An previous Indian saying prophesies that when Gods wish to punish somebody, they first rid them of their knowledge. One thing comparable is going on to Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who, in her hubris, is scripting the ultimate chapter of her downfall with an injudicious, undemocratic regulation to guard the corrupt.
Earlier than we perceive what the Rajasthan chief minister is making an attempt to realize, allow us to take a detour into latest historical past. As soon as upon a time, Raje was Rajasthan’s hottest chief. She was thought of progressive, dynamic and blessed with a imaginative and prescient only a few regional leaders have.
In 2013, when elections for the Rajasthan Meeting have been held, folks have been actually sick of the conservative, drained and vision-less authorities of Congress chief Ashok Gehlot. They noticed in Raje the mascot who would rid them of Gehlot’s regressive politics of message — the place picture is extra essential than efficiency — primarily based on the precept of the state being the benevolent mai-baap that retains residents alive with doles and expects votes in return.
Sick of the Congress inertia, vote-bank politics and an effete chief minister, the folks of Rajasthan gave a humungous mandate to Raje, giving it nearly a four-fifth majority within the Meeting.
That Raje — the one thought of dynamic and visionary — disappeared quickly after the blockbuster win. Inside a couple of months, she acquired the persona of a diffident, inaccessible and drained chief whose solely goal appeared to keep up a low-profile, stay in energy and do completely nothing. There could possibly be many causes for this unlucky metamorphosis. One, the tense equation with the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo, which all the time stored the sword of uncertainty hanging over her head. Two, her predilection for believing every little thing that her cabal tells her about others, thus, creating an setting of distrust and a tradition of back-stabbing.
With elections simply 14 months away, Raje’s probabilities do not appear too vibrant. She has did not reside as much as expectations, belied hope, shattered the religion folks positioned in her management.
That brings us to the present drama in Rajasthan round a proposed regulation that shields “public servants” from probe with out the federal government’s approval. The federal government on Monday tabled a invoice within the Meeting that prohibits submitting of corruption instances towards officers and politicians except the federal government offers its go-ahead. The proposed draconian regulation additionally has provisions for strict punishment for anyone who names the accused in media, or complains about them on any social platform. Even courts aren’t allowed to direct the cops to ebook the corrupt except the federal government offers its approval.
This can be a blatant try and deprive residents and different democratic establishments their rights to take their grievances to police and courts, gag the media towards talking up towards the corrupt, and, extra importantly, put a decent leash round ‘public servants’ by arrogating to themselves the fitting to select and select who could possibly be prosecuted and who could possibly be not.
So, officers and politicians will get a free hand, the judiciary’s powers can be curtailed and the media can be gagged and jailed. Bereft of its rhetoric, the proposed regulation is in essence an obnoxious try to show democracy right into a monarchy. (Becoming maybe for a state whose chief minister is reverentially (and pejoratively) referred to as a Maharani.)
Why is Raje bringing in a regulation that throttles each democratic establishment and provides a carte blanche to officers and politicians? One concept is that it’s an try to ensure impunity —abahaydaan as monarchs would name it — to public servants within the election yr, defend them from the inquisitive gaze of the media and the judiciary.
The opposite, in fact, is to make her personal post-election life safer by bringing in provisions that make probes into scandals and scams nearly unattainable.
One more concept propounded by a lawyer claims many high-profile bureaucrats are underneath the radar of the Rajasthan excessive courtroom for illegally gobbling up priceless land. Raje’s authorities is called a authorities of the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats, so this is perhaps an try by the corrupt babus to pre-empt a probe, a serious scandal which may be tough to suppress with out this draconian regulation.
One of many first issues Raje did on returning to energy was to boost the boundary partitions of her eight, Civil Traces, residence in Jaipur, turning it right into a kind of Alcatraz. It’s obvious that she is now in a spot from the place she will see nothing, hear nothing, besides the voices of her self-serving coterie. Whereas she sits in her bunker, tries to fortify it additional with a dastardly regulation, winds of change rage exterior.
Even the pantheon of gods inside her home, the every day prayers and pujas she performs, wouldn’t be capable of save her. For the gods have divested Raje of her knowledge.