Not so long ago Ninong Ering, Congress MP from Arunachal Pradesh, reportedly called him an ‘Indian Dog’! That was because Baba Ramdev had raised the issue of black money and the corrupt Congress leaders in one of his meetings. Digvijay Singh of the Congress then wanted Ramdev to certify that every donation received by him was not black money. In the drama that unfolded today, there were ministers rushing to welcome Baba Ramdev in an attempt to persuade him to call off his indefinite hunger strike scheduled to start from June 4. I wonder where Digvijay Singh is now and why he didn’t prevail upon his party’s ministers to not accord a red carpet welcome to a man he implied was receiving black money as donations.
Well whatever it was, the media had a great day with all the drama surrounding Ramdev. Not a single channel failed to remind us that Ramdev had made a U-turn on his previous statement. He had made comments about including the PM and CJI under the Lokpal’s jurisdiction but nothing that can be seriously called a conflict with Anna Hazare but the media had a field day describing events as a clash between the Ramdev group and the Hazare group. The media was seeking sound bites from Kapil Sibal and Ramdev to report something dramatic after their 2-hour meeting at the airport.
The sixties and seventies had great gold smugglers in India. Among the famous ones were Haji Mastan and Sukur Narayan Bakhia. In most movies the smugglers were the villains. All that changed starting the late seventies. The politicians started being portrayed as villains in the movies. Smuggling, murders, kidnappings, bribery, you name it and there was some politician or the other involved. Contesting elections was not just to seek power to rule a constituency or a state or to make laws. It became an exercise in acquiring more and more illegitimate wealth to fight more elections and generate more wealth. Wealth here obviously means black money. With economic reforms being brought in since 1991 the opportunities to generate black money grew exponentially. As did our GDP. Much of the wealth, of course, stayed in the hands of a small percentage of the population. Despite all the laws, the RTI and so on, black money generation and transactions came to be accepted as normal. The first to start the major black money revolution has to be the real estate business. Naturally, there had to come a time when the dam would break. This is that time.
Raja, Kanimozhi, Kalmadi and many more are behind bars being denied bail. Media celebrities were indulging lobbyists and planting stories and even meddling in cabinet formation. The Congress and UPA government have brought corruption and black money transactions to its pinnacle. The black money figures today far exceed the loot the Britishers got away with. And instead of having acted, or still acting on disclosing names, putting offenders behind bars and recovering the money stashed in foreign banks the government seeks to mollify people like Baba Ramdev to call off his hunger strike. As of today, even Dayanidhi Maran, the former telecom minister, is reportedly involved in illegitimate money transactions. Telecom being the most growth oriented industry it almost looks like it was outsourced as a domain to one party to loot and make a killing as part of 'coalition dharma'.
So what is it about Baba Ramdev that scares the Congress so much? Here’s a list:
1. Ramdev is no Anna Hazare, he has a very large base and following and has the potential to mobilise crores of people just like Jaiprakash Narayan once did.
2. He wears ‘saffron’ clothes. And that is a bad omen for the Congress.
3. Unlike Hazare, Ramdev can generate a lot of funds to battle the Congress.
4. Ramdev is headquartered in Uttarakhand but has tremendous influence in UP as well which goes to polls next year.
5. Any misadventure can lead to Congress playing into the hands of a bumbling BJP.
6. He is not burdened with any sidekicks like Anna Hazare who can be manipulated or targeted.
7. His demands genuinely echo the sentiments of the people – they want the names of black money hoarders disclosed, no amnesty, funds stashed abroad declared national assets. What is wrong with these demands?
Under the UPA not one area of public responsibility has been corruption-free. Sure, there are good things that have happened. But this UPA will surely go down as the most corrupt government in the history of India. All the queen’s men may not be able to put the kingdom back together if they do not act now. Even areas like IPL and cricket, headed by none other than the likes of Sharad Pawar, have featured in the domain of corruption and black funds.
The UPA had promised to act on black money within 100 days of its office. Far from acting, the skeletons just keep tumbling out on various scams. The extra-constitutional body called the National
Adversary Advisory Council is busy making communal laws in the guise of Communal Violence Bill. Laws are being proposed to suppress voices on the internet and the press.
The audacity and stupidity of Digivijay Singh asking Baba Ramdev to certify that each of his donation isn’t black money was the height of Congress arrogance. This was preceded by arrogant statements from Kapil ‘Zero Loss’ Sibal and the Manish Tiwaris and Abhishek Singhvis. They should have strongly condemned the incident where one of their members called Ramdev a Dog and shown greater humility in attending the scams that were popping up everywhere.
The Congress MP Ninong Ering and Digvijay Singh have never learned one important lesson in their life. Let sleeping dogs lie! Unfortunately, they woke him up and now he’s gonna bite!