my lateral opinions in his impervious blockhead.

These scum have no right to pontificate as journalists or aam janata.

Anonymous said...

" All That Glitters Is Not Gold".

I had very serious doubts & fears about this kanchan gupta. And am glad again I stand vindicated.

Made a grandiloquent show of advocating free speech in his allegedly new niticentral.

All my precious posts have been deleted by him & his sycophants.

I don't archive nor make a copy of my comments. I wonder if holier than thou pro ISRAEL posturing kanchangupta pipe smoker bong would have the DECENCY at least to send a copy of ALL my comments to my email id given.

My name is Rajalakshmi.

Ditto for equally pompous showoff IITian atanu dey who I had rightly described a blockhead. It is my blog I have every right to delete he thunders often & thus deleted most of my comments after absorbing my lateral opinions in his impervious blockhead.

These scum have no right to pontificate as journalists or aam janata.