India Against Corruption



Rahul as boss

By Prem Chandran Rahul Gandhi has finally arrived; and in the true sense. His somewhat sensational gatecrash at the Delhi .....

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Thumbs up Rahul as boss

By Prem Chandran

Rahul Gandhi has finally arrived; and in the true sense. His somewhat sensational gatecrash at the Delhi press club a week ago was rather rude and crude; very much unlike the image he projected so far wherein we were given to believe he was a dove and followed the path of peace and reconciliation when it came to the affairs at least of his party, of which he is now the Number Two. There is nothing to suspect yet that it was a cultivated image that camouflaged his real self; rather, it would now appear that he is seeking to hide his true self, and is keen on putting on a borrowed image for himself. In effect, however, he achieved what might look like a success in his political life for the first time, though the damage he has inflicted on the system cannot be overlooked.

But, then, do we today have a system that is in any way sacrosanct? So much nails have been struck on its coffin by successive wayward politicians and uncouth bureaucrats that what we thought was a good system of administration in this country has already been taken to dogs a long while ago, and what remains of it are largely filth and rubbish. Why then cry over a new onslaught on it by the Congress prince, who, in one sweet go, made both the Union Cabinet and its head the Prime Minister irrelevant in the new scheme of things!

He could, instead, have acted in a more responsible way by taking up the matter at the party’s highest level, getting the leadership have a rethink on the controversial ordinance on tainted lawmakers, and got it reversed by the Cabinet in normal course. But, evidently, he was keen on staging a drama, and he did it in the crudest way, its main injury having been inflicted, perhaps purposefully, on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself. Which other way to return the gratitude to an individual who set aside his personal ego for the sake of the so-called first family that reposed its faith in him and made him the head of the government for two consecutive terms, making him the longest-serving PM of this country!

Yet, crudeness apart, here now is perhaps a turn for the better. Indications coming in from Congress circles themselves, aired in bits and pieces through the media, are that the old order is setting, and the new order is just about shaping up. In simpler terms, it means the power-wielders and sycophants who surrounded Sonia Gandhi and who ultimately messed up her image and acted like an albatross round her neck and the neck of the already discredited Congress party, and by extension the government, are now on oxygen. Not just. Rumours are that Rahul Gandhi has learned a lesson on behalf of his mother that some of the cankers in the Congress as well as the UPA system itself need be operated out if these two entities have to sustain and regain the people’s confidence.

This perhaps is the calling of the times. After a two-decade freewheeling loot of the state and national exchequer, wherein politicos, bureaucrats and many others joined hands, the entire system stands subverted. There was no leadership worth its salt to keep a watch. Several sharks in politics and bureaucracy found it the ideal time to reap a rich harvest. State after state, city after city. Sonia Gandhi surely had not meant it this way. Likely, her intentions were not all that bad, though there still is the shadow of Bofors and much else that surround her too, of which she has not been able to extricate herself. Caesar’s wife need not only be chaste but appear to be chaste too.

As a starter at the top, Sonia Gandi's absolute lack of experience in both governance and party leadership, and lack of direct contact with the general public other than a set of men and women who rather formed into a clique or two, proved fatal to the country that she led for two decades, if only the scams that have come to surface and are under media glare, are by themselves any indication.Sonia’s sphinx-like image and the eminent security cover that the family is put under for obvious reasons kept her away from not just the public, but from their anxieties and aspirations too. This, sadly, applies to her son as well.

To an extent, and prima facie, Rahul Gandhi seems to seek better counsel and interact better with a wider section of the people. His perceived concern to change the old order is palpable. His latest show of rashness apart, he had come out as a good individual, but as one lacking a spirit of assertive action; something that he has reversed in one single go this past week.

In other words, the line-up on the political spectrum in the run-up to the general elections 2014 is clear by now, and there is reason to feel a sense of comfort that the nation might be heading for better times. On the one side, Narendra Modi has taken up position, and is already on the move on many fronts; on the other, Rahul Gandhi has acquired a commanding tone both within his party and the government. Both might --should -- keep the crooks and loot brigades at bay. The axe has fallen on some such in some states already, when it comes to Congress affairs.

To the best of our understanding, the young Gandhi has a distaste of the wheeler-dealers; and he can’t suffer men like, say, those of the outfit called the NCP. Screws are being trained of late by the Union Government on some of the big names involved in major scams, like the Mumbai-based Securities Exchange scam involving an alleged fraud of the order of over 5,000 crores, involving men who are well-connected. Some see a Rahul hand in the way some such cases are being fixed in recent weeks. But, evil forces have a stronger dynamics about them; reining them in is nearest to impossible, and such efforts can recoil, unless the one who sets out to do it has both drive and courage and, and above all, the will power in abundance. Good intentions alone will not suffice.

What we have come to witness this past week, in particular, might be a good omen; it could as well be a false hope. The same with the rise of Modi. Time alone will say how the nation stands to benefit from such twists and turns in its political firmament.

Last edited by Premchandran; 10-05-2013 at 11:36 PM
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