Dr Jay Dubashi
INDIA is an excellent laboratory or zoo to watch political animals in their natural habitat. There are, to begin with, tremendous variations – corrupt politicians, competent and incompetent ones, small-time crooks and big-time bandits, men who father children by the dozen and deny their paternity, and clever and crafty politicians who deal only in foreign money, and have their cash salted away in numbered accounts in Cayman Islands. You take your pick and spread your net, and you have a large variety of fauna to choose from for your studies.
Nearly all of them – particularly Congressmen – are corrupt and all of them are incompetent, but having been in business all their lives, they know all the ropes. They maybe incompetent but that does not prevent them from flexing their muscles in the political arena. A fine example is a man from Bihar, who made millions in cattle feed – he starved the cattle and sold the feed and made millions – and made a mess of the State over which he presided for a decade. He should be in jail, but is in the Parliament instead, and shouts the loudest, though he is more of a joker than a politician and provides merriment to other fellow-politicians.
Then there is another joker, who too used to be chief minister of a backward State, and still thinks he is one. He doesn’t sit in the Parliament but hangs around his party offices and often in press clubs where he provides entertainment to tired reporters. Almost everybody in the Congress is a joker, but this man is in a special category as he has no other job and even his party chief has no use for him. He is more concerned about where the Thackerays of Maharashtra came from than where his own party boss came from, which is certainly not India, but that doesn’t seem to bother him.
Then there is a another Singh, the great Singh from Amritsar, who has presided – or so he thinks – over the destinies of this unfortunate nation for nearly ten years, and has another year or two to go before the man from Amritsar goes to the Himalayas. It is not clear what exactly he has done during the last ten years. The man is neither corrupt nor competent, an unusual combination for a Congressman, but since most Congressman are both corrupt and incompetent, he stands out as something of an exception.
There is something called Murphy’s Law, which says that all men, and presumably women, rise to the level of their incompetence, meaning, if they were competent, they would rise further. For instance, Adolf Hitler, a very competent dictator, who showed tremendous skill as a murderer of Jews, failed completely in his war against the Allies, and had to commit suicide. So did Joseph Stalin, another ultra-competent murderer, who defeated Hitler, but messed up everything else, including his own country, which a few years after his death, collapsed in a heap and vanished completely from the map.
I suspect that our own Manmohan Singh’s career graph is following Murphy’s Law. Whether this is so because he is a poor politician or a poor economist is a matter of research. He presides over the most corrupt administration in India’s short history as an independent nation, though neither he nor his party realise it. Singh himself believes he is doing a good job, and all will be well if he is left to finish his term.
But Murphy’s Law is catching up with him. First, there was the 2-G Spectrum affair in which his ministerial colleagues made quite a fortune, estimated by a government agency at nearly Rs 200,000 crore. And what did Singh do, before and after? Nothing. The poor man didn’t even know the rats had infested the godown and were nibbling merrily away. Then came the Commonwealth Games under a Congress MP from Pune, who too had the run of the government treasury and had apparently made millions until the same government agency pointed at the loot. What was the PM doing. Again, nothing.
Then came the so-called Coalgate, with provided a free-for-all for Congress ministers and their chums in industry to loot the treasury, which the PM himself, who happened to be the coal minister, conveniently looked the other way. Did the PM know what was happening in his own ministry? Your guess is as good as mine. And what did the PM do? Again, nothing, until his hand was forced by the same government agency which had unearthed previous scams.
Once is an accident, second time is bad habit, but third time, it is conspiracy. Goa, as everyone knows, is a lucrative grazing ground for Congressmen. It is a small place, where everybody knows everybody else, with convenient five-star hotels, where half-a-dozen men and women can meet and hatch conspiracies over cold beers and colder Vodkas. Half a dozen families rule the roost and carve up the loot between them, and there are daily flights to Delhi where you can deposit the loot, and since most of the cash you earn is through exports, you can conveniently park the millions in Italy or Japan or Switzerland, without anybody asking questions.
These half a dozen families, all of them with close ties to Congress, have been minting money for half a century and sharing it with Congress politicians whom they carry in their pockets. They have been digging iron are and exporting it for decades, and have laid waste a whole State, but since they control the State and its politicians, they have got away, literally with murder.
Now comes a commission, chaired by Justice MB Shah, which has indicted not only the local crooks, masquerading as ministers and chief ministers, but also the Union Environment Ministry for disregarding norms and even orders form the Supreme Court to obtain clearances for mining the ore. And guess who was in-charge of the Environment Ministry during this period? Why, none other than our own Prime Minister, the Hon’ble Dr Manmohan Singh, who had no clue to the goings-on in the tiny State, or if he did, ignored the instructions from the Supreme Court and let loose the mining barons on the tiny State, destroying its delicate ecology in the process, and virtually destroying the State itself.
The Shah Commission has asked the Ministry to take action and act against the authorities – which means all the previous Congress governments and chief ministers who robbed the State right and left – which technically also include the Prime Minister, who was Environment Minister at the time. In the meantime, the Goa government, under its current Chief Minister, who happens to be a BJP man, and a man of unimpeachable integrity, has decided to close down all mines, until the dumps of illegal ore are cleared, and also filed FIRs against two former Chief Ministers, Congress politicians called Digambar Kamat and Pratap Singh Rane, notorious characters, who have no doubt made hay while the State sank under the deadly dust.
I doubt whether the redoubtable Prime Minister has visited the tiny State while the looting by his fellow party men was going on. We have had no reaction from the PM or his office either. The loss for the exchequer, as computed by the Shah Commission is Rs 34,000 crore, which means, that, combining this with the loss due to Coalgate, is nearly Rs 200,00 crore. and the man in direct charge of Coalgate as well as the Oregate in Goa was Dr Manmohan Singh himself, a man of unimpeachable integrity, but a disastrous administrator, if you really can call him an administrator.
Do you really blame the BJP for refusing to allow the Parliament to function unless the PM resigned? His has been a disastrous administration, under a man who seems totally unfit to rule a country like India, a man who maybe less than corrupt but is certainly anything but competent.