CBI controversy is a mere beginning…
Much has been written about the CBI controversy as the agency itself has made headlines during the past two weeks. The tussle between the two top bosses at the prime intelligence agency has once again reflected the fact that the agency has not been able to laminate itself from the political influences.
The CBI has been attracting the apex courts attention too. The Supreme Court was rather kind and sympathetic to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) when, in 2013, it described the agency as a ‘caged parrot’.
The implosion in the CBI as well as the full-scale conflict at play, including defiance of orders, going to press out of turn, leaking of anti-government stories to the press and the opposition and encouragement of dissent within the BJP and NDA, are reminiscent of the Byzantine era.
Indeed, if the Indian media were more alert, more inquisitive and non-embedded, the cracks could have been exposed much earlier. But most of the Indian media, particularly the TV and orchestrated social media, helped sustain the image of the government and curtail questions on the burning issues and the deficit in governance in almost all key sectors.
The mess in the CBI is reflective of the state of affairs in India right now. Almost every sector is crying for public attention and those who could afford have come out openly and warned the people of the dangers lying ahead.
The biggest warning was the open defiance of the judiciary when four judges of the Supreme Court invited the press, in an unprecedented initiative, to alert the people that democracy was in danger.
The bricks of the systemic wall crumbled further when the Reserve Bank of India confessed that demonetisation was a huge failure.
The crisis was also loud and clear when the economy began to show dangerous trends — massive non-performing assets (NPAs) bringing banks on the verge of collapse, the fast and steep fall in the value of rupee, the unprecedented rise in petrol and diesel prices, rising trade deficit and withdrawal of investments by the FIIs, plus low returns in the main earning sectors have meant that the growth has slowed to the level which can prove detrimental in the coming years.
Amidst all this the silence of the top leadership has meant that they share no concern on this crucial issues and what has mattered for them over the last four years is sticking to the seat of power no matter how bad the situation turns.
This attitude is going to hit the leadership as people seem to have ventured into election mode much earlier. The resounding victory chorus of the ruling class may prove to be quite opposite if the general mood of the people maintains the same tempo it has gained over the past few years.