Things have changed overnight, with the High Court dismissing the petition by Congress questioning the summons by a lower court. Taken aback, Gandhi family and their party that was really a propaganda machinery (as described by Mahatma Gandhi) have created ruckus in the Parliament – and by the end of the week, nobody talks about the GST bill – the only exception being Chidambaram quoting that these two issues i.e., the case of National Herald and passing the GST bill – have no connection.
Had Congress extracted something from the Government in two or three days in terms of making Subramanian Swamy to take his case back, probably things might have been different and the bill could’ve become an act by now. However, Congress had gauged the situation from only the sycophant’s perspective.
It is general opinion that earlier Congress leaders were politically excellent to take very good decisions and the current generation is not so good – to put it mildly. Though this point is correct to some extent, yet a debatable one. But, the fact is it has no relevance to the problems of Congress. The fact is current set of cronies that advise the leadership are really bad in comparison with those legendary advisors that Gandhi family had in seventies and eighties. There are no Dhawan or PVNR like thinkers in the current set-up. The last thinker they had was Pranab Mukherjee, and Congress took pains to prevent him from becoming a contender for the post of Prime Minister, by making him the President.
Now, the Gandhi family is in a fix – they cannot go back and let the parliament function. It means the GST bill, along with a host of others will be in the files of bureaucrats only.
The question is whether India Inc. should ask Subramanian Swamy to take back his PIL and let the GST pass, or at the cost of GST that may be in the good interests of the economy, that was in not so good shape recently.
In a country, where parents have to be reminded by the Government to vaccinate their offspring, individual responsibility itself is rare, so talks of any collective responsibility is a wish, if not a dream.
However deprived the society is, there comes a situation when it is presented with such challenges that define the course of action. Four decades ago, there was one High Court ruling that caused the then Prime Minister to declare Emergency, which finally ended bringing together all Indians against the Government. Then there was another ruling by Supreme Court in Shah Bano case, that was overturned by the then Government. To please the other section, Rajiv allowed Shila Nyas by opening the gates that were closed four decades earlier. And, in a way, this has changed the way majority and minority politics functioning ever since.
It may be noted, in both cases Governments have taken a stand against the Court’s ruling only to make matter worsen. In the current context, we need economic reforms – and as I am not an authority on its importance, if something is advocated by both Jaitley, Chidambaram – it must be a genuine need for the nation.
Now, at what cost?
The fundamental principle of our Justice system says, no innocent shall be punished, come what may, even if culprits walk free. And so, many a culprits walk free on the roads of India.
To put it simply – it is a question of choosing between values and comforts. The nation that proudly declares that theory of Karma has originated in this land had become so depraved that we shun values for the sake of reforms? What example we should be setting for the next generations to follow. I am not proclaiming verdict in the current case. That is for the court to decide and from the way Salman Khan was released, Congress leaders should be confident of securing a victory for their leaders.
There is the other way of coming under pressure from the business houses that vociferously advocate for the tax reforms and forcing Subramanian Swamy to withdraw his case and get these bills passed. Of course, Subramanian Swamy would never do it, for he is almost an independent entity even in BJP itself. But, consider such a thing happened – hypothetically, we get to pay less for all those we buy, from washing machines to liquor and the High Court Judge who gave current ruling will go to grave with a heavy heart. The advantage of tax reforms will have an impact for a maximum of three years. But, the repercussions felt in the judiciary – and in the minds of young people would be etched for a life time.
Whatever the drama unfold on television, streets and in the Parliament and Court; one thing is certain – India is again at crossroads moment. Let’s see what we choose – values or comforts.
By Kannan at his blogs at indiaopines
The author blogs at