Look who is running!

We have known Governments to be in the dock. Or on the mat, to use another manner of speech. But on the run? Honest, Honourable MSingh’s regime now has that rare distinction. Chased by an army of activists, an activist judiciary, an aggrieved army, alert auditors, agitated masses, an articulate middle class and an alarmist media, the Government of India has turned out to be the first fugitive. And it is also running from itself, knowing full well its own dark shadows will follow it to the finish.

That this is suddenly a nation of numerous scare crows is no surprise. But a dispensation that has a clean conscience and also enjoys the people’s confidence would not run scared. The UPA – United Plunderers’ Association – is however heavily in deficit on both counts. And that’s because the core is crooked. Of conscience, clean or otherwise, the PM, himself covered by a lot of dirty linen, is the best testimony. The man touted to be the God-sent messiah to deliver the message of honesty to India has delivered the most corrupt rule ever, that has ripped the public coffers of lakhs of crores that defies quantification any longer. The sickening Singh-brand sulk-silence-scoot syndrome, be it 2G or any scam, is proof that conscience was never in his scheme.

‘Confidence’ had a perverted connotation too. Not surprising, given that the God or rather, the Goddess who inflicted this man with the message on a trusting nation, was herself the fountainhead of what flowed and followed afterward. Actually, when a gullible India rejoiced in 2004 at the ‘appointment’ at the pleasure of the Cong President, an ‘honest’ man at the helm, many among us were not so sanguine. After all, if someone were to accept a mandate from a source as spurious as Saint Signorita whose own credentials, not just as a foreigner but also vis-a-vis foreign compatriots like Q, were no military secrets, then it speaks volumes of that someone. MSingh knew what he was getting into and has only (un)scrupulously stuck to the script. So while the people placed their confidence in him then, and the Constitution demanded his undiluted commitment, his careerist loyalty was always to the call of that dubious inner voice of the Master who is adept at leaving no fingerprint. And being made in the same image as his Maker, MSingh, though in charge, too, is never responsible.

Of course, those masks of honesty and trust have largely come off. The ruling elite finds itself suddenly on a dangerously defensive mode. Not that it cares, but it stands indicted in almost all the misdemeanours of the recent past. The State is also the enemy of the State, a blatant perpetrator of scam-coverups, security compromises and several shady shenanigans. A regime on retreat is hovering on knife’s edge and is forever expecting the worst, and worse, is ready to believe anything about itself, even if only a rumour! Any scandal may break out any time, any Court order can rock the shaky ship and the mere mention of the CAG is enough to send shivers down officials’ spines, if any. Shout ‘thief, thief’ and the first ones to stand up and run will be the ones running the nation. Anna & Co are not far off the mark: The rulers may win trust votes in Parli as per the Constitution, but Parlis constituted by the criminal and the corrupt, like the current one, will inevitably lose people’s trust.

But forget people’s confidence, a cornered regime has lost confidence in itself. One arm does not know what the other is upto and an air of total suspicion and suspense prevails in Delhi’s dens of power. Nothing amplifies the jittery state of affairs within than the Army ‘coup’ that was not. A reportedly routine and innocuous mass movement of troops on a misty morning last Jan in the Capital was enough to rattle the rulers. Apprehending an Army takeover, in the context of the raging war within the defence set up, the police was kept on alert and barricades were put up! While the Army revolt remained a fiction, the alarm over it, despite denials, was a reality, that showed up the touchy nerves of the Government, meaning, those in it. The rulers who are so good at masterminding smart scams, however, betrayed their utter stupidity, at least on two counts: First, the belief that the Delhi Police can take on the mighty Indian army, despite the Defence Ministry giving the latter’s bad equipment and two, that takeover of Lutyen’s Delhi would mean conquest of India! But shining through all that stupidity is another revelation: The rulers, being aware of their own sins, are indeed fearing some kind of comeuppance!

That those running the country are now running for cover is, however, only a consolation. It is no consummation of the ideal deal, namely, conviction of the guilty and eventual eradication of evil elements. In a perverted democracy as ours wherein only a thief can catch another thief, politicians, not the pious and profound, inevitably prevail over law and even the Lord. These vile runners will be winners, come elections, and will come back to run and ruin the country, in all fresh zeal. Still, the April Fool faux paus of the rulers was a mortifying moment for us. No matter if we turn out to be the final fools!

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Jawahar T R