Skip to main content

Not an accidental PM: Dr Singh was actually part of the ruling political dispensation

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
The propaganda machinery of the Sangh Parivar is on full swing. One is now being forced to consume loads of information about 'Accidental Prime Minister', and both the government and BJP's social media cell are on an overdrive to promote it. Let me clarify: This is not meant to defend Dr Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi or Narendra Modi, but to point towards issues of accountability and responsibilities of elected representatives.
As a person Dr Singh definitely is and was far superior to Narendra Modi, both in terms of knowledge and dignity that he brought to the post. Someone's humbleness must not be considered as a weakness, and history will surely judge him in a much better way than his successor.
There are, of course, issues about an over-hyped actor. Yes, I am talking about Anupam Kher, who has taken it upon himself to be the 'champion' defender of this government, and is perhaps competing with his wife for a seat in Parliament. After all, BJP is looking for stars from cricket and cinema to rescue the party in the 2019 polls.
Indeed, many failed opportunists are looking for greener pastures to protect their business interests, and will be happy to contest the Lok Sabha polls. Anupam Kher and many like him nurture the hope of being 'elected' representatives. They could not do much on the silver screen, except defending the Brahminical disorder and rigid customs.
Kher may be hailed as a great actor, but his acting is much inferior to both Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah, both as an actor as well as a person taking stand on important public issues. I think, except for his initial 'Saraansh', there are not many movies which are worth remembering.
As for the 'Accidental Prime Minister' and questions being raised about it, the main theme of the film is that Congress President Sonia Gandhi was 'advising' the Prime Minister on what to do and what not to do. But these are trivial issues, to say the least.
In democracies, the ruling party is bigger than the government; it guides the government. Because, ultimately, it is the party which has to go to the polls. Sonia Gandhi as UPA chairperson was definitely entitled to write or guide the government, and it was up to the government to agree or disagree with her viewpoint.
Can Prime Minister or BJP leaders ignore the advise of the RSS? What is the locus standi of Ram Madhav on Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)? Is he an 'expert' on J&K?
In democracies, one cannot hand over the council of ministers to a few selected bureaucrats. Indeed, those in the current dispensation hail from the Sangh Parivar. The system is called political, because it is politics which guides.
The council of ministers is actually accountable to Parliament, where questions are raised and responded. And it is the ruling party which defends the government and its actions, both in Parliament and on the street. The argument that Dr Singh should not have listened or should not have surrendered his position is, therefore, absurd.
The problem with bureaucracy, or the corporatised media, is that they wanted to control Dr Singh. Sanjaya Baru-type of persons could never have been appointed in the Prime Minister's office if Sonia Gandhi was calling the shots on everyday affair. Baru is a highly overrated journalist, and his book on Dr Singh is just a dishonest attempt to get favours from Modi.
When Anna Hazare launched his Lok Pal movement, some of us opposed the entire premise because we believe in the supremacy of Parliament and assemblies. You cannot make Lok Pal the boss of Parliament.
So the issue is not merely whether Sonia was dictating or not. The clever media is making it out that way because it never wants parties to dictate the agenda for governments. Governments can't be delinked from parties. Today, BJP is dictating the agenda to the government. Since the agenda is suiting the corporates, they are quiet, otherwise they would have made noises.
One cannot suggest that once a person becomes Prime Minister or minister, he or she should leave the party or forget about it. A political party is not there to make you CMs or PMs, and then allow you to do what you wish to do. If one were to allow the government and council of ministers to be just surrounded by the corporates and bureaucrats, then one would never think of any pro-people policies.
One must not forget that Dr Singh, P Chidambaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia were the favourites of the media and the corporates, and Sonia Gandhi was being seen as too much of a 'socialist' who was guided by the 'jhollawallah' economists and social activists, and hence the obstacle.
These corporatised castes now enjoy immunity under the current dispensation, but they also realise that an administration that has nothing to show to the people will ultimately boomerang, hence attempts are being made to change the narrative.
The 2019 elections must, therefore, centre around achievements or failures of Narendra Modi and BJP, and not of what all Dr Singh and Sonia Gandhi did in 2009, as the latter were punished by the people in 2014. The government of the day cannot hide its failures by such diversionary tactics. After all, people know this well and will respond on time.
---
*Well known human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

Comments

TRENDING

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.

NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the …

Report on "torture" in Kashmir jails: 44% detainees stripped naked, 29% electrocuted

Counterview Desk
A recent report titled “Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”, published by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), has claimed to build “on the body of human rights documentation on torture” in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through an examination of 432 case studies. It seeks to focus on "the trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, contexts and impact of torture" in the state.

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

By Our Representative
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "…

Amidst Modi celebrations, thousands protest 'massive' submergence in Narmada Valley

By Our Representative
Thousands of women and men gathered on at the Shaheed Stambh in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, to raise their voice against what they called "the destruction of the Narmada Valley", protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat BJP rulers for celebrating the Sardar Sarovar dam being filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL) on September 17, which also happens to be Modi's birthday.
Calling it a black day for the people of the Valley, whose villages and farms got submerged because of highest-ever water level having been achieved in the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which organised the parallel rally across the border with Gujarat, regretted in a statement that Modi's celebration at the dam took place amidst " martyrdom of the Valley".
The demonstration in Badwani was preceded by a vehicles rally, which took rounds of the city streets. They were joined by people from several villages of Dhar district. They gather…

Narmada valley: SC notice to Gujarat, MP, M'rashtra on submergence sans rehabilitation

By Our Representative
Thr Supreme Court has issued notice to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments following a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)-backed petition seeking the explanation as to whether large areas of Narmada Valley have gone into submergence by filling up the Sardar Sarovar dam up to the full reservoir level (FRL) without rehabilitating the project affected families (PAFs).

Historic Chikhalda, temples, mosques submerged, activists 'rescue' Gandhi idol

By Medha Patkar
The first farmer of Asia was born in Chikhalda, if one is to believe archaeological researchers. A historic village, 50 percent of its population is of Hindus and 50 percent of Muslims, yet it has always remained peaceful. Chikhalda has struggled to save water, land and people along Narmada river.