Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Learn from the Past

The UPA Government's shocking action of arresting Anna Hazare and lodging him in Tihar jail belies a dictatorial streak that has been a characteristic of the Congress since Independence.

What made it worse was the way the Government backed down within hours and went on to allow Anna Hazare's fast to proceed at Ramlila Maidan. This indicates that the Congress, which had assumed an authoritarian streak post-Ramdev, has backed down once again.

What does this mean? It means that this is a Government that is utterly directionless, one that is so flummoxed by the surge of corruption scandals that it wants to use an iron hand to quell it rather than make amends to correct the source of the problem. This is a government that is hell-bent on staying in power despite the fact that its credibility has eroded almost completely.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a statement in Parliament on his government's action (Delhi Police comes under the Union Home Ministry), a statement that was quickly trashed by the opposition, which warned that the Government's arrogance would be its downfall.

Instead of resorting to highhandedness, which a section of the Congress seems to be in favour of, it should have reached out to the people and explained its point of view. Indians are reasonable people, they are rational thinkers. If you talk to them like adults, they will understand. Instead, all the Congress did was to get its General Secretary Digvijaya Singh to launch a smear campaign against the Civil Society activists, a move that has proved highly counterproductive.

The move to arrest Anna will prove, without doubt, just as counterproductive. This is a government that trusts nobody, that appears to be full in cahoots with the corrupt and which would love to sink the country into authoritarian rule. Clearly, the Congress never learned from the mistakes of Indira Gandhi.

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