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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.
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*Well known human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

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