Manmohan Singh's integrity is threatened by his own inaction against dishonesty
|...Meanwhile, CVC P.J. (‘Poor Joke’) Thomas gets ready to play football
It appears that P J Thomas will grimly cling on to his post of Chief Vigilance Commissioner despite both judicial and public outrage at his appointment. Now, clinging on to one’s post with a leech-like grip is not unique to Thomas-saar; after all, every Indian politician and his bhatija and bhaanja does the same as depicted so wonderfully in that Fevicol advert of yore.
What’s particularly shameful about the PJ Thomas affair – and the way the Congress is justifying the tainted man’s appointment as CVC – is that it has brought our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s reputation for integrity into serious doubt.
Alas, Manmohan Singh himself must take a great deal of the blame for this sorry state of affairs.
We have been very patient with Singh-sahib all through these UPA years. We have forgiven him for accommodating hardcore criminals in his coalition government on a more or less ongoing basis. “Coalition compulsions,” we have sighed. “After all, Singh sahib’s honesty and integrity is beyond doubt.” And so we have tolerated the endless newsreel of scandals involving dramatis personae like Taslimuddin, Laloo Yadav, Shibu Soren, Natwar Singh, Sharad Pawar, Suresh Kalmadi et al...and now, A Raja. “After all, the NDA government too had criminals,” we have consoled ourselves.
We have stood by him while he has allowed the reins of (mis)governance to be controlled by Sonia Gandhi and the Great Family Coterie. “Sonia-ji and Rahul-ji have inherited the genes of political acumen,” we have murmured even as we have blithely trashed Darwinism for Lamarckism. “They can handle the nitty-gritty, the dust and grime of coalition politics while Singh-sahib the specialist – whose honesty and integrity is beyond doubt – can focus on more important things like the Indo-US nuclear deal and economic policy.” And so we have remained mute witness to the organized loot of the national coffers on a titanic scale by politicians, bureaucrats and their cahoots at the highest levels...in defence deals, in award of mining and telecom licences, road building contracts, import of petroleum products, CWG, export and import of edible oils. “The NDA government too saw so many scams,” we have whispered to ourselves.
We have remained mute witness as our law and order has collapsed nation-wide; as our border states go up in flames; even as our relations with Pakistan, with China, with Bangladesh and Myanmar and Iran, go down the chute. We have remained mute witnesses because our PM has remained a mute witness. "What can he do, poor man, he is bound by coalition dharma," we have muttered.
But now, when a man like Thomas is appointed as CVC – a man who will have absolute oversight powers over the CBI and all its investigations including those of every scandal that has taken place during the UPA regime and that is begging for investigations – we must ask: why is Manmohan Singh – whose honesty and integrity cannot be doubted – not speaking up? When the Supreme Court of India itself questions Thomas’ ability to remain impartial in his post; when the entire media calls for Thomas’ resignation – we must ask: why does Manmohan Singh remain silent? Why does he not assert himself and act! He is the Prime Minister!!
How much more criminality and corruption must the people of India tolerate because “Manmohan Singh’s honesty and integrity cannot be doubted”? Of course Singh is an honest person, a person with great personal integrity...but so is everybody’s grandmother.
Neither my grandmother nor yours is fit to be Prime Minster – because along with personal honesty the PM of India must possess – and exercise – ruthless intolerance towards dishonesty in others. Especially in those who are his associates, his own appointees in the Union Cabinet and in high office such as the post of CVC. Along with personal integrity the PM should possess - and exercise – the courage and resolve to stand by national interest come what might; to the extent that he must be prepared to demit his office if his own hands are tied in any manner.
The tragedy is that when Manmohan Singh finally leaves the office of Prime Minsiter – as he must sooner rather than later – the entire sins and crimes of the UPA regime will fall upon his frail shoulders. And that indeed will be a great crime; because a good man will have been broken and his reputation tarnished by the evil deeds of those who have surrounded him and exercised power in his name.
And these very despicable creatures who surround him today, the men and women who have looted and exploited his goodness for their own greed and malicious ends – will survive to misrule us in future.
As for good Thomas-saar’s ability to function as CVC in an impartial manner, one is reminded of the story of how God and Devil decide to play a football match to settle, once and for all, the question as to who is greater. God says: "I shall win...because I have the greatest players on my side!" To which Devil replies with a grin: "Aha, but then I have the Referee on mine!"
[posted first on my blog http://ghatotkacha.sulekha.com/blog/post/2010/12/manmohan-singh-s-integrity-and-...]