I seem to be using most of my blog posts to express my political stand, which, really, only makes sense, since that is one of the things I really care about. I don’t like seeing my country in the hands of fools, and as a result, the current Government’s spokespeople, who I must assume really are representatives of the Government of India, pain me deeply.
I understand that they have to toe the party line. I’m not asking them to come on national TV and say that the Congress Party has not taken a single right decision in months. I’m not asking them to say that their Government has been acting like they desperately want to sit in Opposition.
I’m not asking them to say that UPA-II has lost the moral right to rule, which is something I firmly believe – and most Indians with me, I would think.
Go over the past few months of political news, and you have a spate of corruption charges against ministers at the Centre, against Sheila Dikshit (who still hasn’t been asked to resign, and whose story is on the back-burner now). Allegations go all the way up to the PMO itself. This Government seems morally corrupt, if no more, and a politician (as Arun Jaitley said some weeks back) must accept that he is ruled by public opinion.
In terms of public opinion, this Government should have quit when they found the kind of numbers of people gathering peacefully in support of Anna Hazare, to say that they do not believe this Government will act against corruption without external pressure. They did not, and of course, there was no legal obligation for them to do so.
But a Government is meant to govern. In terms of governance, policies impacting the lot of the common man, what has happened?
This is the Government of Manmohan Singh, popularly seen as the smartest financial mind ever to rule this country, the father of liberalisation. Yet despite the RBI’s best efforts, prices have continued to rise. I see that interest rates have been hiked again, today.
In terms of foreign relations, the PM somehow forgot to ask the CM of West Bengal what her opinion on water-sharing would be. These are matters that are observed on the international forum. You cannot afford to let the head of state of the world’s biggest democracy make such a basic error! This gaffe can’t have endeared India to the Bangladeshi establishment.
On the other side you have the Home Minister announcing on BBC that it is time India stops peering at Pakistani cross-border terrorism and starts looking inwards. Very true, the IM is growing dramatically. Please, please, do wipe them out. But do you really have to say it like this is time for a change of policy? (I haven’t seen any strong reactions from the Opposition or smug ones from Pakistan, so I hope this particular statement has gone unnoticed…)
When Opposition spokespeople ask hard questions about UPA-II’s commitment to helping the common man, Government spokspeople talk about NREGA. But just because it’s a pet scheme of Sonia Gandhi’s (for whom I have respect and deep sympathy), that doesn’t mean it’s an answer to everything. Maybe itÂ is a boon to all villagers. But can one policy “for” the common man villager be enough to wipe out several that are “against” the common man, urban and rural alike?
I won’t go into any other details; I don’t know them too well.
This is the political situation in our country today. In this context, on NDTV last night, a Congress Spokesperson argues with utter conviction that the Government has not been in disarray at all, that things are going exactly as planned, that the BJP is in much greater disarray since Narendra Modi looks poised to make a national debut.
Point number 1, the UPA’s mistakes have nothing to do with Modi and never will. They have been trying for the past ten years to win Gujarat, but cannot because that state appreciates his work – which, very true, has nothing to do with minority relief, only with development and economic growth. So leave Modi out of the Centre until the BJP holds internal elections and decides to put him up as their Prime Ministerial candidate. If Modi is a liability at the Centre, they won’t put him up. He does not own the party. If he has mass support, they will put him up. The BJP would very much like to win the next election, and for that if they want to put Modi’s name forward as their PM candidate, they will. How is that putting the party in disarray?!
Point number 2, and far more important (yet so obvious that I decided to tackle the other point first): If this is the Government when it is not in disarray, if this is what UPA-II has planned all along, God help them and us.
This is not the only example of spokesperson stupidity. There have been dozens, over the past few months alone. They have rambled off on tangents, made accusations they could not validate, blustered and generally looked stupid, because frankly, the things they’re trying to defend are stupid.
My favourite Spokesperson Stupidity Moment is when Renuka Chaudhary announced, as a The Big Fight episode was closing, that she would “sit here and not move until everyone agrees with me”, a very pointed dig at what she felt was the irrationality of Anna Hazare’s methods.Â But you see, NDTV didn’t immediately pan cameras onto her and pay attention, because she would not, and could not, garner the kind of popular support that Anna Hazare did. Instead, the host simply smiled politely and closed the show.
For all I know, she’s still sitting there
Honestly, with the kind of decisions this Government is making and is being unwilling to take, with their inability to face any issue because they know full well that they’re in the wrong, with their brash eagerness to obfuscate issues and make people focus on the shortcomings of the Opposition instead, when it has nothing to do with the matter at hand – classic example is when the PM himself said “We are not afraid of discussing the issue of corruption. The Opposition also has too many skeletons in its cupboard. We are not afraid of discussing any issue in Parliament,” thereby admitting that the only reason he was smiling that day is not that he believed that his Government was morally and legally in the right, but that he believed that the BJP, too, would not push the issue of corruption. For the love of God, is this the way any intelligent man behaves, leave alone the so-called cleanest, most-educated (I think?) Prime Minister our country has ever seen?! – well, with all these things playing against the Congress/UPA-II spokespeople, there is only one real way they can maintain some respect.