Silver Lining.

On the blighted political landscape of India where morality is a rare commodity, Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde’s resignation has come as a flickering ray of light, faintly suggesting that all is not lost. He resigned from the chief Minister ship of the Karnataka state after owning responsibility for the politically motivated wiretaps, despite the fact that the wiretaps were ordered by the chief secretary without his knowledge. Mr. Hegde’s courage and uprightness stand in sharp contrast to Rajiv Gandhi’s contemptuous disregard for values and virtues that constitute the moral fiber of a nation. Though Mr. Hegde is clearly a victim of a conspiracy, yet he did not succumb to the temptation of getting himself exonerated through a handpicked commission of enquiry.

It is well known that Gandhi’s government routinely monitors the telephones of its political opponents and has specially imported sophisticated devices for this immoral purpose. Even the President’s office is not spared by him. His respect for moral values can best be judged from the way he took refuge in the self-deluding exercise of hide and seek to evade arraignment for his indisputable involvement in the kickbacks received in overseas arms deals. True to his blood, Rajiv too is fast learning the tricks that his mother inherited and perfected, she subverted the constitution simply to offset an adverse court verdict. She was found guilty of using corrupt practices to win the election. Instead of gracefully submitting to the judicial processes of the land, she retaliated by clamping emergency in the country. For two and a half years, her word was law. So bloated was her ego that she tried to make Indira a synonym for India.

Fortunately, Mr. Hegde decided to emulate men like Lal Bahadur Shastri and V.P. Singh. Shastri resigned as the Railway Minister owning moral responsibility for a train accident in which some persons were killed and V.P. Singh resigned as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh when his own brother was shot dead by the dacoits. He had vowed to finish the dreaded dacoits within three months, but the killing of his brother showed that he was unable to live up to his vow. He, therefore, voluntarily bowed out of the office. Both Shastri and V.P. Singh gained in stature and strengthened by their respect for moral values. Shastri was rewarded with Prime Minister Ship of India and V.P. Singh is all set to receive the same honour.

Mr. Hegde has added another feather to his cap. He can be counted among the very few Indian politicians who are held in high esteem both by friends and foes. He stands apart and above Rajiv and his minions. Last month more than three hundred persons died in a train crash. The Kerala Chief Minister squarely blamed the Center for negligence in the repair of the tracks. Yet the railway minister, Mr. Madho Rao Scindia felt no remorse. Maybe he was too preoccupied in negotiating Rajiv’s share in the contract for luxury compartments to waste his time in meaningless pastimes. Nehru dynasty’s long rule has given birth to a cosmetic culture of corruption. Congress leader’s move about the land peddling their price tags. Like women of easy virtue, they hunt for the highest bidders. In this infernal gloom, Hegde’s resignation radiates a comforting glow and holds promise of a new dawn.

Article extracted from this publication >> August 19, 1988