Remembering V P Singh’s fight against corruption
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
These days prime minister is becoming ‘’emotional’ on every issue and he feel that people are after him for waging a ‘war’ against high and mighty. We do not know what does that mean but I am sure the latest demonetization has shown that this war seems to be against India’s poor as high and might friends of the prime minister are enjoying their life well. Modi ji want to dig the record of past sixty years but I wish why not of past 2000 years of brahmanical hegemony? Every day, he brings new issue to remain in the news. This government is being run through TV channels as it seems, it can’t work peacefully without speaking loud. The other day after the so called surgical strike, the prime minister said, “I want to say that India is a ready for a war… India is a ready for a war on poverty. Let both countries fight to see who would eradicate poverty first… I want to tell the youth of Pakistan, let’s have a war on ending unemployment… I want to call out to the children in Pakistan, let’s declare war on illiteracy. Let’s see who wins. Let’s declare war on infant mortality and maternal deaths’, said the Prime Minister during a Public Meeting in Kozhikode, Kerala according to a report in the Indian Express on September 25th, 2016.
This was the first major response by the Narendra Modi after 18 Soldiers were killed by the terrorists in an attack on Brigade Headquarter of Indian army at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on last Sunday. It must have disappointed the ‘holy warriors’ in the studios of the corporate media on both the sides of the border who were determined to create mass hysteria of unprecedented kind as if war is a small thing which can happen at the whims and fancy of any one. India and Pakistan are two warring neighbors who could reconcile to neither history nor the present demographic outlines. Both the countries like our political parties and diverse groups are competing with each other on weak points and negativity even when Modi’s speech may be a remarkable climb down to his own position when as Gujarat chief minister and ‘future’ leader of the country, he was mocking and joking at the weak prime minister Man Mohan Singh much to the fancy of his ‘devotees’ and ‘’army of trolls’’ who would jump on each word that he uttered and felt that once Modi took charge of Delhi, Pakistan would be wiped out and all the Muslims in India would be exported to some other nation on the earth, to make India a ‘pious Hindu Rashtra’. Modi was considered essential for our power polity so that we get rid of all the ‘problematic’ people, parties and communities.
Modi does not disappoint his ‘followers’ and supporters as his ‘surgical strikes’ which are now becoming norms are only help to create business for them. As this government came on big promise of creating jobs and business friendly environment but things seems to have been stuck because of the atmosphere of criminality in the name of ‘nationalism’ and patriotism. There are no investments and financial sector is in complete mess. The inflation is as high as ever and poor are facing it on the ground. Social welfare schemes have been cut and rural employment guarantee scheme MNREGA is virtually languishing in the absence of funds.
The surgical strike on Pakistan is now gone. There was a situation of confrontation at the border. Pakistan seems to realize very well that the current Indian dispensation is adventurist and hence provoking our armed forces at the border. Situation remains alarming in Kashmir even today. Firing from the border continues unabated and soldiers are being killed daily.
Rather than addressing the issues seriously, we are witnessing farcical debate of who is a nationalist and who not. Who support Pakistan and who not ? That we should not allow Pakistani players to play in India and their film stars to work on Indian television. Not to be outdone, the RSS business managers wanted that we must boycott Chinese goods.
We have plethora of issues thrown in open by the Sangh Parivar. Big banners and posters of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are visible in Uttar Pradesh as if they fought the battle in Kashmir. Politicisation of the army could prove detrimental to the health of democracy in India. We must be varying of the regular involvement of armed forces in the internal matters as well as projecting the armed forces as kind of related to the Sarkari party. The retired army officers are having a great time now as war mongering provide big TRPs for these channels. Obliging channels are working as if the Prime Minister of India is a superman and perhaps the only ‘person’ with a mission to undo ‘historical’ wrong during the past 70 years. Ofcourse, when we talk about historical wrongs, it must be historical wrongs like caste system, untouchability, varna vyavastha, women and their segregation, segregation of the physically challenged, feudalism and so many things which we normally site as example of racist and discriminatory nature of our society but the Hindutva historian’s history start from Nehru family and end at them only. So this obsession with ‘wrongs of the past’ of the past seventy years does not include 6 years of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, about three years of Morarji and Charan Singh governments, about two and a half years of their own government. Hindutva’s historians do not want to remember other important landmark issues without which they can’t discuss polity today and want to just ignore that forever.
Today, Narendra Modi is waging a ‘war’ against ‘black money’. Now it sounds so hypocrite for a man whose government allowed the Vijay Malyas and Lalit Modi of our time to run away and remain ‘helpless’ in bringing the two absconders back to India. We all know their friendship at the ruling dispensation. In just a ‘stroke’ at midnight, Modi wanted to look most ‘credible’ man in our polity. He wanted to destroy all the memories of Nehru Gandhi family and therefore the demonetsation happened. He had multiple targets unleashing this official terror. One, the memories of Nehru Gandhi family will disappear and he will remain there in circulation. Second, in Uttar Pradesh elections all the cash economy of his opposition will be halted and his own party would find it easier to destroy the opposition. The third and I feel it is the most important thing was that Modi still wanted to create ‘businesses for his friends. How much it cost to print such a huge amount of money? A rough estimate is coming around was a staggering amount of about Rs 16,000 crore. Many people might have got contract into the business of printing this money and one is sure it will be the big friendly corporations.
Now, if we see see the long queues outside the bank waiting for days to get their Rs 500/- or Rs 1000 to be deposited, it is the poor and middle classes. We have not seen a single politician or a business tycoon. So prime minister has carefully converted a debate of corruption among the poor people. So when you talk about ‘blackmoney’ please do speak about your neighbor and not about Ramdevs, Ambanis, Adanis, politicians of the ruling party. Prime minister thought that none would speak about his friends and hence the demonetization would make him a public hero at the cost of others without his friends getting questioned? He thought, none would not ask question about the big business of Adani and Ambanis or how these two companies are being shown extra charities? He thought none would question how a yogi baba has become the biggest money minting corporation of the country. Nobody would now question as how much Income Tax that Patanjali corporation pays and how and why it is on a land buying spree using good services of the governments everywhere? So fight against corruption cannot happen by sitting with Sharad Pawar and flying in the private jets of the friends or wearing a five lakh rupees suit or organizing huge ‘fan meeting’ internationally wherever he travelled.
Fight against corruption would be a big joke if the person who pretends it does not look clean. Mr Narendra Modi must remember the man who fought truly against corruption and riding on his back BJP revived itself in the north. It was late V P Singh, who had launched a war against corruption at high places as finance minister in Rajiv Gandhi’s government. That was the time when industries were fearful of the raid raj that VP had unleashed along with some of his close confidents like Bhure Lal and Vinod Pandey. Many of the industrialists were sent to jail. The finance minister was doing his work fairly well but the industrialists started a campaign for dismissing VP Singh. The biggest company which launched campaign to remove VP was Reliance and Dheerubhai Ambani which put enormous pressure on Rajiv Gandhi. VP was shunted from finance ministry to Defence Ministry as Rajiv knew it well that touching VP would mean difficult those time when the public had realized that there was one man fighting against corruption and he was send outside the ministry. Rajiv pretended that VP Singh’s expertise need to be there in Defence Ministry and hence he was send there but little did he knew that the defence minister would unearth scandal in the Ministry there. VP found that there was commission paid in the HDW Submarines from Germany and he ordered an inquiry which resulted in Rajiv Gandhi feeling disturbed and their final parting of ways.
It must be seen that fight against corruption is not easy. Those were the days when we know well that the Gangotri of corruption actually flows from big corporate houses and their chums in both politics and bureaucracy. V P Singh used to say that if we have to clean the Ganga from corruption, it needs to be cleaned from the top and not from the down. And people believed in him that this man was fighting against corruption. We know how difficult is it to touch higher ups in the corporate and in the politics. Even the Bofors deal which had huge kickback could not be proved because the power elite use laws and legalities to protect them. You are corrupt if the paper show you but are clean if on paper your records are great. This is the biggest tragedy of our time. We could not get anywhere in Bofors case not because there was no corruption but because the power elite used the law in the best possible ways. Haven’t we seen how Hawala deals happened? V P Singh was perhaps the only politician who was careful of his relationships too with other politicians too. The one point which he campaigned from the very beginning was state funding of elections as he felt that political parties are prone to corruption as long as they have to beg for funds from the big corporate houses.
How come the cleanest person of India is not even remembered for his fight against corruption those responsible for organizing riots and hatred, travelling with the most corrupted are claiming to be the biggest champions of fight against corruption without cleaning their Gangotri first? Yes, to understand the nature of our corrupted social system, we have to go to the famous announcement that VP Singh made on August 7th, 1990 at the Parliament for the implementation of the Mandal Commission Report enabling 27% quotas in the central government services for the OBCs. It is this decision of fighting against social hierarchical corruption that made V P Singh the biggest villain in the eyes of upper castes and they have not forgiven him even today. It is shameful that even the politicians who worked with him don’t remember him. We know media had a grudge as they feared VP Singh who they knew was a mass leader and knew social sciences much better than those who claim to be expert on the issue. Upper caste media’s hatred against VP Singh was so high that even the self-proclaimed champions of left liberal secular thoughts in India never want to utter VP Singh and his enormous work in their campaign as far as Congress is concern, it will never get Mandalised and as long as it will not, it wont be able to fight against corruption. Fight against corruption is itself fighting against caste system after all who are the biggest wheeler-dealers in the Dalal Street ? The Dalal street in Mumbai is monopolized by two to three castes in India and I don’t need to name them? It is well known. The corruption flows from there but our ‘honest’ chaiwallah PM is not ready to fight against them as that would squeeze him from funds of the next elections. All those BCCI wallahs who are deep necked in corruptions are best advisers of this government but then you won’t touch them.
Modi ji must remember VP Singh as Lal Krishna Advani made him his charioteer when he started his bloodied (W)rath yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya in September-October 1990. Yes, some of the best friends of Narendra Modi today, fought bitterly against VP Singh is a well-known fact. How can we expect corrupted media paid and survived on the illicit money of corrupt corporate can ever speak good of a person who had the courage to send them to Jail ? If the current regime wanted to fight against corruption, let it start from Dalal Street and send some of the cronies to Jail. Investigate the corrupt funds in BCCI, at the Bollywood and then we will feel that the fight against corruption is going to a logical conclusion, an initiative that VP Singh started but politicians did not have the courage to continue.
V P Singh passed away on November 28th and our brahmanical seculars and anti-corruption crusaders will not have time to remember him and his selfless crusade but without understanding VP Singh and his politics who we miss today, we will never be able to take the corporate driven anti-corruption agenda being faithfully implemented by the regime today and its chums in the media.