September 24, 2011 Update: Following the case against him by Subramanian Swamy and recent revelations on the 2G scam PC simply has to quit. The man who simply romanced power all these years has reached his nadir. The sooner he leaves in grace the better for him.. That's all I have to say!
All the years of carefully cultivated poise, smooth-talking and intelligence can be brought down in a few minutes of insanity. P. Chidambaram is now feeling the heat from the fire he had hoped would never come to singe him. Congress spokespersons have repeatedly dismissed A. Raja’s allegations against PC and the PM as those of a man accused of a crime and cannot be taken seriously. So what should we take seriously? The utterances of people like Digivijay Singh and P. Chidambaram? Wait, Raja didn’t make these statements to NDTV, CNN-IBN or Headlines Today whose everlasting love for both DS and PC is unflinching. He made those statements in a court of law in his defence. The court is not a place for allegations but a place where facts would count. If it were a media courtroom PC would have been already declared not guilty. Raja may be crooked and that implies he is smart enough to know what he is throwing around. The bad news for PC is that Raja also happens to be a lawyer himself and should know what perjury means. This is the same Raja that the PM had so strongly defended for a long time.
So what is PC's response? He finally gets the inspiration from his one-time adversary Digvijay and delivers the answer that would make DS proud. He invokes ‘saffron terror’! So after almost a year PC pulls the ‘saffron terror cheap trick’ again.
"I think they know that there is no connection to the so called scam in 2G. I think they are targeting selected ministers for other reasons in this case. What I suspect is that we have quickened the investigations into a number of bomb blast cases where right-wing fundamentalist organisations are involved. We have quickened....we have persuaded the court to hear two Ayodhya cases on a more or less day-to-day basis" he said. Oh yeah, we can all, of course, see the very clear connection between the 2G scam and right-wing terror cases. Don't we? His statement to Times Now some days back was delivered in quite an agitated tone. The artful dodger finally ran out of artful defences and smooth-talk. This was now the unartful dodger at work.
Did we know all this before? Many have written about it but the mainstream cacophony media circle believed in continuously glorifying a man who kept building his own grave. Where do we begin? Let’s start with Radiagate itself.
In the post Radia Tapes, PhoneTapping - Chidambaram Must Come Clean (December 2010) I have quoted Subramanian Swamy’s serious allegations against PC. Any other man with any self-respect would have dragged Swamy to courts over these allegations. Response from PC – nothing! That post also mentioned: “Spectrum shares being resold to a mid-east company called Etisalat should have raised the eyebrows of anyone concerned with national security. But any word ever from PC? Not to my knowledge. I am confident some story about Etisalat will soon be out in the open.”
There is still no case or charge sheet against Nira Radia. I wonder why not. Let’s go back again to another post UPAGovt. May Not Have A Case Against Nira Radia ... (December 2010) This is what that post stated: “…..The phone tapping was started precisely for that reason – spying…..one can safely assume the complaint to the then Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, on the basis of which the phone tapping commenced might as well be fabricated. Else, Chidambaram can and should reveal who the complainant was. That is neither a matter of national secrecy nor a matter of grave danger. I wonder if the complaint was signed by anyone or was an anonymous one.” Well, the media still isn’t asking that all important question – who filed the complaint based on which the phone tapping was ordered? PC can surely tell us if it was a person, an organisation or an anonymous complaint. That little piece of information may well hold great secrets.
What next? In an alarming revelation Subramanian Swamy has now alleged PC has received 5000 crores in an interview with Asian Tribune (July 26). “I think he got Rs. Five thousand crores as a cut from Mr. Raja.” said Swamy. (In another 2G related development, the Enforcement Directorate has slapped a Rs 7,000-crore penalty on Etisalat-DB for alleged FEMA violations.) PC sent a legal notice to Reliance for remarks made by K R Raja (RIL employee) to corporate lobbyist Nira Radia which suggested that Chidambaram was a beneficiary in the 2G spectrum scam. RIL promptly apologised. Being a business unit RIL would hardly like to cross swords with the Home Minister or his government. Quite understandable! But the allegation by Swamy is similar and even puts a number to it and is far more serious. No response yet from PC. Wait and watch!
In another case concerning Intelligence Bureau, although unrelated, R.N. Kulkarni, who served in the IB for over three decades and retired as joint assistant director, has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Karnataka High Court questioning the agency’s legitimacy. Outlook magazine reports on that development that the IB, RAW and other Intelligence agencies are not accountable to parliament. They’re practically extra-constitutional. Not surprisingly politicians use these organisations for political purposes. I didn’t say that. That these agencies are being used for spying on political rivals comes from none other than former Home Secretary G.K. Pillai (IndiaToday). Guess who is in charge of the intelligence agencies? And make another wild guess what our intelligence sleuths might be overburdened with rather than crime and security issues.
In the worst pasting anyone would have recently given PC, Ram Jethmalani writes a mini biography of the man. In a piece in The Sunday Guardian titled “Friend, father & philosopher of black money is Chidambaram” Jethmalani showers an honour on PC that no politician would ever want. After chronicling what would appear to be a political career tainted throughout, Jethmalani ends on the following note:
“Chidambaram's record as Home Minister has been disastrous. Neither has he made any impact on internal security, with the worst massacres of his own paramilitary forces taking place in his time, nor on terrorism, which carries on in complete complacency because there are neither effective preventive or punitive systems in place, nor political will and national legislation to combat terrorism…….What a laughing stock we must be before the world. It is almost as if India is determined that it shall not combat terrorism, shall not have enabling legislation as enacted by the US, such as the Homeland Security Act 2002, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 of UK and similar legislations in European governments. India is determined not to have an effective national agency on the lines of the Homeland Security Department of the US. The ramshackle National Investigation Agency showed itself as a complete failure during the recent Mumbai attacks. Understandable, because its only mandate appears to be to investigate "Hindu terror", the last refuge for failed and hopeless Congressmen like Chidambaram. The CCTNS, JIC, ARC, NTRO (presently in another scam), and NCTC remain effete, scattered and unmonitorable, even by the Home Ministry. With such an unequivocal determination by the UPA government not to address terrorism effectively, I can only grieve for my country.”
I’m too optimistic to grieve for my country yet. But I do grieve having such a former Finance and now Home Minister. He’s been reduced to an ‘unartful’ dodger.