The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Some days ago, the accidentally non-accidental prime-minister Manmohan Singh, the second-timer, again reminded the nation called India about the adverse effects of the negative publicity generated due to corruption allegations. He preached us that the ‘mindlessly’ created atmosphere on corruption is doing harm to the country.

In an anti-graft conference he said, “The mindless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism that is sought to be created over the issue of corruption can do us no good. It can only damage our nation's image and hit at the morale of the executive”.

That sounds so phoney now, especially after the endless United Progressive Alliance (UPA) corruption saga and the corruption-wheel that has reached to the most elite powerful political family of the country.

He talked of the morale of the executive but who would care for the morale of the majority of the Indians that his own government is bringing down?

And to rub salt to the wounds, he even proposed to bring the bribe-giver under the ambit of the prosecution by amending the existing anti-graft laws in the country. Now it is the same Manmohan Singh who was equal party in killing the movement to create an effective Lokpal. Given the way corruption has gone so deep in the day-to-day life, such utopian and Kejriwal-like propositions are bound to do more harm than good.

In our society, majority of the bribe-givers are the ‘aam aadmi’ type, compelled to part with that hard-earned money as under-the-table convenience fee, which makes part of his always insufficient monthly income. He never does it voluntarily and above that, Manmohan thinks he should be tried as a criminal under the law of the land.

Manmohan’s lame-duck and trite remarks at the fag-end of his lame-duck prime-ministerial season-II were nothing but belittling him even more especially as they came on a day when his government’s law minister was labeled with corruption and forgery allegations.

A news channel’s sting operation and investigation found that the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, an NGO run by Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid, forged documents to manipulate funds (Rs. 71.5 Lakh) of a project of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment aimed at helping physically challenged people in many districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Law minister facing serious corruption allegations- now, Mr. Manmohan Singh, the honourable prime minister of India, tell us - doesn’t it bring the image of the nation down and hurt the morale of Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’?

Though, there have been denials but they are like defenses made for Robert Vadra - not at all satisfactory. Some said Khurshids are a prestigious family and why would they do any such thing for such a small sum (Rs. 71.5 Lakh). Now, probably, such fellows are not aware that over 65 per cent of the Indians survive on Rs. 3500 a month and could never earn Rs. 71.5 Lakh in their lifetime. Also, this might be just one revelation. Khurshids’ NGO works on different projects in many states of India. Who knows we might come across similar stories if a proper probe is carried out.

The way Salman Khurshid lost his cool in the press conference to clear his name implicated him even more. The kind of evidence he presented was so weak and was not at all expected from a lawyer who was also the law minister of the country. Those who had implicated him came out with more evidence in his own style implicating him even more. But instead of taking any sincere note, Mr. Manmohan, your men came out shouting with silly and sillier statements. What else can we say on Beni Prasad Verma’s defense of Khurshid where he said a minister like Khurshid could never have done so for such a small scam?

A probe is unlikely like the probe of allegations on Robert Vadra in spite of continued revelations in both the cases. A shameless move by the Haryana government transferred an honest IAS officer Ashok Khemka who had crossed the line to initiate probe into the suspicious Vadra-DLF Manesar and deal.

And Mr. Manmohan, your government has already denied any probe possibility. And even if a probe is launched, no one should expect anything groundbreaking. After all, its Manmohan’s CBI; its Manmohan’s ED; its Manmohan’s CVC; its Manmohan’s police; and so it is of Sonia; and so it is of Salman Khurshid. Haryana’s two-timer chief minister B S Hooda is yet another member of the corrupt coterie.

Mr. Manmohan Singh, do you realize your fundamentals have started stinking now?

And so, when Manmohan’s dull rhetoric, every time, comes midst the image-tarnishing projectiles like Robert Vadra, Beni Prasad Verma, B S Hooda and Salman Khurshid, this unsolicited advice makes him look even more pathetic, not even ruin of the personal integrity he was known for during his first stint as the prime minister.

It just affirms once more that he is a man of ‘doublespeak’ now.

In the context, what makes Manmohan sound even more ridiculous are the three developments on the economic front that talk of policy paralysis and corruption in India while lowering the country’s growth forecast.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have lowered India’s 2012 growth projections significantly and S&P has warned again of credit-rating downgrade in the next 24 months if the situation is not handled properly.

On October 9, 2012, the IMF lowered India’s growth rate to 4.9 per cent from the earlier projected 6.2 per cent. IMF’s “unusually uncertain” outlook about India in the World Economic Outlook report stems from many factors including corruption and policy paralysis. Not believing in the recent reform moves, IMF even reduced the 2013 outlook to 6 per cent from the earlier projected 6.6 per cent. The report quoted an IMF advisor saying, “For the last few years, the Indian economy had a dream run. It is in the past three years, investments have stalled. In many other ways, in terms of macroeconomic policies, things have not improved. The challenge is to build on the reforms started in the 1990s”.

In the next development, Standard & Poor (S&P) warned India still faced a credit-rating downgrade, again taking a cautious approach on the reform measures. India’s current rating of BBB- is just one notch above the Junk rating. The S&P report released on October 10, 2012 read, “A downgrade is likely if the country's economic growth prospects dim, its external position deteriorates, its political climate worsens, or fiscal reforms slow”.

By the evening of October 10, another damning economic report came. World Bank too, lowered India’s growth forecast to 6 per cent from the earlier projected 6.6 per cent. A Reuters report on the World Bank’s India Economic Report said, “The Bank said the slowdown is at least partly caused by structural problems--power shortages, partly caused by the financial difficulties facing the electricity sector, the corruption scandals that have hit the mining and telecom sectors, investor uncertainty because of pending changes in legislation (mining, taxes, land acquisition), and the tightening constraints of land and infrastructure”.

Things might not be as grim as these three reports put. Also, these reports talk of ‘return to good days’ provided the government acts in time. But above all, they talk of corruption and policy paralysis in India that directly implicates Manmohan. That makes prospects really grim at the moment.

The way corruption is spreading its tentacles and the way politicians are behaving more and more insensitively, my dear Mr. Prime Minister, it is fatal enough to obstruct the India growth story, that we, the ‘aam aadmi’ Indians are looking to get back to.

The IMF report emphasized the economic gloom of the last three years while the World Bank report directly named corruption as an important contributor to the ‘India Obstructed’ story.

And these last three years have done all to undo the honest imagery of Manmohan Singh. Corruption was brewing in through the UPA ranks. Talk of the town scams, coal, Commonwealth Games and spectrum allocation, were in making years before the first signs of chronic revelations.

It was mostly doing of Manmohan’s men. The only way Manmohan could have kept his integrity intact was to make every member of his government face probe and come out clean on the charges. Instead, he chose first to remain silent, claiming silence his ‘right’, then big mouthing the achievements that were hard to appreciate, and further on, defending his men (including Vadra), with words of no substance but dissonance of an arrogant-but-frustrated ruler.

Yes, Mr. Manmohan, India’s wealth is growing and the economic indicators have increased many times, but still, you define the poverty limit or around Rs. 900 a month for your ‘aam aadmi’.

Mr. Prime Minister, can your family survive in that much?
Mr. Prime Minister, didn’t your lavish party to celebrate three years in the office (the three years that have you undone) serve dinner costing the public exchequer over Rs. 7000 a plate?
Mr. Prime Minister, haven’t assets of so many politicians shot up so many times in so few a years?

Manmohan’s cognitive dissonance has become so insolent that he finds it hard to define even what constitutes corruption. That is something even his destitute and dejected ‘aam aadmi’ is very efficient at. But Manmohan is not.

In the conference of CBI and State Anti-Corruption Bureaux, he said, “A clear and unambiguous definition for the term 'corruption', covering both the supply and demand sides, is being sought to be provided”.

It is understandable when he talks of such sincerity in terms of protecting the interests of the honest officers but when the same person decides to remain silent, or ignore or refute the ‘clearly visible and irrefutable’ evidence of corrupt activities of his men, it perplexes and leaves us in a bad taste, shattering all the positive imagery of the man.

Mr. Prime Minister, when would you realize that your knowhow of ensuring “probity, transparency and accountability in the work-culture of public authorities” is already sucking your ‘aam aadmi’ dry?

October 10, 2012 was just yet another example of Manmohan’s lifeless job on preaching us without setting any precedent.

Reading tales of ‘Panchtantra’ should be made a must for the politicians of the day before they are allowed to contest elections. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -