“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” So said Abraham Lincoln. And the time has come for our Prime Minister to take heed of Lincoln’s sage advice. Or if not him, then at least his fabled think tanks to whom he has outsourced his day to day PR, that is, if they have the guts to speak truth to him and the nation. For like with all autocrats, a stage is reached when advisors dare not speak the truth to their master, for fear of severe retribution. But regardless, and most importantly, the people of India have finally started discovering the truth of the great con game that was played upon them.
Three years have passed since the dream of achey din was sold to the people of India, which they fell for completely. And I must admit to all my readers that I too fell for it, despite my age and experience. Perhaps it was because of my utter disgust at the brazen, shameless and unprecedented corruption and anti-national behaviour of the previous government. I had full faith that Narendra Modi would fulfill his promises to the nation when he spoke of bringing India’s black money back to the country, ending institutionalized corruption, and giving the nation good governance. How wrong I was. Mea Culpa, is all that I can say.
Winds of change have again started blowing in the country, as bluff after bluff of the Prime Minister is being discovered by the people of India. And the dreams of achay din are now blowing in the wind, as the people of India are getting disillusioned yet again, with the government that had promised so much and delivered so little perhaps nothing at all.
The black money which Modi promised to get back will never come back. He and his Finance Minister merely carried forward the fraud of the previous government and linked it wrongly with the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty. So no black money stashed away in off shore accounts will ever come back to India, and the whole bluff, in a moment of unguarded candour was dismissed as an ‘election jumla’ by the Prime Minister’s able alter ego, Amit Shah, for which no explanation came from the Prime Minister. This was the first time the people of India saw the bluff of Narendra Modi.
I must recall the salient facts of this great fraud on the unfortunate people of India. It is a tragic fact of history that India had every reason to pursue the search of Black Money stolen from India by Indian criminals and concealed in foregin tax havens that provided welcome shelter and protection to the dacoits who impoverished the nation and fully enjoyed the proceeds of their dirty crimes.
The United Nations worked hard for four years and produced its Convention Against Corruption which came into force in December 2005, a most worthy and difficult task. The document mainly deals with the subject of black money, which was rapidly becoming a global problem.
The Congress Government in power in early 2005 put its signature on the document and made great prop0ganda about how seriously it was about getting back India’s stolen wealth, and punishing the culprits. But they concealed from the people the most important fact that a UN Convention does not become binding on a nation unless it has lodged the Document of Ratification in the U.N Office. This the Congress Government never did.
Now let us see the further huge fraud perpetrated on the people of India by the Congress Government in power. When the Supreme Court was about to deliver its judgement in my famous Black Money petition in early July 2011, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited the Swiss Finance Minister a couple of months earlier and entered into a Secret Protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty. Its main but fatal provisions were only two: First, India will seek no information about the past but only about the future; and second, it will seek information only under the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty (DTAT) and not the UN Convention Against Corruption. Every one knows that the DTAT has nothing to do with black money laundering criminals but only honest tax payers who pay income tax in more than one country on the same income. After this secret protocol whose terms were kept a secret the DTAT got the name Amended Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty. Congress Finance Minister Chidambaram knew of this fraud and so did the BJP Finance Minister under Modi. These two amendments were kept a complete secret from the unfortunate people of India.
In answer to a Rajya Sabha question put to Finance Minster Arun Jaitley about what steps he was taking to recover black money, his answer was “ I am entering into amended DTATs with various countries.” Chidambaram and Jaitley, Modi and Manmohan Singh, Congress and BJP have all been in conspiracy to defraud the people of India, and deserve the worst punishment under the criminal law of our country.
Minimum Government, maximum governance has become an underworld of minimum government and minimum governance, with extra constitutional and ideological despots doing maximum governance, be it lynching people to death on mere suspicion of eating beef or transporting cattle, directing enforcement agencies, such as the CBI and ED to maul political opponents, even as maximum corruption persists in the minimum governance mode. A pall of fear has descended upon the legitimate governance agents, political or bureaucratic. Everyone speaks in whispers, as Big Brother is always watching, and any disobedience or dissenting opinion, especially of the honest or ethical kind, will be smothered, and if it still persists, severely punished – this is Modi’s Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
Many other bluffs are now being perceived by the people of India who voted Modi to power. Where are the ten million jobs per year that he promised our youth? It is reported that only 2.3 lakh jobs were added in eight key non-farm sectors last year. Where is the economic growth he promised the people of India? Despite the financial fudging that is well known and documented in reports, projections for GDP growth are falling. Industrial growth has plummeted, and NPAs have risen, including in his own home state Gujarat, where small and medium industries are turning sick, and artisans are losing livelihoods. The fate of the artisans remains the same in his adopted constituency of Varanasi. Demonetization has ruined the legitimate cash economy that ran the informal employment sectors across the country. The East India Company is reported to have ruined the artisans and weavers of Bengal by cutting off their thumbs, to sustain the Lancashire textile mills. Modi cut off their livelihoods to sustain electoral victory in UP. Livelihoods have been ruined and families are in dire straits, and the hasty GST is further hitting the informal sector to which the poor of our country belong. All this is reflected in the downward trends in the GDP forecasts. To counter this, minimum governance has resorted to expropriating from the citizens vast bonanzas by way of taxes, on purchase of diesel and petrol, without any transparency or rationality, and purely on the basis of its whims, just to fill its coffers, and conceal the demonetization disaster.
There are less than two years left for the next election, and it is now the time for all patriotic, good people who care for the future prosperity of our country and its people to shed their fears and feeling of helplessness and come together to get the ruling megalomaniacs out. Let them be from any party or ideology. Every day, I receive appeals from scores of people, from all sections of society and religious faiths, to do something to change the disastrous political course that has descended upon our country. We need a government which cares for all the people of India, which can give each section what they need, and take our country forward with respect, dignity and prosperity; where law and order returns, and people cannot be lynched to death by vigilantes who have the confidence of being protected by the Conspirator State of India.
At this point I applaud the great loyalty that the Muslims in our country have demonstrated. The IS has made no impact upon them, and they continue a life of peace and harmony. They are an irreversible part of our historical inheritance, and it is up to us, the majority community, to carry them with us, not in a spirit of appeasement, but in a spirit of brotherhood and patriotism. They have not and will not fail us.
It was said some time ago, that as long as Rahul Gandhi continues with a leadership role in the Congress Party, the BJP has nothing to fear. I think the tables have turned. One thing Modi’s minimum governance has certainly done is to give Rahul Gandhi a terrific opportunity to become relevant again, and talk sense. Which is what he has started doing. His speech at Berkeley University was excellent, and most appropriate and opportune. As long as Modi remains, Rahul will continue to grow.
Before I end, an important message to the Prime Minster comes to my mind - from Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
“When good people are snubbed, and evil people are embraced, distress increases. Wherever officials or people initiate unprecedented violence in acts or words, wherever there are unrighteous acts of violence, disaffection grows. When the king rejects the Dharma, that is ‘does what ought not to be done, does not do what ought to be done, does not give what ought to be given, and gives what ought not to be given’, the king causes people to worry and dislike him.
“Where people are fined or punished or harassed when they ought not to be harassed, where those that should be punished are not punished, where those people are apprehended when they ought not be, where those who are not apprehended when they ought to, the king and his officials cause distress and disaffection.
“A state, where courageous activity is denigrated, quality of accomplishments are disparaged, pioneers are harmed, honorable men are dishonored, where deserving people are not rewarded but instead favoritism and falsehood is, that is where people lack motivation, are distressed, become upset and disloyal.”
Take note, Mr Prime Minister.
Copyright. All rights reserved. Ram Jethmalani. 2018.
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