31 July, 2021

Use Argument, Not Stones

Why civil society must not let key democratic reforms drown in cynicism

Illustration by Sorit
Use Argument, Not Stones

Less than three months ago, after the best monsoon in living memory and a resoundingly successful CWG, the future of the UPA government had looked assured. But in two short months, the roof has fallenon its head. The Congress is in a blue funk; the PM’s integrity is under attack; ‘Drawing Room Delhi’ is placing bets on how long his government will last. This has happened not because the Maoists have ‘liberated’ one-tenth of the country, or because Kashmir is sliding towards revolt, or even because food inflation is crushing the poor. It has happened because, after decades of living, even prospering, with corruption, the middle class has suddenly revolted against it.

Two spectacular scams have triggered the revolt: kickbacks unearthed in contracts awarded for the CWG, and the brazen award of 2G telecom licences at a fraction of their true value by A. Raja of the DMK, a former UPA minister, now under arrest.

The furore these two scams have caused has taken the country’s political and industrial...

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