Thursday, January 26, 2006

Vindication by Supreme Court

When MJ Akabar commented that Indian President Dr. Kalam should resign because he failed to apply objective criteria in recommending dissolution of the Bihar assembly in early 2005; many criticized him. Critics implied that MJ Akabar is pro Congress and hence demands the resignation of BJP appointed president. The first part is true – MJ Akabar is indeed soft on Congress, being a Congressman in earlier life. But his argument in pointing the failure of President in that episode has been valid.

The latest Supreme Court judgment vindicates the opinion of MJ Akabar and those who supported such opinion (including this author). It would have been better if the opinion of Supreme Court was unanimous. There does not seem to be much strength in the dissenting opinions. But at least majority judges see the problem. Next, the focus is now on the resignation of the governor Buta Singh rather than resignation of President Dr. Kalam. Media is right to expect that Buta Singh would not resign on his own in this matter and will be reluctant to undertake such a basic step of decency. Traditional Indian Politicians, especially those of Congress flock; hardly do anything honorable and respectable. High Command will have to give ‘boot’ to such office holders. After all Buta Singh has been licking boots of Congress High Command all along his life; so such a kick from High Command is all possibly he is waiting for.

Beyond this episode, there are no encouraging signs that Indian Polity will resolve the vexed issue of Governor conduct and guidelines for selection of these Governors. The inexorable march of Indian politics to concentrate more and more power with Center also does not make the environment conducive to address this problem. Simply there is no political compulsion to address this issue. So it will be few more years and we will once again hear Supreme Court on this matter. The only thing Indians can hope for is that President Dr. Kalam will be more circumspect in future in such matters; he being the learned and wise person. Rest of the Indians look at Dr. Kalam as the moral compass of Indian Republic and expect him to stay away from such quandary in future. That is relatively a realistic expectation.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA 95111
January 26, 2006.

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