The Government of Manmohan Singh, it would seem, was not just ineffectual in dealing with corruption, but also equally ineffectual in dealing with an usurper who has made it his lifes business to destroy our institutions in order to satisfy his personal lust for attention.
I don’t deny that Anna Hazare’s campaign has clearly struck a chord among the people. But does it have to do with the alleged cause, the Lokpal bill, or a more generalized frustration of a nation that is fed up of corruption and what they see as an ineffectual govt incapable of fighting it? I would believe it is more of the latter. Many of the people who are rallying behind Anna, are not even aware of the Jan Lokpal bill, or have only a vague idea about it. The more general theory is “atleast someone is doing something about corruption, so we should back it”. The Great indian middle class, unlike its counterparts in Latin america or even the USA is not interested in to fight corruption on their own. There is no hope for a “Tea Party” kind of movement here in India. The Indian middle class on the other hand, prefers to look for someone to whom they can outsource the battle against corruption. It was JP in the 70′s and it is Anna Hazare now. This is more of a vote against the Manmohan Govt’s colossal incompetence, than a vote for Anna Hazare. Lets get that right!!
This lack of ability to take effective action is wired into the DNA of the UPA and can be traced back to the time when Manmohan Singh was first appointed Prime Minister. At that time, the segregation of executive power (vested with MMS) and political power (vested with Sonia and her team) seemed like a masterstroke. Which it probably was at the time.
However the limitations of that approach became painfully apparent at the time of the Nuclear Bill and all that attendant tamasha. Corrective action could have been taken to rectify this problem. However identifying the problem is the first step towards solving it. And here the Congress miscalculated spectacularly: deluding itself into believing that they had the upper hand and ostrich like burying their head in the sand in the face of facts pointing the other way. The fault therefore lies not just with the executive leadership represented by Manmohan Singh, but ultimately , with the political leadership represented by Sonia Gandhi, which failed to provide the requisite political leadership and spectacularly failed to take corrective action when the proverbial crap hit the fan.