Analysis

Wikileaks unravels India’s dirty politics

After United States, Wikileaks tornado has reached the shores of India. Its aftermath could be heard from the pavement to the parliament. The expose has re-defined the true essence of our politicians by unravelling the dubious nature and double standard of our politicians. The harsh reality of India’s foreign policy and its covert and overt relation with the United States has now come to the fore.  

The WikiLeaks cable accessed by The Hindu was sent to the US State Department on 17 July 2008, which says that prior to the vote of confidence on the controversial Indo-US civil nuclear deal, Congress leader Satish Sharma’s aide Nachiketa Kapur showed an US Embassy employee two chests containing cash. The aide said that it was part of a bigger fund of Rs 50 to 60 crore that the Congress had assembled to purchase the support of MPs for the nuclear deal. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while defending himself and his government said that none from the government was involved in vote buying to win a confidence vote in 2008 and questioned the authenticity of the claims. Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder in an exclusive interview to NDTV’s Prannoy Roy on 21 March said that the cables are authentic but its contents may or may not be absolutely true and therefore it needs to be probed.

Earlier, questions were also raised about a deal in which the Congress and the BJP had some secret understanding whereby Modi was let off in the Sohrabuddin encounter case in return for BJP’s support for the nuclear deal. However, it is crystal clear how important the deal was for our prime minister who had made it a prestige issue for him and for the government. At that point of time it was also said that he threatened to resign if the deal got stuck half way. The big question: what was the compromise of the deal for the deal? Or it varied from one party to another? Or is it better not to speculate beyond our imagination?  

The expose also decodes the double standard of the BJP on the nuclear deal. According to US diplomatic cables the BJP leadership had assured them that its criticism of the US in public was to score political points against UPA and when in power, it would do nothing to harm the Indo-US nuclear deal. According to WikiLeaks, the then US Charge’D Affairs in India Peter Burleigh conveyed to Washington that the BJP’s opposition to the nuclear deal was merely public posturing and its leaders, including LK Advani, were assuring American officials privately that they were fine with it. Both the Congress and the BJP are now defending the charges levelled against them after the expose in their usual manner either by doubting the authenticity of the claims or by pointing fingers at each other.

The issue of corruption and Hindu terror haunts both these parties at regular intervals. UPA has faced scam taint like, Adarsh scam, CWG, 2G spectrum, CVC and now cash for votes scam. In most of the scams the integrity of the prime minister has been questioned by the opposition leaving him to defend in one way or the other. The issue of Hindu terror seems to equally haunt the BJP the way corruption has harmed the image of the Congress. The BJP has been unable to wipe out the stains on its polity because of Hindu terror. Pragya Thakur, Purohit, Indresh Kumar, Sunil Joshi, Swami Aseemanand and now BJP MP Yogi Adityanath have in one way or the other tarnished the image of the BJP, which claims to be the party with the difference.

BJP has persistently raised the issue of corruption and in the process has been able to mount continuous pressure on the prime minister whenever any corruption related story come out. In order to put relentless pressure on the Congress on the cash for votes issue the BJP has submitted a privilege notice in the Lok Sabha against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 22 March. The Congress also is not in a mood to let off BJP from the hook of the Hindu terror. And that is why the government has handed over the all right wing terror-related cases to the National Investigation Agency including Samjhauta blast and the murder of RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi. BJP leader Prakash Javadekar in an interview said, “This is the most communal decision taken by the Government. Terror is terror, why to communalise it? Such type of action even Muslims don’t like. This is the most corrupt and communal Government. Investigation on the basis of region is unacceptable. The tendency of the Central Government is to concentrate more powers in them and not to care about the federal spirit. They are encroaching upon the rights of the state governments, whether in education or investigation.”

Both these issues are impediments in the growth and development of India and it fairly depends on the people how they respond to it while casting their votes in the coming assembly elections and in the Lok Sabha polls. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 14

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