17/06/2011 13:14:26 Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
The once glorious Indian National Congress, and the once glorious Rajputs, are both at the lowest ebb of their respective traditions as seen in two members of the Congress Party. The choice of Sonia Gandhi as President of the Party was a hapless one. The present writer has written about her unsuitability for Indian conditions. Unlike the intrepid freedom fighter for Indian independence, the Irish stalwart Annie Besant, who had immersed herself in Hindu India’s traditions, Sonia continued to nurture her monotheistic superstitions, thanks to the fact that her general education was non existent. It is not certain whether she has even a high school degree, or that she even took the diploma from the foreign language school in Cambridge town where the good nuns from Italy had sent her hoping that she would become an au pair girl or a domestic. Nor did she make an effort to study Indian history and Bharat’s culture and civilization. She locked herself into a solitude, surrounded by dubious characters. This was not her choice one hopes and her subsequent incursions into the murky side of a corrupt Congress led her down the unavoidable slippery slope. And as some commentators have observed, her mask has finally fallen, with the vicious attack on a Hindu Yoga guru and his peaceful followers on the night of June 4. That event is indeed the turning point. Hindu India will never forgive her , nor should they ever forget. Since she has kept her Italian passport(as alleged) then one can only pray that she does not return from her recent trip to Switzerland.India does not need anymore mafia donnas !
Digvijay Singh offers a marked contrast. One could depict him as a clown, except the seriousness of his slippery slope is also an insult to the Rajput tradition of loyalty to their country and heroic history. One does not even dare to mention the sacred name of a Rana Pratap, in this context of a Rajput gone bad. Unlike Sonia he had a heroic tradition to look up to and live by. What actually happened is a different story altogether.
Congress’s attack dog is hiding behind the strength of his master/mistress’s temporary popularity. As her fortunes ebb, the rats will leave the sinking ship.No doubt he will be the first. Till then he has some time and he is making the most of it. One has to only look at the sorry spectacle of a Rajput demeaning a Hindu Yoga guru, while simultaneously speaking of Bin Laden as Bin Ladenji. It is also reported by one perceptive journalist that it was Chidambaram and the ex-Rajput who stood behind Sonia’s decision to attack Baba Ramdev.
The names this pitiful individual reserved for the Hindu Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev were ‘thug’ and ‘fraud’.
Under Sonia Gandhi’s 12 year reign of terror for the Hindus of India, this is possibly only one more example of anything goes. As long as it is someone from the majority community everything is fair game. But he is also playing a double game. During the satyagraha of the Yoga Guru in the first week of June, Digvijay Singh tried to fool the Hindu masses by using the phrase ‘ Hamare Sanatana Dharma’ (Our Sanatana Dharma). Who is he fooling? He is listed in the Wikipedia biography as Christian.* He is a convert, presumably.
Now, there are thousands of Indian Christians who have stayed loyal to Bharat. They merely changed their religion, but their ancestral memories (unlike Sonia’s) are of Bharat. And by and large they have remained respectful and even appreciative of their Hindu ancestry, except when misled by missionary propaganda. Digvijay is also in addition an anomaly as a Rajput ( he is listed as a Rajput in the biographical entry).
Hindu India must continue to challenge this fraud. He is seeking the Muslim vote in Uttar Pradesh. Hence his visits to the area soon after 26/11. Here he is also in sync with his protégé, Rahul Gandhi, who we are told was partying all night at a friend’s wedding on the night of 26/11. The mother son duo and their faithful lackey have no interest in Bharat.
No self respecting Rajput would have called a Hindu Guru, a thug ! Only a depraved fallen Rajput obeying the whims of his mistress would do that.
(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)
* (Moderator’s note: According to Wikipedia, as of June 20, 2011, Digvijay Singh’s religion is listed as Hinduism)
Though this article is more than 10 years old, it is very relevant today; it sheds light on how Sonia Gandhi has lied, broken laws and looted the country- Moderator
September 13, 1999
The day I entered Indiraji’s household I became an Indian, the rest is just technical — that is Sonia Gandhi’s latest explanation for not having acquired Indian citizenship till fourteen years after her marriage to Rajiv Gandhi.
First the facts. Surya Prakash, the Consulting Editor of The Pioneer, has documented these in detail. Sonia married Rajiv on 25 February, 1968. Under section 5(c) of the Indian Citizenship Act she became eligible to register herself as a citizen ofIndiaon 25 February, 1973. She chose to continue as a citizen ofItaly. She applied for Indian citizenship only ten years later, on 7 April, 1983.
A foreigner seeking Indian citizenship has to state on oath that he or she has relinquished his or her citizenship of the original country. This requirement was all the more necessary in the case of an Italian citizen: under Italian law, an Italian taking citizenship of another country continues to retain his or her Italian citizenship. Sonia Gandhi’s application did not have the requisite statement, nor did it have any official document from the appropriate authorities inItaly. The omission was made up in a curious way: the Ambassador of Italy stepped in, and wrote to the Government saying that Sonia Gandhi had indeed given up her citizenship ofItaly. He did so on 27 April, 1983. Sonia got her citizenship forthwith — on 30 April, 1983.
Another nugget Surya Prakash has unearthed is that while Sonia became a citizen on 30 April, 1983, her name made its way to the electoral rolls as of 1 January, 1980! In response to an objection, it had to be deleted in late 1982. But sure enough, it was put back on the electoral roll as of 1 January, 1983. She hadn’t even applied for citizenship till then.
All technicalities! If any ordinary person were to proceed in the same way, he would be up for stern prosecution.
Maruti was one of the most odious scandals connected with Mrs Indira Gandhi and her family. The Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice A C Gupta recorded that, though she was at the time a foreigner, Sonia Gandhi secured shares in two of their family concerns: Maruti Technical Services Pvt. Ltd. (in 1970 and again in 1974), and Maruti Heavy Vehicles (in 1974). The acquisition of these shares was in contravention of the very Act that Mrs Gandhi used to such diabolic effect in persecuting her political opponents, the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973. Just another technicality!
But the Mother of Technicalities, so to say, is to be found in the way Sonia Gandhi, without having any known sources of income, has become the controller of one of the largest empires of property and patronage inDelhi. The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Library and Museum is one of the principal institutions for research on contemporary Indian history. It is situated in and controls real estate which, because of its historical importance, cannot even be valued. The institution runs entirely on grants from the Government of India. Sonia Gandhi has absolutely no qualification that could by any stretch of imagination entitle her to head the institution: has she secured even an elementary university degree, to say nothing of having done anything that would even suggest some specialization in subjects which the institution has been set up to study. But by mysterious technicalities she is today the head of this institution. So much so that she even decides which scholar may have access to papers — even official papers — of Pandit Nehru and others of that family, including, if I may stretch the term, Lady Mountbatten.
Real estate, only slightly less valuable, has been acquired on Raisina Road. The land was meant to house offices of the Congress. A large, ultra-modern building was built — the finance being provided by another bunch of technical devices which remain a mystery. The building had but to get completed, and Sonia appropriated it for the other Foundation she completely controls — the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. The Congress(I) did not just oblige by keeping silent about the takeover of its building, in the very first budget its Government presented upon returning to power, it provided Rs 100 crores to this Foundation. The furore that give-away caused was so great that the largesse had to be canceled. No problem. Business house after business house, even public sector enterprises incurring huge losses, coughed up crores.
The Foundation has performed two principal functions. The projection of Sonia Gandhi. And enticing an array of leaders, intellectuals, journalists etc. into nets of patronage and pelf.
But the audacity with which the land and building were usurped and funds raised for this Foundation falls into the second order of smalls when they are set alongside what has been done in regard to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts.
This Centre was set up as a trust in 1987 by a resolution of the Cabinet. The Government of India gave Rs. 50 crores out of the Consolidated Fund of India as a corpus fund to this Centre. It transferred 23 acres of land along what is surely one of the costliest sites in the world –Central Vista, the stretch that runs between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate — to this Trust. Furthermore, it granted another Rs. 84 crores for the Trust to construct its building.
The land was government land. The funds were government funds. Accordingly, care was taken to ensure that the Trust would remain under the overall control of the Government of India. Therefore, the Deed of the Trust provided, inter alia,
- Every ten years two-thirds of the trustees would retire. One half of the vacancies caused would be filled by the Government. One half would be filled by nominations made by the retiring trustees.
- The Member Secretary of the Trust would be nominated by the Government on such terms and conditions as the Government may decide.
- The President of India would appoint a committee from time to time to review the working of the Trust, and the recommendations of the committee would be binding on the Trust.
- No changes would be made in the deed of the Trust except by prior written sanction of the Government, and even then the changes may be adopted only by three-quarters of the Trustees agreeing to them at a meeting specially convened for the purpose.
Now, just see what technical wonders were performed one fine afternoon.
A meeting like any other meeting of the trustees was convened on 18 May, 1995. The minutes of this meeting which I have before me list all the subjects which were discussed — the minutes were circulated officially by Dr Kapila Vatsyayan in her capacity as the Director of the Centre with the observation, “The Minutes of this meeting have been approved by Smt Sonia Gandhi, President of the IGNCA Trust.”
What did the assembled personages discuss and approve? Even if the topics seem mundane, do read them carefully — for they contain a vital clue, the Sherlock Holmes clue so to say, about what did not happen.
The minutes report that the following subjects were discussed:
1: Indira Gandhi Memorial Fellowship Scheme and the Research Grant Scheme.
2: Commemoration volume in the memory of Stella Kramrisch.
3: Sale of publications of the IGNCA.
4: Manuscripts on music and dance belonging to the former ruling house of Raigarh in M P
5: Report on the 10th and 11th meetings of the Executive Committee.
6: Approval and adoption of the Annual Report and Annual Accounts, 1993-94.
7: Bilateral and multilateral programmes of IGNCA, and aid from U N agencies, Ford Foundation, Japan Foundation, etc.
8: Brief report on implementation of programmes from April 1994 to March 1995.
9: Brief of initiatives taken by IGNCA to strengthen dialogue between Indian and Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, China.
10: Documentation of cultural heritage of Indo-Christian, Indo-Islamic and Indo-Zoroastrian communities.
11: Gita Govinda project.
12: IGNCA newsletter.
13: Annual Action Plan, 1995-96.
14: Calendar of events. 15: Publications of IGNCA.
15: Matters relating to building project.
16: Allocations/release of funds for the IGNCA building project.
There is not one word in the minutes that the deed of the Trust was even mentioned.
This meeting took place on 18 May, 1995. On 30 May, 1995 Sonia Gandhi performed one of technical miracles. She wrote a letter to the Minister of Human Resources informing him of what she said were alterations in the Trust Deed which the trustees had unanimously approved. Pronto, the Minister wrote back, on 2 June, 1995: “I have great pleasure in communicating to you the Government of India’s approval to the alterations.”
The Minister? The ever-helpful, Madhav Rao Scindia. And wonder of wonders, in his other capacity he had attended the meeting on 18 May as a trustee of the IGNCA, the meeting which had not, according to the minutes approved by Sonia Gandhi, even discussed, far less “unanimously approved” changes in the Trust Deed.
And what were the changes that Sonia Gandhi managed to get through by this collusive exchange of two letters?
- She became President for life.
- The other trustees — two-thirds of whom were to retire every ten years — became trustees for life. The power of the Government to fill half the vacancies was snuffed out.
- The power of the Government to appoint the Member Secretary of the Trust was snuffed out; henceforth the Trust would appoint its own Member Secretary.
- The power of the President of India to appoint a committee to periodically review the functioning of the Trust was snuffed out; neither he nor Government would have any power to inquire into the working of the Trust.
A Government Trust, a Trust which had received over Rs. 134 crores of the tax-payers’ money, a Trust which had received twenty three acres of invaluable land was, by a simple collusive exchange of a letter each between Sonia Gandhi and one of her gilded attendants became property within her total control.
The usurpation was an absolute fraud. The Trust Deed itself provided that no amendment to it could come into force — on any reasonable reading could not even be initiated and adopted — without prior written permission of the Government. Far from any permission being taken, even information to the effect that changes were being contemplated was not sent to Government. An ex post “approval” was obtained from an obliging trustee.
That “approval” was in itself wholly without warrant. Such sanctions are governed by Rule 4 of the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961. This Rule prescribes that when a subject concerns more than one department, “no order be issued until all such departments have concurred, or failing such concurrence, a decision thereon has been taken by or under the authority of the Cabinet.” Other departments were manifestly concerned, concurrence from them was not even sought. The Cabinet was never apprised.
The rule proceeds to provide, “Unless the case is fully covered by powers to sanction expenditure or to appropriate or re-appropriate funds, conferred by any general or special orders made by the Ministry of Finance, no department shall, without the previous concurrence of the Ministry of Finance, issue any orders which may… (b) involve any grant of land or assignment of revenue or concession, grant… (d) otherwise have a financial bearing whether involving expenditure or not…”
And yet, just as concurrence of other departments had been dispensed with, no approval was taken from the Finance Ministry.
The Indian Express and other papers published details about the fraud by which what was a Government Trust had been converted into a private fief. Two members of Parliament — Justice Ghuman Mal Lodha and Mr. E. Balanandan — began seeking details, and raising objections.
For a full two and a half years, governments — of the Congress(I), and the two that were kept alive by the Congress(I), those of Mr. Deve Gowda and of Mr. I. K. Gujral — made sure that full facts would not be disclosed to the MPs, and that the concerned file would keep shuttling between the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Law.
As a result, Sonia Gandhi continues to have complete control over governmental assets of incalculable value — through technicalities collusively arranged.
A latter-day Dalhousie — annexation of Indian principalities through technicalities!
EDITS | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | 2:03:11 AM
A Surya Prakash
The Congress’s fascist reaction to the anti-corruption movement shows the party still remains unchanged. Its misdeeds remind us of the 1975-77 Emergency.
The Congress-led UPA Government is sadly mistaken if it thinks that its ruthless Gaddafi-style midnight operation to evict Baba Ramdev and his supporters from Ramlila Maidan in the early hours of June 5 will crush the movement against corruption in the country. The Government’s action, which is reminiscent of the response of Mrs Indira Gandhi to charges of corruption in the mid-1970s, only goes to show that nothing much has changed within the Congress. It continues to function like a family-owned private limited company whose promoters have fascist tendencies and remain extremely vulnerable to charges of corruption.
Apart from ending the mass satyagraha at the venue in Delhi, the Congress has launched a vituperative attack on Baba Ramdev, calling him a “thug” and a “fraud” and raising questions about the funding of his organisation. There is nothing new in this. These very tactics were deployed against Anna Hazare and his team members in April. An identical operation is now on to paint Baba Ramdev in ugly colours.
The Government is rattled by Baba Ramdev’s movement because it strikes at the root of the problem — money stashed away in Swiss banks by politicians and businessmen. The Anna Hazare movement got confined to the limited issue of establishing a national ombudsman (Lok Pal) to deal with corruption at the highest level. But, the creation of such an institution is just one of the many initiatives that need to be taken. Since corruption is a hydra-headed monster that has affected all aspects of politics, governance and life, what is needed is a comprehensive anti-corruption agenda that seeks to tackle the problem at the root and throw up permanent remedies.
For example, money power has vitiated the entire electoral process since the beginning and the humongous amounts spent by candidates in State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections has made a mockery of the spending limits imposed by the Election Commission. Over the last two decades, the permissible spending in a Lok Sabha constituency in a large State has more than trebled.
Just three monmths ago, the Conduct of Election Rules were amended yet again to enhance the maximum election expenditure in Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies to Rs 40 lakh and Rs 16 lakh respectively. However, those who track election-spending are aware that even this revised limit will be observed more in the breach than than in the observance because in recent years the average spending by serious candidates in Lok Sabha constituencies is between Rs 3 crore and Rs 5 crore.
All of this is black money — some generated within the country and the rest brought back fromSwitzerlandand tax havens likeLiechtenstein. Therefore, any anti-corruption initiative must first deal with the issue of black money vitiating the electoral process and making a mockery of the democratic system. We need to accord high priority to this problem.
The second most important source of corruption is Government contracts. It is long established that those who run the Government and the ruling party get kickbacks on every deal. In the early decades after independence when the licence-permit-quota raj held sway, bribes and commissions were paid in Indian rupees. Later, after Mrs Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, the Congress chose a new route for political funding — kickbacks from international deals which are paid into secret accounts in Switzerland and other tax havens.
Those who have worked in Government at senior levels — for instance, Mr BG Deshmukh who was Cabinet Secretary during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister — have noted that since the 1980s, the Congress has found it more convenient to take commissions from foreign companies in international deals rather than pass the hat around among Indian businessmen and industrialists to collect party funds. This way, huge sums can be collected to fund the party without any obligation to industrial houses within the country. It was presumed that there would be no whiff of corruption if discreet payments were made to Swiss bank accounts.
This grand plan, however, went for a toss when the Swedish Audit Bureau reported that arms manufacturer AB Bofors had paid ‘commission’ to certain individuals in connection with the sale of field guns to India in 1986. Despite that embarrassment, there is no indication of any change in the attitude of the Congress towards collecting funds. This is also the reason why the party is dragging its feet on the black money issue.
When the pressure from the Supreme Court became unbearable, the Government cleverly announced the setting up of a “high-powered committee” to keep the court at bay. This committee is supposed to examine the problem and outline a plan of action to bring back the loot. The Government offered a similar bait to Baba Ramdev the other day, offering to set up “a committee” to draft a law to bring back black money.
After making this offer, the Government claimed that it had met “all the demands” of Baba Ramdev and wanted him to end his satyagraha. When he failed to oblige, the Government responded with police brutality. The use of brute force to end a peaceful agitation is reminiscent of the Emergency days. This was exactly how Mrs Indira Gandhi responded to Jayaprakash Narayan’s campaign against corruption 36 years ago.
In fact, the parallels between 1974-75 and 2010-11 are striking. Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement began with the campaign against corruption in Gujarat and with the demand that then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi probe the allegations against LN Mishra, a senior Minister in her Cabinet. Mrs Indira Gandhi did none of this. Instead, she used brute force to crush the movement.
Mr Manmohan Singh, too, has resorted to an Emergency-style operation to crush the satyagraha at Ramlila Maidan. Also, in typical Mrs Indira Gandhi fashion, he has defended the midnight police raid and said the Government had no option but to resort to such action. There are other eerie coincidences. It should be remembered that Mrs Indira Gandhi imposed her dreaded Emergency in 1975 after a massive Opposition rally which, incidentally, was held at Ramlila Maidan and in June.
This only shows that more things change, the more the Congress remains the same. The party continues to be extremely vulnerable when corruption is discussed and the party’s fascist tendencies come to the fore whenever its Government is cornered on this issue. That is why all those who believe in democracy need to be on high alert after Mr Singh’s Ramlila Maidan operation. Needless to say, eternal vigilance is the price of democracy.