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India India Needs the Requisite Critical Climate for Political Reforms

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Archived_Member16, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    Jan 7, 2005
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    April 15, 2011

    India needs the requisite critical climate for political reforms

    Gobind Thukral - South Asia Post - April 15, 2011

    A few days back Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal declared that corrupt should either be hanged or jailed for life. He also said that electoral process has been vitiated and needs urgent reforms. The context for this elderly Punjab politician was the swift paced events that followed the fast unto death undertaken by Gandhian Anna Hazare. The UPA government which had been trying to postpone indefinitely the creation of Lok Pal to check corruption at higher levels of public life was forced to agree to the terms of the civil society activists. But should not we be asking Mr. Badal who has been four times chief minister as why has he been so inactive fighting corruption. We all know with successive regimes in Punjab, level of corruption has been increasing. Politicians routinely level charges of bribery against each other and quote astronomical figures to press their charges. But do little when in power. A new argument too has been invented; if you prosecute the corrupt it is called vendetta politics.

    Critical climate for political reforms to reduce at least the level of corruption and nepotism has been created by several factors during the last few months. Thanks to WikiLeaks and publishing of Radia Tapes and exposure of bribery and fraud that runs into lakhs of crores rupees, public outrage has reached such a level that no government can survive without paying some attention to that. Prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s rating has fallen down in public eye beyond imagination. His personal integrity means little when his ministers make money under his very nose and at time within his knowledge.

    Is there any doubt left after a respected daily newspaper, the Hindu published the leaked cables sent by the American diplomats posted in India to their masters in Washington that provided evidence of what was otherwise widely believed in India . Members of Parliament were bribed by the ruling Congress party in order to win vote of confidence during crucial vote of nuclear deal with America. It was called cash for votes and the parliament was rocked when members brought cash they were given by politicians. Now this very prime minister has been forced to speed up the law against corruption and the creation of the Lok Pal. This law has been pending in Parliament for the past 42 years and parties like the Congress and the BJP have failed to enact that law. In fact, as reactions of senior ministers and politicians reveal they are scared of the institution of Lok Pal and would do anything to scuttle it. How can we be dictated by a motley crowd of few thousand persons at the Jantar Mantr? Are they the elected representatives? We are the real representatives. It is sheer mobocracy, many ministers have been openly declaring.

    For 21 days, the Hindu went on to publish from 5,100 cables consisting of six million words from the WikiLeaks that not only exposed the misdoings of the UPA leaders but also of the NDA. How India is surrendering its independence to America and what major role money is play in deciding economic policies that only benefit the rich. The cable reads like detective fiction.

    Julian Assange, Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks has shaken governments across the world and unleashed revolution in the Arab world. Referring to the public response to a spectrum of articles based on the India Cables has noted that India has terrible corruption and something must be done about it. But he sees a sliver lining that so many people are now pushing strongly against it. He suggests that courageous acts by individuals elsewhere, for example in Tunisia, offer "a method that will provide widespread will to battle against corruption."

    Yet there is something that distresses that courageous campaigner against dictatorships, corruption and appalling governance. It is the response of leaders like Dr Manmohan Singh .Mr. Assange was genuinely outraged by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's disputation in Parliament of the authenticity of the India Cables and his Lok Sabha statement that the government "cannot confirm the veracity, contents or even the existence of such communication."

    In an interview Julian Assange recently said, "That is why I said I find that statement a deliberate, knowing attempt to mislead the Indian population...Because it is directly from Prime Minister Singh's mouth and he knows better than to do that. While I have heard – I have no proof but the consensus seems to be that – he is not personally corrupt, here's a clear attempt to cover up for the possible corruption of other people. Rather than simply playing it straight, which he should have done, and say, ‘Look, there are allegations. They are serious and we will investigate them and come to the truth of the matter and give a full report to Parliament.'

    Julian Assange also said "I think if he had taken that approach, he would have been served a lot better. So he has acted against his own interests and acted against the interests of his party, which is odd. So I would suggest it means that he has a habit that he was following rather than thinking things through – and a habit of reactively covering up allegations of corruption."

    India has the misfortune of a proxy prime minister [he was never elected. He fought one election which he lost and has come through Rajya Sabha route], who has no power within his party and has to take lead by from the party boss Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. Tragically, he is also to provide a cover for the dishonest leaders in or outside his own government. Look at his lame excuse when 2-G Spectrum scandal broke out, he defended by saying that he had the compulsions of the coalition to defend the DMK. Now he is campaigning for that party during assembly elections in Tamil Nadu .A Raja, his telecommunication minister who is now in jail. He helplessly watched the bribery scandals around Commonwealth Games and the ISRO scam. He acted only when he was forced to do and that too in a fashion that could help the accused.

    source: http://www.southasiapost.org/2011/20110415/focus.htm
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