The cardinal complaint of an average Indian Middle Class or Lower Class Citizen is that there is an unnecessary chasm between the Governors and the Governed. On the one hand, the VVIPs of our Nation receive both qualitatively and quantitatively world class security while the ratio of a single policeman to citizens is around 1 Policeman to 1,000 citizens.
A serious question which thus arises is who makes the Governors of India, VVIPs. Do they themselves take up this status or they get an indication from the citizens that citizens give more importance to the personal lives of their politicians, extolling them to a separate status. India is under books a society governed by rule of law but in reality there is a vast differences on account of statuses. India is divided into two worlds, one of those who are in political power along with their stooges and the other of the commoners.
We therefore list down some of the instances when we chose some of our leaders on the basis of sympathy waves and halfhearted apologies rather than merit and track records.
Indian Politics through Apologies | Indira Gandhi’s Apology after Emergency:
Indira Gandhi was by far the closest Indian Leader to Adolf Hitler. Her dictatorial attitude started with taming down of the Judiciary. Until then, the Chief Justice of India was appointed on the basis of seniority as a Constitutional Convention. Indira Gandhi still side stepped the senior most Judges of the Supreme Court to curb its independence. Thus, Justice H.R. Khanna was side stepped as he delivered an adverse judgment for the Government in the famous ADM Jabalpur Case during emergency.
The curbing of Judiciary was just a start to what would be then the most forgettable and dictatorial phase in the history of the largest democracy of the world. It was soon followed by a proclamation of National Emergency on the vaguest of grounds, the Opposition to the Government’s policy by the Opposition. Indira Gandhi imposed emergency even without consulting her own Cabinet. During the Proclamation of Emergency, the Government of India somehow managed in convincing the Supreme Court that Proclamation of Emergency virtually meant suspension of Fundamental Rights including the Right to Life. Thus, Right to Life which is the most basic of human rights could be taken away by the State. The already tamed down Judiciary could not rise to the occasion. The 20 odd months during which emergency remained in operation saw the most inhuman of crimes committed by the Government including forced sterilization of a number of youngsters on the name of family planning. Excesses were committed by the Police and tens of thousands were jailed by the Police for speaking up against the Government. Many who were brutally tortured had nothing to do with Politics, they were mere pawns of Mrs. Gandhi’s dictatorial ambitions.
One wonders how she came back to power in 1980 after murdering democracy. Well she used two of the most powerful weapons in her armory, sympathy wave on account of Shah Commission that was constituted to enquire into emergency crimes and a halfhearted apology. The masses suddenly forgot how their fundamental rights had been snatched away and accepted Indira Gandhi again as their Prime Minister.
Indian Politics through Apologies | 1984 riots and Rajiv’s so called humble apology:
‘When a tree falls, the earth shakes’, this is what the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had to say when the Sikhs were brutally tortured in Delhi in the most horrifying of riots which were supposedly organized by the Congress leaders as Rajiv Gandhi would subsequently ratify with an apology. Punjab reeled under terrorism during the 80s as a leader called Bhindranwale who was initially a stooge of the INC turned a terrorist and demanded a separate Nation called Khalistan on the basis of religion. The Bluestar Operation which was subsequently carried out evoked strong emotional response from the Sikhs as their Sanctum Sanctorum was destroyed. The Sikh Community was the victim of Bhindranwale’s and Congress’ acts of cowardice rather than its perpetrator. The Sikhs living in Delhi and elsewhere in India had to finally pay for the sins of the INC.
Even after the most brutal of attacks on a Community which contributes heavily in the Defense Sector of the Nation and is the supplier of food grains of the whole Nation, Rajiv Gandhi got away with it. He again used the most powerful of political weapons that were once used by his mother, sympathy and halfhearted apologies.
Indian Politics through Apologies | Arvind Kejriwal’s naïve Prime Ministerial Ambitions:
Delhi CM or to put it in a better way the Drama Queen of Indian Politics qualifies as the greatest modern day champion of sympathy politics and apology drama. He formed a Government in Delhi with the support of the INC in 2014 but later on ditched Delhi to take on the most popular leader of India, the then BJP Prime Minister candidate Modi. Kejriwal could have never defeated Modi in Lok Sabha Elections; accordingly he lost by a momentous margin. Realizing that he had lost all that he had, Kejriwal decided to use the best Indian political weapon, an apology. So, Kejriwal told us that he may have committed the most brutal of perfidies, reelections may mean crores of taxpayers’ of money but he apologizes for that. Therefore, the electorate of Delhi responded to his call and showed a big heart for Mr. Kejriwal leading to a clean sweep for AAP in the Delhi Elections.
Indian Politics through Apologies | Nitish Kumar’s Apology:
Nitish Kumar did to Bihar what Kejriwal did to Delhi. Nitish Kumar avenged the people of Bihar as they had voted overwhelmingly for Modi in the 2014 General Elections, therefore, Nitish Kumar decided to dump them and install a puppet CM in his place.
Even Nitish Kumar realized within time that he cannot sit for long out of power and decided to again take up the post of Chief Minister and apologize to the people of Bihar. The tested political trickery worked yet again and the Grand Alliance came back with a comfortable majority in the State of Bihar.
In the common parlance, apologies are sought for mistakes; our politicians use them after committing the most intentional and culpable of wrongs. These apologies cannot undo the perfidies and intentional wrongs that they commit. Public opinion is the strongest weapon with the masses in a Democracy; we as an electorate have to start electing in a rational manner. Sympathy waves and apologies have got nothing to do with performance and track records. Thus, even after Rajiv Gandhi’s apologies, the INC continues to spew communal venom and the Khalistan Politics gets heated up every time Punjab Elections are around the corner. Kejriwal, on the other hand, keeps on making the same excuses that he used to make in his first stint as the Delhi CM for in our politicians’ dictionary sympathy waves and apologies are just a way of gaining political power but not an expression of learning from past mistakes.
As an Electorate we need to make clear our priorities, whether a Rajiv Gandhi’s political legacy is more important for us or the Nation’s Development. For the last 6 Decades we were choosing our leaders on the basis of sympathy waves, Congress’ exaggerated contribution in the Freedom Struggle and the apologies for political crimes committed. In 2014, we on a rare occasion chose a leader on merit and the results are for everyone to see. The masses get what they elect, maybe almost 70 years down the line, we too are responsible for all the wrongs that have been committed on us.