We believe that Indians are next to none in caliber. Individually, Indians are easily discerning in their intelligence which made Obama caution his countrymen to be wary of Indians and Chinese who are cornering most of higher education seats. But collective conduct of Indians reveals a contrast which is reflected in our bottom performer status and nearly guaranteed place at the bottom of almost all international surveys. Performance apart, the near consensus that seems to emerge out of our media on most national issues sounds equally bizarre as well.
There is logic in everything. People have found logic (and justification) even in Dhritrasthra’s holding on to throne with his evil means, and Karna’s sell out to Duryodhana. I believe that Dhritrashtra was wrong because
(i) Shantanu had long decided and practised the principle that right to throne was not out of birth but out of competence,
(ii) he was only a caretaker king after Pandu gave up the throne,
(iii) Duryodhanawas younger to Yudhishtir, and finally
(iv) Yudhishtir’s superior competence was established. Similarly, I believe that Karna’s loyalty was only a quid pro quo for making him king which is nothing but corruption. He sold his soul for the kingdom and in return, stood withDuryodhana till end of his life.
In current parlance, I will discuss three points where motivated logic has eclipsed intelligence to the peril of our future because precedence is probably the most valuable inheritance from earlier generations in mankind, viz.,
(a) Gas is a national resource – argued by Govt and upheld by Supreme court in recent Reliance case in a dispute between the two Ambanis,
(b) Kejriwal ran away from responsibility when he resigned as Delhi CM, and
(c) There is nothing wrong in HRD Minister being only 12th pass, and having filed two false affidavits on her qualifications before.
Gas being a national resource in the context of right of Government to set aside contractual obligations between two private parties regarding a price discovered from open tender submitted by RIL to NTPC, has far reaching consequences. It is baffling because Govt was not to invoice for this gas and only RIL was supposed to invoice and get paid for the gas at a price that Govt wanted to determine ex post facto. Could it be anything other than Govt helping RIL to wriggle out of its contractual obligations? When parties had agreed to pay taxes on whatever price Govt wanted to fix, there was no national loss by any stretch of imagination. Yet, Govt abused the logic of gas being a national resource and SC erred in upholding it, although by a majority decision and not unanimous. By this logic, a future Govt could now fix price for everything from all minerals to water, to airspace, to spectrum use and so on, and any contractual obligations arising between private parties engaged in the business of these national resources will amount to nothing. One only needs backing of the Govt of the day which is simply a question of corruption and nothing else! What a tragedy!
Kejriwal ran away from responsibility as Delhi CM is another such issue where whole of India seems convinced that this shows his incompetence. I personally believe that before resigning, he should have explored certain options of enforcing Jan Lokpal bill like
(i) Moving SC to challenge Delhi’s entry into Constitution as Union Territory because Delhi has an Assembly and cannot be treated as UT,
(ii) applying to Centre “under protest” for approval of the draft Jan Lokpal Bill which the Lt. Governor and opposition MLAs were demanding as a precondition for laying it before the Assembly,
(iii) amend existing Lokayukta law to introduce changes that he wanted to bring through Jan Lokpal bill, and finally,
(iv) introduce Jan Lokpal bill/amendments in Lokayukta law through ordinance.
Evidently, he made the decision in avoidable haste and should have exhausted all possible means to introduce Jan Lokpal bill before resigning, but to interpret the same as running away from responsibility is an abuse of logic at a time when in India nobody in power ever wants to resign no matter what the allegation/situation. A businessman, Shrinivasan is not resigning from BCCI despite even SC all but demanding it. Even retired people do not want to resign despite charge of grave criminality (retired justice Ganguly) or judges refuse to resign despite specific request to do that and eventually have to be transferred to another state. Kejriwal’s first motto was to bring Jan Lokpal law and combined opposition made it impossible for him to even introduce the bill into the house, leave aside passing it. If he continued as CM despite such blocking of the bill, he would have been rightly criticized for lust for power which one can simply take for granted for all people in power in India without exception. This is simply throwing baby with the bath water, destroying anti-corruption movement which seemed to be the only light at the end of the tunnel in India. What a loss for India!
HRD Minister’s qualification as 12th pass is the latest case in point. Most of the media, twitter and face-book users and most politicians have decided that qualifications of a minister are irrelevant and it is only her leadership that is important, and asked for qualifications of Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. I find this argument to be an insult to intelligence. One can have uneducated entrepreneur but he cannot have uneducated functional heads in his business who have to be qualified to head their departments like finance, production or marketing. Likewise, one can have an uneducated leader as PM but cannot have an uneducated functional minister like HRD. Even to argue that a 12th pass must control all IIMs, IITs, and all other institutions of higher education is intimidating. As regards her leadership capabilities, nothing has been seen by the world. If the PM has seen her capabilities, should that matter because if that does, it would amount to saying that no decision of PM should be challenged until it has borne undesirable results.
Then the fact that she submitted false affidavits showing her qualifications as graduate in 2004 elections, and B.com. first year, in 2009 elections make her a criminal. Any ordinary citizen could be put behind the bars for submitting false affidavits and here the entire explicit intelligentsia is coming out in support of this minister completely ignoring not only propriety involved in higher education being headed by a 12th pass, but also criminality involved completely undesirable for a Rajya Sabha member, leave aside a minister.
But then, I wonder why no one is asking another Rajya Sabha member, now elected to Lok Sabha as well, Hema Malini, as to when did she convert into Hindu once again when she converted into Muslim for marrying an already married man, Dharmendra who himself converted into Muslim for this purpose, and when did she change her name from Aiysha bibi back to Hema Malini. I wonder why Aap Ki Adalat does not put such questions to her in their programme, and why media is not interested in such blatant abuse of systems and religions for selfish purposes. What is leadership if it is indulging into criminality, abuse of religion?
Such abuse of logic hides hypocrisy of our national character. High time something is done about it. Else, India may be materially successful, but will be dead spiritually. This was the state when Lord Krishna engineered complete destruction through Mahabhartha which He could easily have avoided by simply killing Duryodhana in Hastinapur (when he ordered His arrest as Shantidoot) just the way he killed Shishupal in Indraprastha. If our shatras are to be believed, situation seems ripe for action replay by the Almighty !