Will Mach 11 be a shocker?

 

Will Mach 11 be a shocker?

UP election result forecast!

By

Faraz Ahmad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the other day, while addressing an election rally in eastern Uttar Pradesh, where he is currently busy campaigning, that the results of these elections out on March 11, less than a week from now, will shock his opponents. He obviously implied Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.

I don’t know about these gentlemen. But I must admit that if, as Modi, as also some of our other soothsayers are predicting, he succeeds in winning UP assembly elections or rather almost all the five states that have gone to polls, with the sole exception of Uttarakhand, it will truly give Me a big shock. But more than shock it will despair me tremendously. It will make me lose faith in the fairness of the current political process and in fact to a large extent in the polity which despite all that has happened in the country and in UP close to last three years under Modi rule, still get swayed by his and his factotum Amit Shah’s blatantly communal rhetoric.

It will only prove that Modi was right in scrapping 86 per cent of our currency with one Sultani Firman, in undermining the institution of banks insofar as denying any citizen the right to his money safely deposited in the banks to be withdrawn in the hour of his need.

It will prove that people are not just blind but deaf too to the whole charade of demonetisaton putting an end to terrorism. The Prime Minister announced first that this is being done to prevent Pakistan from aiding terrorists coming from across the border. The other day he told a public meeting in UP that the terrorists have come as far as Kanpur to derail a train and kill hundreds of innocent citizens. Never mind what the NIA investigations have concluded so far. Let us take the Prime Minister at face value. Well then, is it not an open admission of the fact that his claim of breaking the back of terrorists from across the western borders, was so much of hot air?

Next he lamented of fake currency  and stated that as the reason for scrapping all the Rs 500 and 1000 notes. And here we have crores and crores of fake currency notes of the new Rs 2000 denomination now being smuggled into India from Bangla Desh, disclosed the security agencies guarding our borders. So then that objective too, if it was actually an honest objective, though I don’t believe this, failed.

Then he went to town about putting an end to black money. But then all the 500 and 1000 notes are back in the banks. Whatever is left in Nepal and Bhutan where Indian currency is accepted freely, will also be shortly back in our banks, promised our Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Kathmandu the other day. Can’t people see that not one rich man ever stood in any queue outside any bank. Not one pillow full of 1000 and 500 notes was seized by Modi’s machinery. For all the TV news channel hypes we saw no display of anyone burning sackful of currency notes. That was one big lie. But are our people so taken in by the TV propaganda that they turn a blind eye to everything else.

Haven’t thousands of people in Okhla, Mayapuri and other industrial estates of Delhi returned home after losing their jobs? Hasn’t this influenced their decision to cast their vote in the current elections? If Modi wins, it means none of this really mattered. Whatever M

thing that they find in Modi a person who can put these bloody mullahs in their rightful place, under our shoe. He hinted that when he made Kabristan an electoral issue and he has the antecedents, what with the spectacular record of 12 years in Gujarat. That is the only thing that could persuade our voter to go for Modi and surely this would be a shocker.

Eom

 

Shahabuddin case:

Shahabuddin case:

Justice or prejudice?

By

Faraz Ahmad

Justices Dipak Mishra and Amitava Roy of the Supreme Court of India are increasingly becoming the conscience keepers of India.

I dare not accuse Their Lordships of vigilantism notwithstanding their remarkable directive to the progressively dwindling cinema houses in the country to play national anthem before they start screening the scheduled movie of that day to establish without doubt patriotism of each cinema goer, before he sits down to enjoy a movie thus ensuring that no anti-national goes to a cinema hall. I think it would not be inappropriate to describe this as judicial outreach. Do the judges even of the apex court have the mandate to determine patriotism of a movie buff?

But such are the times and the prevalent Sanghi vigilant terror that none dare question that, never mind that even physically handicapped persons have been assaulted and mauled in cinema houses by the Sanghi moral police force for not being able to stand up to the national anthem in time. A tray of cold drinks and snacks in front of you which restricts your movement is no excuse for immediately rising to Jna Gana Mana.

Knowing the state of mind of these two honourable Brahmin judges of the apex court their ruling forcing Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and four time Lok Sabha member from Siwan Mohammad Shahabuddin to be moved away from Bihar to Tihar jail, notwithstanding no such provision under the law of the land, and a clear attempt to create a precedent of denying a fair trial to the accused, comes as no surprise. It however evokes a response whether this does not amount to holding Shahabuddin guilty before the due process of holding the trial. The Patna High Court and the other courts in Bihar had granted Shahabuddin bail in precisely the cases which the apex court has cited for taking this unprecedented decision of shifting Shahabuddin from Bihar to Tihar here in the Capital. In effect the apex court has passed a no confidence motion not just against the lower courts of Bihar but also Patna High Court because these courts have already acquitted this man in 20 of the 45 cases slapped on him.

True he has been accused of murders, many taking place while he was in jail for 11 years since his bête noire Nitish Kumar became the chief minister with BJP support. But in September last year the Patna High Court granted him bail after the lower courts granted him bail in all other cases slapped on this loyal lieutenant of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.

Soon as Shahabuddin walked out of jail last September predictably BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi raised a political storm against Nitish Kumar accusing him of succumbing to Lalu’s pressure and lo and behold the Supreme court sent this RJD leader back to jail  within a week or so. Curiously Justice Amitava Roy was a member of that two-judge bench as well.

It all began with the death of a local journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, shot dead in a busy market in Siwan on May 13 last, leading to an outcry that this was Shahabuddin’s handiwork even while he was interned for more than 10 years in Siwan jail. Within a week,  the Nitish administration shifted him to Bhagalpur jail. Then in September the Patna High Court granted him bail and Shahabuddin walked out of the jail after 11 years which did not go down well with the Supreme Court which promptly put him back in jail.

Not satisfied with this, Ranjan family moved the apex court  which readily granted its plea and ordered Shahabuddin shift to Tihar thousands of kilometers away from his hometown Siwan. The court rejected the plea of his defence counsel who cited Shahabuddin’s right to free and fair trial and pointed out that there was no provision in law that mandated transfer of an accused from one prison to another. Justices Dipak Mishra and Amitava Roy did not dismiss the defence counsel’s contention. Instead they took the plea that, “This is not a normal and usual case” and added, “Fair trial must soothe the ultimate justice which is sought individually…” In effect the Supreme Court has already pronounced Shahabuddin guilty and therefore you don’t need a Nostradamus to predict the outcome of this RJD leader’s trial in Rajan murder case. Never mind that neither the lower courts nor Patna High Court found sufficient substance in the allegation of his involvement in this murder since he was already incarcerated in Siwan jail then.

There appear to be two obviousreasons for this clear bias and prejudice in seeking to hang Shahabuddin without giving him a fair opportunity to defend himself, reminding one of the Afzal Guru case where the then Special Court judge S N Dhingra, a RSS activist, had made up his mind, unmindful of any evidence to hang all those the Police produced as accused then, dismissing Guru’s plea of getting a proper and sound legal counsel to defend him there.

Shahabuddin’s first fault is his unflinching loyalty to Lalu Prasad and the RJD, which the entire gamut of Aryavrat, nee the urban upper caste upwardly mobile class, cutting across regions loves to hate and pray for complete obliteration of RJD and wish that its leaders leaders starting with Lalu himself be locked up in the deepest dungeons, never to be shown the light of the day.

Besides Shahabuddin has also to pay the price for being a Muslim, because ever since the demolition of Babri Masjid and the accompanied organized attacks on Muslims, an undercurrent of communal bias is widely prevalent and the judiciary cannot entirely escape that prejudice. Ironically, in his area of influence no one looks at Shahabuddin as a Muslim. His Hindu supporters in Siwan are equally committed to him largely because they find him above communal bias.

Eom

 

Modi’’s pre-poll manoeuvres

Modi’’s pre-poll manoeuvres

Amar Singh ready to join BJP

By

Faraz Ahmad

The cat is finally out of the bag. Thakur Amar Singh, a self-professed ‘Mulayamwadi” is ready to join the BJP.  He confessed to the authorized disseminator of BJP propaganda, the India TV news channel of former ABVP activist turned journalist turned TV star Rajat Sharma, his admiration for Prime Minister Narenda Modi and on being asked of the chances of joining the saffron party, “did not rule out” the possibility.”

UP chief minister and now Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and his mentor uncle and SP’s intellectual face Ram Gopal Yadav who expelled the Thakur from the SP, soon as they snatched the party from father founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, have been skeptical of Amar Singh for over a decade now even as in the late 90s and the first decade of this century, Amar Singh’s stock rose exponentially in Mulayam Singh’s eyes and therefore in the SP, despite Amar’s assertion  from time to time that he was no Samajwadi, but simply Mulayamwadi.

Mulayam and his chief lieutenant then and younger brother Shivpal Yadav gave Amar Rajya Sabha ticket and made him a member of Parliament in May last, defying Ram Gopal, Azam Khan and Akhilesh himself. It took no time for the wily Thakur to emerge as a power centre, soon after his rehabilitation among the socialists, as of yore before his expulsion from the party in January 2010.

So in the second week of September he invited over Mulayam and Shivpal ostensibly to break bread where the chief guest was the newly anointed BJP Rajya Sabha member and the proprieter of Zee TV Subhash Chandra. But the real objective became evident when the newly appointed chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh Deepak Singhal appeared there with the file to allocate acres of prime land in Greater Nodia for that Modi acolyte Baba Ramdev to make a sprawling Patanjali park there and secured a clearance from Mulayam and Shivpal.

However as it transpired all this happened behind Akhilesh’s back and Akhilesh immediately hit back by replacing Singhal forthwith  with Rahul Bhatnagar. In one of his candid moments during the public spat with his son, Mulayam admitted publicly that Amar saved him from going to jail and in a clear message to the chief minister within days of this Mulayam elevated Amar back as party general secretary and followed this up with appointing him to the parliamentary board of SP, evidently giving Amar a say in selection of candidates for the impending UP Assembly polls.

Thus Amar who was blatantly working for the BJP and its backers like Ramdev, successfully manoeuvred himself into a position of authority in the Samajwadi Party within months of being reinducted and was now again in a position to influence vital decisions of the SP by manipulating Mulayam and Shivpal very nearly succeeding in effecting a split in the party with the prospect of the party losing its trademark bicycle election symbol. And if there was any doubt left, about whose behest Amar Singh was acting at, it was cleared when Modi’s government or rather Rajnath Singh’s Union Home ministry rewarded Amar with Z category security in the midst of all this controversy last December.

But by the middle of January when he saw a patch up developing between the father and son which brought the SP back from the brink of a split, a disheartened Amar Singh decided to go to London, or so he said.

He is back now and has openly rooted for Modi, attacking not just Akhilesh but Mulayam and even Shivpal as well, obviously upset over the failure of his game plan. But the moot question is what kind of threat or inducement was he offering on behalf of Modi and the BJP to Mulayam and Shivpal that he very nearly succeeded in not just splitting the SP but driving a wedge in Mulayam’s family and getting rid of Akhilesh on the eve of the UP Assembly polls. Whoever may eventually win in UP, this also proves that much before the infamous demonetization move, BJP was truly nervous about the Prime Minister’s chosen battle ground and had started investing majorly in undermining its political opponents.

Eom

 

Audacity thy name is Modi

Audacity thy name is Modi

Where is the question of any remorse?

By

Faraz Ahmad

If there is one word that describes our respected Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, it is “Brash.” He deliberately and pointedly insulted former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on February 7 in his reply to the Presidential address and instead of feeling contrite  was cocky enough to say on the floor of the Rajya Sabha that “We have the ability to pay back in the same coin. If anyone speaks like this, he should also be ready to face the consequences.”

The Prime Minister was obviously referring to Dr Manmohan Singh’s speech in the Rajya Sabha on November 24 in the presence of Modi when Singh described demonetization as a “monumental mismanagement.” The former Prime Minister had pointedly asked the Prime Minister to name one country where people have been disallowed from withdrawing their money from the banks. That day Modi sat silently and after the speech when up to Dr Singh shook his hands and left the House. He obviously had not prepared his counter then and therefore chose to postpone the retort for another day.

He was so arrogant and rude, disallowing CPM leader Sitaram Yechury and JD-U leader Sharad Yadav an intervention they had a legitimate right to, that Chairman Hamid Ansari had to make a critical comment on the Prime Minister’s conduct.  The Chairman said, “I have watched with much distress what has happened this afternoon in the House…I think the normal practice, to my understanding, has been that when a speaker has the floor and somebody wishes to intervene, the person speaking concedes….Today different people wanted to intervene somewhere. The honourable speaker, at that moment of time did not concede…You can draw conclusions as to why it was not conceded, whether it was in keeping with parliamentary etiquette, etc, etc….”

The man is also audacious and blase. He had the gumption the other day to say in the Lok Sabha that “Mere saath zulm hua hai(I am a victim of tyranny.)”

So Mr Modi, who forced at least 125 poor and invalid people all over the country to die standing in ATM and bank queues for more than 90 days now,  is a victim and we the poor who stood for hours endlessely day after day returning the next day again facing early morning chill or staying up outside banks in a cold night vigil subjected to unmentionable torture, to draw our money from the banks and ATMs, are tyrants.

And his mocking the victims of his pettiness to spite his political opponents, did not end at this. He dismissed all the sufferings we are still undergoing, as just a matter of a fortnight or so. He said this on the 90th day of Demonetisation of currency notes of 500 and 1000 value.

One thing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) seems to have really trained our Prime Minister well in, is brazenness. Be Blasé and aggressive whenever you confront your opponent. Your ability to out shout your opponent will help in papering over Truth and facts. That’s what the Sanghis from Arnab Goswami to Sudhir Chowdhry to Subhash Chandra to Rajat Sharma and you name any of them, has thoroughly imbibed.

That is why even after it is now amply evident that there is quid pro in Sahara Shri Subrat Roy roaming around freely supposedly released by the Supreme Court of India on a parole for a fortnight way back in May last year, even after his Minister of State for Home affairs Kiren Rijiju was caught recently with his pants down in the stone minining  and transporting scam of his home state Arunachal Pradesh, he had the gumption to call his political rivals scamsters, first in election speeches and now in Parliament.

The 16th Lok Sabha has already completed more than half its term and by implication Modi too.  He has to go to fresh elections about the same time two years hence. In his 2014 election campaign he made tall claims about rooting out corruption and putting the corrupt to jail. I remember even after becoming the Prime Minister he had in one of his first speeches in Parliament promised to get all the corruption allegations against politicians probed thoroughly and either put them behind bars, unmindful of the party they belonged to including his own, or else ensure restoration of their dignity and integrity. He said this in the context of how Lalu Prasad had been disenfranchised by the courts. Everyone, including Lalu, welcomed it.

If as Modi keeps insinuating through blatant accusations to subtle innuendos, his political opponents are scamsters, what has prevented him from putting Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Robert Vadra, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and Mamta Banerjee behind bars? Why his tall claim has failed to materialize. And if he is unable to find anything to nail them down, he better shut his trap and instead apologise to them for besmirching their name and also to the nation for deliberately and willfully misleading them.

But that will never be for Modi is Modi.

Eom

 

Shamuganathan scandal!

Shamuganathan scandal!

What’s surprising?

By

Faraz Ahmad

I recall my rare interactions with the outgoing Meghalaya Governor whose exact name Shanmuganathan I discovered only after the Indian Express exposed the sex scandal involving him. Soon after the BJP went out of power in 2004, this gentleman was planted in the BJP parliamentary party office and his job was merely to order tea and biscuits around and do other sundry biddings of the BJP spokesmen when they briefed the media in Room number 6 of Parliament House, e BJP Parliamentary party office.

Soon as there was a change of regime in 2014 and the saffron brigade led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the citadel of Indian democracy I virtually retired from active journalism and therefore the fact that this complete non entity had been sent off to govern the sensitive north eastern states of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh came as bigger surprise to me than his reported frolickings with young and pretty girls.

Shanmuganathan as reported in the media is a Pracharak from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) based in Chennai and used to manage senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu’s vast business empire extending from Chennai to the entire length and breadth of Tamil Nadu. Venkaiah has let out his mansion in Chennai to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shanmuganathan was an odd jobs man of Venkaiah. It is Venkaiah who brought him to Delhi and secured for him a position in the BJP parliamentary party office.

Grapevine has it that Prime Minister Narendra Modi elevated Shanuganathan to the post of Governor in North east also at Venkaiah’s instance. People of north eastern hilly states look down with suspicion and justifiably so, at those from the plains of India, presuming them to be part of the network trafficking in young women, largely for prostitution purposes and sometimes for domestic help also, often packing them off to Gulf for the same purpose. One wonders therefore what was transpiring in Modi’s mind when he decided to send a Mr. Nobody to the dignified post of a Governor, where you are addressed as Your Excellency?

My friend Sabah Naqvi apparently mocked the Sangh on twitter at the doings of His Excellency. The Sanghi brigade protested loudly. Maybe they have a point that not every Sanghi can be painted with the same brush.

I had a very dear and revered colleague in Bombay Indian Express reporters’ section Neelkanth Deshmukh. He was truly a gentleman to the core and most modest, most unassuming. But he probably was the exception that disproves the rule.

To be fair to Shanmuganathan he is not the first supposed celibate Pracharak from the Sangh whose weakness for the soft flesh has hit the headlines.  A head count of the BJP national executive has revealed a 10 per cent occurrence of the members who earned a general reputation for extra marital sexual dalliance, starting from the number one on the list, our married, yet unmarried Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Remember the Mansi tapes?

Then on number two on the list is former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who confessed years ago in an interview to the Celebrity magazine that though he is a bachelor he is not a celibate.

Then we have another holier than thou Murli Mnohar Joshi, against whom one time media celebrity Neelam Mahajan Singh lodged a complaint of rape.

The man on number ten, now an important cabinet minister is also widely known for his weakness for the soft flesh and most important introducing the infamous Niira Radia to Delhi’s charmed circles and then promoting her business interests.

I need not mention every name in the list and it is evident that I have neither concocted these names nor fabricated anything against these and other worthies not mentioned here as also those outside the national executive. All this is in public domain. Nor am I mentioning the names of the dead Sangh pracharaks whose sexual dalliance came to light on their death bed. Eyebrows were raised on at least two of them, when their nocturnal activities came to light on their pyre.

The Sanghis will immediately turn around and say so what, this is more prevalent in the Congress party and in every other party. Granted. No question of disputing this. But the point is, they don’t claim to be custodians of our Hindu morality. They don’t run armies of vigilantes. They don’t put restrictions of celibacy on their party leaders or members and force them to put on a pretense of celibacy even while their romantic escapades are freely discussed in Sanghi circles.

So the moral of the story is…One, stop preaching. Two, respect the high office of Governor and send at least some one with some amount of established integrity.

Eom

RSS and reservation

This is no off the cuff remark

By

Faraz Ahmad

You can commit a mistake once. But if you repeat it a second time, it’s neither a mistake nor an oversight. It’s a willful and deliberate act.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) revered father figure M G Vaidya timed his outcry against reservation just before the Bihar assembly elections and punctured Narendra Modi’s loud claims of being a backward. Everyone noticed how the anti-BJP alliance in Bihar went to town and reaped immense electoral benefit, dealing out a humiliating defeat to the party that had swept the Lok Sabha elections just a couple of months back.

This time it is his son, Manmohan Vaidya, in charge of Media and Public Relations for the Sangh, who raised the hackles against reservations, on the eve of assembly elections to five states, particularly to Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

What with the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi vehemently denying any plans at doing away reservations for the SCs, STs and OBCs, it appears as if the Sangh times its statement against reservation to embarrass the BJP and damage its electoral prospects. That doesn’t make much sense though, considering that Sangh workers have spread out in all Assembly constituencies in UP and Uttarakhand and are leading the polling booth level management for the impending elections.

Then why does the Sangh send out the signal against reservations repeatedly on crucial junctures of Bihar and UP elections where caste of a candidate plays an important role in a voter’s choice.  It is common sense to imagine that such statements on the eve of elections would  alienate the ST, Dalit, and OBC beneficiaries of reservation. So why did the Sangh choose to raise the reservation issue at this crucial juncture, when it is common knowledge that winning Uttar Pradesh is crucial for the Sanghis and BJP and more so for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

So is the Sangh trying to sabotage the UP elections and Modi’s onward journey to further consolidation on the Indian polity? No, I don’t think so. For argument sake let us assume if reservation goes, who will celebrate it and who will be adversely affected? Naturally the Dalits, the OBCs and even sections of OBC Muslims, the current beneficiaries, will be losers were the caste based reservation to be scrapped. And so naturally the moment Sangh proposes the abolition of reservation, it raises hackles in the Mayawati vote base of Dalits and also to a large extent in Akhilesh Yadav’s vote base of Yadavs and other backwards.

On the other hand it would immensely please the Aryavrat Savarnas as also the middle upwardly mobile forward castes like the Jats in UP and Haryana, the Patels in Gujarat and similarly the Kammas and Reddys in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. After all the underlying demand of Hardik Patel in Gujarat and of Jats of Haryana and Western UP is to scarp reservation all together or else include them as well in the reserved category.

Now it is a fact that since Rohith Vemula episode and then the assault on the Dalits in Gujarat, the Dalits all over the country have turned against the BJP and Narendra Modi. So unlike 2014 general elections, it was pretty evident that Mayawati’s base voter was not going to be swayed by Modi this time, so why bother about him. That’s just like the BJJP does not give tickets to any Muslim candidate because it knows the Muslim community by and large will not vote the BJP. And the Sanghi voter too will be most disinclined to vote a Musalman.

Similarly with a resurgent Akhilesh, the Yadav voter too appears consolidated with the Samajwadi Party.  As for other backwards and largely the entire rural farming community, they are all up in arms against Modi post-demonetisation, with slogans on the walls “Hamari Bhool, kamal ka phool (our mistake the lotus)” implying “we committed a mistake by voting for lotus” last time and this sentiment is shared not just by the backwards or farmers, it includes the Jats, pretty annoyed with Modi and the BJP and even the Baniya trader who has been badly hit by demonetization. So contrary to earlier BJP calculations of keeping its upper caste vote intact and denting the non-Yadavs among the OBCs and non-Jatavs among Dalits, the current situation is such that it needs some significant sop to retrieve its upper caste vote base.  What better sop than to hint that were the saffronites to consolidate their hold on the power levers of the entire Indian state, they may abolish or at least significantly tone down reservation.

True the BJP being a political party, sworn to abide by the Indian Constitution, dare not utter a word to this effect. Moreover it has still to bank upon a significant section of communalized Dalit and OBC voter who actually believes Musalman to be his main enemy. But what prevents the RSS from sowing the seeds of hope among the non-reserved section of the society?

And believe you me, this is no empty promise, if they actually win this round of assembly polls, most important UP, they will easily win the Presidential elections due next year and also soon enough have their majority in the Rajya Sabha. Nothing can then stop them from tampering with the Indian Constitution. All pretenses will then be dropped. Let us therefore wait with bated breath for the UP election results.

Eom

 

 

Where do I seek justice?

Where do I seek justice?

The dark shadow of Modi

By

Faraz Ahmad

The Income tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) created a record by giving clean chit to Sahrara Shri Subrata Roy in days, something others have not managed to secure in years and dismissing its own findings of irregularities in Sahara India’s books including mention of bribery to a long list of politicians cutting across party lines, beginning with the then Gujarat chief minister and now our prime minister Narendra Mod, then the BJP’s PM candidate.

The income tax officers had searched Sahara India premises not to look for dirt on Modi or any other politician. They were merely looking at books, papers and other records in the normal course, to establish their apprehension that Sahara India had cheated the national exchequer of the tax it was liable to pay and thus was hoarding “black money.” They  merely chanced upon this invaluable piece of information which, since Modi and Sanghis were still not ruling the country, they did not deem fit to brush under the carpet.

The IT officers were not witch hunting Modi. For all you know some of them, like many of their ilk, may be admirers of Modi. For years nobody took any notice of this because people’s attention was focused on Sahara Shri battling the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and then the apex court for non-payment of dues worth Rs 20,000 crore to small investors in Sahara group and that he was sent to jail for dismissing with the shrug of his shoulder the repeated summons of the Supreme Court. Finally he was arrested and incarcerated in Tihar jail for his defiance of the apex court. But look at his bluster, he has remained defiant of the Supreme Court directives on SEBI scam to date. Yet in May last year he secured a parole ostensibly only for a fortnight on the plea that he had to perform the last rites of his dead mother. Since then Subrata Roy is prancing around. The court has been asking him to return to the jail, but he cares a damn. He even released a book about his great achievements attended by the who’s who of the country, including a noteworthy list of BJP politicians and high Government officials. But as for returning the money to the investors, he hasn’t budged and the apex court is pleading with him to at least deposit Rs 600 crore as bail bond but the man wears this Devil cares look on his carefully trimmed and dyed moustache wearing that Salman Khan Dabangg look all the while.

See what the bench of Justices Dipak Mishra, Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri told Roy’s counsel Kapil Sibal, “This court has given so much indulgence to you…this is the worst…” Before that on September 23 a bench led by the just retired chief justice T S Thakur had asked Roy to surrender by September 28 or face strict court proceedings. Nothing happened. Their honours appear hamstrung in the case of Sahara Shri, It is anybody’s guess why?

This man who has scant respect for law, This man who has properties and businesses, both known and benami,  across the globe, in London, New York and where all, but pinched the small investors of their hard earned savings to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore. The same last post for justice in India which kept him incarcerated for years, suddenly finds the same person above reproach to accede to even a decent probe on the earlier findings of the income tax department. And the irony is it says why it won’t order a probe into Sahara affairs: “If investigation is ordered on the basis of inadmissible evidence like this, constitutional functionaries can’t function and democracy will not be safe,” the court said.

It is evident therefore that Subrata Roy’s swagger is thanks to the fact that as long as the law and justice machinery of the country is reluctant to raise an eyebrow against Narendra Modi, Sahra Shri has nothing to fear. So much for the fraudluent fight against corruption, the rule of law or any hope of fair trial and justice, when the establishment is blatantly complicit in our country.

Compare this with the way the courts went after the 2G spectrum allocation and the coal mines allotment, wherein both cases the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was sought to be dragged by the same BJP and its legal luminaries like Mukul Rohtagi who were bent upon humiliating Dr Manmohan Singh somehow only because he was leading a government of a political coalition led by Sonia Gandhi. And that when none other than Rohtagi’s godfather the current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has all along admitted that none could question Dr Manmohan Singh’s personal  integrity in money matters. Then our most revered custodians of law and justice on their own volition set up a Special Investigative Team (SIT) of the CBI to probe the involvement of the high and mighty starting with the then Communications minister A Raja (who was ordered to be arrested, spent time in Tihar jail and also DMK MP Kanimozhi) but sparing none including the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The entire political world knew that that Filmi guy Dasari Narayan Rao who handled the Coal ministry when Shibu Soren was put behind bars, implicated falsely in a murder case, was the real culprit. But catching Rao won’t have helped Modi, his BJP and RSS to discredit the UPA government, and smearthe leader’s name to create abhorrence in the minds of the people, to facilitate the Sanghis return to power after 10 years. It did.

Lalu Yadav is bearing the brunt of the sham of a fodder scam in which an unending probe taking the CBI team on a world tour, at the instance of Patna High Court, led the CBI to finally file a chargesheet in the year 2000 under the last NDA Government computing Lalu’s total assets, both movable and immovable for his entire political career at only Rs 41 lakh. But the man has been sent to jail umpteen times and pushed out of the political class by the courts.

Still further back there was a man called Abdul Rehman Antulay, the first and to date the only Muslim chief minister of the state of Maharashtra. His charisma, because of his dynamism and popularity was unparalleled after Y B Chavan. But charges of corruption were hurled at him and the courts immediately took cognizance. He battled these for decades. Nothing came of it. But politically Anutlay could never recover from this onslaught.

And what did we find in Bofors, which the BJP digs out from time to time? Nothing, even the courts admitted finally dismissing all the cases. But it helped the Rajiv Gandhi baiters to make the people believe that, “Gali, gali mein shor hai, Rajiv Gandhi chor hai” and win the 1989 elections which aided the BJP rise from the ashes of just 2 seats in the eighth Lok Sabha to 85 in the ninth.

What is the common strain in all these instances and what is the connection with the Sahara Shri case?

Whenever a non-Sanghi leader is perceived becoming popular with the masses for some evident and perceptible welfare measures taken in the interest of the people there is suddenly an outcry by the Sanghis, “Corrupt, corrupt” and the entire Indian establishment, which is becoming incr4eaingly blasé about its saffron tinge, joins in to ruin their political career.

Why target Sonia Gandhi? Because for one she is a Christian and more importantly she brought in the RTI, MNREGA and pushed for a host of other pro-poor and pro-people measures. Same for Lalu who gave a voice to the OBCs, Dalits and tribals and in his first stint 1990-94 was a dynamic leader taking immense interest in the welfare of the backwards, Dalits, Tribals and safety and security of Muslims. Ditto for Antulay.

By contrast for all the hue and cry there is no retribution for those who brought down historical Babri Masjid, none for those who sponsored the Gujarat pogrom and as for fake encounters, one dare not mention for fear of being branded anti-national.  And Corruption? How can a Sanghi be corrupt? The shocking Vyapam scam ruining the careers of lakhs of innocent students aspiring to be doctors in Madhya Pradesh is long forgotten. Those seeking to expose the mafia are either dead or taking refuge outside MP.

The same Ravi Shankar Prasad who mocked and hounded Lalu in fodder scam on the charge that the receipts for carrying fodder had car and scooter numbers and the court happily took cognizance of that, the same Ravi Shankar Prasad stood to defend indefensible Kirran Rijiju, when it is unimaginable for quarried stones to be carried on scooters and cars. The list is long even after Modi has come to power including his blatant promotion of credit card companies through this sham of reform pushing for cashless, digital economy. No need to mention each one right here. But it has now become so obvious that the Indian establishment becoming increasingly saffron, turns a blind eye to the acts of corruption of the Sanghis but is ever ready to hang all others at the slightest provocation as “Chors.”

Eom