The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to gain any significant political clout in Kerala. Yet the party is already mired in charges of corruption. In order to save its image the party has been forced to expel R S Vinod, the party’s cooperative cell convener in the state. Vinod was accused of having accepted a bribe of no less than ₹5.60 crore from R Shaji, chairman of an educational trust who paid the amount for securing Medical Council of India’s (MCI) clearance for his medical college. According to reports, the amount was routed through Delhi as a hawala transaction.
The report also mentions M T Ramesh, general secretary of Kerala BJP, as a recipient of bribe from another medical college. Ramesh has denied his involvement in the scam and the party has chosen to stand behind him since it cannot afford to oust too many leaders. It is a question of waiting and watching before more names of BJP leaders come up in connection with the scam and possibly other scams.
Many BJP leaders or affiliates have been involved in various corruption cases in the recent past in Kerala. E Rakesh, a Yuva Morcha leader, was recently arrested with printing machines and counterfeit currency in his own house. Earlier, a BJP officer of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation was accused of doling out tax exemption to a prominent businessman.
Corruption is nothing new in politics. The clichéd saying that power corrupts has remained true all the time irrespective of which party was in power. What makes the case in Kerala more interesting is that the party which does not have any power given to it by the people of the state in any election is turning out to be more corrupt than the democratically elected parties. What will the BJP do if and when it really gets the people’s mandate in the state?
|From BJP's Election Manifesto (2014)|
One of the cardinal promises of BJP’s election manifesto in 2014 was eradication of corruption. But the party has turned out to be more corrupt than any other with many party leaders and workers caught with black money and counterfeit currency after the overhyped demonetisation exercise. Another and more heinous form of corruption has been eating into the party like a terminal cancer: distortion of history and facts with the intention of assailing certain religious communities. The consequence of this second form of corruption is much more disastrous for the nation since it is destroying the very idea of India as a pluralist nation. India is being converted into a nation meant for only people believing in one particular religion.
If BJP refuses to treats its cancer, the party will end up destroying India. It may create Bharat or Hindustan or whatever else. Some of us may think that will be a Ram Rajya. But it is necessary to notice what the party is doing to the Dalits who are Hindus. Today the Dalits, tomorrow the remaining weaker sections. The ultimate motive seems to be not the creation of a Hindu Rashtra but a plutocracy. The way wealthy traders and so-called entrepreneurs are given concessions of all sorts is just one proof.
When the Yuva Morcha leader in Kerala was arrested with printing machines and fake currency notes, a reader of a prominent newspaper commented facetiously that it was an example of “Modi ji’s Make in India in actual practice.” It will be good if BJP can remember that not all people are fools. And that we still have a democratic system in the country. Unless Mr Modi and his team succeed in jettisoning the system altogether (which is highly possible), the people will use their power in the election, soon enough if not in 2019. But a question that arises in my present Cassandra-like mind is whether there will be enough people left in the country by then.
In George Orwell’s acclaimed Animal Farm, the revolution brought about a utopia, the kind that BJP promised in its election manifesto. But soon enough, the utopia metamorphosed into a dystopia. Like what India is today.
History shows us that most revolutions ended up with creating dystopias: Russia after Russian Revolution, as Orwell’s Animal Farm showed and France after French Revolution are two well-known examples. A surreptitious revolution is going on in India. It has already created a dystopia which, like in the Orwellian Farm, has modified a national ideal: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal.