INDIA: Why insult the nation Dr. Manmohan Singh? 

The Prime Minister, who yesterday said that “[m]indless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism that is sought to be created over the issue of corruption can do us no good”, has attacked and insulted the collective aspiration of the nation that longs for the government to setup an effective machinery to end all forms of corruption in India.

For the record, the term ‘pessimism’ is a state of mind in which one anticipates undesirable outcomes or believes that the evil or hardship in life outweighs the good or luxury. ‘Negativity effect’ is the tendency of people, when evaluating the causes of the behaviour of a person they dislike, to attribute their positive behaviours to the environment and their negative behaviours to the person’s inherent nature. Given this, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to call upon the Prime Minister of India to explain, what is optimistic and positive in corruption?

Every Indian, Mr. Prime Minister, who wants to hold his or her head high with pride, has to look down with shame today, since India, undoubtedly, is a corrupt nation. Corruption, in the entire gamut of actions that the word implies, manifests in all forms of governance. It is the overwhelming driving force of the manifold policies formulated by governments of all colours in India. It oozes out of what is believed to be the seat of democracy – the parliament, as it does out of the state legislative assemblies. It is the bureaucracy. It covers the judiciary, the religious sects, the non-governmental bodies run by the influential, and the list is endless.

Corruption affects everyone, Mr. Prime Minister, irrespective of linguistic, racial, caste, and gender prejudices. It fuels anger among the public against their government. The protest that the country witnessed in the name and style “India Against Corruption” was the attempt to capitalise upon this anger, which also has lost its bearing. Yet, what the nation witnessed was the discharge of the pent-up anger of the people and their collective wisdom that has started openly refusing the unacceptable status quo.

The AHRC believes that terming this, pessimism and as negativity, is nothing less than insulting the collective intellect of the people. It is disrespect to the principle of democracy and is plain and simple dishonesty played upon the soul of the nation.

It is only a corrupt and mindless political leader, Mr. Prime Minister, who could say that speaking against corruption will “damage the nation’s image and hit the morale of the executive.” In fact, neither can an executive that has an iota of morale be corrupt, nor can a political party, having morals, defend corruption. The single largest impediment in dealing with corruption in India is the executive.

Protecting such a corrupt executive, Mr. Prime Minister, and the state policies that nurture corruption, is what has resulted in scandalous coalmine allocations; in the 2G scam; and in the miserable image the country reiterated in front of the whole world during the Commonwealth Games. Much more of national wealth is lost to corruption daily in the country. The Rupees 10, 50, and 100, that a police constable collects in broad daylight for petty traffic offenses to the crores of Rupees that ministers, bureaucrats and judges demand and accept for illegal favours is nothing but open and wanton corruption. It is this corruption that shamelessly keeps India locked with miserable life indices worse than countries like Somalia.

The rule of law and democracy cannot exist in a nation where corruption is rife. Concepts like consultative process, fair trial and human rights have no place in a marketplace that India today has become. India compares better only with failed states. Mr. Prime Minister, Indians disserve more, for their forefathers did not fight colonialism for what India is today. A better India is much more than a politician’s rhetoric on 14 August and 26 January. It must be a reality, not a dream anymore, since generations have perished without realising that dream. How many more should perish, dreaming of a better place to call home, Mr. Prime Minister?

Most who suffer from acute malnutrition and hunger are men, women, and children, though not in that order, belonging to the tribal communities of the country, from under whose bare feet resources are being stolen in collusion with the Government of India, shows us that what is being committed is a crime against humanity. It is this corruption that murders citizens every day in the country, leaving them to scratch out a living or to die from acute malnutrition. It is this very corruption that is yet to have an effective legal and preventive framework in the country.

Mr. Prime Minister, you could recall that not so long ago you said that child death from malnutrition is a national shame. Now you are lamenting that the executive will be demoralised should anyone complain against corruption? It implies that you did not mean anything when you wept for the country’s children then. Does it also mean that you do not mean anything when you spoke your mind yesterday? 70 years teaches many things to a person; to a child in India it teaches today to live and grow in corruption.

The AHRC is aware that the Cabinet you lead is the exemplar, not exception, to a monstrosity that must shamelessly defend corruption. So is the case with the political opposition.

Mr. L. K. Advani, yesterday, speaking at the United Nations’ General Assembly has said that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MNREGA) has considerably reduced poverty and malnutrition in India. Mr. Advani was nothing but blatantly lying, since the fact on the ground is contrary to what Advani stated in the UN. He himself has said in the past that the MNREGA in India is a failure due to corruption. It is for Mr. Advani to define in which of his statements he himself believes.

False national pride is a shame. It has prevented even the civil society of India from speaking against serious crimes committed in India. Advani was demonstrating this skill at the UN yesterday.

Mr. Prime Minister, you and your government have offended the country. It is, however, not expected from you or your government an apology to the people, or from the political opposition to demand an apology or explanation from your government.

Irrespective of what you claim or lament, you may wish to know that the people of India will not remain silent. They are neither dishonest, nor have they lost their honour.

For information and comments contact: 
In Hong Kong: Bijo Francis, Telephone: +852 – 26986339, Email:
Picture courtesy: Government of India, Prime Minister’s Office