The ineptitude of the Manmohan Singh government in the face of national outrage in the wake of Mumbai terror carnage could not have been better illustrated than by the miasma of the ongoing political and diplomatic shenanigans being enacted in Delhi. The first act of replacing a failed Home Minister with a failed Finance Minister has exposed the bankruptcy of the discredited dispensation.
P. Chidambaram has made it clear that he was reluctant to shift to the Home Ministry. There were talks of his being removed from the Finance Ministry because of his poor record on the economic front. He served the longest as Finance Minister. He survived so long because of his servility to 10, Janpath. Under him the economy has slipped downhill. He could not tackle inflation, price rise, liquidity or slowdown. Unemployment is high. Revenue deficit is higher and his pep talks proved disastrous in the season of global recession. Finance and banking are in a mess. Galloping EMI is killing the consumer appetite. The stagnation in the realty business coupled with the glut in demand for houses in a country with a shortfall for over 250 million dwelling units have created a peculiar situation. Chidambaram has no answer for any of these problems. The Congress could not have faced the electorate in 2009 with him as Finance Minister. But for the monumental tragedy in Mumbai, perhaps Chidambaram would have faced Shivraj Patil'sfate.
Situations like this call for drastic steps. The buck has to stop somewhere. Blaming the entire political class is a ploy conceived by the media to save the Congress face.
Another usual suspect is Pakistan. See the tomfoolery of the Prime Minister in summoning the ISI chief. Only a weird and conceited mind could have conjured up such a course of action. Manmohan Singh'slong and ridiculous ?out of the box? romance with Pakistan in the last five years did not produce any result. Only that the nation has paid a heavy price. And the national interest greatly suffered. The UPA was boasting for 24 hours that the ISI chief will be in Delhi soon for taking a tongue lash from Dr. Singh. A day later there was a whimper when Pakistan refused to oblige. Then with a flourish, the UPA Foreign Minister presented a list of ?wanted? criminals to Islamabad. Quick came the reply. The criminals cannot be surrendered.
It is juvenile to hope to convince Pakistan on facts. Only a political novice like Dr. Singh can expect a rogue state like Pakistan play according to set international conventions.
But the government and its media patrons were not all that na?ve in whipping up the Pak terror bogey. This way they hope to direct the public anger away from the Congress and its governments. The same trick as in blaming all politicians for the failure in tackling terror threat.
This is something novel. In any democracy blame for failure in protecting the life and property of the citizen is put squarely on the party or politicians in power. The Opposition cannot take a share of the blame for the government. But India'snews channels and newspapers are behaving as if the Opposition is equally responsible. They have, however, not bothered to explain how the entire political class has to be blamed for the shameful incident in Mumbai.
It is equally conspicuous that the two most powerful persons in the country, who should have by all means taken the entire flak for betraying the country and messing up its defence mechanism are not even mentioned in passing for their acts of omissions and commissions. The two are Sonia Gandhi and her trusted nominee on the Prime Minister'schair Dr. Manmohan Singh. For the people at large these two are the symbol of power in the UPA. Not a leaf moves in the Manmohan government without this lady'sconsent and pleasure. Then who is responsible for systematic dismantling of the country'sshield of defence and its resolve to fight terror? All the anger spilling out on the streets of Indian cities should in fact be directed towards this unconstitutional power centre, which stealthily manipulates all levers of power in India. The UPA viciously undermined the forces? will to fight back. The NSA or the inept, lazy and corrupt satraps in Mumbai coalition are in their post for no merit of theirs but the pleasure of the lady in Delhi. So the grand exercise in getting a Chief Minister and his deputy removed in the aftermath of the bizarre Mumbai bloodbath and the week-long exercise to find their successor are only part of the cynical operation to hoodwink the voter.
Vilasrao Deshmukh was never stable in his chair. For six months now, the destabilisation drama was in progress in Maharashtra with adequate indulgence from 10, Janpath and orchestrated by Shiv Sena deserter Narayan Rane. The point here is, the most macabre incident in India'shistory has not really stirred the conscience of the duplicitous characters in Indian political scene.
The nation has to be warned of the dubious game to discredit and spread disaffection in democracy by painting all politicians black by the same set of people who till recently were finding cause and justification for terrorists for their barbarian pursuit. Are they advocating chaos?
The country demands action. The people have lost patience. India has never seen the kind of street protests and indignation against the ruling class as was witnessed in city after city in the last fortnight. The leadership has simply abdicated its role and has gone hiding, responding to the public outcry only through media leaks. The catastrophe that hit Mumbai called for a decisive, transparent leadership.