March 02
09:07 2018

“In times of crisis, if you can’t convince the people, divert and confuse them”

The just released Bollywood movie “Pari” starring Anushka Sharma, has everything including plenty of blood, loud sounds and growls that make the audience jump in their seats, but, not enough story and content.  The narrative of the four years of the governance of the BJP led Central government is akin to the screenplay of the “Pari”, which has everything rhetorical on its anti-corruption plank to make its supporters jump chest thumping, but not enough action to bring the scamsters to the book.     For the last four years the government has been hurling charges of corruption against the Congress regime almost on daily basis, but there has been no action either to book the cases or to prove the allegations.

But, instead, it has been pushed on the back foot and been facing queries about the disappearance of Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Nirav and Mehrul Choksi under its watch.   Despite its desperate efforts to dig old history and keep reminding the alleged sins of the Congress, the government did nothing to jail the scamsters.

  The verdict on 2G scam denied the Modi led government its most-used political weapon — its anti-corruption crusade.  All these failures including the disappearance of Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Nirav and Mehrul Choksi under its watch along with dwindling economy, rising social tensions has pushed the government on defensive.     Further, all its boldest moves likeunprecedented cash ban and a nationwide sales tax (GST) which were aimed at rooting out corruption caused disruptions to the economy.        No, doubt, the failure to act on corruption issues have put the Government in an awkward situation, while its campaign that was built around various scams of the Congress began to appear mere rhetoric and pure polemics.

The Budget Session of Parliament resumes on 05 March and the Opposition has been grinding its knives and ready to attack the government on diamond billionaire Nirav Modi’s escape from India.

Then, there’s the Rafale fighter deal on which the Congress has demanded answers to a set of six questions on pricing and other details of the agreement that have remained shrouded in secrecy.

The government’s defence on both has been fumbling and unconvincing.

Worried that it was fast losing the perception battle, it needed a quick fix issue to ward off the impending storm in Parliament.

It needed some issue to divert the attention from its failure to actualise its anti-corruption crusade and also to face the opposition in the parliament that is getting ready to corner it on Rafale deal and PNB scam.

So, it arrested Karti Chidambaram, son of P. Chidambaram, who never looked like risky proposition, alleging non-cooperation and attempts to influence the probe.

With the government on defensive over its failed anti-crusade rhetoric, the picture that emerged suggests that Karti’s arrest has more to do with politics than the actual case against him.

It’s not to say that Karti is innocent as there are questions aplenty about Karti’s activities during his father P Chidambaram’s reign as the UPA government’s finance minister.

The doubts are over the timing of his arrest.

The arrest defies belief that a government that staked claim to rule the nation on a wave of public disgust against scams associated with ten years of UPA rule failed to take action to prove its charges.

It has taken four years to arrest Karti. Not only does the evidence against him look pretty thin at the moment, the INX Media case, on which the CBI picked him up, is small change compared to the other charges against the Chidambarams.

But why just Karti?

In four years, there has been no action against Robert Vadra whose land deals were a major plank of BJP’s campaign in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Nor has the government took any action against the Gandhis despite hurling corruption charges at them almost day in day out.

With just one year left for the next General Election, the government has lived so far on the anti-corruption oxygen, would have its task cut out and would be on test, despite its desperate efforts to dig history and hold Nehru and his dynasty responsible for all ills of this country.

It might be a fact that this government has not come for scrutiny for any corruption scandal in four years, but, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the government to face the challenges about the disappearance of Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Nirav and Mehrul Choksi under its watch.

Unless the government is able to show some decisive action against those who have scammed taxpayers’ money, its anti-corruption plank may prove to be mere rhetoric and just politics of mudslinging   .

Thus, Karti’s arrest, with all its loose ends, looks more and more like a last-ditch move by a defensive government to restore dwindling public faith in its image as an anti-corruption crusader.

Or is it “ Abh ke baar Desh Lootao, Lootere Baghaao”.

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