Join this Group for Updates and Discussions on this Blog (and a few others)!

Google Groups Join

Friday, June 03, 2011

frenzy, cheap and dirty - Congress response to Baba Ramdev...

Lets face it, the issue is not of Baba Ramdev. 

The issue is a Minister sitting in a Cabinet meeting called by the Prime Minister to discuss how to tackle Baba Ramdev's fast against corruption, while every newspaper across the country has carried the said Minister's photo in the morning on corruption charges! 

The issue is the anger of the common man against an insipid, uninspiring and unimaginative (except when they define the BPL) government with a even more unimaginative, uninspiring and insipid Congress party heading it. 

The newspapers spoke of 'Ministers grovelling before the Baba', well, don't we know? it has grovelled before the Government of USA for the Nuclear Deal, it has grovelled before the DMK several times over for protecting its own government and the nakedness of the DMK King and his entire family,  it has grovelled before the Supreme Court, the Sri Lankan is so bereft of any accomplishments of any kind that the Congress party chief is left to celebrate only the swearing-in of Mamta Banerjee and Indian cricket team winning the world cup in recent times. She had nothing to do with either of these and that made her perfectly happy!!

The way the government has responded to the Baba is setting a much lower standard for itself than what it had done during the earlier fast by Annaji Hazare. The reaction is obviously poorly orchestrated (how they miss someone now in Raj Bhavan, Kolkatta), so, we have Manmohan Singh in a frenzied move, trying to browbeat the Baba by sending 4 Cabinet colleagues, lead by the moral professor Pranab Mukherjee himself (who can be a candidate for next Papacy)...apparently the Baba was not impressed and it created a very bad media item. So sad for the frenzied effort.

The cheap is the babu-neta nexus response. A series of news releases in the last week has been directed at NGOs, from IT to ED to every government agency that is involved in regulation, vaguely indicating and in a veiled manner threatening the civil society from in any way jumping into to inconvenient political activism. Of course, the media too has been roped in with the usual line of argument being adopted. Simplistic and cheap, 
(a) he is a Baba, so he must be RSS; RSS = communal = bad; Baba = RSS = bad
(b) he goes around in a private jet = he must be rich; rich in India = against poor; so, Baba = against poor
(c) he talks much in television = famous; most famous televised = dumb; Baba = must be dumb
(d) He has differences of opinion with Annaji; differences in politics = undercutting each other; so, Baba = against Anna
(e) he is a yadav (oh yeah! every "progressive and secular" media story has mentioned his pre-monastic name with the caste title in tow) = he cannot be more intelligent than Lallu or Mulayam; Baba = small town lower caste ambitious politician (this is mostly implied through the choice of visuals that are endlessly looped in media and choice of questions posted to others, never articulated directly)
(f) he runs a business = he has to be corrupt; Baba = corrupt
(g) Baba is against large corporates, so, he must be anti-development, he is not popular like a cricketer or a movie star = he should be countered by movie stars and cricketers (this will happen in the coming days) and other 'intellectual' public personalities (they can net several i am sure)

This cheap campaign, (again poorly orchestrated) has lead the Manmohan Singh government to look absolutely cheap and foolish. Every one of the 'perception' that they would like to promote and respond of the Baba are applicable to many in the Congress several times over and every time they make such points and try to pull down the Baba or Annaji, they pull down themselves deeper into a grave.

The outright dirty in Congress has been fully 'inside' outsourced to Diggy Maharaj! he epitomises the foot-in-the-mouth diseases that has plagued Congress for more than a year now. 'Baba is not as clean as Anna', says Maharaj, thereby declaring who has the right to cast a stone on him (and his party). He has issued several 'warnings' to the Baba (while others in his party are busy saying, 'regardless of how corrupt they are, we are wedded to DMK'), cribbed about how the Baba charges for teaching yoga (while his party is fine with K-family swindling the nation through every crevice they could sight in the government) even calling Ramdev's ashram a land grab according to reports, (while his Party's another senior partner has all but sold an entire state of Maharashtra to the land grab mafia). 

The issue is not Baba Ramdev or Annaji. The issue is corruption as a culture of governance and polity that has been perpetuated by the successive governments of any colour in all states. A culture that has inhibited corporate, academia and media too leaving very thin margins for truth and fair deal to survive in society. Truth and fairness is what every citizen aspires for despite his or her social, political and economic standing. The acceptance of this corrupt culture has been mandated to succeed in any endeavour that involves the State. For too long, 'chalta hai!' attitude has penetrated our governance! Some time somewhere, people should stop and say, 'nahin chale ga!', that this shall not go on - not because they hate these politicians, nor because they want to cleanse the system, but, an expression of self-preservation of the Nation, to retain sanity, sustain faith and hold on to a vision that was articulated by self-less giants of the past.

The government may arrest Baba, it can justify the same in the "nation's interest", such measures have been done before and will be done again. 
The government can continue with the smear campaign, this too has been done before and will done, and, with the Baba, the media is already playing the government's (no newspaper carried all the demands of the Baba's team!!) side. 

But, when will Congress and the Government wake up to the real power that propels the Annajis and the Babas? the anger of the ordinary people and their intention to now step out and be counted. That cannot be addressed by any number of frenzied, cheap or dirty campaigns.

No comments:

Read by Label