New Delhi : India | Aug 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM PDT
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Till the other day he was a politician, an astute politician. Not a mere politician but a seasoned politician who was not only holding a sensitive portfolio in the government of the day, but also handling a number of sensitive issues other than his portfolio. He was the one and only trouble-shooter in the govt who was entrusted with tackling them all amicably.

After serving four and a half decades in the Grand Old Party of India - Indian National Congress – holding and handling responsibilities, on a fine morning he found himself catapulted to the post of Indian President – free from all political entanglements in the sunset of his life. As the titular head of the nation he is bound to toe an entirely different line, an independent line which is satisfactory, both to the Treasury benches as well as the Opposition.

Unfortunately it seems the political hangover of yesterday has still not left him, on going by his 66th Independence day eve message to the nation broadcast live from the august office he holds unravels before us.

He agrees that the pandemic of endemic corruption has eaten into the vitals of our democracy, unfortunately he is not at all that happy when a government of which he was a part and parcel till the other day, is squarely blamed by a few persons who mobilize the citizens to take up cudgels against the govt which according to him is likely to affect badly the very fabric of democracy upon which India still forges ahead. It is true that he took extreme care to desist from directly pointing his finger at the leaders involved in leading the people fighting against corruption by non-violent means and from the way he delivered his message we can reach the conclusion that they are Team Anna Hazaare and Yoga Guru Ramdev.

He should have come to grips with the tragic fact that when the govt of the day of which he was a part turns a blind eye and deaf ears towards the hue and cry made by the people, it is natural that the crusaders against the evils of corruption and black money stashed abroad in various banks, out of anger and frustration intensify their protests. As the President of India, now that he is free from all political obligations he could have prevailed upon those at the helm of govt to take necessary steps to stamp out the evil of corruption, if not overnight, at least gradually and to bring back the black money which is a huge sum, 25 lakh crores of black money reportedly stashed abroad which if brought back at a critical juncture like this could wipe out the tears of India’s poverty-stricken millions and bring about overall changes across the nation.

Even after repeated demands and demonstrations, it is quite baffling that our govt is doing virtually nothing to find a solution while other nations like USA and a few European countries had succeeded in repatriation of money stashed abroad. Even while he was holding finance portfolio, a white paper was prepared and released which according to an opposition MP was a mere paper.

It is another truth that while the Opposition was in the Treasury benches more than once they too didn’t take any steps to wipe out the evil of corruption as also bringing back the black money.

We are all willing to agree with our Honourable President, the need for existence of a strong judiciary and a healthy legislature. But we, with all humility can’t agree with his remark that the ongoing fight against corruption by citizens is likely to result in chaos which depends upon the attitude of the govt.

It is imperative that govt should take the initiative to bring all parties including the civil activists in order to find a permanent solution for the malady which has seriously affected our country, if not soon at least in the long run, around a negotiation table and chalk out a programme of action.

It is quite absurd and meaningless to suggest that we have to wait for the coming elections to register our protests or support through ballot boxes. Why can’t the govt of the day take actions at the earliest before the situation reaches a point of no return. The menace of corruption is spreading fast eroding the credibility of our democratic credentials.

krsurendran is based in Kochi, Kerala, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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