B S Raghavan

Abdul Kalam’s dream for India comes true

B.S.RAGHAVAN | Updated on October 11, 2012

Abdul Kalam dreamt that India should become No.1 among the countries of the world. There is good news for Kalam and every Indian: Making non-sense of all doubts and fears, and to the chagrin of the rest of the world, India has emerged No.1 in the creativity and ingenuity on the one hand, and imagination and innovation on the other, with which it has worked its parliamentary democracy and scripted the role of its politicians.

Let me dish out the happy tidings in digestible doses to guard against cardiac arrests due to excessive ecstasy.

First, no democracy in world history has enriched political lexicon to such a great extent as India’s. It is far and away ahead of all other democracies in this respect.

Here’s a sampler (in alphabetical order lest any slugfest should develop over their relative positions!) for you to savour:

Anti-incumbency: This embodies the law that the chances of re-election of a politician or political party in power are in inverse proportion to the degree of warmth of his/its seat while he/it held the reins of office. To Tamil Nadu goes the distinction of refining it to perfection by installing the DMK and AIADMK alternately in the last 20 years.

Coalition dharma: In common with the basic dharma, it is very hard to define, being all things to all persons.

Suffice it to say that it stands comparison with a train, bus or any sort of public transport into, or from, which the public can enter or exit at will, without the driver (or Prime/Chief Minister) having any say whatsoever.

Judicial activism: This connotes the judiciary becoming the surrogate of the executive and stepping into the breach caused by the latter’s abdication of its responsibilities. Sometimes, especially on tricky or thorny issues which the executive does not want to touch with a pair of tongs, it may willingly let the judiciary carry the can to save itself from political embarrassment.

Support from outside: This is a truly unique device of India’s incomparably inventive politicians whereby it is possible to have the cake and eat it too.

It keeps the party or combine in power in constant jitters over when the support would be withdrawn and under what pretext.

The reverse of the same coin is ‘sabotage from within’. That is to say, joining a combine and sharing power and subsequently pulling the rug from under the Government’s feet or the wool over its eyes, taking it to a state of policy paralysis.

Vote bank: Here is another highly expressive coinage. Every political party or politician worth its or his salt aspires to have as large an accumulation as possible in the bank for which purpose poaching or filching is freely permitted.

In fact, all you have to do to make a politician’s mouth water is to do nothing more than mention the word ‘bank’.


Now I come to the climax which makes India No. 1 for all time. India has abolished all crimes of all descriptions as far as politicians or their relatives are concerned. Yes Sir (or Madam, to avoid being called an MCP), they can commit no wrong, leave alone a crime.

The proof is in the very fact that not one politician has been convicted of any crime and sentenced on completion of trial, and has served time in jail (except for denial of bail during investigation).

The US is the most backward in this respect, having sent a dozen members of the US Congress and a few Governors (akin to our CMs) to jail for 10-20 years.

India’s miracle has been achieved by these means: The politician accused of any crime proclaims for all to hear, “I am innocent and the charges are politically motivated” and immediately stands absolved of the accusation; in the alternative, at least five Ministers (preferably Law and Justice, Finance, Environment and Forests, Corporate Affairs, Information and Broadcasting) will similarly declare him or his relative to be innocent and all investigation will be squelched; the CBI and Tax and Enforcement hounds will pounce on the accuser and whistle-blower and silence him; the investigation will be thoroughly mucked up by belated raids and perfunctory prosecution, facilitating discharge or acquittal.

Kalam is right: If you dream long enough, it is bound to become a reality.

Published on October 11, 2012

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