Governance is not everybody’s cake. Recent events have confirmed that misplaced sympathy catapulted a professional pilot into a position of power, the magnitude and complexity of which are far beyond his inapt grasp. With each passing day new skeletons are coming out in quick succession from Rajiv Gandhi’s cupboard. Yesterday’s Mr. Clean clumsily trudges around India’s national scene not as a promising scion of an incipient dynasty but as a fast shrinking political dwarf who damns whatever he touches.
Nearly all accords signed by him are in shambles. Communal fundamentalism stalks unbridled, forcing minorities to a defensive retaliation. Rampant corruption has irreparably shattered the moral fibre and the economy is in dismal state. Influenced by a cortege of manipulating salesmen and actors, Rajiv has finally abandoned even the pretense of a clean government.
The resignation of V.P. Singh, the solitary crusader against ‘corruption is bound to prove the proverbial last nail in the coffin of Rajiv Gandhi’s political career. Mr. Singh is widely respected for his honesty and forthrightness. He was credited with dramatically changing the face of the economic landscape and was hailed for showing the courage to stand up against the powerful business houses who were allegedly involved in massive tax evasion and foreign exchange scandals. First he was shifted from the Finance portfolio for engaging Fairfax, a foreign economic intelligence agency, to unearth illegal deposits abroad by Indian businessmen. Now he has been forced to resign for instituting an enquiry into a dirty deal with a Swedish firm Bofors in which 23 million dollars were allegedly paid as bribe to the Congress (I) Party’s middlemen.
Since the deal was made when Rajiv himself was in charge of Defense portfolio, his supporters interpreted the ordering of inquiry by V.P. Singh as a sinister attempt to tarnish Rajiv’s image for his own ulterior ambitions. Instead of setting his own house in order and identifying the culprits, Rajiv has struck the usual posture of blaming foreign powers and their antinational collaborators. He described the “move” in terms like “design”, “plot” and “‘conspiracy” to destabilize India. He should realize that his family’s favorite game of crying wolf no longer holds any credibility. He impliedly blamed America for nearly all his problems and difficulties, most of which flow from his party’s unethical electoral politics and corrupt administration.
Indian people have realized that this hybrid child of Sympathy and State terrorism does not possess even elementary political insight to deliver them from the demon of hunger and want. He is surviving simply because the powerful Brahmin lobby wants to perpetuate its hegemony through him. The saving grace for him is that there is no other Brahmin leader of national stature. His head would have already rolled if V.P. Singh had been born a Brahmin. The Brahmin lobby has realized that even its powerful respirators will not help sustain Rajiv beyond Haryana elections.
Congress defeat in Haryana will not only seal Rajiv’s fate, it will also put an end to Brahmin hegemony in Delhi. With the emergence of Bahujan Samaj Party as a major force on the political map of India, Brahmins know that they would become irrelevant if they fail to harness BSP for their purpose. They also know that Rajiv, by virtue of his elitist education and upbringing, stands poles apart from the toiling and half starving multitudes who solidly stand behind Bahujan Samaj Party. To win elections, they must woo B.S.P. and to woo BSP they need a leader with his feet firmly rooted in the soil. Rajiy does not qualify for the job. But they would like him to continue till they groom an alternate Brahmin leader. To make him continue, Congress (I) must win in Haryana and to cheat Haryana electorate into voting for Congress (I) Sikhs will be subjected to further oppression and more resources of the Punjab will be plundered ‘to please Haryanvis,
Article extracted from this publication >> April 24, 1987