Intensify the Struggle Against Corruption and Corporate Plunder
Resist the UPA Government’s Undeclared Emergency
The UPA Government, as part of its ‘Green Hunt’ policy, has long been in the habit of branding people’s movements and activists challenging corporate plunder and state repression as ‘left wing extremists’. Binayak Sens all over the country were branded as ‘seditious’ and jailed. Now, the same Government is levelling the charge of ‘fascism’ on the anti-corruption movement as a pretext for unleashing repression and muzzling protest.
First, the Congress tried to justify the violent eviction of Baba Ramdev and his supporters from Ramlila Maidan by invoking the RSS-BJP backing for his agitation. The RSS nexus with Ramdev and his own ideological closeness to the Sangh were self-evident, as were the BJP’s attempts to ride piggyback on Ramdev. But by any stretch of imagination, the sleeping protestors at Ramlila Maidan participating in a peaceful hunger fast, were hardly comparable to the mobs that demolished the Babri Masjid or conducted the Gujarat genocide. Moreover, till a few days before the crackdown, Congress was busy cultivating the same Ramdev as a useful counterweight to the Lokpal campaign, even signing secret deals with him! The forcible and violent eviction of a peaceful protest was nothing short of a shameful assault on people’s right to protest. Subsequently, Section 144 was even imposed for some days on Parliament Street (Jantar Mantar) – the national capital’s main venue of protest. The Government was clearly indicating its intention to stifle protest. Soon after, the Congress party and the Government began to brand Anna Hazare too as an ‘RSS’ front.
In an article titled ‘A cure far worse than the disease’ (7 June, Indian Express), Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari holds forth against “street power and contrived rage.” Ironically, at a time when the Government is indulging in witch-hunts reminiscent of McCarthy (branding dissenters as either ‘left wing’ seditionists or ‘communal fascists’), Tiwari sees in the anti-corruption street protests the spectre of “McCarthyism” and even “Nazism”! Street power, he suggests, is equivalent to “street coercion”, and has “very dangerous implications.” Street protests, according to him, are a threat to democracy, and if the government ‘capitulates’ to such protest, it would threaten our freedom! ‘Democracy’ here is defined (and confined) to what he calls “the high temple of democracy – Parliament”. The people (who elect Parliament) are themselves painted as a threat to democracy if they dare to protest when elected Parliamentarians form a corrupt nexus with private profiteers and rob the people. What a strange inversion of the real relation between Parliament and people! The Congress’ stand is reminiscent of Brecht’s ‘Solution,’ in which “the people/Had forfeited the confidence of the government/And could win it back only/By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier/In that case for the government/To dissolve the people/And elect another?”
The UPA’s brazen attempts to deny any corruption in the 2G and CWG scams have failed miserably; two UPA MPs and one Minister are already behind bars. One scam-tainted former Chief Minister has been inducted into the central cabinet and as the 2G probe progresses, some more heads are likely to roll. The latest revelation of the oil-and-gas scam has made it clear that the Congress cannot hope to put the scams behind it, blame the corruption on “allies” and move on. In desperation, the Congress and UPA Government are trying to discredit and slander all shades of anti-corruption struggle and clamp down on all avenues of democratic expression. All over the country, state governments faced with growing people’s anger are also resorting to the same repressive tactics. Such all-out repression calls for all-out resistance – let us challenge the undeclared Emergency, and intensify the struggle against corruption and corporate plunder!