Millennium Post

End of Babudom?

 While Narendra Modi is known as a computer freak, he has been propagating the use of computers in the daily work in the offices too. But his babus and ministers are not very keen on that. Twitter and Facebook have become fashion statements but not emails. Babus do not accept mails as means of communication. Their mailboxes reject any message sent by email. The staff in the ministries insists on faxes with a comment that they prefer fax. They don’t care two hoots that the Prime minister’s choice is computer. The question being asked is at this rate, how can Modi turn Indian bureaucracy tech savvy?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has found a tutor for himself in the President of India Pranab Mukherjee. Unlike his predecessor Manmohan Singh who always had an uneasy relationship with Mukherjee, Modi in a short span of just thirty days has developed a warm relationship with the president. Modi is said to be extremely impressed with Mukherjee because of his neutral assessments and his photographic memory, which he uses to dish out information and anecdotes. Modi has made it a routine of calling on the president every Wednesday and Thursdays after the cabinet meetings. The president is also impressed by Modi’s enthusiasm.

The Congress is these days engrossed in a debate on the meaning of secularism and Muslim appeasement and how it is different from the RSS and BJP. This debate has been triggered after the party’s senior leader and the conscience-keeper A K Antony in Thiruvananthapuram said that a perception gaining ground within a section of the party happens to be that the meaning of secularism is not the same as before. It has become a pro-minority party of Muslim appeasement.
This perception needs to be corrected. Though the party said that Antony made this statement in the Kerala context but unofficially most people in the party agree with him and feel the need for a debate in the party. The feeling in the party is that it is this perception in the majority community that led to a Hindu consolidation in the 2014 election resulting in the decimation of the Congress and giving a majority to the BJP. The rightist and pro Hindu upper caste faction comprising people like Janardhan Dwivedi, Motilal Vora, and C P Joshi have been saying it all through what has come from Antony just recently.
The fact that the BJP leader L K Advani endorsed it shows that there is a section who believes in a similar ideology as the RSS. It is for this reason that RSS has been supporting the Congress from time to time, whether it was after the Bangladesh war or the Sikh riots in 1984.
Congress has always had such hardcore Hindu leaders like Madan Mohan Malviya, Purshottam Das Tandon or Rajendra Prasad Tilak but it was always negated by the socialist impact of Nehru.
Not long ago Pranab Mukherjee and Shivraj Patil gave their nod to install the statue of Savarkar raising eyebrows within the secular party. Mukherjee and Patil are both considered pro upper caste and pro Hindu.
But questions are being asked that what is the meaning of Congress secularism. Does it mean just
Muslim appeasement by giving them quota or it means equal opportunities for both the communities. Janardhan Dwivedi has openly opposed the quota on
religious or caste basis. He has sad that the party should give reservations on economic basis.

The AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry, in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, is under attack from all sections of the Congress. The demand for his removal from the post of AICC general secretary is on the rise by the day. There are allegations that he is one the top most leaders who has been responsible for the party’s worst ever performance. It has been alleged that Mistry being a Gujarati with an RSS background has no understanding of the Congress ideology nor does he understand the nuances of the caste system of Uttar Pradesh of which he was in-charge. The manner in which he gave tickets to people and ran the UP unit is also under attack. On Tuesday, when the UP leaders came to meet the Antony committee to disclose the reasons of the Congress defeat, almost every one of them blamed Madhusudan. They also said that after he went off to fight Modi in Baroda he should have been replaced. They also blamed the UPCC chief Nirmal Khatri who was defunct throughout and had no contact with the Congress candidates. Rahul was also blamed. Earlier, when it was the turn of Gujarat leaders to meet A K Antony they did not allow Mistry to speak. He was heckled and they all wanted him out of the Congress. Most of the Gujarat Congress alleges that he is an RSS plant. He came with Shankar Singh Vaghela and would again go back to BJP if he is stripped off his posts.

Jairam Ramesh is not the only suspect in the Congress seen to be soft on the BJP and its ministers. There are two more ex ministers who are extremely soft on the BJP. Topping the list is Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor is highly influenced by Modi. He, at a Congress press briefing, embarrassed the party by praising Modi. Tharoor has also been heard praising Smriti Irani.  P Chidambaram has been equally soft on Modi and at a party briefing he endorsed the hard measures taken by Modi. Jairam too has been seeking appointments from the Prime Minister Modi and his ministers. Congress leaders are keeping their fingers crossed. The party headquarters is abuzz with questions whether these ministers are looking for fresh pastures.
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