Two mutually reinforcing images from last week may well define the next phase in national affairs. It is too early to call them game changers but they have considerable potential.
The controversy surrounding Rajnath Singh and his son being called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and confronted with evidence of “improper conduct” is refusing to die down. The details of the rumoured incident were already being discussed in the power circles even before the media started reporting about it.
The greatest security for the Gandhis, one which will keep them on their perch, is that there is no life left in the rump to ask questions. Those who could have asked questions, like Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, have been kept outside the paddock. The simple principle of dynasties is: the crown prince must not have a challenger. The queen must never be upstaged. Even for the job of the President of India she could only settle for the lackluster Pratibha Patil.
India is a sum total of its states. Nobody should know it better than an economist prime minister who was expected to dedicate himself to further the cause of nation-building. But the dispensation he leads at the Center began to bribe, promote, reward and subvert corrupt and anti-national elements in the government of the constituent states’ purely for political expediency. As a consequence the economic and security apparatus crumbled. This has been the bane of India under Manmohan Singh. A police officer demanding blackberry phone from a political party will be a scum under any dispensation. An officer who bargains his bail in exchange of some official documents with a predator Central Government that treats some state governments as ‘prey’, will remain a blackmailer all through his career. An IAS officer of a state when sacked for corruption choses to politically scheme with vested interests at the highest levels in the Central Government to wriggle his way out of corruption charges is intrinsically disloyal, even to his family. Treating them as political assets is myopic and no patriotic prime minister should allow it.