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EC goes easy on Lalu

The editorial in the latest issue of Organiser,titled “Why is EC silent on Lalu and his ilk?

April 16, 2009 11:45:46 pm

The editorial in the latest issue of Organiser,titled “Why is EC silent on Lalu and his ilk?” says: “Union Railway Minister and UPA poster boy Lalu Prasad Yadav,yelled in an election rally in Kishanganj,Bihar on April 6,‘Had I been the Home Minister of the country,I would have run a roller on Varun Gandhi for his remarks offending the feelings of 17 crore Muslims across the country’. Thankfully Lalu is not the home minister. The UPA was kind enough that the country has been spared of that agony,perhaps more appropriately,ignominy of suffering Lalu as its home minister. But he has been a successful practitioner of calculated venom spewing and cynical mixing of caste and communal politics in his disruptive power bargain.”

The editorial adds: “He has no qualms about pitting one community against another for his political advance. Lalu deliberately spoke these words in the communally sensitive Muslim dominated Kishanganj to provoke and polarise the community. Complaints about the utterances of the Congress minority cell leader in Chandigarh,where he used the word ‘kafir’ against anybody voting for the BJP is pending with the Election Commission for the last one month. The Congress Andhra Pradesh unit chief D Srinivas threatened at a function in Nizamabad Andhra Pradesh,that he would ‘sever’ the hands of those who point a finger at minorities. Complaints against violation of the model code are piling up with the Commission. There were complaints against the Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav,one pertaining to distribution of money as in the case of the BJP leader Jaswant Singh and another concerning a public threat to the woman DM of Mainpuri,UP.”

The editorial concludes: “Lalu and his ilk in the UPA are easily let off by the media. The tag of ‘hate speech’ or inciting divisive passion will not apply in their case as they are secular mascots. But imagine what would have been the reaction of the media if it was a BJP leader who made a comment like the one made by Lalu Prasad Yadav. The Election Commission was prompt in acting against Varun. It ensured maximum publicity to its course of action. It took only three days after the alleged CD came to its notice to act against the BJP candidate. It looks the other way when more serious violations are brought to its notice”.

The global future

In a piece titled “Neo-nationalism: The last stage of globalisation?” R Balashankar writes: “China cannot stop swearing by communism though it has adopted western capitalism in its entirety. Similarly,the G-20 proclaimed that globalisation is still the most dominant economic idea though countries are increasingly turning protectionist and state ownership,in factors of production,has never been so critical as it is today. The synchronised macroeconomic stimulus package repeated over the last few months have not stopped the world from falling deeper into recession. Socialism for the rich brought about by the zealots of globalisation is under attack with jobless rates in developed countries being pushed to double digits. So what has happened to capitalism and what is going to be the fate of globalisation?”

He adds: “Ten days before the world leaders assembled to rescue capitalism,the US administration insisted on a change of guard in the bankrupt Detroit automobile industry as a precondition for the bailout package. Similar was the fate of American International Group (AIG),when its executives were forced to pay up 90 per cent of the $165 million in bonuses,as tax after the finance company was helped survive on tax-payers’ money. What has not yet been adequately addressed is the sea-change in social attitudes towards amassing wealth by a few for a few and its impact on politics in the coming years. The parties in India are becoming competitively populist in their election manifesto. The votaries of third generation reform and neo-liberalism have been silenced by the parties for fear of public wrath. Indian politicians are turning pro-poor though a cursory glance at the declaration of assets at the time of filing of nominations show that Indian politicians have become filthy rich during the period of globalisation. Only that this is the season of ‘free lunch’,subsidy buttered with offers of free rice,electricity and loan. Poverty has again become fashionable in India’s political discourse. Globalisation has not been an unmixed blessing. It increased poverty while it created millions of neo-rich politicians and business class”.

Compiled by Suman K Jha

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