The latest lie is that the Prime Minister never met Ardbo, the Bofors’ Chief. Nine months ago, I had publicly asked for production of the engagement diaries and the visitor’s registers at the Prime Minister’s office and residence. The Shankaranand Parliamentary Committee should have secured them. It should have interrogated Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and recorded his answers. Unfortunately, it does not have either the will or the competence to conduct a meaningful probe. Seeing what the Constitution Committee of the Swedish Parliament has unearthed in much less time, Mr. Shankaranand and his colleagues must squirm in embarrasment. Incontrovertible documentary evidence reveals that what clinched the deal was the interest of the Rajiv family, excluding, of course, the minor children. Mr. Arun Nehru obviously acted as the instrument of his powerful chief. One hopes Mr. Shankaranand will postpone his report until Mr. Arun Nehru has been fully questioned. The latter has every reason to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He owes this to the nation, the Jan Morcha and its leader, Mr. V.P. Singh,

In any decent and effective democracy. Mr. Rajiv Gandhi should have been forced out of office long ago. But what keeps him going is a conspiratorial cabinet, a morally dead Congress Party and an obliging President. Precisely the scenario of 1975, It struck the late Shrimati Indira Gandhi, in a situation similar but less desperate, that silencing critics, locking up opponents and liquidating the more dangerous ones could ensure survival. The 19month “success” of his mother will propel the son with his shrinking horizon into similar behavior patterns.

This does not reckon one more powerful common factor. Shrimati Indira Gandhi was finally’ persuaded to embark on her deadly course by her lawyer adviser, Siddhartha Shankar Ray. He is

The Government and its minions can imprison without evidence or trial, even corruptly and maliciously, starve torture and kill any citizen while the courts will impotently watch.

Still around and that too in a position from where his advice must seem so much more telling. Mr. Ray’s contribution of two major items. Attempted but abortive liquidation of Naxalites and the emergency rape of the Indian Constitution. In his political script the first is duplicated by the abortive liquidation of so called “terrorists” in Punjab. The second is being reenacted almost like inexorable fate. His advice to the son cannot be different with his very limited political repertoire: rush through a Constitutional amendment for that purpose and persuade the Supreme Court to sustain it with all its bizarre implications.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 22, 1988