Copyright. All rights reserved. Ram Jethmalani. 2019.
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Aristotle proclaimed proudly that man is a political animal. Were he witness today, as we in India, to the behaviour of one of the most powerful political animals of our country, he would undoubtedly have done further analysis regarding different categories of political animals, and the most bestial in the herd.
People of this country must realize that we are not merely a democracy, but a democratic republic. The difference between the two is profound and crucial, which many informed citizens, or even the intelligentsia may not be aware of.
In a democracy, a majority of the elected representatives are the custodians of human freedom and all political power. In a republic, it is the ‘people’ who are sovereign. They are free to speak up, and even if they are wrong, they can be corrected by wiser citizens, and the will of the majority will prevail. Even a Parliament, almost wholly controlled by one political party, cannot suppress free speech. Yes, free speech can be subjected to some restrictions, but they have to be extremely reasonable.
Unreasonable restrictions can be struck down as unconstitutional, and become unenforceable and void. It is a primary constitutional requirement that restriction on free speech should be for promotion of carefully formulated objectives, expressly sanctioned by the constitution. In addition, they must be reasonable, and are liable to be struck down, if the courts find them excessive in their reach.
No political party can suppress free speech of its members merely on the ground that it is ‘embarrassed’ by what is openly spoken and declared. Yes, it has a right to protest against a corrupt minister, or even a minister reasonably suspected of being corrupt, or a minister having corrupt antecedents. Democracy must not tolerate powerful ministers who are reasonably suspected to bear a questionable character. Only those persons about whose moral character and integrity the people are completely certain, must be put in responsible positions of power
Our Finance Minister proved long ago that he did not bear this impeccable moral stature. What Kirti Azad is stating vocally today is what he has been repeating during the last 10 years. No denial, much less a reasoned refutation, has been attempted by the gentleman, who now belatedly protests his innocence.
The recent statement of the Prime Minister is certainly not a certificate of good character for the Finance Minister; it is only a hope that he will survive as LK Advani once did. Many saw a sting in the tail in Modi’s ambiguous statement involving LK Advani. But, Modi was not prepared to assert that everything alleged by Azad is false, or even just wrong. The hint to the Minister is to resign as Advani did want to when I initially refused to appear for him.
I may not be in Modi’s ‘who is who’ list, but that does not mean I do not know what is what. I have seen Arun Jaitley’s whole career based on backbiting, secret scheming and dirty conspiratorial fabrications, against those whom he sees as obstacles to his political ambitions. Friends without mind, who do not mind following his diktat are available aplenty.
Well, all political animals play the same game of political cards, and of course, the most coveted card is the joker. And that is what the Finance Minister is looking more and more like, as each day passes. When the time comes for his future journey, he will have a terrific advantage. He will only have to go downhill. This wont take much time - fortunate for him in a way.
The earlier definition of an honest politician was one who when bought remained bought. Unfortunately, some today do not even have this basic qualification. They can be bought often. And the world is not round anymore. It has turned immensely crooked.
I have over the last decade closely watched and written extensively about India’s fraudulent ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption in 2011, a good 7 years after we signed it; our complete indifference and lack of political will to obtain the list of Indian black money holders from Germany, even after Germany offered to provide the information. That was the Sonia - Manmohan-Chidambaram Government.
Even after the Supreme Court ordered that the correspondence with Germany on this matter be released to me, all I got after a delay of 3 years, were unrelated 17 letters dealing with DTAT, with names and addresses of correspondents blacked out by indelible black ink. This was the Modi- Jaitley Government
Clearly, the present Finance Minister is in conspiracy with the previous one. He has made no effort to approach the German Government, as was confirmed to me when I visited Germany last year.
The blacked out letters, after some scrutiny, indicate that two officials are involved in this corrupt operation. Anita Kapoor, former Chairman CBDT, is said to have landed a cushy job in the same Finance Ministry after retirement; KV Chowdhery, also former Chairman, CBDT, after a criticial visit to Paris, was appointed CVC by a fraud on the Constitution and the Court. This will soon be reported to it. The continuity in the Finance Ministry after Chidambaram remains, thanks to Jaitley. I do not have to prove this obvious fraud.
The whole nation has heard Amit Shah, and his famous ‘election jumla’ statement regarding repatriation of black money. Modi has not repudiated it. I had to buy space in the Indian Express in April 2015 to inform the people of these criminal conspiracies.
How this crooked political mafia could swing the suspension of Kirti Azad, who is speaking the truth, is yet another shocker. They appear to have forgotten their humiliating defeat in Bihar all too soon.
But the question on everyone’s mind is – did Kirti Azad’s suspension have approval from the man above? I hope his words will be free from any ambiguity.