Pranab Mukherjee should voluntarily vacate the President’s chair

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Mr. Narendra Modi has taken over as the 15th Prime Minister of India on May 26 after President Pranab Mukherjee administered oath of office and secrecy on him and his colleagues in the Council of Ministers. He is now to start seriously with his avowed scheme of “minimum government, maximum governance”, so that the jargon could be practically understood.

People have not given him the mandate considering him as a paragon of virtues. They have just avenged the most irresponsible administration, which Manmohan Singh had subjected them to. And, in absence of any other national alternative, people have preferred Modi and his party.

So, notwithstanding what he means by “minimum government, maximum governance”, Modi is to take steps to save the country from many a mischief of Manmohan Singh for which the people of India have changed the government.
The new government shall have to review the decisions taken during Singh’s decade long administration that were designed against India and are continuing to threaten our present and future generations. As for example, the nuclear deal with USA.

The deal was designed not to serve India’s interests, but basically to give “bonanza “ to US firms” (Reuters, August 25, 2007).

Even as M. V. Ramana, a physicist and nuclear affairs analyst attached to the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development in Bangalore, maintained that the “ethnic Indian-American and U.S. business lobbies prevailed” in materializing the nuke deal, to Ron Somers, President as he then was of Indo-US Business Council, it laid “the foundation for major trade and investment opportunities in India for U.S. companies” (Inter Press Service, November 20, 2006)

Senator Joe Lieberman, known for his role in policy making and proximity to President Bush, was sure that the deal will get support of both the Houses of USA Congress because “it is so clearly in the interests of the United States” (Reuters, on August 12, 2007).

Convinced that the deal will only benefit USA, and hence, fearing that a future government of India may nullify it in Indian interest, the US Senate, while approving the ‘Henry J. Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006’ on 9 December 2006 had laid down that the “Indian Parliament must agree to the text” of the said Act, so that the deal shall have legitimate interminable life (‘Insight Briefing’: World Nuclear News, 12 January 2007).

But without placing the “text” of the Hyde Act in the Parliament, rather keeping the Parliament in total dark about the said Act lest the Parliament disapproves its “text”, Manmohan Singh had told the Press during an informal chat during the swearing in ceremony of Vice-President Hamid Ansari that, the deal had become final and “non-negotiable” as it was already “signed” and “sealed” (ANI,11 August 2007).

Pranab Mukherjee was the most active and relevant partner of Singh in this crime against India.

Despite it becoming an international deal because of such treachery of Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee, it is terminable, because of the fact that the “text” of the Hyde Act was not discussed and approved by Indian Parliament, before it was, as per Singh, “signed“ and “sealed”.

This deal has created the necessary environment to destroy India’s nuke independence that our scientists had developed with our own Thorium mother Nature has given us in abundance. The deal Manmohan Singh signed is not a trade deal; it is a “cooperation” deal and legitimatizes transfer of Thorium and the method of nuclear fuel cycle that our scientists had developed with our own Thorium to overcome the USA-led nuke boycott we were facing.

In fact, after the deal, within a period of six years, Thorium worth Rs.60 lakh-crores has been plundered (Times Now, 4 September 2013).

If Modi is really serious about giving a good governance, this mischief is to be exterminated and the deal signed by Manmohan Singh is to be scrapped and the former Prime Minister is to be subjected to criminal prosecution for the foul play he played against India at the behest of USA. But in this matter, the most discernible ally of the former PM was Pranab Mukherjee. The nation should be helped to ascertain his responsibility.

The UPA-II government was noted for mega scams involving thousands of lakhs of crores of rupees and for having reduced the country to a safe place for economic crimes. From Rs.1,76,000 crore 2G spectrum scam to ISRO – Devas S-Band transponders scam that caused, till location, a loss of Rs.2,00,000 crores to the exchequer; from Tatra to Chopper scams involving about Rs.825 crores in the area of defense deal; from Coal scam to the tune of Rs. 1, 86,000 crores to loss of Rs.20,000 crores to exchequer in Sarada group chit fund scam and Rs.11,000 crores in Vodafone tax offense, Manmohan Singh government’s footprints also bear the stamps of Pranab Mukherjee as his closest ally.

Prime Minister Modi has addressed his cabinet to issue of black money, in its first meeting. And, soon, if he is sincere in his mission of the yet undefined “maximum governance”, action will begin against the perpetrators of the scams, samples aforesaid.

This may be very embarrassing to Mr. Mukherjee.

Be it so or not, to ensure that the inquiries into and actions against the scams are free of possible higher influence, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee should voluntarily vacate the President’s chair and help the people’s mandate matter.

President Mukherjee could make his son a Member of Parliament, but has he given him this upbringing?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Abhijit Mukherjee is in the Parliament of India because his father Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, a faithful backer of late Indira Gandhi’s family, was rewarded with the post of the President.

Before becoming the President Mr. Mukherjee was known for his astute tackling of intricate issues that was afflicting the government he was serving as a minister time and again, as people of India, like as on today, were perishing under price rise of essential commodities, rise in volume of wretchedness, rise in starvation deaths, rise in distress sale of agricultural products, rise in massiveness of unemployment, rise in black money, rise in number of coffers in foreign banks, rise in corruption, rise in frustration amongst the people in the grassroots that Manmohan Singh’s pro-American policies were generating. Some of his activities were also very pleasing to US of America. So, there was no better person than him available to the ruling Congress and its supporters for replacing Ms. Pratibha Patil with.

It is therefore more shocking that this astute politician’s son has not learned how not to offend the women any further when political economy of rape has strengthened the offenders so much that even the Prime Minister had to take long eight days to open his mouth in the matter of the moving bus gang rape in South Delhi that has, since December 16, kept the country down headed.

Perhaps the President had not found enough time to give his son a good upbringing.

If It is Really His Site, Pranab Mukherjee Should Certainly be Censored

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A shocked friend sent me a link obtained from facebook that led me to a page carrying a link to Pranab Mukherjee’s personal website.

The above picture is the picture of that page obtained through screen shot.

As I clicked on the link there and the site opened, I was so shocked that I could not believe my eyes and ears for what hit me. I suspected the facebook link. Then I made a google search for Mukherjee’s personal website. I found the same link also in the google search page. The picture below is the picture of the google search page obtained through screen shot.

The so-called Congress high command, in the past, had planted some of its loyal factotums as President of India taking advantage of the constitutional provisions that the President would not be elected directly by the people.

But no sycophant of the Congress high command, preceding Pranab in the President post, had, after becoming the President, ever shown the audacity of calling upon the countrymen to proceed hand-in-hand with the Congress Party. Pranab is doing this. The background song of his personal website gives this call. Click here to see the site and to hear the song.

If the google search result is correct, if the link to his site in the facebook is not incorrect, if the site is really his site, Pranab Mukherjee deserves to be censored in the strongest term one can use. No Indian, worth the epithet, can digest such destruction of the dignity of India’s President.

Mukherjee must ensure that the song of his mad loyalty to the Congress Party, in use as the background song of his personal site, is instantly deleted; because he has, howsoever unfortunate for India is his election to the august office, become the President.

HINDUSTAN TIMES HAS BECOME A SANCTUARY OF SCOUNDRELS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Clarification” of Hindustan Times on the obnoxious “opinion piece” it had published on 24th July under the caption “Oof! Rashtropoti Bhobon!”, makes one suspect that it has become a sanctuary of scoundrels.

If not, it would have apologized directly to the people of Orissa against whom it had published that piece of dirty diatribe; it would have removed the filthy piece from the web by inserting there the reason thereof; it would have removed Hazra from its employment and handed him over to the police for the offensive use of its space in anti-national propaganda hyped with words like “Bengalis can finally forgive Indians”, because Pranab has become the President.

The Hindustan Times has not taken any such step. Rather by way of clarification, it has confirmed that it supports whatever Hazra has vomited.

The paper’s support to Hazra prompts me to ask: What is there in Pranab’s election as President which makes the howling Hazra feel that “Bengalis can finally forgive the Indians”? Is there anything noteworthy in his election, when in the political chaos that the country has been pushed into, any dog planted by the widow of Rajiv Gandhi could have become the President?

Criminal vitriol against the Oriyas, sic passim in Hazra’s article, has been authenticated by Hindustan Times, not only by its publication, but also by projection of the author under its own e-address given at the end of the nasty piece. Therefore, we reject its explanation that the article is a piece of “individual opinion of the author”.

Sham has so engulfed the HT that it has not felt ashamed of describing Hazra’s vomit as “an attempt to contribute to the debate regarding the recent Presidential election in India”. Is there a single line in the article of Hazra that raises a debate on Presidential election? Is there any ingredient of debate on Presidential election in what he has said? Which portion of the article of Hazra is a contribution to the debate on presidential election that the HT speaks of? Will the clarifier show us the same?

In its clarification, HT has asserted that, “Neither the publication nor the author had any intention to violate or hurt the feelings of, or to express any disrespect towards, any section of society”. Were these words juxtaposed with what Hazra has written to arrive at this conclusion? Let us see what Hazra has written in the nonsensical piece. It begins with these words:

“No one’s really noticed, but the Oriyas are really upset. Again. There was a chance that one of their own would finally become the president of India this time round. But no one from Orissa even made the grade as any political party’s presidential candidate. To add insult to injury, the 13th President is a Bengali and the outbreak of celebrations in the state next door has been keeping neighbours in Orissa awake at night”.

Are not these words willfully coined with the “intention to violate or hurt the feelings of, or to express disrespect towards” the Oriyas?

How could the HT claim that there was no “intention to violate or hurt the feelings of, or to express any disrespect towards, any section of society”? Is it now infested with fellows, who failed to understand the words they use?

And, how does the HT interpret the streamer: “With Pranab becoming president tomorrow, Bengalis can finally forgive Indians”?

Whose language is this? Hazra’s? Or of the editor-in-chief? Who has created this streamer?

Bengalis are who to forgive the Indians?

The old paper has certainly metamorphosed to a sanctuary of scoundrels, as otherwise its editorial page could not have thus become a junkyard of a particular Bengali’s braggadocios. I repeat, a particular Bengali, because most of the critics of Hazra’s article are Bengalis, who have castigated him for what he has written.

This is Just for Hazra and his likes
who need to know the Oriyas

It seems, the howling Hazra and his likes in Hindustan Times and elsewhere, if any, are in dire deficiency in knowledge on Orissa and her people.

Because Hazra has ventured his vitriol against Oriyas in the context of his imagined victory of Bengalis in presidential election, I would like to cite only a few pages from recorded history to help them know what the Oriyas are vis-a-vis the Bengalis, without any prejudice against the Bengalis as such, amongst whom I have many close relations and dearest of dear friends and of whom I am personally an admirer and to me, who are persons of magnificent culture, brotherhood, magnanimity and humanitarianism.

So, for only the Hazras and HTs, let us now enter into a few pages of history.

The first independence struggle against the British

When Bengalis were priding in becoming the servants of the British, it is the Oriyas that had raised the first battle in whole of India in 1817 to expel the British from their soil. In the book – A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF ORISSA , the British historian G. Toynbee has narrated,

“It was not long, however, before we had to encounter a storm which burst with so sudden fury as to threaten our expulsion, if not from the whole of Orissa, at least from the territory of Khurda”.

Mother of non-co-operation movement

Begun with the 1804 war against the British, the battle of 1817 was a unique movement inasmuch as it not only had forced the British to bend its head, but also had given birth to the first non-co-operation movement in India at Khurda, which, after a hundred years, Gandhiji had adopted and used in our struggle for freedom.

The Khurda non-co-operation movement was of such impact that in his report to Commissioner Robert Ker dated the 9th September 1818, Joint Magistrate of Khurda W. Forrester had informed that, it had “completely put a stop to the collection of revenue” and “the nature of the country and disposition of its inhabitants will always present formidable obstacle to the suppression of these disturbances either by military or police”. That had forced the British to come to a compromise with the General of Orissa, Buxi Jagabandhu, who had led the non-co-operation movement.
But before the compromise was arrived at, many a Muslim leaders of the movement had sacrificed their lives and properties in that movement against the British.

As for example, from Robert Ker’s report to W.B.Bayley (Secretary to Government) dated 14 december 1818, it transpires that Mir Hyder Ali whom the British was unable to apprehend, had to breath his last in a condition of pauperization, the entire of his properties confiscated.

It was so much essential for the British administration to intimidate the people, that its chief executive in India had to put pressure on the Court to execute the punishment announced against the movement’s Muslim leaders like Sardar Khan and Nasrulla etc. (Letter of W.B.Bayley to the Registrar of Nizamut Adalat, W. Dorin, dated the 1st January 1819).

Aware of this unique non-co-operation movement conceived and successfully experimented in Orissa wherein many eminent Muslims had made their supreme sacrifices, and which had forced the British to compromise with the Orissa leader Buxi Jagabandhu as “the suppression (thereof) either by military or police” was found impossible, the Muslim leaders of India comprising the Khilafat Committee, had, on 23 November 1919, a hundred years after the Orissa experimentation, stressed on the necessity of a non-co-operation movement if the fight for freedom was to succeed.

Gandhiji was initially unable to grasp the significance of such a movement. His best biographer D.G.Tendulkar has written, “Gandhi was handicapped for want of suitable Hindi or Urdu words for the new idea. At last, he described it by the word ’non-cooperation’, an expression that he used for the first time on this occasion” (Mahatma Vol I, p.274).

Not in any part of Hindustan

Earlier when Bengalis were the docile subjects of the Muslims, and with them in its army, the Muslim ruler had dared to invade Orissa, the Oriyas had smashed that invasion completely and the enemy was, as admitted by the Muslim historian Minhaj-i-Siraj, who himself had joined that war, out-generaled. In THE HISTORY OF BENGAL (MUSLIM PERIOD), eminent historian Dr. R. N. Quanungo, has quoted Minhaj-i-Siraj who said,

“A greater disaster had not till then befallen the Muslims in any part of Hindustan”.

In the world of language

Language is the gateway to people’s dignity and civilization. India is a country of many languages.

In LINGUISTIC SURVEY OF INDIA, the famous linguist and researcher, G.A.Grierson has clearly said, “The Oriya language can boast of a rich vocabulary in which respect neither Bengali nor Hindi nor Telugu can vie with it”.

And, the great Bengali linguist Suniti Kumar Chatterjee says that “it may be said without travesty of linguistic truth” that Oriya language is much senior to Bengali and has shown the honesty in pointing out that Oriya is Bengali’s elder sister (I.H.Q.Vol.XXIII,1947,P.337).

It is better for the Hazras and the HTs to study a State first, before indulging in luxuries of nefariousness against its position and people.

Pranab in the “Dumping Yard” of the Ruling Gang for Their Failing Colleagues

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

With massive presence of accused and under-trial criminals, economic offenders, logrollers, compradors, and mafia in the electoral college, P. A. Sangma could not win the race for the Rastrapati Bhawan. But the epithet he created for the Rastrapati Bhawan – a dumping yard of the ruling gang for failing colleagues – would not be wiped out with inauguration of Pranab Mukherjee as President of India.

Howsoever he may try to be seen otherwise, he will continue to be recalled as a sycophant of Sonia Gandhi. The President’s chair shall continue to be seen with his launching into it as a chair available to any choice of a ruling party boss in India’s prevalent political environment wherein saboteurs of the constitution rule the roost.

The people of India, in general, are in insurmountable indigence, with assets of the nation gone into the pockets of a few, under a regime that the compradors control, ever since Pranab Mukherjee acted a pivot in throwing India into the grip of imperialism on signing GATT behind back of the Parliament. Howsoever he tries, he cannot undo this record of history and whenever, henceforth, one will look at the Rastrapati Bhawan, it would pain him to be reminded of how the earmarked august house is vulnerable to occupation by a saboteur of the country.

It will remind one that the Rastrapati Bhawan is occupied by one who has played a motivated role in ruining Indian economy in the name of reforms touted to be the best for the country; but failed to bring in good results, if any, as was promised to be brought.

Pranab’s inauguration as President is nothing but an emphatic indication to the painful reality that as a nation we are failing.

IT WOULD BE WRONG AGAINST INDIA TO VOTE FOR PRANAB

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The outgoing President Pratibha Patil has shown us how dangerous it is to have a Sonia Gandhi family sycophant as President of the country.

Another of her sycophants, Pranab Mukherjee is now a candidate for the highest office in India, to be elected by the sitting representatives of the people in the Central as well as the State Legislatures.

But it would be a wrong against India if the said representatives vote for him.

It is:

not because, he is a Sonia Gandhi family sycophant that the President of India should not be;

not because, he is habituated in working under the pleasure of the present Prime Minister and hence may stay a habitually subdued President;

not because, as a minister for many years under Dr. Manmohan Singh, the present PM knows where, how and to what extent he has willfully erred in administration and may use the same to keep him tamed and thereby he may at best be a puppet President;

not because, he was under spy-cam by unknown persons while in office as Finance Minister, which, despite his intimation to the PM not being solved, will keep him in constant discomfort so as to deter him from using his conscience against any bad decision of the government needing Presidential approval;

not because, he has been avoiding a debate to establish his suitability for the top-most post despite stress laid thereupon by his rival Mr. Sangma;

not because, Mr. Sangma, who not only is a flawless former Speaker of the Loksabha, but also a man that made a monumental mark of distinction as the perfect-most central labor minister, is personification of aspirations of majority of Indians – tribals and the working class – is a better presidential candidate;

but because, he is the man, who, sabotaged India’s constitutional resolve and sovereignty by subjecting the country to GATT behind back of the Parliament.

In 1993-94, when the country had very strongly protested against this treachery, he had, with Rao as Prime Minister, even subjected the Parliament to the ignominy of being a mere instrument of paving the way for implementation of the treaty so unauthorizedly signed behind the people, a tactics which he again used in the matter of the Hyde Act with Singh as the Prime Minister.

Instead of trying to enhance Parliament’s supremacy in matters of such international treaties, as the concerned minister in both the regimes of Rao and Singh, he had tried to exploit the weak points of Indian Constitution to justify the government’s executive powers to sign the treaties sans permission or approval of the Parliament, though thereby the country was to be drastically affected in all fronts of interest of the people of this country. In eagerness to serve the interest of foreigners than Indians, specifically in consonance with American design, he had even ignored the advice of Indian Parliament, as witnessed in signing of the TRIPs agreement.

The ‘draft agreement’ on TRIPs, pushed mainly by multinational medicine manufacturers, had ignored every major matter mentioned in the background paper India had submitted to the ‘Negotiating Committee’ on 27 July 1989. The entire country showing serious concern over this, the government had to place the matter before the Parliament, as a result of which the the ‘draft agreement’ was forwarded to the Standing Committee of the Parliament attached to the Commerce Ministry for its consideration, opinion and direction. The Standing Committee, comprised of 40 eminent MPs drawn from all political parties, after intense examination, had decided to disagree with all the major terms and conditions and stipulations spelt out in the ‘draft agreement’. In its report submitted on 13 November 1993, the Standing Committee opposed the ‘product patent system’ stipulated in the ‘draft agreement’ as it would lead to steep increase in prices of medicines. It was not proper for India, in the opinion of the Standing Committee, to accept the ‘draft agreement’ that, as it pointed out, would be of drastic negative impact on manufacture of drugs and medicines in the country, essential for health of its people and affordable health care. It suggested several amendments whereby Indian interest should not be compromised. But, Mukherjee signed the draft agreement in total disregard to the report and recommendations of the Standing Committee of the Parliament, rendering the Parliament absolutely irrelevant.

Dishonoring the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s report and recommendations is dishonoring the Parliament of India itself.

It is an offense against India that Pranab committed by misusing his position as the Minister-in-charge.

But it was not the sole offense against India. Offense was committed against the people of India in several fronts by signing the GATT behind back of the Parliament that has disadvantaged the people in matter of economy involving agriculture, business and industry as well as impinged seriously upon the country’s eco-systems.

The same modus operandi of rendering the Parliament irrelevant was also employed in signing of the Hyde Act and 123 agreement that subjected India to American nuke hegemony. In pushing the Hyde Act, the US Congress had even made it clear that Indian Parliament must “approve the text of the Act” before signing it. But the “text” of the said Act was never placed before the Parliament.

In both these mischiefs played against the people, Mukherjee was the main collaborator of the two instruments of USA, Rao and Singh, in the two most relevant phases. Before signing these treaties that so severely affect the life of our present and future generation, neither the people of India nor the Parliament were taken to confidence by the two Prime Ministers and their common tahalia, Pranab Mukherjee, who had the role next only to the Prime Minister in signing treaties so devastative to India.

His steps in the name of globalization, ever since the dark acts of signing the said treaties behind back of the Parliament, have thrown the country into the labyrinth of disadvantages for majority of Indians, forcing them to suffer continuous price rise and economic instability while facilitating concentration of the country’s wealth in hands of the favored few, over and above which, the country has been forced to serve the trade-interest of foreign nuke dealers at the peril of India’s environment and indigenous expertise in use of its own raw materials for its own safety and prosperity.

To keep the Parliament powerless in matter of signing international deals or treaties in foreign interest, the team that included Mukherjee, has ignored the necessity of making the necessary law to regulate the procedure of signing such instruments. Nothing can be more severe a treachery against the country by its government, be it of Rao or of Singh where saboteurs of Indian Constitution like Mukherjee have served as relevant ministers. They have entered into international treaties disadvantageous to India under the umbrage of executive powers, though making of such treaties is not within the expressed exclusive competence of the Executive.

And, when the Indian Parliament has tried to take stock of the state action, Pranab has always steadfastly defended the executive powers of the government while denigrating the demands for making Parliamentary permission a prerequisite for signing the treaties. As for example, when a private member’s bill to amend the Constitution, introduced in February 1992 by M.A.Baby, was taken up for consideration in Rajyasabha in March 1997, requiring Parliament’s approval before signing any international treaty, Pranab had stressed on undesirability of restricting the executive to Parliament’s permission in signing treaties, which, in opinion of the executive were beneficial to people. In this, his aptitude against parliamentary democracy is discernible inasmuch as it emphasizes on keeping parliamentary sovereignty subservient to state sovereignty executed by a political government enjoying its power through the often questionable number game. This aptitude is dangerous to democracy.

On this premise alone, it would be wrong on parts of the members of the houses of people’s representatives to vote for Pranab in the presidential election. Of course, it depends upon whether or not the present MPs and MLAs consider India’s Parliamentary sovereignty more important than freedom of the executive to treat India as its fee simple.

The Question Is: Why Should Singh Continue As PM?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh is killing India. Majority Indians are suffering from slow starvation because of Singh’s wrong economic policies.

He has created the environment for price rise and when people are perishing, as none but the dishonest ones that benefit from his policies is able to afford the high cost of essential commodities, he has no qualms in saying that he is not an astrologer to predict when should the rising prices come down!

Who needs an astrologer in Man Mohan Singh? He has taken oath as the Prime Minister and he should act as the Prime Minister, not an astrologer.

It is time, he should understand that the Prime Minister’s main duty is to give a government that sees to it that people do not perish under price rise of essential foods. Price rise does not directly kill. It kills through slow starvation. Those who cannot afford the cost of food reduce their food consumption and that leads to slow starvation. Singh’s economic policy has pushed India to this sordid condition.

Free India had resolved to be a socialist country with the sole objective to emancipate people from poverty and profiteers. But Singh has sabotaged this resolve.

He, as Finance Minister under Narasingh Rao, had sabotaged India’s resolve to build up the country as a socialist republic and behind the back of the Parliament, he had subjected the country to imperialistic hegemony by signing the GATT document. His collaborator Pranab Mukherjee had then refuged to place the GATT document even before the Parliament.

In 1992, he had tendered his resignation after being held guilty by the JPC constituted to probe into the securities scam that owed its origin to his role as the Finance Minister of India. Many a Congress members of the Parliament had put tremendous pressure on everybody that mattered for removal of the adverse comment of the JPC on Dr. Singh; but the JPC did not buzz. His irresponsible assertions before the media that he was “not going to lose his sleep” because share prices were unreasonably rising had made the JPC look into his role in the discernible financial anarchy. He had to resign and he had resigned from the post of the Finance Minister. If Prime Minister Narasingh Rao had not heard Chandraswamy, his bed of tryst with the USA, the country should have been saved from the pernicious grip of the traitors that have transformed our democracy to plutocracy.

Aware of the damage his fiscal policy had done to India’s innumerable working class people, he had tried to hoodwink the sufferers by addressing to “six major tasks” in his budget speech delivered on 28 February 1994. He had described as “most important” the fifth one of these six tasks that said, “we must reorient our development policies and programs to address more effectively the problem of poverty, unemployment and social deprivation which affects a large mass of our people, particularly in the rural areas”. Sadly, he is now saying as the Prime Minister that he is unable to understand as to why price rise is hitting people so unbearably hard.

Let us see how so many times in the past he has assured the country of tackling price rise. If samples would suffice, we may recall, addressing the AICC at New Delhi on 21 August 2004 for the first time as Prime Minister, he had put his government’s priority on controlling the price rise that was hitting hard the people. He had tried to blame Vajapayee for the price rise, saying that it was due to the “misguided policies of the previous BJP led NDA government”, even though Vajpayee government’s policies were guided by the anti-socialist economic policy Singh himself had pushed the country into, as the finance minister in the Rao regime. However, members of the AICC were so disturbed over price rise that he had to declare, “controlling of prices was his government’s priority”.

But instead of controlling prices, he has all along contributed congenial climate to price rise. The Congress members have all along expressed worries over the rising woes of the people reeling as are they under unrelenting price rise that their own government is unable to undo as the country is running under anti-socialist policies of their Prime Minister.

If the Congress Working Committee is of any relevance, many of its members, in its session on 5 February 2010, had asked the government to take immediate steps to “reduce the layers of middlemen” between the farmers and consumers so that price rise may be controlled. But Singh was mum over this point. He just had said that things are “improving and soon there would be more improvement”. The CWC was not satisfied. Sensing the danger signal and driven by the desire to hoodwink the Parliament, the budget session whereof was soon to start, he appointed on the next day, i.e. 6 february 2010 a high-powered committee on price rise under the chairmanship of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee that comprised all the Chief Ministers of Congress ruled States.

But no improvement, as he had told the CWC, took place. People reeled under continuous price rise. The Parliament was rocked by the Opposition over the issue. When it commenced its budget session on 23 Feb 2010, immediately after the President’s address to the joint sitting, the united opposition stressed on discussion on the issue of price rise which led to adjournment of both the Houses.

Despite having defended the finance minister on 27 February 2010, Singh knew that the entire country was condemning his administration over unrelenting rise in prices of essential commodities. He used Mukherjee to convey the so-called high-power committee on price rise. The committee met on 8 April 2010. But no solution was envisaged / encouraged.

Came the Independence Day, 15 August 2010. Singh in his customary address to the nation had to confess that majority of Indians were hit hard by price rise. He shed meretricious tears for the poor; saying, “It is the poor who are the worst affected by rising prices, especially when the prices of commodities of everyday use like food-grains, pulses, vegetables increase”. Using the statistics of inflation as the scapegoat, he, however, declared, “We are making every possible efforts to tackle the problem”.

Singh knows what efforts his government made. But 2010 passed away sans any control over prices. On 12 January 2011, he presided over a high-level meeting on price rise. Several medium and long-term possibilities of price control was discussed; but no discussion was made on how to reduce “layers of middlemen” between farmers and consumers even though, as noted supra, there was loud thinking in CWC on 5 February 2010 that the government should reduce the middlemen if price rise was to be controlled.

Instead of leading his government to curb price rise, he reshuffled his cabinet on 19 January 2011 when a team of business leaders told him on 17 January that they were “alarmed at the widespread governance deficit almost in every sphere of national activity”.

Yet the media asked him after the reshuffle as to when the people should get relief from unbearable price rise. “I am not an astrologer” he said.

Now the question is: When he has not been able to curb the price rise of essential commodities, ever since he became the Prime Minister as sample instances shown supra, even though price rise forces people into slow starvation, why should he continue in the post and in whose interest?