“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”
by Krishen Kak on 04 Jun 2011 0 Comment

Four earlier essays in this series analyzed the dark side of “the Hazare phenomenon”, the gross double standards of Hazare & company, their total disinclination to apply to their own NGOs the same anti-corruption standard they demand from public officials, their alignment with the person politically satirized (even on their India Against Corruption website) as the Mother of Corruption in India, the clues that this so-called phenomenon has more to do with Kejriwal than with Hazare, and the indicators that this is less about corruption and more about “civil society” ego and ambition and power.[1] 


There is enough data on Western NGOs manoeuvring disruptions of other polities - their contribution to the collapse of the USSR is an egregious instance. The Vigil book has documented the flood of foreign money into India for anti-nation purposes and how, for example, ActionAid supported by the British government subverts the Indian polity. All this happens with the connivance of Indian “civil society” quislings.[2]


The Government of India’s National Advisory Council is a quasi-NGO, headed by a Westerner whose loyalty to our country remains highly suspect. She has packed her NAC with Indian quislings.[3]


Over the years, the NAC has established itself as a super-Cabinet. Its chairperson as an elected MP attempts a mukhota (mask) of constitutionality; its members are of the community earlier dubbed jholawalas; today the politically correct term for is “civil society activists”. They are accountable to no one. 


Sonia Gandhi is widely accepted abroad and here as the de facto prime minister of India and her NAC as the super-cabinet. This acceptance is even by India’s de jure prime minister and the members of his cabinet. The NAC is her instrument to subvert India’s parliamentary democracy to her own ends, and her “civil society activists” serve her agenda. Much of this has been touched upon in earlier essays.[4] This fifth and final essay enlarges on the theme that the so-called “civil society” war against corruption is really about power and subverting our parliamentary democracy rather than strengthening it.


The IAC website pictures 20 “eminent personalities” as its founders. Of these, about three-quarters (including, curiously, all the Muslims) were not especially in the media eye during the tamasha that was the Hazare fast-unto-death. “Activists” in the media eye were Anna Hazare, Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal. The earlier essays presented the financial murkiness (and foreign support) of these “activists” and/or their NGOs, as well as of Mallika Sarabhai, Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Harsh Mander, and the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.[5]


In the war against corruption, IAC founder Kamal Kant Jaswal of Common Cause puts the ultimate onus on the common people: “Jagrook janata yah sab badal sakti hai. Hamen apen jan pratinidhiyon aur jan sevakon par kadi nigah rakhna hogi. Apne vote ki bhi poori kimat vasulni chahiye.”


Which is all very well, except that by hamen it is not clear whether he means the aam admi (about whom some of his IAC fellow-founders are scathingly scornful) or “civil society” and people like him, that is, “civil society” self-selected representatives. Jaswal claims that “the campaign has met with all political parties to enlist their support to the cause… The campaign has invited all political parties to lend support to the Jan Lokpal Bill”. Jaswal’s IAC fellow-founder Devinder Sharma affirms that the IAC has no political colour and should not be given one, and records that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was especially supportive.[6] 


Jaswal and Sharma may make such claims in consonance with item 2 of the IAC Code of Conduct[7] which does not explain why politicians who turned up at Hazare’s so-called fast-unto-death were briskly ejected from there. It seems Kejriwal & co. want the political parties without the politicians!


The IAC Code of Conduct in item 3 claims it is “completely secular… Communalism is more dangerous than corruption”. This is presumably why it considers communal both Bharat Mata and the country’s chief opposition party, but considers secular the country’s ruling party and minority-appeasers. This is also why Sarabhai threatened Hazare with excommunication for supporting Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s development claims for Gujarat - and Hazare capitulated totally. Then, the same Hazare who kowtowed to Sonia Gandhi called her the “remote control”, thereby confirming that he knows she is the sutradhari of all that is going on.[8]


IAC states the “civil society” Jan Lokpal bill was drafted by Kejriwal, Hegde and P Bhushan. Devinder Sharma adds S Bhushan, but gives primary and overall credit to Kejriwal and Kejriwal’s PCRF. Hegde and P Bhushan say no new law is necessary, and P Bhushan laments his summer vacation has been “ruined” by this drafting committee”.[9]


Hegde says the 1968/69 sarkari Lokpal bill is a “perfect model”. Jaswal claims that “the basic features” of the Jan Lokpal bill were first enunciated in an affidavit filed by him in a PIL in 2008. Hegde was unclear whether the judiciary will be covered by the Jan Lokpal. Kejriwal insists it will. Hegde says the Jan Lokpal’s “every action would be amenable to scrutiny by High Courts and the Supreme Court”. Jaswal says that “the Lokpal envisaged by civil society will be independent of government, have jurisdiction over all the organs of state”, so that should include State Governors, Supreme Court and President of India. Hegde says only the Governors and the President will be excluded. Hazare says “everybody” should be covered, but from the context it is clear this does not include his own NGOs.[10]


Kejriwal & co. initially demanded the government accept Kejriwal’s “civil society” draft. Then they agreed to negotiate its clauses. Then they decided to open its drafting to a wider audience and started touring the country to solicit people’s inputs face-to-face. Now they want a public debate between the two sides of the joint drafting committee. Jaswal says “the draft Jan Lokpal Bill is a work in progress. It is evolving as it takes into account stakeholders’ feedback and inputs”.


You have an ex-income tax officer, a retired Supreme Court judge, and two Supreme Court legal eagles. You’d think they’d be competent enough to have first done their homework. Yet what do you find? On the one hand, they still have not finalized their own views, their own “civil society” draft. On the other hand, they are negotiating with the government their own “work in progress” (they recently added a list of “extra 31 basic principles”), and pressuring its acceptance by June 30.[11]


Third, they’re acting out a naatak of going to different parts of the country to get inputs – and money - from the janta, “stakeholders’ inputs”? The money input goes to Kejriwal’s PCRF - but will the draft inputs be discussed at all amongst the IAC 20, so that accepted ones reach the joint drafting committee as representing the IAC point of view (rather than the Kejriwal point of view)? Can “stakeholders’ inputs” from all over the country make it at all for due consideration by the joint drafting committee before the committee finalizes its draft in about 3 weeks? Indeed, does the existing Kejriwal draft actually have the IAC imprimatur after due discussion amongst the IAC 20? Was there a “free flow of ideas” (item 5, IAC Code of Conduct) amongst them, or are most of them obliged to go along with the Kejriwal draft because Kejriwal & co. presented it to “civil society” as a fait accompli? Hegde and the Bhushans are not amongst the IAC 20. Are you surprised the majority of IAC founders are so distant from what is going on?


Of especial relevance in understanding what is going on are the “exclusive insights” of IAC founder Devinder Sharma. He confirms IAC was Kejriwal’s “initiative” and “he put together a team of people… Let me be honest. The movement was driven by Kejriwal’s zeal… Arvind’s office had turned into a war room… But it was all happening because the man who led from the front -- Arvind Kejriwal -- had set the standards”.


Indeed? The same Sharma says “Swami Ramdev’s backing of the campaign against Commonwealth Games corruption was certainly a clincher. His huge following certainly helped in turning the tables.” Sharma admits it is Baba Ramdev who made the crucial difference. Baba Ramdev has been doing far more to raise popular awareness against corruption than this “civil society” lot so, as “Jai ho, Jan Jokepal!” asked, why didn’t these so-called civil society activists extend to him the “civil society” support that they extended to Hazare? Why, like many of other IAC members, has Baba Ramdev politely distanced himself from Kejriwal, while Hazare does not want to distance himself from Baba Ramdev?[12]


Sharma says “that is why when the issue of representation at the joint framing committee came up, India Against Corruption fielded the same people who were involved with the process all these months”, that is, according to him, Kejriwal, Hegde and the two Bhushans. If such is the reason, why did IAC’s own Kiran Bedi and Mallika Sarabhai object to the non-inclusion of a woman? Because, really, as “Jai ho, Jan Jokepal!” quoted Kejriwal, he preferred “his friends and associates in the committee, rather than getting other civil society members”.


“Several people are asking us pita mukhiya, beta sadasya aur Kejriwal ki seat ka rahasya (the mystery of the co-chairman father, member son, and seat for Arvind Kejriwal)... But what can we say about this? We have to be very careful about dynasties or casteism while fighting corruption in this great democracy, and the people understand all this. What more can I say? They got together with the government, negotiated and agreed to some things. People know best.” - SK Tijarawala, spokesman for Baba Ramdev’s Bharat Swabhiman Trust.[13]


Sharma said the IAC dissociated itself from people whose public image is ‘spoiled’ or ‘sullied’. This gives a clean chit to the sarkari members of the joint drafting committee as well as to their boss. And, naturally, “civil society activists” themselves, notwithstanding the evidence to the contrary, are quite unspoiled/unsullied. “Whatever the charges are, the individual has to take care of it. We feel that this kind of smear campaign is a clear indication that the movement has ruffled feathers. If you take on Shanti Bhushan today, then, tomorrow it will be Kiran Bedi and then Swami Agnivesh.” So “civil society activists” must be beyond public scrutiny, any criticism is “vilification” and a “smear campaign”, and Sharma describes as “morons” those who question the bona fides of Kejriwal & co.


Sharma boasts, “the Lokpal bill has become the nation’s priority number one!” Which is why the timing of Hazare’s so-called fast-unto-death needed to be “tactically” selected to avoid the cricket World Cup – “people will be glued to the TV sets. We didn’t want to divert attention”. So, Hazare “fast-unto-death” was carefully timed to start and end between two cricket broadcasts - what planning!


For whom is the Jan Lokpal bill really priority number one? The nation? Which “nation”? Kejriwal & co. disdainfully dismiss the janta and, as “The ox calling the donkey horned” showed, Dalits (amongst others) reciprocate this disdain.[14] Kejriwal & co. are quite aware that their “nation” is the twitterati and urban middle class (the bulk of which is corrupt, says Sharma) and that it prefers cricket over them.


Hazare is openly contemptuous of the ordinary voter - “Ordinary voter does not have awareness. They cast their vote under the influence of Rs 100 or a bottle of liquor or a sari offered by candidates. They don’t understand the value of their vote.” However, in the face of a storm over this condescending feudal representation, he switched tactically to a reliance on “people’s power”! [15]


Sharma is explicit that “at no point of time have we said that the IAC represents the ‘people’”. No, the “people” are not “civil society”. The “people” are corrupt. The “nation” is corrupt. Only “civil society activists” are not corrupt, and only they know what’s best for the “people” and the “nation”. Nor, per item 5 of the IAC Code of Conduct, does a “civil society activist” represent anyone else - affirming the point made in this series that each of them represent only themselves and they are accountable to no one.


Sharma is equally contemptuous of a democratic polity – “the corruption is not always in the form of give and take of money. Nobody is talking about corruption at the policy-making level. This government has no business to push a company’s agenda on us without looking at our own interests… scientific thinking in India is corrupt… See our nation is by and large a nation of corrupt people. When I say this I am talking of the bulk of the urban class. There is no denying it…” Sharma then declares he is “not here to decide the character of the people of this country”. Seems he and his character-ed “civil society” kind are here to decide only the character of public officials voted in by a character-less janta?[16]


Mallika Sarabhai “would be ecstatic if every village in Gujarat could transform into a Ralegan Sidhi. I admire Anna’s dedicated crusade over the last three decades and I stand by him completely”. Hazare was quoted in “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion” on his method as one of “terrorism of principles”. Are you then surprised that Sarabhai, herself accused of human trafficking, supports his Ralegan Siddhi development model in which he enforces his principles through public floggings and fear?[17]


Sharma is loquacious about the NAC “civil society activists” - “we got the message that the idea of a joint-committee is unconstitutional. We disagreed completely on the issue. The NAC also said that the draft prepared by the IAC was unacceptable to them. We were ready to discuss it. We were open to making changes. We said that process of drafting must go on. I think there was some ego problem... Before we emerged out of the meeting, what came as a surprise was the way the government had in addition invited five more civil society representatives to the meeting. Nothing wrong you would say, but in my thinking it clearly indicated the official way of sabotaging people’s movements. In fact, I found Kapil Sibal to be more than keen to give the other invitees chance to take the floor (again this is a usual way of diverting focus from the real issue under discussion). It was therefore clear to us that the government wouldn’t let the civil society engagement in the law making process be as smooth as we were asking for... I was among a score of people invited to participate in a discussion on the Jan Lok Pal bill in one of the committees of the National Advisory Council (NAC). It wasn’t a worthwhile experience to talk about. The people who organised the discussion appeared to be speaking the same language as that of the sub-committee appointed by the Prime Minister. Anyway, what pains is to find that once the fast began, some members of the NAC wrote and commented on Anna Hazare’s fast calling it undemocratic and the demand of joint drafting committee as unconstitutional. This was unfortunate and was more out of the negative feeling (and outrage among those who think they only represent the civil society) of being left out. The joint draft committee is ‘undemocratic’ because they are not in it. If they were included, everything would have termed as democratic. I don’t know when will civil society leaders discard their unsustainable egos... If the civil society leaders were to get into Parliament and form the government, believe me, they will not be able to rule the country for than a month!” 


Sharma claims the NAC found the IAC draft “unacceptable”. But Hazare acknowledged to Sonia Gandhi that “the sub-committee of your National Advisory Council (NAC) has agreed with the broad content of Jan Lokpal Bill...”[18]


Sharma objects that “civil society representatives” other than Kejriwal & co. are invited to speak. In other words, only Kejriwal & co. must represent “civil society”. Kejriwal objects to the sarkari endeavour to get inputs from the States and from political parties. He insists their own demands must prevail, and “if the Government disagrees, we should be ready to take to the streets”. Sibal claims the decision to consult the States and political parties is “unanimous”, and that all is lovey-dovey between the two sides.[19] 


Sharma notes “the unsustainable egos” of the NAC “civil society leaders”. In other words, Kejriwal & co. don’t have “unsustainable egos” – though, per Sharma, those who dare question them and their motives are “morons”. Sharma notes the identity of thinking of the NAC “civil society leaders” and sarkari leaders. The irony escapes him that his Kejriwal & co. have aligned themselves with the sarkar herself. He notes the total incompetence of “civil society leaders” to govern this country through the democratic exercise of power.


Yes, Mr Sharma, that is why you self-selected “civil society leaders” are trying to rule us by subverting our parliamentary democracy instead of by strengthening it. 


Sharma says “Remember, all changes in history actually began from the vision, dream and perseverance of one (wo)man”. Sharma is an unabashed Kejriwal groupie. His accounts reveal Kejriwal’s dream and perseverance to get into our history books. Smile as you read item 4 of the IAC Code of Conduct!


Now, summing up this series of essays, consider the following -

1.        Arvind Kejriwal has a number of NGOs - the IAC is only the most recent one, though he claims it is not an NGO (item 5, IAC Code of Conduct).[20]


2.       Arvind Kejriwal’s NGOs are interlinked financially.


3.       Money solicited from the public by Kejriwal’s IAC is collected by Kejriwal’s PCRF.


4.       The IAC official website adds Rs 83,404 as income (and no expenses) after 13/4/11 till at least 2/6/11. This too went to Kejriwal’s PCRF. The PCRF still (till 2/6/11) does not on its official website report its connection to Kejriwal’s IAC nor does it report the IAC money it collected - Rs 82 lakhs - nor the IAC unspent balance it pocketed - Rs 50 lakhs - nor the additional Rs 83k IAC then funnels to it.[21]


5.       The IAC 20 never spoke with one voice and still do not speak with one voice. Many of the 20 barely, if at all, speak about the Kejriwal goings-on. And, as we have seen, the Kejriwal & co. voices contradict one another on essentials.


6.       The Jan Lokpal draft is really a Kejriwal-PCRF draft fronted as a Kejriwal-IAC draft and launched through Anna Hazare whose ego was inflated with media-ascribed mahatma-hood.[22] Smile as you re-read item 4 of the IAC Code of Conduct!


7.       Two of the five Kejriwal nominees to the joint drafting committee have said no fresh legislation is necessary. If fresh legislation is not needed, why are they pressing for it? If fresh legislation is indeed needed, and the sincere aim of Kejriwal & co. is to combat corruption, why are they not pressing for the 1968/69 sarkari bill that one of their joint drafting committee nominees – a former Supreme Court judge - describes as a “perfect model”? It has already cleared the Lok Sabha once. What convincing objection could the government and NAC raise to reviving this bill? “The ox calling the donkey horned” quoted P Bhushan that both Hazare and Kejriwal have “a lack of complete understanding of the whole problem of corruption”. P Bhushan was explicit that “the existing laws on corruption are not a problem.” Why then is Kejriwal insisting on his own bill? And why are Hegde and the Bhushans, unconvinced of its necessity, going along with him? (Don’t forget the money Kejriwal’s NGO is raking in by hawking their bill to their “nation”!)


8.       Sonia Gandhi is still India’s most powerful politician; sutradhari of the “war against corruption”.


9.       Union Minister Kapil Sibal toys with Kejriwal & co. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh fires potshots at Kejriwal & co. and now at Baba Ramdev, then shuts up “following leaderships’s gag order”. Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath extends personal and party support to Baba Ramdev;  Home Minister P Chidambaram opposes Baba Ramdev’s “dharna”; Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee promises supportive action and makes Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman Sudhir Chandra personally extend such assurance to Baba and apologize for a “black money” raid by his department on Baba Ramdev’s old house in Narnaul. The Centre deputes four cabinet ministers and the Cabinet Secretary to receive and parley with Baba Ramdev; the party shillyshallies and actor Shahrukh Khan supports them, declaring Baba’s “proposed hunger strike against corruption and repatriation of black money stashed in foreign banks is politically motivated”![23]


10.   The NAC has “civil society activists” favoured by Sonia Gandhi. They enjoy her patronage and exercise power without responsibility. It is unlikely in the extreme they will ever acquire power legitimately by being voted to it. They take potshots at Kejriwal & co.[24] 


11.    Kejriwal & co. want power. It is unlikely in the extreme that they will ever acquire power legitimately by being voted to it. It follows that their route to power too must currently lie through Sonia Gandhi.


12.    A Frankenstein’s monster that will devour all of us” showed how Kejriwal is trying to do a Mander, to invent himself as the “civil society” anti-corruption conscience-keeper, just as Mander did for “secularism”. The “war against corruption” has been seized by Kejriwal to strategize his way to power. 


13.    Note how he and his company have openly aligned themselves with Sonia Gandhi. They abuse the government as corrupt and “the forces opposite us are so powerful” (item 6, IAC Code of Conduct) - but they have uttered not one word against the de facto head of this corrupt government. Note how Kejriwal & co. used Hazare to divert attention from Baba Ramdev’s far more effective public awareness campaign against black money (the leading beneficiary of which, according to Dr S Swamy, is Sonia Gandhi). Baba Ramdev has now launched his own Satyagraha Against Corruption, to bring public attention back to a core issue - though, post his IAC mix-up, there appears much confusion over how best to go about it.[25] And if Kejriwal & co. do “take to the streets”, could that so conveniently just play into the hands of Sibal & co. as throwing another spanner into the Ramdev works? The dirty tricks department of the Congress has a record unmatched by that of any other organization in independent India. It is clearly hard at work again - but, hopefully, this time satyameva jayate.


14.   Earlier essays showed that, under their “civil” veneer, these “activists”, share many characteristics of the politicians they love to hate. Like the Congress ones, they too are jockeying to be under Sonia Gandhi’s chhatrchhaya. And these “activists”, both those already under her chhatrchhaya and those trying to get under it, themselves do not have clean hands. 


15.    Kejriwal insists “that all political parties must declare the list of donors who funded their election expenditures and the amount each paid”, but his own PCRF does no such thing about money it receives. Kejriwal & co. want that “each bureaucrat, politician and judge would be required to submit his or her statement of moveable and immovable assets on an annual basis, which will be put on website”.[26] But, as earlier essays analyzed, their own websites are far from transparent about their own assets. Kejriwal’s PCRF does not even give its accounts after 31/3/2009. It is the “secretariat” for the IAC, yet its website says not one word about the IAC – or the lakhs collected through the IAC name. “A Frankenstein’s monster that will devour all of us” shows exactly why these “civil society activists” have no intention of bringing their own NGOs under their Jan Lokpal purview.


16.    Sonia Gandhi declares that ““no Government has acted so sternly against corruption like us”.[27] 


17.    Dr S Swamy does not agree. He has taken her government to court over its corruption. She has been described as the mahishasur of corruption in India, and he is now preparing to go to court against her.


18.    Aruna Roy, Harsh Mander and the other NAC “activists” will not support him. They are “national advisers” of the most corrupt government in independent India’s history. Kejriwal & co. have ostensibly taken on this corrupt government, but they will not support him either. Why not?


19.    Whether the NAC “civil society activists” or the Kejriwal ones, all are united in support of Sonia Gandhi who is de facto head of the most corrupt government in independent India’s history. To borrow N.S. Rajaram’s felicitous label, they are all “Sonia Gandhians”.


Therefore, of one thing we can be QED-clear: whatever else the real plot may be of this machiavellian drama, it is certainly not about corruption. 


So, what is the real plot of this machiavellian drama?


This series has been making the point that the real plot is about power, not about corruption. Consider now the following:


1.       You get into an argument on the road or with a bank clerk or at the railway station or in a hospital or with your child’s teacher.... get the idea? Strong (but parliamentary) language is used. You do not know the jati or dharma of the other person, nor is any reference made to it in the argument. Turns out that the other person is, for e.g., a “minority” (and you are not) and decides to settle the argument in his/her favour using that. Now read http://www.dailypioneer.com/341967/NAC’s-Bill-would-land-Dikshit-in-jail.html . You think this is far-fetched? Film star Sanjay Dutt was convicted by due process of law for illegally possessing arms (of the kind used in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts by the D-company jihadis in India). He then used his late mother’s “minority” status to claim before a Muslim electorate his victimhood in that case.[28]


2.      The current Nehru-Gandhi government is widely perceived to be the most corrupt in independent India - the Nehru-Gandhis are reliably accused of having amassed a (black money) fortune in figures that boggle the mind. 


3.      Baba Ramdev is building up popular awareness about this and S Swamy is taking S Gandhi to court over this - notwithstanding Rahul Gandhi being forecast by India Today as the country’s ideal and preferred prime ministerial candidate, current electoral developments suggest the Nehru-Gandhis may be seeing a different writing on their political wall.[29] 


4.      To retain their plunder, doing a Fujimori to Italy may save them, but may or may not save the money.


5.      To ensure the safety of their money, they need to retain the reins of political power. 


6.      They have their political loyalists but, as a fall-back safeguard, they have been scheming to gain “civil society” loyalists.


7.      The NAC is already taking over the “legislative” function of government, that is, drafting key legislation.


8.      Nehru-Gandhi loyalists in government are working to ensure government focuses on its “executive” function - executing through Parliament the legislation the NAC drafts.


9.      Already we see how their proposed draconian Jan Lokpal Bill and draconian Communal Violence Bill transfer power from elected political representatives to selected “civil society” ones (whether within the NAC or outside it).


10. Of course, as in any feudal darbar, there is internecine intrigue and hostility. The warring could be overt or covert, with strategic alliances being formed and broken amongst the politicians, the NAC ‘civil society activists”, the non-NAC “civil society activists”, as well as with others not part of these groups. Kejriwal’s IAC co-opted Baba Ramdev till he realized what was going on and broke away. Anna Hazare remains co-opted for reasons of his own ego and ambition. He tried to take the real lead but was very sharply brought to heel by “civil society activists”, and his feeble attempts to assert himself - witness his flip-flopping between kowtows to and potshots at “the remote control” - are tolerated by these “activists” as long as he mouths their basic script. Recall that when he mouthed his own script they served him unambiguous notice they would not hesitate dropping him (“excommunicate” him) from the dramatis personae of their play.


11.   Note that, to date, not one of these “civil society activists” has aimed at the mahishasur of corruption. Sonia Gandhi and the Nehru-Gandhis are positioned above all this. She and her handlers clearly understand the effectiveness of darbar intrigues and discord in keeping her in power, and their check-and-balance function to keep her position from being threatened.[30] Divide et impera. 


12.   Note how it just so happens that the Communal Violence Bill and the processes leading to a Jan Lokpal Bill are designed to target/fragment the majority community.[31] 


13.   Whether all will eventually go well for the Nehru-Gandhis remains to be seen. Huge new scams continue to make headlines. Even the son-in-law is involved.[32] Whether the Nehru-Gandhi ship of state will float above or be swamped by these scams is a question. It will remain afloat only if they can remain our rulers, with political loyalists propping them up from within what remains of the substance of our parliamentary democracy, and “civil society activists” and Nehruvian secularists propping them up from outside it, and the Nehru-Gandhis playing one against the other. 


14. Hopefully, it will be swamped. The corrupt Nehru-Gandhi imperium can be ended from within the framework of our parliamentary democracy - what is needed is the advocacy of politicians like Dr S Swamy, integrity of judges like late Justice H.R. Khanna (and now, hopefully, Justice SH Kapadia), and the focused endeavour of raising electorate awareness by citizens like Baba Ramdev.[33]  



Readers would do well to read Kuldip Nayar’s “Yes, Prime Minister”, especially the quote from the Shah Commission report.[34] I was personally told by an officer who became Union Home Secretary that Sanjay Gandhi had discussed with Navin Chawla (then Secretary to the Delhi Lt Governor) his plan to rule India on the pattern of the Mughal satrapies - with IAS divisional commissioners in the States reporting directly to him at Delhi! Recall that it was not “civil society” but the aam admi that restored our democracy.



1. The title is from Edmund Burke (1729-1797). This essay updates and expands “No Government has acted so sternly against corruption like us”-

http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1547&Itemid=1 . The earlier ones are “Jai ho, Jan Jokepal!” –

 http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1513&Itmid=1 (expanded and updated from “The company that Hazare keeps” –

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1721) ; “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion” - http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1743 ; The ox calling the donkey horned : Il bue che dà del cornuto all’asino –

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1750 ; “A Frankenstein’s monster that will devour all of us” –

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1774 .


For the political satire, see “Kureel’s Corner” at the IAC website, cartoon no.8 titled “`Money’ Bharat”,

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=219018048127888&set=a.209679929061700.61500.165845033445190&type=1&theater . It illustrates the de jure and de facto prime ministers and the real ”coalition dharma” that holds the UPA together.  The cartoon could more aptly be titled “Unethical Practices Alliance”, borrowing the label from M Venkaiah Naidu, http://www.dailypioneer.com/340565/UPA-regime-is-a-saga-of-betrayals.html . See also from the IAC website

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=173473786015648&set=a.218751648154528.70194.165845033445190&type=1&theater . To these add as examples the public perceptions listed in fn. 24 of “A Frankenstein’s monster that will devour all of us”“ –

http://www.wealltrader.com/film-loot-le-india-6905.aspx; http://www.flickr.com/photos/13505613@N06/5539172796/http://www.binscorner.com/pages/n/new-accounting-terminology-with-immediat.html and http://mymasalastuff.blogspot.com/2011/03/7-scam-maff.html .


2. The Vigil book is at

http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=843&Itemid=109 .  See also R Vaidyanathan, http://www.dnaindia.com/india/analysis_time-govt-stopped-foreign-funding-of-civil-society-groups_1541344 ; Sanjeev Nayyar, 

http://www.rediff.com/business/slide-show/slide-show-1-why-more-scrutiny-of-foreign-funds-to-ngos-is-needed/20110517.htm .


3. See, e.g., A Surya Prakash, ed. “Sonia under Scrutiny” (New Delhi: India First Foundation, 2004); S Swamy, http://janataparty.org/sonia.html .


4. See, e.g., fns 1, 2, “The Myth of the Renunciation” -

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1674. See too, MD Nalapat,



5. Did you know that the RGF sponsored Kancha Ilaiah’s Why am I not a Hindu –

 http://de.vhs-net.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=106%3Ahinduism-environmentalism-and-the-nazi-bogey&catid=36%3Amiscellaneous&Itemid=82&limitstart=2 ? Is such sponsorship an RGF “nation-building” or “breaking India” objective - http://www.rgfindia.com/ , R Malhotra & A Neelakandan, “Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines” (Bhopal: Amaryllis Books, 2011)? Would the RGF sponsor Indian editions of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim? Or David Frawley’s and SR Goel’s similarly titled How I Became a Hindu?


6. For Kamal Kant Jaswal, see http://ibnlive.in.com/chat/kamal-kant-jaswal/jan-lokpal-bill-the-story-so-far/622.html .  For Devinder Sharma, see http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-interview-how-the-anna-hazare-movement-was-born/20110422.htm ,

http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/slide-show-1-an-interview-with-food-security-expert-devinder-sharma/20110426.htm ,

http://devinder-sharma.blogspot.com/ (April 23, 2011).


7. http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.org/iaccode.html .


8.  http://www.dailypioneer.com/341891/’PM-good-but-remote-control-is-problem’.html .


9. http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/27/stories/2011052769501300.htm; Summer job,

http://www.dailypioneer.com/340568/Grape-vine.html .


10. http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/21/stories/2011052166120900.htm ; http://in.news.yahoo.com/jan-lokpal-bill-offers-immunity-none-except-prez-174500871.html; http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2070482.ece . 


11. http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/22/stories/2011052260321000.htm; http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/25/stories/2011052561810400.htm; http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/02/stories/2011060265811200.htm .


12.  This has now become public - http://www.dailypioneer.com/342432/Hazare-camp-Ramdev-rift-in-the-offing.html ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/342933/Anna-Hazare-to-join-Ramdevs-stir.html .


13.  http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ramdev-attacks-nepotism-in-lokpal-bill-drafting-committee/774137/0 [italics added].


14.  See also http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article2050324.ece .


15. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/anna-vote-for-narendra-modi;-doubts-peoples-judgement/774472/2http://www.dailypioneer.com/341891/’PM-good-but-remote-control-is-problem’.html .


16. The Indian Express calls this “an elitist disdain for parliamentary process” and pointedly and pertinently asks, “if 80 crore Indians — the number of voters — are so corrupt as to be bought for Rs 100, which Jan Lokpal will clean things up? –

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rs-100-a-sari-a-bottle/774804/ Yet it is this same corrupt janta that through a democratic process in May in Tamil Nadu – freebies notwithstanding, and without the inspiration of a fast-unto-death or other “civil society” activism – voted out most convincingly a ministry widely identified with corruption.   See also Shekhar Gupta,

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/jantar-chhu-mantar/790720/0 .


17. http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5121324 ;   http://kafila.org/2011/04/14/the-making-of-an-authority-anna-hazare-in-ralegan-siddhi/ . Ironically, both the gram panchayat and the gram sabha of a village in Maharashtra want Narendra Modi to adopt their village to develop it on the Gujarat model –

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_maharashtra-village-seeks-development-help-from-narendra-modi_1544329 .  Why?  Check out GVL Narasimha Rao,

http://www.lensonnews.com/blog/11/4/1/g.v.l.-narasimha-rao,/politics/why-narendra-modi%E2%80%99s-gujarat-is-the-least-corrupt,-best-rated-government.html .


18. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/full-text-anna-hazares-letter-to-sonia-gandhi/148646-3.html .


19.   http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_government-civil-society-lokpal-bill-talks-on-the-verge-of-breakdown_1549281-all ; http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/01/stories/2011060154851600.htm .


20. Actually, like his Parivartan, it is an “unstructured organization” –

http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=970&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=8 – though, this time, smartly, this ex-income tax officer ensures the IAC does not collect money in its own name so it won’t need a tax persona. It funnels the money given to it to a third NGO of his, the PCRF.


21.   http://www.timescrest.com/timthumb.php?src=http://www.timescrest.com/media/content/2010/Sep/img_3498_11227_Pc0100200.jpg&w=420&zc=1 .


22. See YP Singh quoted in “A Frankenstein’s monster that will devour all of us”.  See also B.R. Haran’s open letter to Anna Hazare, 

http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1736 .


23. http://www.dailypioneer.com/340828/Kamal-Nath-is-’with’-Ramdev-in-fight-against-corruption.html ; http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_black-money-baba-ramdev-s-hunger-strike-threat-has-government-acting-hot-and-cold_1549031-all ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/342919/Ramdev-leaves-Govt-at-its-wits’-end.html ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/342918/Talks-positive-fast-plan-intact-Baba.html ; http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/02/stories/2011060257770100.htm ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/342949/Ramdev-determined-to-fast;-PM-Sonia-mull-ways-to-dissuade-him.html ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/343171/Government-battles-Ramdev-Congress.html ; for Shahrukh Khan, see “Meeting Halfway”, The Pioneer (Delhi), June 3, 2011, p. 1.


24.  Both directly, as Sharma has described, and through, e.g, their NCPRI, with the strategic support of the sarkari chairman of the joint drafting committee –

http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/22/stories/2011052263110600.htm; http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2046227.ece. The NCPRI features in the Vigil book at

http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=970&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=6 .


25.  http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/There-is-no-competition-with-Anna-Hazare-Baba-Ramdev/797420/ ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/342420/Ramdev-does-an-Anna-Hazare.html ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/342654/Baba-against-Lokpal-grip-over-PM.html ; http://www.dailypioneer.com/342680/Ramdev-doubles-back-on-Lokpal-ambit-issue.html ; http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/I-had-sought-debate-on-PMs-inclusion-under-Lokpal-not-exemption-Ramdev/articleshow/8687710.cms. The dharma draws a line between rishi and raja.  Perhaps the dismaying long-term possibility of a blurring of that line by Baba Ramdev in his own case adds to the confusion.    


26. http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/21/stories/2011052166821200.htm;



27. Quoted in “Sound Bite”, The Pioneer (Delhi), May 20, 2011, p.8.  Note both the majestic plural and the Freudian slip (not her party’s government – “ours”; she is the government - “us”). And please don’t try to explain it away by saying English is not her mother tongue; she swore she studied English in Cambridge, didn’t she? 


28. See also S Dasgupta, http://www.dailypioneer.com/340369/NAC-drafted-Bill-to-kill-State-Govts.html; http://ibnlive.in.com/news/nonbailable-warrant-issued-against-sanjay-dutt/155047-37-64.html      


29.  http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/rahul-rising/1/108810.html ; http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/mobile.aspx?article=yes&pageid=5&edlabel=ETD&mydateHid=14-05-2011&pubname=&edname=&articleid=Ar00502&format=&publabel=ET ; http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rahul-magic-fails-few-youth-cong-candidates-manage-to-win/790754/0 ; PV Rao Jr, http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5182835 .


30. http://www.dailypioneer.com/342411/Govt-Anna-party-talks-deadlocked.html .


31.  For the Communal Violence Bill, see http://www.dailypioneer.com/343059/Limitless-appeasement.html ;  http://satyameva-jayate.org/2011/05/26/communal-violence/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SatyamevaJayate+%28||+Satyameva+Jayate+||%29 and its links.


32.  S Jain, http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1687 .


33.   It does appear that, within the government, Baba Ramdev’s satyagraha is being taken much more seriously than Hazare’s tamasha -

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2070482.ece . Compare

http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/31/stories/2011053164021500.htm and http://www.hindu.com/2011/05/31/stories/2011053164031500.htm - it should be apparent that Baba Ramdev is pressuring the government to itself work out an effective system to deal with black money whereas Kejriwal & co. want their ”civil society” to govern the government. The one wants to strengthen parliamentary democracy, the other to subvert it.    


34. http://www.indianexpress.com/ie/daily/20000713/e1.htm 


 The author is a retired civil servant and co-editor of “NGOs, Activists & Foreign Funds: Anti-Nation Industry” (Chennai: Vigil Public Opinion Forum, 2007)

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