Home arrow Archives arrow Political Diary arrow Political Diary-2016 arrow “I Would Be In Jail”: KISKA DAND AUR KISKI LAATHI?, By Poonam I Kaushish, 1 Nov, 2016
News and Features
INFA Digest
Parliament Spotlight
Journalism Awards
“I Would Be In Jail”: KISKA DAND AUR KISKI LAATHI?, By Poonam I Kaushish, 1 Nov, 2016 Print E-mail

Political Diary

New Delhi, 1 November 2016

“I Would Be In Jail”

Kiska dand AUR kiski laathi?

By Poonam I Kaushish


“If Amar was not there I would have been in jail.” A criminal’s confession who rightfully needs to be behind bars. Of course, if the guilty happens to be an aam aadmi. But certainly not if the person concerned is a khaas aadmi, that too India’s ex-Defence Minister and UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh.


This my dear readers, is the biggest dhamaka in the ongoing cat and mouse power game between baap-beta Mulayam and Akhilesh with uncle Shivpal as kabab mein hadi in the Samajwadi Parivar. With Assembly elections due early next year the stakes for Lucknow gaddi’s have sky-rocketed and is up for grabs.  What is on display is a naked and ruthless lust for power.


Worse, the Samajwadi supremo’s admission has been met with deafening silence by our polity, even arch opponents Congress, BJP and Mayawati’s BSP have turned a blind eye. As also law enforcing agencies, police, income tax, Central Bureau of Investigation even the judiciary.


None want to ask simple questions: What was Mulayam’s crime? What deal was struck and with whom? And who prevented him from being jailed?  Who stalled the investigations? Why did the CBI not net him?


Darlings, welcome to the sordid underbelly of sleazy politics. Call it plutocracy (rule by wealth) or kleptocracy (rule by theft) either which way  netas of all shapes and sizes, hues and colours, communal and secular flock together collectively coo there’s  nothing’s wrong.


The name of the game is quid-pro-qous and you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours. Why? One, because sab ek he thaali ke chhatee batte hai, it’s like the pot calling the kettle black. Two, all care a rat’s ass for principles, values and morality.


And the less said the better of the CBI whose fatal attraction for political cover-ups and clean chits have made it into the Central Bureau of convenience, connivance and corruption, with the devil taking the hindmost!


Recall, after the SP lost power to the BSP in UP in May 2007, the CBI tells the Supreme Court it had found prima facie evidence against Mulayam, sons Akhilesh and Prateek and daughter-in-law Dimple to launch criminal investigations. It registers a disproportionate assets case against them for amassing over Rs 100 crore between 1993-2005 parts of it coinciding with Mulayam’s tenure as UP Chief Minister (2003-7).


In March 2008 the CBI seeks expeditious disposal of its plea. On July 8 the Left Parties withdraw support to Manmohan Singh’s UPA Government over the Indo-US nuclear deal. And on the same day, Mulayam announces support of his 39 MPs. Predictably the Government sails through the trust vote.


Following this Dimple immediately shoots off a letter to the Prime Minister denying allegations that she held benami property on behalf of the family. In November then Solicitor General Vahanvati opines her assets cannot be clubbed with Mulayam’s as she “held no public office”.


In December the CBI seeks withdrawal of its case against the Yadavs. However it does a volte-face in March 2009 and tells the Supreme Court it wants to proceed against them. The same time, the Congress and SP fail to strike a seat-sharing pact for the Lok Sabha elections.


In December 2012 as the Court starts hearing the case, the UPA again seeks Mulayam’s help to elect Pranab Mukherjee as President and pass the Food Security Bill which he has vociferously been opposing for months. In another somersault in 2013 the CBI changes its mind and closes the DA case against Mulayam due to “grossly insufficient evidence”.


Not only Mulayam ditto is the CBI’s tryst with his compatriots Mayawati and BJP’s Karnataka Chief Yeddyurappa.  In 2003 the CBI files a case against Mayawati in the Taj Corridor scam barely a month after she severs ties with Vajpayee’s NDA Government.


Between 2003-2007 the BSP extends outside support to the UPA and the CBI files a closure report in the Taj Corridor case. But the CVC, under whom the CBI functions dramatically contradicts it claiming enough evidence is there to prosecute her.  


However, in May 2007 when Mayawati  ascends UP’s throne, the CBI despite being ready to prosecute her is refused permission by UP Governor TV Rajeswar, reportedly close to Sonia Gandhi. Ironically, barely a month after Mayawati quits the UPA in 2008, the CBI registers an FIR against her in another disproportionate assets case, an offshoot of the Taj Corridor case.


The Supreme Court questions the CBI in 2012 stating the agency has exceeded its mandate by investigating a case without permission from either the Court or the State Government. Arguably, why did the CBI not appeal the Court order despite claims of having incriminating evidence against Mayawati? Also, the Court has still not taken away the CBI’s power to proceed against her in another DA case?


Yeddyurappa’s case too runs on parallel lines. He is convicted by Karnataka’s Lokayukta for favouring mining companies in return for gratification and quits as Chief Minister in 2011. Today with BJP at the Centre, a special CBI court has acquitted him.


Clearly, in this game of political dumb charades successive Governments have used the CBI as a hand maiden to dance to its tune. A toothless tiger to help friends settle political scores with opponents, thereby, raising serious doubts about its honesty and integrity of purpose to weed out the corrupt.

Is the CBI more sinned against than sinning?  Are politicians the main culprit? The truth is mid-way. Over the years, the CBI has adopted an opportunistic policy of playing safe with Governments of the day. Both work in tandem in furthering their own interest. Consequently, the system becomes self-perpetuating whereby threatened political elite have given more and more powers to the CBI to get their way and have their say.


Thus, in this game of lies, deceit and deception, the UP drama reflects the emerging truth of today’s India. Power is all. Arguably, one can say this is what democracy is all about. Or should one say business of democracy.


Sadly, the tragedy of Mulayam’s saga is that it has not made any iota of difference or guilt among our teflon-coated politicians who continue to be fair game and ply whatever you want: Lay down any law, bend any rule, change any order, transfer any person and fudge figures.


What next? Time we put in place a clear and transparent regulatory framework and stop crony capitalism. Our netagan need to cry a halt to political cronyism wherein it spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties. Corrupting public-serving economic and political ideals.


The nation demands, its polity to be whiter than white otherwise they are not fit to do the job. It is high time to cry a halt to increasing degradation by conducting our own due diligence, else we lay the foundation for a weak and pliable polity. We need an effective vetting process of the real chaal, charitra & chehra of our leaders.


Prime Minister Modi has oft spoken about ushering in transparency in governance. It is high time the CBI is truly independent, stops being His Masters Voice and prevents abuse of power. Undoubtedly this would be a formidable task given that the agency needs purging of “yes men” and cleansed of backdoor instructions. There is no point in initiating a biased investigation which does not guarantee a fair probe.


At the end of the day, are we going to mortgage our conscience to corrupt and tainted leaders? Public accountability is indispensable in a democratic set-up. The powers-that-be must desist from playing further havoc. Who will cast the first stone?  Kiska danda, kiski laathi aur kiski bhains?  ---- INFA


(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

< Previous   Next >
  Mambo powered by Best-IT