WEEK REGIME TAKES TO VILIFICATION OF STALWARTS
The system of governance is getting more and more baised on vindictiveness, pettiness and the official machineries are being used to harass and malign political opponents. Else why the tallest among Indian leaders Shri LK Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi or the best Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi, lauded by the Time magazine, be dragged by CBI for crimes they have never committed.
There is a contrast in Jagan Mohan Reddy of Andhra Pradesh. He and his father YS Rajasekhara Reddy were perceived saints till they sailed with the Congress. No sooner Jagan quit the Congress, he and his family is being hounded by the investigation agencies for his alleged amassing of illegal wealth.
If Jagan and Rajasekhara amassed illegal wealth, they did it when they were at the helm of Andhra Pradesh as Congress protégés. Is it not strange that at that time no one bothered about it? Does it mean that if someone is with the ruling clan whosoever be it, could go scot free? Or is it the way to entice people to the fold of ruling clan? Do they want to say that if they are with the ruling clan all their misdeeds would be rewarded and if not would be subjected to vengeful actions? That possibly explains how a central cabinet minister and his son are evading prosecution in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
This seems to be the motto in harassing Shri Advani, Shri Joshi, Shri Modi, Shri Ashok Singhal, Sushri Uma Bharati and even actions against Shri Bangaru Lakshman.
The agencies want to build up a case for prosecuting (persecuting!) Shri Advani for his supposed role in the demolition of Sri Ramjanmabhoomi disputed structure. The case being build upon the “theory” that Shri Advani was a part of the “conspiracy”. It is public knowledge that Shri Advani was the first to regret the demolition.
The issue is also time barred and the court is looking into the issue. It only exposes the CBI that they preferred to sit on the case till the political climate turned difficult for the rulers. They considered it fit to rake it up for diverting attention.
Trying to build up false cases against Shri Advani, Shri Joshi and other BJP leaders apparently has only a political purpose. The leaders are being tried to be dragged into a dead case. Elections are not very far off. Political temperature within and outside Parliament is heating up. A defensive establishment facing innumerable charges of corruption and wrong doings by its senior ministers takes pleasure in taking shelter under issues which have long become virtual non-issues.
The establishment is well aware that revival of the cases would lead only to wasteful public expenditure. Sri Ramjanmabhoomi is an issue of faith; courts themselves have averred a number of times. Even the Ayodhya judgement has accepted the fact that the worshippers of Ram have the virtual claim to the land.
If that is the fact, why the leaders are being tried to be persecuted for something they have not done. It appears that a cornered ruling clan is taking resort to retributive measures just to divert public attention. Hitting below the belt has become the style.
Two FIRs were lodged on December 6, 1992, the first being against unknown karsevaks and another one against Shri Advani and seven other leaders. On December 12, 1992, CBI took over the investigation and on October 5, 1993, it filed chargesheets in the two cases against 40 persons, including Shri Advani, before a Lucknow court.
On May 4, 2001, the Lucknow judge dropped proceedings against Shri Advani and seven others. On May 20, 2010, the High Court had dismissed CBI's plea against separation of trial between two FIRs of 1992 as also dropping the conspiracy charge against Shri Advani. CBI had moved the apex court against the High Court order last year.
The sequence of events suggest that the present CBI move is not an action for restoring the judicial process. On the contrary, it appears that they are taking shelter under the process with an obvious aim of vilifying the leaders and their party.
Rightfully the leaders have told the court that CBI plea that challenged the quashing of conspiracy charges against them amounted to abuse of process of law.
Similarly, targeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi transcends the process of law. The Supreme Court appointed special investigation team (SIT) exonerated him of the charges levelled against him for the post-Godhra riots.
The SIT has said that Shri Modi took all possible steps to control the 2002 post-Godhra riots and questioned the motive behind filing a complaint against him by a riot victim four years after the communal violence.
The release of the Amicus Curiae’s comments on the SIT created an almost cinematic excitement. For the last ten years, Shri Modi is growing in power and legitimacy, successful in electoral contests, competent in generating investment and being seen as a World Bank favourite for his enthusiasm for governance. Time and Brookings had already cast him as a future PM, the Indian answer to China.
The publication of SIT report asking for a closure of the investigations around the 2002 riots by itself would have compounded the legitimacy. Modi was proving to be an unstoppable juggernaut when the legal system produced one of its lethal googlies.
The release of Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran report on the Gulbarga Society incident created a virtual media festival.
Media went over the top, contrasting the reports playing them out as two ways of telling a story. It was almost as if Modi had a right to continue as CM but doubts were created around his future as PM. What a twisting of facts!
Consciously or unconsciously, newspapers have blunted his future, contending that what is good for Gujarat may not be right for India.
It speaks of a kind of media management by rivals of the BJP. What they could not achieve from the courts, they are trying to gain through the Press. The Press needs to question itself whether it has been objective or taken a biased view against Modi.
The Press did not question how the Amicus Curiae could suggest prosecution of Modi.
The non-BJP opposition may take solace in the fact that they are being spared. In reality, it is not so. Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati has cases pending against her. So has Samajwadi Party leaders. These cases are being used as tools to force them to kowtow the central government. They need to realise these are dangerous methods used by repressive regimes in various Middle Eastern, African and some Central Asian countries.
The opposition has been fighting these cases piecemeal adhering to the concept of good democratic norms. They need to realise their opponents have little nicety. The battles cannot be fought merely in the portals of courts. It is the worst kind of political corruption. The BJP has to fight it politically. It needs to take all other political parties on board with it. It is a vilification process that has to be fought strongly.
People have to be made aware of this dangerous process. Some of it was witnessed before the imposition of Emergency in June 1975. Opposition leaders were targets in the vilification process and later these reasonings were used in the courts to put the leaders behind bars.
One only hopes that the country is not heading for another bad days. But the nation must not sit quiet. The opposition parties need to increase dialogues and cooperation among themselves. They should not create a pariah among themselves. It was the opposition unity that could end the Emergency and restore the rule of law. The nation is looking for it once more for freedom from poor governance and policy paralysis.
Maligning stalwarts and performing leaders may create some media hype. One must not think that people are gullible and can be misled. A united move by the opposition can make the process easier.