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Issue No.: 560 | February 2014
 

When Ambition Mocks his Useful Toil

S. V. Raju
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Permit me to begin this editorial on a personal note.

I too am a political animal. I was weaned on the premise that the individual is everything, the collective is nothing. I was fortunate that in my growing up years I had the opportunity of working with an intellectual public figure like Minoo Masani who was passionate about the primacy of the individual and abhorred the collective; who was ‘infected’ by the Gandhian belief of ends and means – however worthwhile the end, the means to achieve it must be clean

Today I am the president (pro-tem) of the Swatantra Party, Maharashtra branch. A president of a party without members. This is because my writ petition after being admitted in the Bombay High Court way back in December 1994, awaits a hearing. The judges say they are busy with more important work; they say that our petition is not important. And what have we (I was the second petitioner. The first petitioner who was the General Secretary of the Party died some years ago) asked in the petition? We have asked the Bombay High Court to order the Election Commission of India to register our party without our having to tell a lie that "we owe allegiance to socialism”. We cannot do that because we do not believe in socialism. Hence this petition to speak the truth and not sail under false colours.

For many years now I have been associated with another intellectual public figure – Sharad Joshi. While Masani’s was an urban orientation, Sharad Joshi’s was rural. He was convinced that a farmer can thrive only in a free market economy as much as his counterpart in urban India. And I learnt from him a truth; that farming like any other work, is a profession, a business, and that the farmer is not burdened by a god-given duty to feed the Indian people. He has the right to sell his produce for the best price he can get from the market. He has as much right as his urban counterpart to a good life, be able to feed his family, educate his children and live in reasonable comfort.

I have witnessed some of the public meetings in villages and towns in rural Maharashtra addressed by him. Farmers, men and women, thousands of them arriving in bullock carts or even trudging from places within a radius of 50 miles, to listen to him. In some towns the attendance exceeded 100,000

This persuaded him that he could get real farmers into state assemblies and even parliament to get a better deal for rural India if he could convert his tremendous popularity into votes. And so he organised a political partywith a rural base as an extension of his farmers’ movement. But it didn’t work out and the party’s electoral performance was deplorably poor. 

India Against Corruption (IAC) was a movement led by Anna Hazare, a person who had dedicated his life to fighting corruption. He was prepared to lay his austere life on the line. An organisation was launched by Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare gave prestige to the IAC as its leader. The movement gathered strength. The people’s response was overwhelming, though even this word is inadequate to describe the millions who rallied to his call. It was a guru-shishya relationship. Sadly they parted company. The shishya converted the movement into a party. The guru disapproved and went back to his village. The momentum of the Hazare movement carried the Shishya to success. He came second best but manoeuvred to get himself to power. He decided to sup with the devil he had set out to vanquish – even if he cleverly presented it as an offer he had not invited. He went through a sham process of seeking the approval of the public by holding a "referendum” so-called. By doing this he was insulting the electorate which had given him only 28 per cent of the vote. The flotsam and jetsam of Delhi are now crowding around him.

The communists who have been more or less marginalised (while their Maoist comrades are roaming around looting and murdering people) and their fellow travellers including seemingly wise ideologues and socialists who have crores to donate, smelt an opportunity to make a comeback. Sadly well meaning and well-to do decent people too have joined hands with Kejriwal. And we now see a different Kejriwal. He may have rejected the perks that come with power, but arrogance of power sits heavily on his head. Not very long from now, come May or June 2014 he will be abandoned by the devils whose 8 votes keep him in power, as soon as he has fulfilled their purpose (which we can discuss later, perhaps in the next issue of this journal) by which time Kejriwal would have got used to the not so visible perks of office. Not surprising, because his means to get into power were not straight.

At the appropriate time his communist friends which include the professor, the crorepati lawyer and the communist who "resigned” (but likely a ‘plant’ of his party to join AAP), and of course the newly chosen leader of the Election Committee of the Indira Congress, will dump Kejriwal leaving him to nurse his wounds. 
SVR
 
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Other Articles in this Issue

Editorial

When Ambition Mocks his Useful Toil

S. V. Raju
 

Aam Aadmi party

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) - the New Neo-socialists !

Girdhar Patil
 

Can the Aam Ami Party bring the change?

Nitin G. Raut
 

Is This India’s Spring Revolution?

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana
 

The Liberal Position

Section 377 (IPC) is Unacceptable in a Democracy

 

Comments

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Point - Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

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Aap’s Triumph

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The Adarsh Riddle

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Cornucopia

India Tit for U.S. Tat

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The New Avenger: Rahul Gandhi

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Report of a Seminar

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Civil-Military Relations – A Serious Disconnect

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Book Review

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From Our Readers

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Nostalgia

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from Times of India
 

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