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How Manmohan Singh tainted his own legacy

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manmohan.jpgGrowing up in late 90’s and early 2000’s, I came to know about Manmohan Singh. Everyone talked about him with respect as the man who liberalized India’s economy. How he helped the nation out of a potential bankruptcy by his economic vision.

Then came 2004 and I saw Manmohan Singh accompanying Sonia Gandhi to meet the President to stake claim to form the Govt. Few days later, I saw Sonia Gandhi accompanying Manmohan, who became an unelected PM. Then came the swearing in ceremony, I saw a humble man who was thankful to Sonia Gandhi more than to the nation. It was understandable, as nation didn’t choose him, Sonia did.

UPA 1 went without major hiccups. Nuclear Deal was the first time people saw Manmohan’s political acumen. And he was rewarded by public with a second term. Though he did not choose to stand for election this time too. Amidst this, UPA 2 began and all hell broke loose. The scams of UPA 1 tumbled out one by one and Manmohan Singh cut a sorry figure. It was not his cabinet but UPA cabinet. He didn’t appoint the ministers; he himself was appointed.

The desire he had to stick to his chair (I can’t blame him completely, who wouldn’t want to remain PM of India), did him in. From the golden legacy, he became the PM of one of the most corrupt Govt. ever in India. His decision to remain silent was not his decision, it was his compulsion else he would have been thrown out from PM chair. He chose to remain in the chair. I agree that he didn’t make money out of it, but he catered to his ambition to remain as PM. This was his corruption. He sold his soul and shielded his corrupt cabinet.

When he said, “Compulsions of coalition politics”, he would have hoped to divert blame to the coalition partners. But he was himself the biggest culprit. It was not due to compulsions of coalition politics, he was being blamed due to his own greed for the PM chair. The devil in him was compelling him to continue to turn a blind eye to corruption and stick to the chair.

Who started out during my childhood as a man who liberalized India, ended up being head of the most corrupt Govt and a morally bruised soul. How the might fall!

Written by arpitgarg

July 5, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Political

Tagged with , , , ,

Top 10 Examples of Jugaad in India

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“Aapko koi problem nahin hogi, maine jugaad kar rakhi hai”. “Kuch setting ho toh batao”. “Are apni upar tak setting hai”. Every one of us would have come across something similar at one point or the other. What exactly is this much celebrated setting aka jugaad? Well, it can simply be defined as an improvised quick fix to a tricky situation; goes to the extent of bending the rules; wisely attributed to lateral thinking.

Let me list down the top 10 examples of jugaad in India over the years.

  1. The Third Front as Alternative Governance
    Recent elections have shown a new trend. The opportunist, UPA/NDA discards come together to form an alternative famously known as “Third Front”. It’s nothing more than a jugaad with sole purpose to bargain hard with UPA/NDA when time comes to form the Govt. Everyone knows it is not long term, but as to the purpose of holding the Govt to ransom it has worked quiet well.
  2. Third Front 3Third Front 1Third Front 2

  3. Chidambram as Home Minister
    Prithiviraj Patil was busy putting make-up and changing wardrobes amidst the 26/11 attacks. He needed to go and went he did! The big question was “Who would fill the empty chair”? Chidambram, known to be an astute economist, was fitted to run the Home Ministry. Barring a few fiasco (Hindu terror, Shoe sting et al), expected of a jugaad, PC has more or less fulfilled the role of a workable HM.
  4. Chidambram 1Chidambram 2

  5. Ravindra Jadeja as All Rounder
    The lack of all round cricketers in India is well known. One too many players have been tried by the selectors. When all else failed, time was ripe for the jugaad, Ravindra Jadeja. This jugaad failed and failed miserably. It even put a question mark to the very existence of jugaad. This, until he was selected again. You can hate jugaad, you can love jugaad, you can’t ignore jugaad.
  6. Jadeja 1Jadeja 2

  7. Students and College Exams
    Most of us never studied the whole semester and used to bunk the classes. At the verge of exams, we had no notes/no idea. The jugaad used to come into effect. Whole course was divided into 4-5 parts, depending upon the number of friends in the group. Each one read a particular section and then explained it to the rest of the group. I still don’t understand how, but we faired really well, Jugaad rocks!!!
  8. Exams 2Exams 1Exams 3

  9. L K Advani as Leader of Opposition
    The fight for the post of Leader of Opposition was out in the open. Feelers were doing the rounds. When the GenX of the BJP leaders failed to come to a settlement, it was time for jugaad. The age old tested campaigner Advani, who till then had shown inclination to retire from active politics was brought back and he did some serious damage to UPA over price rise and corruption issues.
  10. Advani 1Advani 2Advani 3

  11. Security in India
    Secuity setup in most of the places in India works on jugaad. Overworked/underpaid policemen; lack of proper fighting equipments; lack of transport vehicles; lack of proper police station. When people say, “How the hell do we not see anarchy in such a scenario?” I tell them it is the Indian jugaad of 3rd Degree. If you get caught by frustrated law enforcers, God help you!
  12. Security 1Security 2Security 3

  13. Elections year after year
    If you know someone who has acted as an Electoral Officer, you would know the whole election runs on nothing but jugaad. Govt officers are made poll officers, School/ Colleges are made the poll booths, Long lines at booths with no facility at all. Locals provide the chai/paani/lodging to the booth officers posted in remote areas. In tribal areas, the poll stationary is transported on Elephants. At some places people vote under lantern light. But this jugaad has stood the test of time and hopefully will continue doing so in the future.
  14. Election 1 Election 2 Election 4 Election 3

  15. Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister
    When Sonia Gandhi did not accept the post of PM after 2004 victory, there was a big frenzy as to the appointment of the PM. Dr. Manmohan Singh, a respected, senior member of Congress party, was employed as a jugaad. Never contested an election, not known to be conniving politician, he turned out to be a shining success of Indian jugaad and how! Into his second term, the jugaad continues to rattle iron man Advani at his own game.
  16. PM 1 PM 2

  17. IPL in South Africa
    IPL2 in SA is a shining example in the Indian jugaad armory. At couple of weeks notice, it was decided to shift the event to SA. Frenetic night outs, back room negotiations and “karna hai” attitude paved way to one of the highly successful events in cricketing history. It was a city moment of jugaads.
  18. IPL 1IPL 2IPL 3

  19. Baap of All Jugaads: Sheila Dixit (Common Wealth Games)
    To term CWG, Baap of all Jugaads won’t be a misnomer. Everything was left to the last moment, to the chance. Sports Minister termed it the Fat Punjabi wedding, which turns out well at the end. A quick fix to the impounding problems, CM Shiela Dixit was the jugaad to get the games up and running. And boy did she turn out to be one hell of a jugaad. The opening ceremony was a grand success and the whole world came to know and respect the great Indian Jugaad. Bharat Bhagya Vidhata!
  20. CWG 1CWG 2CWG 3

Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)?

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We have been exposed to a new phenomenon during the recent times. I am talking about the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). Opposition wants to have a JPC, Ruling party does not want to give a JPC and Common man is left wondering what the JPC is?

By JPC, I understand a committee jointly constituted by parliamentarians across the party lines. How is it any different from any other gazillion committees that are formed to probe matters? Why the obsession? Will it prove to be of any help?

JPC is constituted mainly in the cases where people don’t have faith that the Govt. will allow an impartial probe or the Govt. wants to impress that it has nothing to hide. There are no specific rules to it and very few references to generalize from.  JPC does not have any punitive powers. It can only pass resolution and give recommendations.  Let’s delve in a bit of history. In all there have been four investigative JPC’s till now as below:

JPC 1

  • Cause: Bofors scam in ‘87.
  • Days Parliament was stalled before it was constituted: 45.
  • Effect: Recommendations were rejected by the opposition party.
  • Timeline: Aug ‘87- April ‘88.

JPC2

  • Cause: Harshad Mehta scandal in ‘92.
  • Days Parliament was stalled before it was constituted: 17.
  • Effect: Recommendations partially accepted but never implemented.
  • Ministers summoned: Dr Manmohan Singh (then Finance Minister).

JPC3

  • Cause: Ketan Parekh securities scam in ‘01.
  • Days Parliament was stalled before it was constituted: 15.
  • Effect: Recommended a lot of stringent changes to stock market regulations but were diluted later on.
  • Timeline: April ‘01-Dec ‘02.
  • Ministers summoned: Mr Yashwant Sinha (then Finance Minister).

JPC4

  • Cause: Pesticide in Soft dirnks in’ 03.
  • Effect: Recommended guidelines for water usage by Soft drink companies.
  • Timeline: Aug ‘03-Feb ‘04.

So what will the JPC achieve in this case and why is Govt. not allowing it? One thing for sure, it’s going to achieve nothing more than a set of recommendations that too in a year’s time. As to why the Govt. is not allowing it, is a bit tricky.

UPA has 259/545 in Lok Shabha and 91/243 in Rajya Sabha. Given these funny numbers from the coalition era and SP/BSP giving outside support, UPA will be in minority with strength of around 7 in a 15 member JPC. UPA might not be able to dictate terms in the JPC.

In the past the ministers summoned were Finance Ministers but this time the focus is on PM himself. Congress is worried that JPC might summon Dr. Manmohan Singh for questioning. Thus it is ready to sacrifice entire Winter session. If PM is summoned it would be highly embarrassing to the Govt.

Also the opposition will get a potent tool against the Govt. with leaks from investigation sprayed across the media. Govt. can ill afford it.

Verdict: Govt. might not allow a JPC in this matter. Winter session will be sacrificed.

IPL: Who said what, The truth

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PC: Our Government is too afraid to give go ahead to IPL. Internal security, well it’s a thing of the past. Terrorist attack during IPL can cost us elections. I have been playing this cat and mouse to irritate the organizers. But these guys are too good for that and have been coming up with one schedule after another. Like I care.

Jaitley: Had we been at the Centre, we too would have done the same. But why let this opportunity to nail Congress go away.

Shashank Manohar: We have long been the pawn between the Centre and the State. We know that Govt won’t give the permission. We don’t want to waste any more time. We have a task in hand to make money. Let us concentrate on that.

Lalit Modi: I haven’t slept for over a month now. My hair look scary. My eyes look scary. My only wish was to be the strongest man in Cricket. That I am. Now to sustain that I want IPL to happen. I just wish it happens in India coz here the costs are low and I can make more money.

Security Forces: We don’t have modern equipments. We don’t have necessary man power. We don’t have guns. We don’t have ammunition. We haven’t received any credible intelligence report for long. We know we would be blamed if anything happens. Yet we are ready to give it our best. Last time when we went to save Taj, we were surprised the Durbaan didn’t stop us at the gate. I remember once going there with my family. The Durbaan didn’t let us in, sensing that we don’t have enough money. When would we be paid well, to be able to dine at Taj not die at Taj.

CPI-CPM: Blame govt, blame BJP, blame media, blame USA, blame pakistan, blame blame blame…blam blam blam…bla bla bla.

Rahul Gandhi: IPL should happen in India. It is a matter of national prestige.
Sonia Gandhi: Hush…hush.  When will this child grow up. I am just fed up of him.

Manmohan Singh: I am coming straight from the operation theatre. I haven’t asked Soniyaji what to speak. Soniaji, Soniaji. Where is Soniaji?

Narendra Modi: Make me PM if you want IPL in India. If there would be no Indian Premier League (IPL), I promise you we won’t let Pakistan Premier League (PPL) to take place ever. I have decided to launch my own IPL team, Rama: The Saviours.

Pakistan: Welcome to the family. After such a long time, we stand united.

Common Man: Wow what a month. News channels kept me entertained.

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