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Monday, December 22, 2008

Open letter thats giving Congress sleepless nights

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Here is an open letter sent to "selected" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh via www.LiveMint.com (owned by HT Media in partnership with the Wall Street Journal) which is giving Congress and its sycophants sleepless nights. It was authored by someone by the pen name, or a literary pseudonym Athreya, which the author of the aforesaid article requested. As per Mint he is an IAS officer.

The column's title caption says,
The government has lost all credibility with the people, and the buck stops with Manmohan Singh
The author then goes on to speak his mind out,
Mr Prime Minister, you were selected, not elected by the people, for just one reason, that you posed no threat to anyone in the Congress party. You were not selected for your excellent PhD or for your integrity; not even for your competence as a civil servant. You were considered the least of all evils. Yet, the educated middle class, including I, celebrated your appointment for we all respected your integrity, credibility and competence, and thought you would bring these to bear on your new job.

Today, after four years in office and after India has witnessed an act of war on its own soil, your government has lost all credibility with the people, and the buck stops with you. You are scared to even name Pakistan in your speeches in spite of the so-called irrefutable evidence you claim to have; nay, in fact, each time you say something publicly about this now, it sounds like a condolence message, not something that inspires confidence. Economic reforms stopped long ago, for your allies didn’t want them; there are many ministers in your cabinet who have perfected Wal-Mart’s cash-and-carry model and you can’t do a damn about it. You have failed on all counts as a leader. So, at least now, when India is under attack on its own soil, please act. And if you can’t act, please get out of the way and allow someone more effective to run the country.

In any district, where there is any act of violence, normally the district magistrate and the superintendent of police get shifted out. As PM, can you not sack or transfer your national security adviser, the Intelligence Bureau chief, the Coast Guard director general, the navy chief—can you or can you not get rid of your entire top brass and send a signal down the line? The signal you are now sending with your inaction is: don’t bother doing your job, for even if the country gets attacked, we won’t touch you.

You have personally demonstrated integrity, but what use is that alone, when almost every key minister in your cabinet is treating every file as an opportunity for cash flows? Are you telling us you don’t know that your telecom, environment and shipping ministries are the home of organized mafias looting the exchequer? What use is it telling us, “Look, I am personally honest, but I’m presiding over a band of dacoits, murderers and thugs. I am only the prime minister and can’t do anything about it”?

There is allot more after the above, but as I respect their copyright, so please go to the actual article at An open letter to the PM.

Apparently this pseudonymous protest by an "appointed" civil servant against another "selected" civil servant has started a feud between Chidambaram and Ananth Kumar of the BJP and henceforth between Chidambaram and Mint. Chidambaram practically called both Ananth Kumar and Mint a liar on the floor of the Parliament.

Ananth Kumar's speech in the Parliament:

P Chidambaram's speech in the Parliament:

Mint's response to Chidambaram's accusations,
In a Lok Sabha discussion on India’s economic slowdown on 18 December, Ananth Kumar, a four-term member of Lok Sabha representing India’s main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), from the Bangalore South constituency, quoted a Mint Views page article, titled An open letter to the PM, which ran on our editorial pages on 10 December.

In his parliamentary response to Kumar’s statements, P. Chidambaram, the former Indian finance minister and now minister of home affairs, had this to say about the article published in Mint:

“He (Kumar) cited an article allegedly written by an IAS officer. I have read the article. I do not know whether the name of that author given in that article is a true name or a pseudo name. I do not know whether he is an IAS officer. All I know is either he is a disloyal officer or a coward or both. If he had the courage, he should write the letter, sign in his own name and send it to the Prime Minister. But I hope they (BJP) do not encourage such officers; they did not encourage them when they were in power. So what is the point of citing a pseudonymous or anonymous author’s article taking shelter under it and running away when the reply is to be delivered?”

(Source: Parliament’s official reporters’ draft transcript)

Since, on the floor of India’s Parliament, Chidambaram has raised questions about an article published in Mint and since his comments will remain a matter of public record forever, we would like to clarify some facts for our readers as well as the minister.

Mint does not lie to its readers or knowingly mislead them. Period.
Please read An open clarification about an ‘open letter’ for more.

It is clear again that Congress like a spoiled brat can't take any criticism. But it's not their fault. Jawaharlal Nehru had sowed such seeds, so his dynasty will of course follow his path of doom.
Here, Mint would like to remind Chidambaram of the long tradition of anonymous articles, starting with this particular example.

In November 1937, the Modern Review, then India’s most well-regarded journal of opinion, published an article on Jawaharlal Nehru written by Chanakya, an obvious pseudonym. The author hit out at Nehru’s latent dictatorial tendencies and his “intolerance for others and a certain contempt for the weak and inefficient”. Its author warned: “Jawaharlal might fancy himself as a Caesar.” There were howls of protest from loyalists until it was revealed much later that Nehru himself was the author of this piece.

Mint, for one, believes being critical about India isn’t the same as being negative, as the government would like us to believe, and the only way our nation would progress is if there is honest debate about issues confronting all of us.

So what we would have hoped for is that, if the Indian government wanted to engage the nation on the basis of issues, including those raised in the open letter, it would have responded to the issues and not diverted attention to the act of writing the article. But that too is the prerogative of the Prime Minister’s Office.

1 comment:

R.Sajan said...

The person that sits over the juiciest portfolio of them all -the Defence minstry - is incorruptible. Albeit a Christian that does not approve of the clergy, rare gems like him give us hope.