Congress (I) debacle in West Bengal and Kerala conclusively proves that the much glorified honeymoon is already a faded chapter of history and the fireworks that marked political nativity of Mr. Clean stands transformed into a wilderness of gloom that is fast surging in at the margins of his public life. The optimism generated by Rajiv Gandhi’s youthful appearance and deceptive pleasantness is suiking on the managerial desks of Doon School upstarts. Floating on the treacherous wave of his electoral sweep, Rajiv Gandhi not only failed to fathom the extent and magnitude of the legacy that his mother’s misrule had left for him but also rendered it intractable by his own autocratic functioning and ruthless revengefulness.

The poverty-stricken multitudes on the pavements, the corruption infested administration, the morally bankrupt business world, the base communalization of politics and the growing militancy of the oppressed minorities posed a challenge that stretched beyond a pilot’s vision and his advisors’ skill in salesmanship.

Rajiv stands exposed as an arrogant ignoramus, complacently dependent on incompetent advisors who never once presented him with any systematic or scientific analysis of the problems, remedies, and limitations. The parliament also failed to formulate a constructive policy in meeting the grim challenges because it is not a truly representative parliament. It is a mock parliament crowded with a premature litter that followed Indian electorate’s seduction through a vulgar dramatization of Indira Gandhi’s death.

Judging from past performance, it is clear that Rajiv Gandhi is incapable of establishing control over a fractured polity and corrupt administration, or evolves an agenda that can rescue the nation from the mire of mediocrity. Under his leadership the monolithic Congress (1D) has turned into a spectral procession limping its way into the twilight of approaching oblivion. He has become a liability and will not survive a similar debacle in Haryana. His existence being at stake, he will go to every conceivable length to win in Haryana and to accomplish this objective, he will intensify the reign of terror against Sikhs. He will further rob Punjab resources, and throw the booty in Haryana’s lap. Poor Punjab will be made to bleed still more to regenerate the collapsing Congress (I).

The Law Minister, Mr. Ashok Sen.’s sacrificial resignation as a consequence of Congress (I)’s total routine West Bengal makes little sense in view of Rajiy’s silence over the matter. In fact, the responsibility of the debacle lies more on his own shoulders than on the Law Minister. It indicates Rajiv’s temperamental weakness for dictatorial functioning. The process of subverting democratic norms inescapably leads to perpetuating personality cults. Already, Rajiv has gone a step further than his mother’s concept of “committed judiciary” by creating a “subordinated judiciary”. Judges have begun to interpret the constitution according to the needs and conveniences of the Executive and the rule of law has been replaced by the rule of discretion. Judicial commissions resemble a living circus making a mockery of justice and fairplay. No democratic structure can long survive in such an intemperate climate. If India wishes to preserve its perilously poised integrity, it must quickly entomt ali such aberrations.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 3, 1987