Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Propriety & Impropriety: A nation on the decline

- The Last Word - CNN IBN - 30 Oct 2012
An interesting debate last evening on CNN IBN, a distinguished panel to include an ex-Army Chief, an ex-Naval Chief and also an ex-Cabinet Secretary....of course, with the most popular anchor, Karan Thapar, hosting the show
The topic was " Ex-Army Chief Gen VK Singh demanding that Parliament be dissolved". Earlier it was reported in the newspapers that Anna Hazare and the ex-Army Chief had asked for Lok Sabha to be dissolved since the UPA government had crossed all limits of corruption. VK Singh had also said, "A new set of parliamentarians is needed. Let elections be held so that people can decide if they are satisfied".
While no one was asked on the credibility of the content and the intent of the statement, the issue basically revolved around the 'Propriety' of this demand by an ex-Army Chief, a man in uniform and on the Chief's chair till about a few months back. How could he question the very government he was serving and also enjoys the perk of retaining a government accommodation for a period of six months post-retirement. I shall not delve on the issue of this perk as the government has done no favour as he is entitled to such a perk like his predeccessors/successors and the government is only a custodian of such property and by no chance can claim ownership of such public property.
My comments shall be restricted to 'Propriety'....some definitions are 'The quality of being proper; appropriateness, Conformity to prevailing customs and usages, The usages and customs of polite society'. It is evident, therefore, that no one is questioning the legality or the technicality of such a statement...and the fingers are being pointed at an ex-Army man, a soldier in uniform!!
We need a level playing field...the Army cannot be judged on a template different from others....we are a part of the same society. Let us start from the top in the government, restricting my observations to 'propriety' only.
1. Why should the President of India not be questioned for impropriety for offering his consultancy services to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on the cabinet reshuffle? Also, was it proper for him to stand for President when his role as Finance Minister is under cloud for going slow on economic offences relating to hawala/money laundering/Swiss-foreign bank accounts
2. Does not propriety demand that the Vice President had no business to arbitrarily close the debate on Lokpal Bill at 12.00 midnight at the behest of Pawan Bansal, when the rules and advisory note by his Secretary General clarified that the session could continue
3. Propriety demands that the Prime Minister should have resigned long time ago, initially on the CVC judgement, which the PM took as 'error of judgement', his involvement in 2G scam, particularly so after the statement of ex-Cabinet Secretary Chandrashekhar, as Coal Minister in the Coalgate scam and other omissions/ discretions... the biggest damage the PM has done is that he has nullified the basic foundation of governance by his misinterpretation of 'responsibility and accountability' giving a leverage to every minister/ bureaucrat in politico-executive and executive to shun these and play safe with no compulsion to govern
4. In case propriety has to be made applicable to the Judiciary, should not ex-CJI Balakrishnan resign as Chairman Human Rights Commission for disproportionate assets accumulated by his kith & kin and offer himself for a thorough investigation
5. Propriety demands that all Governors to include Narayanan and Gen JJ Singh, appointed immediately after retiring from government appointments be asked to quit...all bureaucrats on post-retirement appointments be sent home and hereafter the government must function on its authorised establishment with total moratorium committees/commissions/advisors/consultants
6. Propriety demands that Sonia Gandhi should clarify on her state of health and source of funds/expense on her medical treatment and other visits abroad 7. Propriety also demands that all privileges of Robert Vadra and Priyanka Gandhi be withdrawn immediately as they are private persons and have no business to be allotted government accommodation, SPG cover and exempted from security checks/toll taxes ...all cases against Robert Vadra be investigated by SIT on fast track basis
8. Nitin Gadkari should resign as President BJP as Propriety does not allow him to continue in this post
9. Propriety demands that Laloo Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and Sharad Pawar resign from the party posts and offer themselves for investigation into several disproprtionate assets cases
10. After witnessing the conduct of the Parliamentarians during the last session, does not propriety demand that the Lok sabha should have been dissolved immediately and their privileges withdrawn....all perks need to be reviewed
11. Propriety demands that the concept of VVIP/VIPs be done away with, NSG and other security cover withdrawn and those in governance start living normal lives in conformity with the dictates of a polite and cultured society
Let us not attack the messengers of change...concentrate on the issue being raised...there is no governance...the justice system has failed....the 'unelected' and the 'unelectable' are only crying that order be restored in society and the future of the nation be safeguarded... it does not matter whether the voice is raised by Anna Hazare or Arvind Kejriwal or ex-CJI JS Verma or ex-Army Chief Gen VK Singh....what matters is the "ISSUE", the issue of good governance and effective measures to arrest aam aadmi needs such people to project their grievances and sentiments...the media does not listen to ordinary people as that does not earn them TRPs
No nation can survive by neglecting its Army....the government has not only shown scant respect for the Defence Services, it has gone out of its way to deny its entitlements and humiliated its own Army on several occasions...In the 'Rank Pay' case, it repeatedly lodged review petitions in the Supreme Court to deny the rights....What can one say of a government which cheats its own Army
Propriety demands dis-solution of the Lok Sabha, fresh elections and responsible voting by the aam aadmi, the actual custodian of this great country called India
with best regards

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