India Against Corruption



From modi to yogi

By PREM CHANDRAN GIVE EVEN THE DEVIL its due. Yogi Adityanath is baring his fangs from Day One, and in .....

: Oct 2012
: Adur, Kerala, India
: 66
: 99 | 0.03 Per Day
Thumbs up From modi to yogi


GIVE EVEN THE DEVIL its due. Yogi Adityanath is baring his fangs from Day One, and in positive ways. He has asked both his ministerial colleagues as also officials to declare before him their assets within a matter of two weeks, asked the DGP to talk to the cops and make sure that they maintained law and order and thwart attempts at communal riots, and closed down a few slaughter houses, all in the first two days of his assumption of office. Chances are that, sooner or later, he will outwit the master craftsman in politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, himself.

Adityanath is not our favourite chief minister. Not yet. He’s not the stereotype we are familiar with. He looks quite ordinary, does not have the weight to throw around, and is somewhat simple and expressionless other than for his sharp tongue. Nor is he comfortable with starched clothes that give the Indian leader the extra weight and added clout. Adityanath has had cases against him for involvement in riots; and he had let his tongue loose on many occasions, targeting such Muslims he saw as anti-nationals or cow slaughterers, and taken a hard line in respect of the Ram Temple issue in Ayodhya, the Ghar Vapsi, and against what is loosely termed as Love Jihad. His approach can be broadly called nationalistic and pro-Hindutva. What we didn’t take note of was his other side, wherein he acted positively and in appreciable ways. He runs a string of institutions – schools and colleges – and a 300-plus bed hospital that caters to the requirements of people across the board, Hindus and Muslims alike, the Dalits and the Brahmins alike, with no discrimination of any kind. That has won him admiration in his own turf, the Poorvanchal region that he represented in Parliament for five terms.

The man is just around 45, much younger than PM Modi, and could, if he conducts himself well, be a successor to Modi both in the party and the government. But, it’s too early to judge him.

As the saying goes, the first few steps are what matter even in a long journey. He is demonstrating that he has a vision for the future, that he would not brook malpractices like corruption, as is evident from his first acts as CM. Modi, on the other hand, sat back and took time to unveil a vision for the future. In all fairness, and despite all his big talks all along, we are yet to get to know what’s PM Modi’s vision for India beyond the Swachh Bharat and Make in India. He caught on corruption of late; and cited demonetisation as a step to check corruption. As it turned out, demonetisation helped little in checking corruption. Yet, people trusted him and backed him as is proven in the series of local body and assembly polls in the recent months in large swathes of the country. Fact also remains that it was a poorly implemented governmental step. Many things went wrong at various levels, including at the levels of banks. Lots of black money got changed through backdoors. All these are not to say demonetisation was a wrong step. The problem lay in the lack of proper planning at the implementation level. Yet, luck had it that PM Modi got away with his act. He’s smiling, in fact laughing, while Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee has her face more convulsed these days.

The nearly three years of the Modi governance has not made much impact on this nation. Not yet. Not even on the anti-corruption front. It would look as if the PM has neither the vision nor the set of right advisers to tackle issues like these. Worst of all is that he slow-pedalled matters, and has failed to spread a sense of fear against law-breakers. Catch a few big babus, parade them through the streets to the police lock-ups, and the message will percolate down to the level of the village peon. Instead, Modi basked in the adulation he got from Madison Square and elsewhere. Neither his domestic policies nor his foreign policies have the cutting edge. In other words, Modi failed to keep up with our expectations. What he stands out, and made a big mark of, so far, is in his public speeches. Many see him as the best performer on stage. But, governance requires more than whipping up the mood of the masses. It calls for strong steps at the right time.

As a whole, the Union Government that Modi heads cannot be said to be corrupt. A big relief from the days of Manmohan Singh, who himself might not have been corrupt, but several of his ministerial colleagues left the stage with egg on their faces, for their alleged outright loot of the public exchequer. That included Congress ministers as well as the crooks of the NCP, the DMK and much else. There now is no smile on the face of Sonia Gandhi. Not that she smiled a lot in the past. Tragedy hit the likes of Sharad Pawar, a good administrator who got into wrong company, but made more wealth for himself too. Modi and his men seem to be adopting a more straight path. But, question still persists as to what has he done in special to rein in the evils that plagued the nation; corruption for one; the weakening of the systems for another. Fact is, there’s no fear in the minds of the ones who let the society and the nation down. With the legal mechanisms proving to be too liberal with the wayward ways of these men, and is quoting scriptures where none is needed, the scenario remains further complicated. Criminals manage to get out of jail by obtaining bail, and indulge in the same crimes with renewed zeal. Some state chief ministers are on outright loot too. How does it help if law-makers sit for weeks on end and enact law after law, if these laws have no teeth?

Modi is making a success of himself for the reason that there is no opposition worth the name. The Congress party has a nationwide network, but it is caught in the pulls and pressures of the dynasty. Worse, it is caught with a death wish. Such is the facelessness of its leaders that if the dynasty opts to step aside, the party will split and perish. If the dynasty continues to carry the burden on its shoulders, both the dynasty and the party could sink together. That seems to be the predicament that the party is finding itself in today. The leadership is out of touch with the masses. The leaders who are in touch with the masses are out to make money for themselves by hook or by crook. That has turned out to be the Congress culture. Even at the level of a municipal corporator, they are game with loot of public money.

The GST, the border pact with Bangladesh ... there are some good efforts on the part of this government in the past three years. Or, full marks to the government for the way it handled the Burhan Wani threat from Kashmir, and sustained the pressure there for four months. It showed there’s some fire the government’s belly. The surgical strike, no big shakes, but that was worth the while too. The repeated terrorist attacks on military bases near the western border areas proved lack of alertness on the part of the defence establishment. Perhaps, Manohar Parrikkar paid a price for it, left for good, and yet found renewed acceptance back home in Goa.

Overall, problem is, our expectations from Narendra Modi as PM were much more. By contrast, our expections from Yogi Adityanath, to start with, were too little. But, his first steps speak a lot.

Last edited by Premchandran; 03-21-2017 at 09:30 PM
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