The monsoon session of Parliament began yesterday. The less said about those proceedings, the better because India has been shamed repeatedly by the irresponsible behaviour of its elected representatives at the cost of the nation and a people who have been patient while being buffeted by irregularities and indignities. What adds to the horror is the manner in which the political class ‘uses’ the babu to do its bidding. Any individual who operates according to the law, and against the hidden agenda of the politician, is professionally disabled. The latest in a string of such ‘breaking news’ has been the dismissal of a woman administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh. Durga Shakti Nagpal was disallowing illegal sand mining on the outskirts of the capital of India. By her honest intervention in what was blatantly wrong, she must have annoyed the guilty mafia and their protectors.
The government machinery began to work overtime — it turned the tables in an effort to distract the focus from the money-making, illegal sand mining, and accused the officer of having instigated communal disharmony by ordering the demolition of an ‘illegal’ wall that had been constructed around a mosque. This courageous woman, this officer of the government of India, is being hounded for doing right, and now there is a formal chargesheet against her. It is this kind of truth that compels India to disrespect its ruling class that appears to act like yet another mafia group. The government in Delhi, the United Progressive Alliance led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is silent as it dodges the questions and its spokespeople fudge the limp answers. To condone and support illegalities is to breach the Constitution and oath of office.
To pacify leaders indulging in the protection of illegal practices to get a vote on some bill in Parliament, amounts to a condoning of that corruption. Treating India and its people with such scorn can only lead to a bloody revolution that will damage the fibre of this civilization, and the blame for that will rest squarely on the men and women who rule this benighted nation. Our weak government at the Centre has permitted the most blatant illegalities to invade our space. It has allowed us to be polluted and diseased. The all-pervasive silence from the top leadership assumes that there is tacit support for all that is illegal, in a mad desperation to remain in the gaddi — which is a very non-Indian trait. We understand renunciation. Once again, it is only Sonia Gandhi who raises her voice in defence of the ‘exploited’. Clearly, she cares beyond her person, and for the larger domain of India. It was she who renounced the crown. Maybe that was her political error of judgment.
We need real people to rule us. We need people who care for India. We have had enough of bureaucrats playing politician. We need an austere breed of politicians, literate and selfless, inclusive and committed. What we have at the moment are people who appear insecure in their skin, ‘showing’ their authority surrounded by security guards totting guns and with sirens atop their vehicles. Their swagger and arrogance and complete lack of intellectual sophistication give their façade away. The fall from the political style and love for India of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his colleagues across all parties — like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Biju Patnaik, Jyoti Basu, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and many more — to the open ‘blackmail’ politics of today, is a profound disappointment. All these leaders from our recent past ‘spoke’ to the people of India and reached out to them constantly, and not only at election time for personal gain. They were truly blue-blooded politicians.