Panama is Calling

That Narendra Modi's posture of 'zero tolerance' towards corruption was a big hoax became apparent after his failure, or rather unwillingness. to keep the promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad to India and distributing it among the countrymen. The point has become clearer, perhaps as clear as daylight after the disclosure of the names of some prominent persons in what has beeen known as the Panama Papers. The foremost among the mentioned names are Amitabh Bachchan, Modi's brand ambassador for the GST, and Vinod Adani, brother of the Modi-loyalist industrialist Guatam Adani, who is now in possession of astronomical amounts of bank loans—nobody knows when, if at all, these loans will be recovered. Other prominent names are the well-known actor Ajay Devgan and actress Aishrya Rai, Abhishek Singh, son of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh etc. The Panama Papers have led to the verdict of the Pakistan Supreme Court declaring Nawaj Sharif unworthy of Premiership, and to his resignation. It is worth mentioning that the Supreme Court of India, in April this year, had asked the Centre to consider setting up a Special Investigation Team to proble into the matter, but the latter is yet to respond. It is interesting to see how leader-writers like Swapan Dasgupta, who has recently referred to the 'resounding victory of the BJP' in UP (resounding indeed, despite getting less than 40% of the votes), react to the revelations and to Narendra Modi's unwillingness to bring the culprits to book. The opposition, notwithstanding its fragmented nature, may try to exploit the situation, but Narendra Modi is clear and firm in this respect. He will try to protect the swindlers with all the resources at his disposal.

Another interesting and farcical development is the announcement of Dinanath Batra, the chief of he RSS-sponsored NAS, that Rabindranath Tagore's writings would be dropped from school text books, and the mendacity of the RSS and BJP leaders of West Bengal in denying that no such announcement had been made. Whether Tagore was more of an internationalist than a nationalist is a matter of discussion and debate, although this commentator thinks that he was a better nationalist, at least in thought than many 'nationalist' leaders of his time. But it is certain that his nationalism does not tally with the neo-Hindu nationalism of the Nazi type; one should not forget that the early RSS ideologues were champions of the Nazi nationalism and at the same time virtual lackeys of British rule, trying to exhort Hindus not to fight the British but instead to fight Muslims, Christians and Communists. That is why it is hard for them to digest Tagore and it is compelling for them to discourage reading Tagore.

Now they have combined the Goebblesian habit of incessant lying with their Hindu zingoism, which is in essence Brahminism. Trying to reject Tagore is a bit difficult, because it is not possible for obscurantists like Dinanath Batra and other activists of the Sangh Parivar to obliterate his name from the history of Indian literature, culture and social thought, because it is firmly established that he is the greatest literary figure India has produced so far, whatever the ideas of the Sangh Parivar. The Panama Papers should make any well-meaning person aware of the thoroughly corrupt nature of he Modi government. What is required is nationwide campaign against him and the Sangh Privar, who are bent on destroying all that Indians have achieved in respect of arts, literature, scientific knowledge and any other branch of learning, besides intensifying the attacks on dalits and religious minorities in the name of nationalism, aggravating the simmering tensions with neighbouring countries and looting national wealth and public money in the name of development. This is the essence of the corporate-Hindutva alliance that is now stalking the country.

The problem is that the records of| the dominant parliamentary opposition at least in regard to corruption are not at all unimpeachable. The educated public opinion is largely inarticulate and the professed champions of dalits are more often than not inclined for power and privilege, and quarrel among themselves.

Vol. 50, No.6, Aug 13 - 19, 2017