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Monday, 12 December 2011

Hazare magic works, and is for all time!

The picture on the lead story in the morning papers with Anna Hazare flanked by CPI leader A.B.Bardhan, CPM leader Brinda Karat and BJP leader Arun Jaitley has made my day. It speaks volumes of the dramatic swing in the mood of the nation during the past several months.

The Hazare magic worked again yesterday in Delhi, and it is appropriate that he is getting the political support. Credit also goes to Hazare that he crossed the Rubicon instead of branding all politicians with the same brush. It’s been a leap of faith for both sides, and the nation is the gainer for it.

A near-total proximity of views has emerged between Hazare and the opposition parties. What I liked best were the two thoughts in particular, which were almost unanimously expressed at the Jantar Mantar debate.
One, Prime MInister’s Office [PMO] should be brought within the purview of the Lokpal, because, as Comrade Bardhan put it - and only he could have said it with the full moral authority and insight and far-sightedness as one of the country’s most experienced political leaders today - PMO has become the “clearing house” of several decisions that subsequently turned out to be scams.

The second issue is about keeping the Central Bureau of Investigation, the country’s main investigative agency, outside the control of the government. The erosion that this institution has suffered because of political interference from incumbent governments is a key factor in the cascading corruption that we see today.
What a legacy for prime minister Manmohan Singh! With the economy in doldrums and the country in drift, his historical legacy is going to be that he presided over the most corrupt government in independent India’s history. What comes to mind is Enoch Powell’s quote (although I detest his politics): “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human lives.”

MS should have quit instead of organising the cattle show in July 2008 simply for ramming down the throat of the opposition his pet project, the US-India nuclear deal. To my mind, that was when he first fumbled - and exposed himself, except that he probably didn’t realise it himself.


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