Thousands gathered outside the
jail to greet him.
Tens of thousands arrived in Hyderabad to welcome him, to join the procession to his
journey back to home, from the Chanchalguda prison to his palatial house in Hyderabad’s posh
locality, Banjara Hills.
As if, a freedom fighter fighting
some colonial oppression or an activist resisting a authoritarian government was
coming out of jail. But sadly it wasn’t the case.
And that is acidic for the
democratic health of the country. This celebration was, once again,
representative of a deteriorating mindset of the masses. Yes, it is a
deteriorating mindset that owes its sustenance to the continued political manipulation
of the masses.
It is acidic because the person
was detained in jail against charges of corruption. In a short time, he has
amassed huge wealth. In his area of influence, he is seen as a strongman. We
fail to trace his political history beyond his political lineage. Apart from
amassing disproportionate assets, he has not done anything to be known as a
great politician, a humane politician, in making. Yet, he has emerged as a big
political alternative, in course of three years only.
That is certainly not good for
the democratic spirit of the nation because the malaise here represents the
larger malaise in the society where people fail to understand what is right or
wrong and how corruption is eating the concept of the ‘Republic of India’;
where people fail to put politicians facing serious allegations out of the
office till such politicians prove their innocence.
The person in question was in
jail for the last 16 months on many counts of violations in Disproportional
Assets (DA) case. The ‘symbolically central’ Central Bureau of Investigation has
filed 10 charge-sheets against him in the DA case.
Son of a popular politician, who was
also a former chief-minister, the fellow is a powerful politician, running a
diversified business empire. His jail-term is supposed to correlate with his
assets, that are, by most analyses, disproportionate in nature.
It was alleged and widely
reported that when the powerful politician father of this powerful politician
son had died in an unfortunate helicopter crash in 2009, fake reports of
several people dying of shock of the untimely demise of the great leader were
propped to gain mileage of political sympathy. Silly!
As a natural corollary to the
dynasty politics in India, nurtured
and propagated by the most powerful Delhi-based political family of India, this
powerful politician son demanded to succeed his father’s chief-ministerial
chair, a chair that was denied to him.
Miffed with the denial of the
royal chair of the chief-minster ship, he broke away from the grand old
political party of India
and formed his own political outfit. And in remarkable turn of events, in a
pseudo-democracy with an alienated and ignorant electorate, he emerged as a
strong political force in a short period of time, and so a political threat. That
could have been a call for the opponents to move in 2011.
Threat to the establishment in
office and court’s interventions were motives enough for the shambolic CBI to
act differently from its character. Subsequently, resultantly, this powerful
politician was forced behind bars and left there languishing for 16 months.
But, he kept on growing
politically stronger and became even more relevant for the political equations
in the changed circumstances after the Union government announced bifurcation
of Andhra Pradesh. Maintaining a strong anti-Telangana stand and riding on a strong
support base in the Seemandhra region could have changed the thinking of the
grand old party of India
that is facing an imminent danger of being wiped out in Andhra Pradesh after
the bifurcation decision taken by the Congress led Union Government.
The political cliché that there
are no friends or foes in politics shows us this ugly face of Indian politics,
that, with a largely ignorant electorate, is eroding the democratic health of
the country; is polluting whatever that is left in the name of democracy in
Whatever be the reality of the
reported deals, between his political outfit YSRCP and the Congress, or of the
BJP’s feelers to him criticising the CBI for his plight, we are going to
witness some uglier political deal-making in the days to come.
No denial to this fact that Mr.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of the former Andhra Pradesh chief minster Y S Rajashekara
Reddy, has amassed wealth beyond his known sources of income.
The detention for 16 months of a
son of a powerful politician with a regional clout tells us of the veracity of
allegations. Had it been the case of some common man, who could even be one of
Mr. Reddy’s die-hard supporters, like those swarming outside the Chanchalguda
jail or on Hyderabad
roads leading to the Jagan’s house, we could have believed a detention of 16
months was possible even if all the charges were false. Running a strong media
empire and sitting on huge assets, Mr. Reddy had access to the resources, to finest
of the legal minds in the country.
What becomes finally of Mr. Reddy
in courts in his corruption cases will take a long time. It could go even beyond
his lifetime. And meanwhile, he will keep enjoying his political kingdom with
loyal supporters in the world’s largest democracy.
And Mr. Reddy is not alone. He is
just one among the countless of the politicians facing serious corruption
allegations. And he is just one among this lot of the countless that continues
to enjoy to public support in spite of serious corruption allegations. Making
people with serious corruption allegations politically stronger is also
corruption and we are making so many of the breed stronger with every election.
That is detrimental to the
democratic concept of India
envisioned in its Constitution.
It reflects again and again in
celebrations like these.
*“Why democracy in India is in
imminent danger of disintegration?’ is a regular column on my blogging
platforms to take a periodic look (say a weekly or a fortnightly or a monthly
round-up of events depending on the factors in play) on political developments
that are dangerous to the democratic health of the country and contribute to
the process of social disintegration of the nation..”