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Published in the 16-30 Jun 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

ISSUE
Tasks ahead for UPA

Before Hindutvites and their allies manage to bog down the Manmohan Singh government in one non-issue after another, the new government should act fast and show leadership in a number of fields before it’s too late. After all everything is a matter of perception and it would be fatal if the aam aadmi gets the message that UPA is perennially on the defensive. The new administration should start without delay translating its promises into solid achievements in order to show something before next elections. Aam aadmi everywhere is waiting for a powerful and innovative leadership to improve life and fight corruption. So far only Laloo Prasad has shown that he can click with the masses with his innovative kulladh, lassi and mattha ideas. 

In addition to these steps, the Parivar and its power-hungry allies, who cannot stomach the defeat, have to be put on the defensive by a number of probes, enquiry commissions and white papers, e.g.,

  • NDA’s propaganda blitz prior to the elections cost the poor exchequer a whopping Rs 5000 million within weeks. Probe should find out the beneficiaries and how they served BJP and if the exercise was illegal, the money should be retrieved from the BJP and the beneficiaries. Probe should also uncover how opinion polls were manipulated and manufactured to suit the BJP.

  • All the NDA government scams, from UTI to petrol pumps to Tehelka to Judeo to disinvestment and land scams, Lucknow sari scandal, to the role of Vajpayee’s so-called son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya and the Sensex games should be probed. NDA favours to various business and industrial houses should also be under the scanner to unravel the truth behind the popular joke that NDA is RH positive: RH being Reliance and Hindujas.
    n Robust appeal should be made against Advani’s magical acquittal in the Babri demolition conspiracy, CBI role and the part played by Mulayam Singh who had gone secretly to Rae Barielly and pleaded with the judge to let Advani off at any cost as it was a matter of honour for him, that is Mulayam the great secularist.

  • Thorough probe through CBI of Godhra incident and subsequent preplanned riots. Gujarat’s VHP leaders had publicly bragged that they prepared lists of targets in advance while BJP leaders openly talked of repeating Gujarat all over the country. Israeli angle should also be probed because the powder used to ignite Muslim homes and factories was imported from Israel to blast structures damaged during the earthquake and why tens of thousands of poor Gujarati farmers made a beeline to Israel before the riots. Which farmer can afford the high cost of travel and stay in an expensive country like Israel. Role of police and judiciary should also be thoroughly probed and fanatics cleansed from police and judiciary. Best Bakery judge Mahida’s appointment by the Gujarat government on the Gujarat Electricity Board with double salary provides a clue. Similarly the judge who mysteriously acquitted Advani in Hawala racket (Mohammad Shamim) was appointed as chairman of the Minorities Commission where he spent three years holidaying with ministerial perks.

  • Hawala scam should be reprobed and the verdict re-examined to see how a diary which did not stand as sufficient proof to indict Advani was found sufficient to send others to years in jail.

  • Foreign funding of Hindutva should be urgently probed as there is ample evidence of American and British funding of Sangh projects and hate-mongering against minorities.

  • Sangh activities in tribal areas, Shishu mandirs, VHP, Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini should be subject of urgent enquiry to see if they pose threat to national security.

  • A high powered commission should probe the truth behind the “terrorism” plank used to the hilt by the BJP to further its influence until it was mysteriously dropped just before the elections. The commission should probe Parliament (forewarned by both Vajpayee and Advani), Akshardham, Ansal Plaza and similar episodes to see if these were stage-managed to serve BJP politically.

  • A commission should probe if the BJP government through its intimate relations with Israel and the US and permitting CIA, FBI and Mossad stations in India has compromised national security.

    The pressure should continue at least until the next general elections as only a second decisive electoral defeat will serve to extinguish the Hindutvites’ craze to grab power.

 

— Zafarul-Islam Khan

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