Friday, May 11, 2007

Who rules this country?

"Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people"
-Abraham Lincoln

This is what everybody was brought up to believe. However, an interview by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh might change the definition of democracy. In India, especially in the Congress ruled states, democracy is the government of Sonia Gandhi, by Sonia Gandhi and for Sonia Gandhi. It is she, who chooses the Chief Ministers, she who dictates state policies and she who decides which projects a state should undertake. A few excerpts from the interview of the Arunachal CM would reveal how the Congress-men (and women) strive just to keep 'Madam' pleased and remain in her good books.
"Q: Strange things are happening in Arunachal. The whole cabinet recently shifted its loyalties to you.
A: It happened due to the allegations of huge corruption charges against the former government.........
Hence, the MLAs were unhappy and chose me as their leader. (Congress president) Soniaji (Gandhi) is completely against corruption and wanted a clean and result oriented Congress government. "
So, the people of independent India will get a corruption free government only if Sonia Gandhi wishes so. Couldn't the MLAs of the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Party change the government because the people desire a result oriented and corruption free government? What is the CM trying to convey? That he headed the cabinet only because it was Sonia's wish to have a clean and result oriented government. Isn't the CM and every MLA answerable to the people of the state?
"Q: What have you done so far?
A: My first priority is to improve the Public Distribution System.........
With Soniaji's blessings we have also started a mid day meal scheme for poor tribal students.
The mid-day meals scheme was an initiative taken by the central government way back in 1995, when Sonia Gandhi was not even participating in active politics. Providing mid day meals to poor children in school is the responsibility of every government. Why, then, does Mr. CM require Sonia's blessings to start this programme, which is not her initiative at all. And if she does not 'bless' this project, it means that it will not be implemented. This means that the state government has to seek Sonia's permission for implementing projects. Is the approval of the state legislature not enough to implement programmes? If Sonia's 'blessings' are sought on implementing projects, this means that extra-constitutional powers are governing the country rather than the people who have been elected to do so.
Sonia's high-handedness is well known. In Maharashtra, she directed Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to not demolish the hutments that had come up between 1995-2000. This is a straight violation of the court order that has declared the cut-off date for rehabilitation as 1995. Are the governments of the day supposed to take directions and 'blessings' from the lady at 10 Janpath, who does not even hold a constitutional position, so that she can issue 'orders' and 'bless' projects. Or are the governments supposed to implement what has been decided by the law of the land? While suggestions are always welcome, and should be encouraged, why is Sonia trying to govern the country as if it is her fiefdom? Political parties are known to indulge in glorifying a particular person and worshipping him/her. The Congress has this culture right since Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. So, the Congress cadre always looks up to Sonia as their queen and saviour. Why can't these 'leaders' take their own decisions and act as per the law of the land? If this continues unabated, tomorrow we might have Sonia deciding the number of acres that should be allotted to a particular crop.
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