‘You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time,but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time’,said Abraham Lincoln long ago.
Now the scene is different.During the past two years,the nation has been debating corruption across all forums – Parliament,Courts, Jantar Mantar,Ramlila Maidan,TV,Newspapers,and inside the drawing rooms. Scandals like 2G,Coal Gate, Adarsh,Airport,CWG and Bellary, have consumed tonnes of footage and papers.Result?
Supermen like Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Baba Ramdev and Subramanian Swamy were born.Their popularity is galloping by the day over super villains-Raja, Kalmadi and Reddy Brothers of Bellary.The CAG of India is now more popular than the PM even though many keep calling him ‘Controller’ and not Comptroller & Auditor General.
Two statements from our Government sums up the gains made- ‘Zero Loss in 2G allocation’ a theory forwarded by Mr. Kapil Sibal and ‘The Coal still lies under the Mother Earth’,byte given by Mr. P. Chidambaram.
This reminds me of some ads we see on TV screens where we learn that ‘Kingfisher’ is a brand of bottled mineral water; ‘Mcdowell’ is a brand of Soda;and‘Bacardi’ is a music company.The viewer knows very well ‘Kingfisher’ kis chidiya ka naam hai and so does the advertiser. But the law makers and enforcers seem helpless as these companies are heavy enough to prove in courts that their claims are real, genuine and sanguine as the ‘Zero Loss’ claim in 2G and Coal-gate.
In a country, where most believe that no Government contract,be it related with construction of a drain or street light repair,can not be bagged without greasing the palms of the babus.But the common man’s heart beat is on the rise hearing from the Manmohan Singh government that licences for prime and scarce resources like Spectrum, Mines and Land are being allocated with utmost honesty and integrity without a single penny being paid as a bribe.
Alongside,there is always one probe and investigation by the CBI and ED backed up by a court’s and judgement to substantiate the impeccable honesty of the people behind these allocations. Similarly,we are regularly told that everything is above board and within the law.Either you believe this or your belief in democracy itself is in doubt.But that is beside the point.
Today,our people’s ‘Democracy’ begins and ends with the general elections.After that the Parliament –the Holy Temple of our democracy- takes over. Like in all Holy Temples (whether Vishwanth Mandir in Varanasi or in Puri Jagannath and elsewhere), you cannot offer your prayers directly.You got to go through the temple priests or ‘Pandas’ as they are normally called. These ‘Pandas’ will impose their might to prove how through generations they have served your forefathers and hence have the natural right over your devotion and donations to the temple.
So do our honourable MPs – the high priests of our Parliament,cutting across party lines,will get together not to allow anyone else question our systems,our laws and our governance. Parliament is their domain, their fiefdom and their impregnable fort. The consequences of anyone trying to breach this high wall is severe. The might of the state will ensure severe damage on your existence through IT raids, Public humiliation and even blockages on the cyberspace. If you are still audacious,you will be cornered by the argument – ‘fight elections and become a MP’. Knowing fully well it’s an unequal battle that you can never win.