April 19, 2019

A Fortnight of Disappointments

What the leftist-thinkers call the fanatic right wing (what is that?) is angry, disappointed and dejected this week of merriness and jovialities. And it has nothing to do with the wife of Chief Minister of Maharashtra and his team promoting actively Christmas program, organized by a man who decided to append his name with a Hindu word for the Teacher, Acharya. Well, the fraud there is a scam, but that does not get the goat of a Hindu believer. It is the ideology which is shaken and it has nothing to do with Acharya Vikas Massey.

What has left the Hindus and Right-wingers angry, annoyed and dejected is their shaken faith in the basic tenet of Hinduism- that of Dharma- the laws of Morality and more importantly, of Karma- redemption and repayment for your sins. In a quick succession, ex-Chief Minister of Maharashtra, not the current carol-singing one, the other one, tower-building one, Ashok Chavan was exonerated by the Maharashtra High Court. The ground- No fresh evidence was produced beyond the ones submitted earlier.

A day before that those convicted in the scam pertaining to arbitrary allocation of Spectrum were let off by the CBI Courts. The scam was huge, in magnitude, in brazenness. The quantum of losses incurred by the State on account of this sale at arbitrary terms to favored parties had so many zeroes on it that it shook the whole country. Money changed hands to facilitate this, but the Court says, this is not a conclusive evidence of criminality. In a very dramatic manner, the judge here too complained of not getting any fresh evidence in last seven years. Since the facts submitted earlier were sufficient to indicate misdoings on the part of power that be, this sudden need of our lower courts to get fresh evidence seems odd. The honorable judge, looking at his previous record of letting the charged people off the hook is also not very encouraging. This was disappointing more than the other exoneration. This was a matter of national proportion, not localized like the aforementioned Adarsh scam, was huge in magnitude. This shook the nation up, more so, because the matter presented before the courts explained themselves.

                Spectrum, already declared by the Supreme Court as national asset was sold at the prices of 2001 in the year 2008, while with time the spectrum went dearer and therefore, Costlier. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended an enhancement in the floor price at the factor of 3.5 over the values ascertained in 2001. The Government overruled it and went to the allocation with the floor price of 2001 which did not take the increase in value into account. Instead of open auction, as is the recommended process whenever national resource under Government control is allotted, the Government went with First-come-First-Serve, which would give the impression that there were no takers for this precious national resource. There was no necessity to give it to the first person who turned up to buy it, irrespective of the price the buyer he offered. Turning up, well many did turn up. The Authorities under the instruction of the then Telecom Minister, changed the cut-off date, so that no one who did not have an arrangement with the Government qualified to participate in the sale. There was a money trail detected from those who got the Spectrum running right up to the family enterprise of the first family of the party to which then Minister and an accused, Mr. A. Raja belonged. The judge called this immoral transfer of funds as an odd commercial transaction, but still ruled that it did not confirm any criminality on the part of the accused. One wonders if Sri OP Saini wanted the currency walk up to his chambers and obtaining human form tell him that they had walked into the coffers of a television channel as a part of bribe given by one of the chosen beneficiary of spectrum allotment. The Supreme Court had considered the illegality in this allocation and cancelled all the 122 licenses given. One wonders if it was appropriate for the Honorable judge to not have applied his mind on why this illegality was allowed to take place.

                The Hindu-right was up in arms, and was angry with Narendra Modi. Channels scream that Modi came to power on the ground of removing corruption. Hindu right as we know it, still reels under the yoke of centuries of persecution, suppression and subjugation. The hope of getting a rightful place was lost after Independence as appeasement guaranteed political power to the crafty and cunning politicians. We as Indian, survived those long centuries with little or no power at our hand by our deep faith in values like Truth and Justice. Narendra Modi’s emergence on the national political scenario brought back the focus on fundamental Hindu belief of the power Karma. It was our fragile faith in this concept which allowed us to bear worst of the hostilities. The wiping away of the Congress, tainted with corruption charges, even with all the support from the ecosystem, from the media, emboldened this hope. We, Indians have always been very hopeful people.

                These acquittals in quick succession prove our faith in justice to be futile. It brought back to the public mind centuries of impotent anger. And since every anger is an arrow needing a target to be shot at, Narendra Modi became that. Many argued on social media on how this was a betrayal by Modi. I wonder as to what Narendra Modi could have done when the Judge was looking for fresher and greener evidence as if he was out shopping for the healthiest vegetable for his family. Would we have really wanted Narendra Modi to run kind of Guillotines at the end of revolution? Would we have liked him to act like a dictator overturning the court and act like a judge and the prosecutor?  We already have many calling him a fascist without doing anything such.

                Our faith is fragile, our patience is short. Centuries of voiceless existence has left us with a voice with wrapped in wrinkles, shivering and scared. When I read disappointed voices, from the Right wing attacking Modi, on these acquittals, I am reminded of that Kaifi Azami couplet

                                Chalta hoon thodi der Har-ek Raah Rau ke Saath

                                Pahchaanta nahin hoon, Abhi Rahbar ko main.

“I begin following anyone who walks at a faster pace than me/ I still am not able to recognize my guide and my leader”

Modi mandate was a mandate of trust and hope. That hope stands shattered. I would still blame the way these cases went on the incompetent team which Narendra Modi has. The judge has pointedly indicated a lack of interest on the part of prosecution. The prosecutor was appointed by the earlier UPA government and from what it seems was working towards exoneration, not towards a sentence. The Law Minister was caught unaware and this oversight of the minister on account of omission or commission cannot be ignored. For the trusting Indians, it is not a small matter. It is also not about money. It is about the futility of faith. It is the failure of Karma principle. This makes the world an irrational place. If the cycle of cause and effect is taken away from the Hindu faith, the Dharma which Lord Krishan spoke of in Mahabharata falters and falls. We cannot live in such a world. We need Narendra Modi to bring back our faith. But it requires us to keep the faith until he is able to do that. We need to give trust and loyalty some time. This is not a war about one scam. Narendra Modi represents things beyond this fight against corruption. He needs to clean up his act, maybe, a Cabinet churn.  But Narendra Modi stands between our way of life and a rootless, broken away civilization. We have to give him a chance. The left stood by UPA even when blatant cases of corruption hogged the newspaper. Let us keep hope. A lower court has given acquittal. There is still a long way to go.

Picture Credit: Rishabh’s Lens



About Saket Suryesh 5 Articles
Saket is an engineer from NIT Raipur and Master in International Business. He works with a large IT MNC. He writes on literature, history and poetry on his blog, www.saketsuryesh.net. Saket has published collection of poems, a book of short stories and English translation of Autobiography of Bismil.