Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,
I congratulate your government on completion of it’s first year in the second term. You have attained that rarefied status in Indian politics of being above the filth and mudslinging that our leaders of the common man are usually practitioners of. Only Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee joins you on that pinnacle, and God knows we could do with some more leaders at such rare heights of character.
But my purpose of writing this letter is not to give you a character certificate. Indeed, I’m too less a mortal to do that. I do have, however, some questions that are bothering me and leaving me with a feeling of helplessness. I shall endeavour to list them down here and would plead that they not be treated as rhetorical.
1. Why did you consult an MP with a claim to the throne of a dynasty over the issue of Sugarcane subsidy when the opposition and farmers had laid siege to Delhi? Were you perhaps, waiting for a final word from the future High Command? Does this in turn mean that you, being the leader of the people, are instead accountable to someone else?
2. The food inflation has been sucking the common man’s blood for the better part of an year now. There is a widespread opinion that the Public Distribution System has collapsed. Tonnes upon tonnes of foodgrains are rotting in warehouses, which is causing artificial inflation and further adding to the common man’s woes. The Agriculture Minister has been a total failure and yet is stubbornly not accepting any responsibility.
In such a case, don’t you feel that in the interest of the nation that you serve and lead, it might be wiser to give that responsibility to someone who can perhaps REALLY work for the people of India?
3. Why does the Home Minister of India, the second most powerful person, entrusted with our internal security, state that he has a ‘LIMITED MANDATE’ in tackling the Maoist threat? Why does he need to come to you asking for a bigger mandate? And if he doesn’t already have a bigger mandate, then why is he incharge of the situation?
4. Despite of actionable evidence of MPs lobbying for juicy portfolios, and subsequent scams that seriously hamper our growth potential, why are they still retaining their portfolios?
5. Why are certain political party leaders allowed to go on a statue erection rampage, splurging crores of Rs. in states that lack basic amenities, and not held accountable by the Central Government?
6. Why is there no watchdog over an extremely unethical, powerful, biased, bullying media?
7. What makes the External Affairs Minister of Pakistan arrogant enough to claim that India came on its knees to plead Pakistan to start talks again, post 26/11?
8. What made you give a statement in the press conference that you’ll step down if it is decided that Rahul Gandhi should lead?
I assure you, there are a lot of other questions haunting a good many of us. As a citizen, I look up to the Government of India as the most powerful Institution. And one that has carried this power with the utmost responsibility. But looking at the past year, I have come to believe that this government is not really in control over the nation’s affairs.
I would like nothing better to see you put your foot down firmly and ACT. Not to save your government, not to stay in power for another 4 years, not to please the high command or the heir of a dynasty who revels in photo opportunities to flaunt his concern for the downtrodden.
I would like you to ACT for the commonest of the common, because we, as a nation, NEED you to.
A citizen of India