Midnight drama, hush-hush swearing-in ceremony
(that too when the nation celebrates Constitution Day)

SK Singh *

Politics deservedly takes many forms, many avatars more so in the last four or five decades; this decade can be attributed without doubt, the worst. These tribes are a combination of all possible or thinkable ingredients, qualities, be they lofty or often lowly for most of the time.

Would the adage, ‘politics is the last resort of the scoundrel’, hold relevant or rather truer than any time before? The term is associated with such lowly terminologies like, ‘rouge’ or ‘rascal’ or ‘miscreant’.

Though one may attribute these equations as rather impolite, harsh or even rude, present day political turnouts like the ones in Manipur, Goa or even the ones in Karnataka a little while ago and more recently in Mumbai, one may be tempted to shriek, ‘Oh! There is some semblance to these attributes, nothing could be more right than these’, if the present day avatars of politicking are any indication.

It goes without saying that these days ‘politics’ is fast becoming the biggest business, the few crores od rupees incurred safely taken as an investment. Where are these funds coming from; obviously these are not personal savings, except perhaps for an infinitely small candidates. Earlier these were black money extorted by these would be politicians.

Now of course, the BJP has minted out a new source, the electoral bonds during 2017. It’s too is black money but converted into a white money by the name of electoral bonds. What is the way, it’s simple. Rich would- be donors, multinationals, corporate bodies can buy transferable electoral bonds from scheduled banks.

The purchaser can transfer by depositing these bonds in the account of any political party within 15 days of purchase. The political masters who are hands in globe with these prospective donors thus make a hay day of their electioneering. It is estimated that the BJP is the largest beneficiary of this new scheme to the extent of sharing over 90% of all such bonds.

The noted cartoonist R K Laxman observed earlier, “I have stopped drawing cartoons of politicians because lately they have turned out to be comical”. That speaks volumes about politicians of these days. Still more comprehensive depiction of the content of a politician, a reflection of their true color is best picturised by Khushwant Singh, the great writer philosopher.

He was once invited by a close friend to a function where his Harvard-educated son’s profession would be decided. Khushwant was also informed by his friend that no other person was invited and only two of them would fix the young man’s line of work. Greatly amused he recalling that the boy was bright and secured a degree from the Harvard and wondered where could be a reason strong enough for them to decide his line.

On reaching his friend took him to a large room where a longish table was laid in the centre with four discrete items, conspicuous by their sheer variance, a Geeta, a bundle of currency notes, a bottle of drink and a revolver, in series. All the more astonished at the display of odd items on the occasion of choosing a suitable profession of his son, Khushwant enquired what he had to do in effect with these.

His friend took him outside at two corners of the room where one hole each was bored from where one could see the table. More amused, Khushwant wondered how these items had to do with his son’s profession. The father brimmed with confidence told him.

“As soon as his son turned up both of them would lead him into the room, close the door behind and take respective corners to gaze through the holes ,which item the boy chose; if he chose the Geeta, he would be a saintly man; if he went for the ‘currency notes’, he would be a businessman ; if he chose the ‘whisky’, he would end up being a drunkard; finally if he chose the ‘revolver’, well his profession would be goonda-giri”.

All the more hilarious, the duo laid in wait for the young boy to appear. Sooner than later as the boy emerged greeting Khushwant lavishly, the boy was escorted into the room only to retreat in haste to occupy their respective vintage points outside, to peep through the respective holes.

The boy hands akimbo, surveyed the four items prominently laid out , took no time to put the Geeta in the left armpit, pushed the bundle of currency notes in the pant pocket, tucked in the revolver under his waist belt only to grab the bottle of whisky to pour in the mouth gulping down with ease. Having done his job he vanished towards a connecting door head high with an air of triumph.

A bewildered Khushwant rushed to his friend who was found near-faltering to stand holding head in both hands unable to say anything. Khushwant asked him what his son’s profession would be now that he had chosen not one but all the four items, Geeta, currency notes, drink and revolver. Still faltering to stand erect, he blasted, “Oh, my God, he will be a politician”.

This piece broadly exemplifies a modern politician. The most significant ingredient of being a politician is ‘corruption’; he should have to indulge in this profession. When Narendra Modi won election in 2014, principal plank was anti corruption. Voters took that pledge as a relief just after the scam-ridden UPA (II) and voted BJP to power.

Modi may be clean but not the party if recent electoral processes are any guide. He however cannot be isolated from all these maneuverings when atmospheres for horse trading were created more recently in Mumbai when the Governor granted an unusually long period of 14 days for floor testing after Devendra Fatnavis and Ajit Pawar were sworn in the Raj Bhavan in the new coalition hoping to persuade other NCP MLAs to join with high profile portfolios. Perhaps these were the brain child of Modi and Shah.

Things became clear when the Governor, Shri BS Koshyari formerly a staunt RSS rather in undue haste recommended to the Home Ministry revocation of the President’s rule in Maharashtra at night, for allowing BJP and NCP to form a government; the subsequent cabinet approval accorded by the PM in exercise of special powers given to the PM without referring to the full cabinet, recommended to the President for revocation, the President again truthfully ordered lifting of the PR instantaneously, for the MHA to communicate to the Governor, subsequent swearing in ceremony absolutely stealthily in the wee hours of the next morning at 8 AM are all testimonies to the fraudulent practice of the NDA (II).

Never has such a hush-hush swearing in ceremony of Ministers in any state is heard where all those crucial correspondences took place between within 13 hours.,

More astonishingly, just the next morning of the Ministry formation, the CM took it in order to approve closure of 9 corruption cases related to a Rs 70,000 crore irrigation scam against Ajit Pawar when he was the Irrigation minister. Why? The reasons are easy. Ajit Pawar could save the hard earned Ministry by persuading other NCP ranks and thus save the Fatnavis government for a second term. But justice ultimately prevailed.

The SC unequivocally asked to execute the floor test not after 14 days but the same evening before 5 PM with clear orders for the trust vote to be held without secret ballot adding that a pro-tem Speaker should be appointed immediately. It also ordered that the test proceedings should be telecast live. That led to the fall of three-day government almost thereafter. Could these go without Modi’s eyes wide open?

Even with Modi’s aspirations and instructions to the Governor to fall in line, something is seriously fraudulent even at the level of the governor of a state. The SC has even asked for the correspondences between the Raj Bhavan and the MHA on that eventful night and we should be waiting eagerly for this deposition.

* SK Singh wrote this article for
The writer can be reached at kunjabiharis(AT)rediffmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on December 04 2019.

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