The country is in election mode. At election time, many parties make many statements to impress the voters and these statements must be taken with a pinch of salt. However, there are certain things that are happening which are not only unusual but which can have a far reaching impact on the country’s future. In Pakistan, it is very common that every time there is trouble within the country, the rulers try to raise the India threat or Kashmir to keep the people under check — that if you will not remain united, India will attack us. But India was never in such a pitiable condition. Now we see the Prime Ministerial candidate saying in Kashmir that Pakistan is a threat, they have got AK 47 gun, they have got AK Antony, who is a weak Defense Minister in India, and AK 49, referring to Arvind Kejriwal. Again, that means the BJP wants to rule like Pakistan rulers. They do not want to rule by popular mandate. They want to rule by threatening the country that unless you listen to us, Pakistan will attack. I do not know if they think the people of India are so foolish or so gullible. Pakistan is no match for India. Pakistan is no threat to India. India is a threat to Pakistan but it is not because it is our policy to attack our neighbors. But to raise a threat like Pakistan is a threat to us — there cannot be a more morbid joke on the people of India. Instead of concentrating on development, health, education, better governance, weeding out corruption – you have got a big agenda on your hands — and you are trying to tell the people that we are under threat from Pakistan. Even if you would have mentioned China, it would have made more sense, though even China is just now not showing any signs of threatening us. It is a sad commentary — if a certain Government comes to power — what will happen for the future of the country is for anybody to see. On the other hand, we see other institutions also behaving in a manner which is not explicable. The Supreme Court of India has recently passed a lot of orders, one of which is regarding UID – the Unique Identification Number or Aadhaar card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). From day one, it is an illegal thing. There is no Parliament law for it. It is an executive order by which one gentleman from Bangalore was given thousands of crores of rupees to play with. Finally, the Supreme Court has said that the Aadhaar card is of no validity. Who is now responsible for thousands of crores of Government money which has been given to Nandan Nilekani? Will the Congress Party own responsibility? Will the Prime Minister own responsibility? And Nilekani is now the Congress candidate from Bangalore. The Supreme Court should have gone further – it should also tell how to recover the money to the Government. The Supreme Court, as if it has not got its hands full, is passing trivial orders on cricket. Cricket is not a priority for the country. In one stroke they could have said IPL is banned, there is so much corruption in it. But they want to waste time, who should be the President of BCCI, which teams should play – it is a sad commentary — our institutions are crumbling and who is going to save them now? We have got a weak Prime Minister, we have got a worse Prime Minister-in-waiting, and the judicial system, I don’t know what the Bar Council is doing, they should at least rise to the occasion. This old gentleman who was put in prison because he was not repaying his depositors — I don’t know since when non payment of money has become a criminal offense. I thought it was a civil offense. Why have his civil liberties been taken away? He has property – you attach his property, you confiscate his property, you put income tax on his property but how can you put him in prison? But this is the Supreme Court, nobody can tell the Supreme Court anything. I think the country is passing through a very very difficult phase. The earlier the elections get over, the earlier we have a Government in place, the better it will be. But I think a group of senior statesman in the country, across party lines, should sit together and find a method through which we can bring sanity. The President, Pranab Mukherjee should give the lead and form a council of four or five senior statesman from different parties, like Advaniji, like Communist party seniors, like seniors from other parties and work out a consensus on how this country is to be governed and how to go about it. I am not worried by who is the Prime Minister. Elections happen every five years, Prime Ministers come and go. But the framework must remain. Now the framework is crumbling. In the 2G scam we saw rules were put aside. Who is responsible – the Secretary of the Telecommunications Ministry? If the IAS and the IFS and the IPS if they do not conform to rules then the future of the country is going the Pakistan way. Let us hope — the earlier we wake up the better it is.
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