Important To Send The Right Signals

The election campaign is actually for the five Assembly elections, but the way the two candidates from the Congress and the BJP who have held themselves out as the Prime Ministerial nominees are arguing publicly, it is clear that the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections has begun. The unfortunate part is neither of the two candidates is talking either of the problems facing the country or their likely solutions if they become Prime Minister. They are snapping at each other, trying to find fault with each other which does not even amuse the public. It angers the public and makes them feel small about them. The funny development is now the BJP wants to appropriate the legacy of Sardar Patel  there can’t be a bigger irony than this. It is easy to falsify history as they are trying to do by saying that Nehru was something else and Patel was something else. Any two intelligent individuals cannot agree on everything, they will have differences. But their differences were very minor, not even worth noticing. They functioned as a team  a good, efficient team of integrity and character.
It is Sardar Patel who banned the RSS. Yes, Sardar Patel had some sympathy for the RSS for the social work that they were doing and he was very much interested that the ban should be lifted provided they give an undertaking that they will not indulge in politics, but only stick to cultural matters. They did so and the ban was lifted. It is another matter that the RSS always talks in a forked tongue  they’ll say one thing and do the opposite. If at all, they’ve done nothing except politics over the last few years specially. The Jan Sangh was their political arm. In 1977 when faced with a crisis under Jai Prakash Narain’s pressure they dissolved all parties into the Janata party. But the RSS cadre was not happy. They were not happy that Vajpayee, Advani and one more became Ministers. They wanted them to be exclusively the property of the RSS. So in 1980 they engineered the birth of the Bharatiya Janata Party at Bombay. The party is 33 years old, but it is nothing but a successor of the Jan Sangh. It’s a political arm of the RSS. Now, Mohan Bhagwat, the current chief of the RSS has done a great disservice to that great organisation, to that great cultural and social organisation by openly saying that the RSS will interfere in politics, will indulge in politics.
Nothing can be more disgraceful for an organisation formed in 1925 which has stood the test of time in activities other than politics. There is nothing wrong with the organisation being devoted to Hindu revivalism, of upholding Hindu culture, Hindu traditions, Vedas and Upanishads but it’s quite another thing if it becomes a hate weapon for Muslims and other minorities. Also, they say one thing but want to do the other. It’s very unfortunate that now they want to appropriate and besmirch the reputation of Sardar Patel  it should not be allowed. Of course, it’s also questionable whether to make a statue of Sardar Patel at a cost of rupees 2500 crores shows any sense and whether it has any sense of priority. Even for a State like Gujarat poverty in Gujarat has not been wiped out  there is still poverty, there is still need for money for better things than making a statue. However, one thing should be clear that no amount of money spent on making a statue can take away the credit of Sardar Patel from the fact that he was a valued colleague of Jawahar Lal Nehru and a strong pillar of the Congress party. The BJP can never, never, never appropriate it. They should forget about it.
The second question that is troubling the minds of the people is this uncontrolled, unbridled inflation. It’s all right if real estate prices and other things go up but if the prices of daily commodities cannot be controlled then the poor man – the common man is under pressure. Onions were a case in point, but after all, onion consumption is not very large. So, while the price may look very large the pinching on the pocket is not so large. But, now I hear potatoes have vanished in some places like Kolkata. Now, potato is a staple food. Those who cannot afford green vegetables can at least eat potatoes. If potatoes and onions are also available at a prohibitive price then the poor man will be left with nothing. There will be hunger, and then revolution.
I don’t know who is responsible for this because the Central Government is of course responsible for the economy but State Governments have to also tackle their Civil Supplies Departments. If there are traders who are hoarding the commodity they should be raided and a fear should be ‘set’. Remember the days when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister and they were afraid of being raided and marched off to jail. I don’t suggest that you should create a police state but even the trading and business community must remain within their limits. They cannot start making exorbitant profits at the cost of the common man. The respective State Governments should take action. The Civil Supplies Department is armed with the Essential Commodities Act which is a very, very powerful Act and even if a little example is set by raiding some of the godowns where the stuff is hoarded it will send a signal throughout the market. I hope the relevant departments in the Central Government and the relevant State Governments act sooner than later.


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