SN Prasad Writes a Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,

I am a retired teacher-educator and academician with varied interests as reflected in the writings in my blog. Apart from a variety of academic topics I also write totally harmless travelogues that may indirectly promote tourism within the country.  I have never had any political leanings and the only piece in my blog that has any political undertone is the short paragraph in appreciation of Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption that appeared last year in my article.  I consider it important enough to reproduce here:

Anna Hazare’s ongoing crusade against the cancer of corruption in India has reverberated throughout the country and abroad.  His campaign to push the Lokpal bill through a prevaricating and insensitive Indian parliament is being described as the harbinger of the second independence for the country, after Gandhi had fought ceaselessly to secure the first one in 1947.  If a strong Lokpal law comes through and delivers on even a small fraction of the expectations of Anna and his team, the citizens of India can justifiable claim victory in the first battle of what can only be a long drawn out civil war against corruption, a battle that has barely begun”.

It is extremely sad to note that the ‘first battle’ is still to begin and someone of your stature in the country, and indeed the whole world, has failed to deliver on the solemn promises made to its citizens on an issue that is of the greatest concern to the vast majority of them.  Surely, you could have used your clout with the ruling party to push the Lokpal bill through with the same degree of concern and boldness that you have shown on various economic and political issues. I hope you will still act on your commitment and enhance your richly earned stature by ensuring the passage of a strong and acceptable Lokpal bill and its enactment before you demit office, whenever this may be and for whatever reason.  I don’t think we can expect this from any of your successors, from your or any other party.  You will be doing a great disservice to the country if you don’t deliver.

A second issue that is deeply disturbing to intellectuals and common people alike in the country is the brazenness with which the fundamental rights of citizens is being trampled upon in some states for actions and views of the most harmless kind, even in totalitarian countries, let alone in a ‘vibrant’ democracy like ours.

It was such a horrible feeling to watch two innocent young girls on television, with their faces concealed, after undergoing a terrifying ordeal all because they chose to express a view disagreeable to someone influential.  In some ways it was a throwback to the days of Hitler’s Germany where his SS was indulging in acts now being duplicated by another SS, in another country, in another era.

I wonder if this is the ‘freedom’ Gandhi and Nehru fought for! Would they ever have tolerated it?

Mr. Prime Minister, it is time that you use your high office to see such things do not happen in India.

With best regards,

SN Prasad

Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]

Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.