Posts tagged ‘elections’

Maddening Corridors of Intrigues 38

Chief Minister Pratap was explaining to the state police chief Nirbhaya, “I am aghast at the invitation extended to me by the great Priest. Not only that he also had the temerity to spite me by telling that my rival will be presiding over and blessing the newly weds. This tradition which was established in the fourteenth centuries to marry off the young ones at the community gatherings to save them the cost of weddings and to eliminate the bridegroom price is virtually degenerating into show of public followings and the strength thereof by the rivals in politics. We must somehow both take it out of the hands of the so called social reformers and bring it under the control of administration. We must device rules for not making the function a political platform by any one. But I know my own party members have been quite keen to start using this platform for their political mileages which I have been resisting all along”.

Nirbhaya, “You are in the wrong profession sir! I do believe a person of your vision and principles can take the state and country too far and show a new path to the builders of nation. But I also know that the likes of big man will hardly allow you to survive. In fact he must already be plotting your obituary with Colonel Bangru and you can get the summons in no time. I have not come here to rub salt on your wounds but to tell you that I too am suffering from the same injuries. My team’s entire efforts will come to a naught should the Governor write the death knell of the state assembly. But before that happens I will ask you to sign the orders permitting my men to raid the sanctum sanctorum and arrest the great priest Rajamantran and his protégés. We have picked up sufficient evidence from the two boys who had been   caught by Meena and his officers from the railway station. They were initially a tough nut to crack; but when they were made a target by their own companions from the shrine they decided to sing a song”.

“You mean Meena is still holding on to those two boys; but his report states that the boys were killed in the bomb blast at the office of the senior superintendent of police”.

“It is certain that no judicial officer will sign his own death warrant by permitting us hold these boys for long with us. Hence they have not been produced in any court. We shall of course do that when we have to make use of their witness for damning the great priest Rajamantran and his men”. Nirbhaya knew that Pratap will never be able to sign a search warrant that could damn him for many generations, “none dare do that. The sanctum sanctorum is too sensitive and sacred a place. Yet the great priest Rajamantran was committing sacrilege with the connivance and the cowardliness of some of the selfish and self centered political heavyweights. Still there is no harm in convincing the most pliable politician. May be he can see reason and prevent the disaster we   both anticipate. He has so far been able to resist adopting the double edged face of a politician and I am sure he will never be able to adopt one”.

The chief minister Pratap was expressing his sympathetic consideration to the state police chief rather than agreeing to sign the search warrants “I do understand your eagerness to bring the offenders down to their knees. I also can see the pain and frustration of you and your colleagues for not being able to do so. But let me tell you in politics it is not always the law of the land that is upheld. Even though we are the makers of laws of the land yet we scoundrels many a times pretend ignorance to the legal prerequisite. We create our own convenient interpretation of the law to suit our convenience. In this case too I will permit you to raid the peripheral offices to the sanctum sanctorum.  It will be up to you and your team to either challenge the culprit to move out of their hide. You must be able to otherwise on your own initiative get inside to fight it out and bring him to the book. I am sure you would not want my entire successive generations to suffer the stigma that I permitted you to defile the sacred territory”.

Pratap had stretched himself on the table to pick up a pen from holder kept on to his left when he heard a knock on door to his private office, “ come in “, he shouted back, “ it was the protocol officer from the Governor’s house along with Pratap’s secretary, “ You did not have to barge into my privacy like this. In case you are carrying an urgent invitation please leave it with my secretary. I shall attend to it as early as possible”.

“I have been told sir by his Excellency the governor of the state  to hand it over in person to you and make sure it is read in my presence because I have to carry your acknowledgement from your good offices” , the protocol officer told him curtly. Pratap gave a wry smile as he read aloud one line message from the President of the country, “on account of deteriorating law and order administration by ministry headed by you;   the president regrets to announce the imposition of the central rule in the state of …… with immediate effect. The state henceforth will be directly governed by the governor” signed and sealed”. He read aloud the office order twice to make sure the chief of the state   police had heard him properly, “that also seals the fate of democratic traditions in this country. Your friend the big man has been able to wipe out the will of the people of the state by one stroke of pen. He forgets that the same people will not allow him to come back too. “I am sorry I do not hold the authority to sign this. Let the governor’s office decide the fate of great Priest and his men. As for the nation’s welfare I will have to consult my party members and other allies to chart out a new agenda. We will have to lodge a formal protest with the public and proletariat’. They heard a big commotion outside the chief minister’s office, “long live Pratap” “long live the democratic spirits’, “down with the central government”; Pratap beckoned the chief of the state   police to follow him to the corridors to see what was happening. His ministerial colleagues had gathered outside his office and they were expressing their solidarity with him. Brahma came forward and hugged him, he spoke with tears in his eyes, and “we heard him on the television boss, he has dismissed our government. He did not even have the courtesy to come personally and speak to you. It is the most cowardly act. He and his mentor in the central government will have to pay a heavy price. The people of this state are being taken for a ride. We must go to the common folks and take our case to the man in the street. Let them create a revolution. We must fight till we reestablish the right of the common voter to be the judge of the representatives elected by him. The Governor or even the Union government has no authority to dispense with the duly elected legislative at the state level. We will challenge the draconian step in the highest court of this country”.

Pratap had allowed him to speak so that he could take out his bottled emotions; he also waited if any of his other colleagues too were willing to speak. When none else spoke, he poked them further to find out “if any of you wants to take it out please do so. We will have to drop emotions to sit and discuss seriously the next step proposed for matching the gimmicks of the big man. He has not only deceived all of us; rather he has played with the trust of the commoner of this state. We will have to go to the men on the streets to explain to them the fate that lies in store for each one of them henceforth. The Governor’s report has been obtained by coercive methods. The poor chap had to; otherwise he would have been hauled up for the corrupt practices he indulged into when he was heading procurement wing while in active service. We however forgive him for the act of cowardice shown by him”. “The election schedule mentioned by him in his address to the press is also a big farce”, this was Dhanwan speaking, “chief he wants to hand over the state on a platter to the great Priest”.  Chief Minister Pratap who was not aware of the press meet addressed by the big man, the home minister Aaham of the central government was in for a surprise when he heard what his own colleague had to tell him. “We saw his press meet on television a while ago, he has straight away gone to the press rather than speaking to you which does not tell of the good parliamentary tradition being set by our rivals. It would have been appropriate if you had been called in by the governor to discuss the subject of law and order. Should it have failed to satisfy him he could have got you and your government voted out at the floor of the assembly”.

“Yes, you are correct my dear friend and colleague but if he had adopted the constitutional method; he would have not been able to usurp the powers from under our feet. We will however ourselves go to the people to seek their cooperation and from this moment onwards, the movements of boycotting the central administration will start. We shall not allow any elections to take place in the state till the legitimate government which was already in position is restored by the Governor.  We shall all of us including the members of the legislative assembly of all allies will lay seize to the Governor’s office”, Pratap who had been the guardian of the civil administration in this very office was pained at the words used by him. He looked at the police chief, “now that tables had been turned by our dear friend the big man from the central government you may have to take all of us in, as state guests for a few days. It appears to me that the law of the charlatans and the gun totters will rule the country side hence forth. Your predictions are finally finding expression little too soon and I wish I had the courage to sign this paper even on my way out. But cowards as we all are; do not dare defy the fear that governs their mind and hearts. I hope some day I may come back and be able to face the challenge thrown to me by the nation but not at this juncture when I may have to go back to people with bowl again and seek their support, who knows my party may enter an alliance with the great priest Rajamantran himself”.

“I know boss I can understand you. If only you had not brought police under home department, each of us would have done our job as expected by the people of a state. Politicians of this country have created home department to shield their own failings from any kind of police action. They wanted to remain above the law of the land by making law subordinate to bureaucrats”, Nirbhaya walked back towards his official jeep parked on the ground floor of the secretariat building. He may have to make arrangements to contain hostility and demonstrations which were certainly be carried out by the demonstrators in front of the gates of the Governor’s house.

MADDENING CORRIDORS OF INTRIGUES – CHAPTER 12

12

The load of automatic guns that was brought by Ranjit from the Middle East was immediately distributed to three different places in town by him. The first few guns from the lot were delivered by him to a well-known politician named Aaham whose party had lost the elections at the recent ballot by huge margins of votes. All the candidates who had stood on the election manifesto of the party represented by him had been rejected by the electorate of most of the constituencies. The acceptance of such an enormous loss of power, political patronage and position was very difficult for the political party and its candidates. The politician Aaham at no cost could reconcile with the defeat and the loss of power that came with the ruling of the masses. He was certain that the other members of his party too were equally prepared to regain the lost power even if it meant using the force of bullets if not the ballots. The models of the guns were required to be approved by the high command of his party which was controlling the strings of financial as well as administrative sanctions for its state units too.  A representative of the high command of his party was expected within a day or two from the capital town of New Delhi, who shall be holding an inspection of the guns for approval. In case this test of these guns gets approved from the high command the guns will be spread amongst the workers of a small religious cult. These guns were to be used for creating terror and political upheaval within the state by the infiltrators of the small religious faction headed by a sage who had owed lots of obligations to the crafty politician.

“The common public who has rejected us at the ballot box enmasse, must be taught a lesson of their life time” thought the politician.

“What have I and my party not done for them? The all around development, the support price for the crops, the free electricity, the subsidized water and other requirements for the peasants was all extracted by him for these people, from the national government whenever his party had been voted back to power by the common man. The poor peasants always returned his party to the legislature yet this time they had the audacity to throw his party out at the behest of the political opponents who have always stayed in the opposition ever since the country got its freedom”, thought the bully politician. ‘It had been a very humiliating defeat and personal insult to his services rendered to common man. His party has been always a victor at the poll and this time too he was absolutely confident of an absolute majority, the counting of poll proved otherwise. The defeat of ballot must be avenged by the power of the bullet”.

The second packet of the guns was delivered to the head of a small religious sect who had of late acquired his new name as the great priest Rajamantran, on the insistence of the politician. He wanted to make sure “the guns his boys will be using should be small enough to escape detection while traveling and should be potent enough to kill a large number in a short flash of time. The instant action necessitated such weapon, as the shock of butchering so many people will give enough time to his boys to run away from the place of action after having pulled the triggers and killed the multitudes. The politician had assured him of such a requirement being met with this kind of gun, yet the clairvoyant wanted to have a look at one before equipping his boys with the same. The licensed guns his boys carried cannot be used for the purpose. They are too big, the ammunition had to be accounted for and the empties can be traced back to them. Hence the urgent need for the smaller weapons that can shower large number of bullets in a split second. “These politicians do not know anything about the guns”, thought the burly religious head Rajamantran. “These bastards always want to extract big price for the favors done. There was no doubt if the politician had not helped him he probably would still have remained a small timer, a preacher of no importance but than these politicians too amassed huge wealth from the deals in return, a large share of the offerings collected at the shrine  from  the devotees   was regularly apportioned to these brokers of power ”.

“Thanks to my friendship with the politician and their insatiate hunger to amass more and more fortune, the shrine has grown in size and stature. However every time the politicians allotted government land to the holy place, they would insist on a cut depending on the size and portion allotted by them”. He looked at the massive farms spread everywhere around; which were allocated to the shrine at the throw away price. Many had not relished his growing popularity, and the resultant attacks on his life forced him to arrange for his own private and personal security.

The cops briefed for his security cover by his politicians’ friends when he was in power could not be trusted; he knew that “they will not only betray him but will rather sell him to rivals and make wealth out of his dead body”. However his ambitions ran too high. The small holy place he controlled must be expanded into a large empire. This can be attained through reviving blind belief in religion of the faithful, their panic in the power of bullet, and simultaneously organizing their power of ballot to the advantage of the shrine. He had one power, the power of the unquestioned following of the common man in the   religion propagated by him. People bowed in front of him and paid obeisance wherever he went. His writ ran unto a few miles from the place of his temporal seat. They will willingly pay the undeclared tax to his shrine. It was believed that the part of their produce, income and yield from any profession, if offered at this shrine would bring in proceeds many times. Hence they came in drones every time the new crop was reaped or a cow or buffalo yielded the first milk after giving birth to a calf. People will bring their newborns to the holy place and put them on his feet for blessings. They will request him to baptize the child, which will be done after opening the holy book and reading the first alphabet that appeared. He had given a name to almost every child that was born within the vicinity where his summons ran.

The trunk road running a few miles away from this place however cut his authority. No one recognized him or bothered about him beyond that point. Even the highest seat did not distinguish him. He has to visit the place like any other commoner. The armed men accompanying him were not allowed inside. He vowed to himself to change all this. “One end of the road leads to the highest seat, the timeless temporal seat, from where the great religious preachers had ruled the psyche of the masses, where the writ of the founder runs even today. From there originates the very fountain of religious influence that sways the hearts of the multitudes.

The other end of the road leads to the seat of political power, the power of the sovereign, the very root of the authority that binds men into willful obedience through economic, legal and political batons, whose currency decides the fate of the billions. One day I will control both the ends”, he promised to himself solemnly.

Rajamantran had no intentions of fighting the elections himself, but the candidates came and paid respects to him. They sought his blessings. The president of the ruling party had once taken him to meet the prime minister. His stature has ever since been raised amongst the politicians as well, but that was not enough. “The king in the chess must be moved by me” he had decided for himself.

Hence he had contracted to the politician’s maneuverings of creating the law and order fright in the entire state by destabilizing the civil administration, through his boys. The boys were sent to his shrine by the ordinary people for service, for learning religious scriptures or to simply while away their time if they found the boys had nothing to do at home. Their source of employment was getting hard to come by. His closeness to the politicians will often ensure the boys got selected for the government service. In fact the marginalized landholdings had resulted into large scale unemployment every where and the plans of the crafty politician offered a chance to make the boys get into profitable employ even though temporarily, “the state should be spending enough not only to provide security to the common man but the central government will have to rush in funds to ensure integrity of the union does not get threatened” the scheming politician had told him “and therein we get the opportunity to build up our own resources which could last many  generations to ensure perpetual rule of your shrine in all corners of the state”.

The great priest Rajamantran dialed the politician’s number and spoke to him “The packet of the medicine has been delivered today I am sure this is the perfect treatment of the malady and absolute therapy to the sufferings of our poor innocent souls”.

HAS THE INDIAN DEMOCRACY OUTLIVED ITSELF

The fourth round of voting to the Indian parliament has just been completed. Much euphoria has been expressed over voting figure of 50 percent and above polling in many states. The politicians are very happy that at least they were able to pullout half of the voters’ population of the country out of their five year old sleep and convince them to go to the polling booth and cast their vote.  No one however, not even the politician have asked one single question to the other fifty percent who did not go to vote, as to what kept them away from the task of deciding the future of their own and the fate of their descendents .

  The apathy of Indian voter is note worthy and makes one wonder, when this largest democracy of the world will face a natural deoxidization. The champions in avoiding the votes this time are J&K (24%) – the writ of the terrorist still prevails there, BIHAR 34 percent ( where are you Lalluji, Paswanji, and Nitish Kumarji, and the  loudest gun of them all Shatrughan Sinhaji)  . though our kudos to Bengali bhadralok for coming out in great numbers and exercising their franchise. But where were those who did not vote. Do they need a government whip to force them to come out of their slumber and vote?

The intelligentsia possibly will prefer a stringent law which should force all people to go to the polling booths and cast their votes. But then where will democracy survive?