I remember this controversy
vividly as it was during that time I had moved to Mumbai in 1993 for my further
studies. NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar who was then in the Congress had just been moved
from the Defence Ministry to take over
as the Maharashtra CM to control volatile situation post the Babri Masjid
demolition riots and the Mumbai bomb blasts.
Indian Economy was then just opening up and the Government had got a major FDI for a Power Project in Dabhol, Maharashtra which was to be set up by Enron Corporation. Reports started coming out about opacity and underhand dealings in this project. The opposition led by Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray went hammer and tongs about this alleged corruption and his newspaper ‘SAAMNA’ was filled with stories about it. He went so far to say that if his party was elected to power he would throw the project in the Arabian Sea.
Riding high on this above point
besides the Hinduvta card the SS-BJP combined formed the government for the
first time in the State and guess what nothing like promised ever happened to
Enron’s Power project. Balasaheb went on the entertain Enron Chief Kenneth Lay
and the alleged face of everything wrong with Enron deal – Ms. Rebecaa Mark at
his residence. The controversy was soon put in the back burner and twenty years
later it has died its natural death.
Our political discourse is filled
with narratives like these that the political leaders use as a stepping stone
to power. Hearsay, without sound legal backup, playing the emotional card,
blaming the other side and playing holier than thou!!
From The 2G Scandal’s absurd loss
figures that were dismissed by the Special Courts, to tall claims of putting
the entire Congress Leadership in jail in 2014 election rallies the list is
The current NDA government is once
again asking for mandate on these very alleged cases without acting out on its
claims in the last 5 years or managing to get even a single conviction by the
courts. For they know it makes out for an excellent vote catcher but a really
bad legal case.
Till we have people who are
constantly fed on propaganda and are ready to lap it up, we shall have cases
like ENRON whose initial wildfire quickly turns in cold ash and helping bring
political gains without ever managing to jail a single alleged culprit.
I write this letter while you and some others are busy in back room maneuvering to have a tie-up with my party i.e. The Indian National Congress.
I do not know what my party’s Central and State Leadership
is going to decide on this tie-up but what certainly I do now know is that you
are no different from the others you so vehemently criticized from the grounds
of Ram Leela Maidan and can henceforth take no moral high ground on the basis
of principles, ethics for being a party with a difference.
In not so distant past you had painted the entire political
class with one stroke of brush as Corrupt, inept, inefficient, unprincipled etc
and garnered these anti-establishment votes to a spectacular win in Delhi
Assembly. A model you tried so hard to replicate pan-India but failed with most
of your candidate forfeiting their deposits in Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections
barring a few exceptions.
I was never a fan of your kind of politics because you
offered the people of India Utopia when you yourself knew there was none. One
by one people started leaving or were made to leave the movement that Anna
Hazare had started and whose fruits you were the only one left to devour and
From swearing on your children never to have a tie-up with
the Congress to actually doing it and now bending over backwards to accommodate
them is not surprising to those who have watched you closely. Let the truth be
told you are a Delhi Centric Party with an influence over 7 Lok Sabha Seats and
70 Assembly Seats, other than that it is just an exception.
During the heydays of the Lokpal Movement I was made to feel
guilty about being a Congressman by your fans and now when I see your antics I feel
sorry for them.
I just hope my party leadership listens to Ex. CM Shiela
Dixit ji who successfully led the state for a record three terms and hope you
too focus on your core competence i.e. Delhi and not spread yourself too thin
Immediately after the stupendous success of the BJP led coalition in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections and the dismail performance of Congress, I happened to be at a social gathering. Knowing perfectly well where my political loyalties lay a dear friend walked up to me and said “अब तो हिंदूं की सरकार आ गयी, अब अपने हिसाब से सब कर सकेंगे!”
What left me surprised was not that there was a Hindu Sarkar in place but the latter part of his statement. I did ask him what he was it that the previous governments had prevented him from doing?? He was definitely at a loss of words but was so sure that NDA was all set to empower the Hindus to take on the might of others!! BTW I was having this discussion with a professionally qualified supposedly well read individual.
4 years hence I have come to realise this supposedly well read group of people so vehemently putting across their point of views are PHD holders from the ‘Whatsapp University’; as Ravish Kumar so aptly defines it. Most news channels and newspaper are also feeding such phobia and false ideas about supposedly appeasement of minorities by the opposition parties.
What is the minority appeasement that they talk about?? Facts disprove any beneficial treatment meted out to the Muslims as has been pointed out by the Sachar Committee. Muslims were around 13.4% of the total population as per 2001 Census. However there were only 1.3% of them in the total number of students in all the IIM courses and only 3.3% in IITs. The presence of Muslims was found to be only 3% in the IAS, 1.8% in the IFS and 4% in the IPS. Share of Muslims in employment in various departments is abysmally low at all levels. In no state does the representation of Muslims in the government departments match their population share.
However one thing is for certain they is a mass who now represent a major vote bank that no political party wants to offend. So we have parties playing the supposedly ‘Soft Hinduvta’ and prefer not to be seen to close to the minorities especially the Muslims. We have the Prime Minister of our Country wearing all sorts of headgear but not The Skull Cap. I agree this is just symbolism but why this avoidance with symbols of Islam only??
India is sixth largest economy in the world and having a second largest population of Muslim after Indonesia. No party can afford to be just catering to one section of society and not be the voice of its minorities and in this case the Muslims of India.
The run up to 2019 we are once again seeing the rise of Hindu Identity well I too am proud of my Hindu Identity but my religion teaches me inclusion and not exclusion. There is no either-or for me but rather cohabitation with all the religion that make up India.
We can speculate on the results of 2019 Lok Sabha however what is non-negotiable in this mad rush in the ‘first past the post’ system is our duty to stand up and be the one for its weakest members and that is what the President of Indian National Congress Shri Rahul Gandhi recently said during one of his interactions.