Thursday, April 28, 2011

The ox calling the donkey horned -by Krishen Kak -

The ox calling the donkey horned

By:  Krishen Kak

However, of particular interest in our context is Kiran Bedi’s India Vision Foundation – and it should be of even greater interest to the swadeshi Baba Ramdev with his Bharat Swabhiman Andolan. 


Bedi’s NGO has a long list of names to which it expresses “gratitude” and an even longer list of names of donors. The two lists are notable for the support extended by foreign governments (the British and Australian High Commissions, the Dutch Embassy),  foreign corporates or their Indian collaborations and Indian corporates (including Microsoft Ltd, the notorious Lehman Brothers, Bharti Walmart Ltd, Coca Cola India Inc., Pepsico Ltd, Procter and Gamble, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Infosys Technologies Ltd, Fortis Hospital, Hotel Taj Palace, JK Group of Companies), Indian PSUs (Indian Oil Corporation), a number of elite Indian private schools, foreign and Indian NGOs (including Concern India Foundation, Duncan Charitable Trust, Infosys Foundation, Open Hands Switzerland, Span Foundation, Rotary International, American Women Association, Central Social Welfare Board, Charities Aid Foundation, Family Vision Foundation, and the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation) and individuals such as Mark Sainsbury, Soli Sorabjee, Naseerudin Shah and Madhu Trehan. 


Again, like the Kejriwal NGOs and the Bhushan NGO, Bedi’s NGO is opaque about its accounts. Bedi’s NGO lists its donors but not the amount they donated; it solicits funds from the public, but gives no information of its own accounts.


Rahul Gandhi describes the Indian system as “rotten”. [12] His family has been at the helm of this system for 51-odd of the 63 years of free India. During all that time, what have they done to enforce anti-corruption measures? A Lokpal bill has been pending at the Centre for 42 years - of these years, how many have had Nehru-Gandhis at the helm? His mother has been at the system’s helm for the last seven or so years. What has she done to enforce the anti-corruption laws? Instead, the government she and her select “civil society” activists “advise” is widely perceived to be the most corrupt government in free India’s history.    


Baba Ramdev has steadily and successfully been generating mass awareness against (particularly, black money) corruption. Subramanian Swamy has made public his letter to the Prime Minister seeking sanction for Sonia Gandhi’s prosecution for corruption. He has detailed its colossal extent. He is in the forefront of enforcing existing laws through the judicial route. The Supreme Court asks the UPA government “What the hell is going on in this country?” and “Are you sleeping?... Why is the government not disclosing names of others who had stashed [away] money in foreign banks?”   


Why not, indeed? Ask the person described as the gangotri, the source of corruption [13].


Anna Hazare suddenly emerges as the new mahatma. Hazare & co. explicitly reject the indigenous symbolism of our rashtra as Bharat Mata, but  have no difficulty deifying a White foreigner as Mother Sonia, even though Hazare himself had said that “`Remote control-se gadbadi hote hain’ - that is, ‘remote control causes problems’. No seer is needed to say that Anna had hinted at only Sonia Gandhi as the problematic remote control.”[14] 


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has Dr Kaushik Basu as Chief Economic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The Chief Economic Adviser wants a certain class of bribes legalised by the Government. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh delivers to civil servants a homily against corruption.


That this so-called “national movement” is in fact a strongly politically biased one is evident from the statements on record of Hazare & co. Justice Hegde is the Karnataka Lokayukta - funded by the Karnataka State exchequer. Is it legitimate, is it ethical that, while still Lokayukta, Justice Hegde is an active participant in a politically-biased process? Has this not compromised his neutrality as Lokayukta? Should he not first have resigned as Lokayukta before joining the hitherto-secret deliberations at the National Advisory Committee and now the Hazare-driven drafting committee?


Mother Sonia has the legitimacy of popular representation through our parliamentary democracy, but the checks and balances within the same parliamentary democracy checked her ambition to exercise that power overtly. So she manoeuvres strategic alliances with our kaaley angrez - and a Dalit activist recognizes this for what it is – “There is an attempt to bring in rajtantra (feudal/royal rule) in the garb of loktantra (democracy). The Jan Lokpal bill is an eye-wash, as after 63 years of democracy, India would see a dictator in the form of Jan Lokpal with infinite powers.”


Finally, it is well to remember that oxen are sterile and that donkeys are hard kickers. Indian society awaits with interest the outcome of the “civil” one baiting the “political” other.