THE NEWS PLUS PORTAL FOR THE DISCERNING INDIANS OVER THE GLOBE

Thursday, June 30, 2022

THE NEWS PLUS PORTAL FOR THE DISCERNING INDIANS OVER THE GLOBE

Home America KERALA: It is time to demand clean governance

KERALA: It is time to demand clean governance

George Abraham

If one follows the political dynamics in Kerala, the recent events surpass any drama on Broadway in terms of creativity, intrigue, and investigations. At the core of any storytelling lies a compelling array of character types. Unlike many novels, here, we have many three-dimensional characters with great backgrounds and experiences. Daily, the protagonists, antagonists, and all the supporting characters present Kerala as a little theatre where the audiences are condemned to watch this unfolding drama at a high cost to themselves in terms of resources, serious mental stress, and physical agony.
There must be a woman as one of the main characters in the story, and Swapna Suresh is playing that role with passion, and the former Chief Secretary M. Sivashankar is already branding himself as a dynamic man of mysteries. The Chief Minister of the State, Pinarai Vijayan, appears to be twisting in the wind unsure of his own destiny. The Communist Party that came to power attacking corruption seems to swallow their own words uttered against a former Chief Minister.
As this drama plays out in the open, one thing is sure. Keralites cannot be fooled any longer by these frequent denunciations of corruption and graft by one party and presenting themselves as righteous. They see through most of these characters, except a few with integrity, for their hypocrisy decrying corruption at high places. They have been witnessing these shenanigans for the past several decades. It is no longer an occasional revelation of wrongdoing but has become a way of life.
Kunhalikutty, a rising star of the emerging political reality in Kerala, revealed as much when he said at a press conference that during their time in power, many charges of corruption by the opposition were brought to their attention. However, they glossed over or did nothing about it. He appeared to have taken pride in their inaction about corruption, fraudulent conduct by those in power. It is quite amusing how our politicians view bribery, extortion, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement with such a tongue-in-cheek attitude. In other words, Kunhalikutty is almost telling us that we not only protected our own corrupted souls but even the ones who belonged to the opposition! What a sorry state of affairs Keralites are in!
What has changed in the body politic of Kerala? Please take a close look at many of our leaders in the public arena today. Most of them came from humble or moderate backgrounds. Some of them might have come from comfortable settings but were not wealthy or big landlords. However, today, scores of them are said to be filthy rich, with most of their assets hidden under some Binami somewhere in India or abroad! Some of their submissions with the election commission may be characterized as an affidavit of avoiding the truth.
Keralites, to their credit, tend to topple corrupt governments. However, more and more, they look like facilitators of equal opportunity corruption schemes. They are sick to the stomach of games these career politicians are playing at their expense and are utterly helpless and unable to do anything about it. The swamp that includes these politicians, Administrators, and crony capitalists have been plundering the Treasury and dividing up the government lands for so long that it has become business as usual regardless of who is at the wheels of power. In all of Kerala’s history, only one politician has gone to prison for corruption, and then Chief Minister could not wait to get him out of jail so fast.
In the past, Kerala was blessed with great leaders who ruled the states with high integrity and honor. Having roots in Chengannur, I could still recollect the story of late R. Sankara Narayanan Thampy, a communist leader who could have chosen to live his life in luxury and comfort but decided to give it up to fight for the rights of the poor and the disadvantaged from an entrenched caste system. He was harassed by the powerful, repeatedly threatened by law enforcement, and constantly on the run, often saving himself hiding in mud huts with those who were the victims of oppression. He was frequently arrested and detained for his powerful speeches aimed at Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer, defending freedom, and promoting social justice.
In an interview with Times of India on the 23rd anniversary of Thampy’s death in 2012, P.L. Thankamma, his wife, reminisced her husband, saying he was an image of honesty, courage, and dedication. Thampy, who was part of the freedom struggle at a young age married Thankamma when she was 20 years old. She recalled when she had to bring their youngest newborn daughter to the Poojapura jail in Thiruvananthapuram as he was serving prison time at the time of her birth. Foregoing the little pleasures any married woman would desire and letting go of all dreams that a woman has for married life, she wholeheartedly supported his endeavors in the public arena. His hard work and dedication to the cause did not go unnoticed as he was selected as the first speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957.
As the saying goes, this is not your grandfather’s Communist Party anymore. It is a party in decline with its failed ideology becoming increasingly obsolete. It has survived so far in Kerala primarily due to its commitment to the Backward and Scheduled castes who truly attribute their improved lot to the decade-old reforms the party has championed. Another more recent phenomena for their success has been due to the growing perception among some quarters that they are more reliable to defend secular nationalism and protect the rights of the religious minorities. In the last election, scores of Christians, Muslims, and secular Hindus voted for the Hammer and Sickle against their own age-old aversion towards a totalitarian ideology.
However, today, the belly of the beast is cut open, baring the ugly secrets of a party that has sold out its soul for greed and obscene profits. The ruling hierarchy’s hypocrisy is wide open, having a lavish lifestyle with estates and posh homes with spoiled children creating a ruckus across the globe and engaging in criminal behavior. In the meantime, the young people at the cadre level are being asked to sacrifice their lives for the party, often engaging in riots and killings allegedly ordered from the top.
While the public witnesses the heated rhetoric, the parties hurl at each other, questioning each other’s integrity and motives; bear in mind that it is part of a grand deception, and their only goal is to snatch the power from each other, especially close to an election date. Behind the scenes, they are all close buddies, often engaging in joint ventures that bring in hefty profits. One of the IT companies involved in recent scandals alleged to have vital links with family members of both political fronts with strong financial support from prominent NRIs in the Gulf.
It is time to end this ongoing heist and grand larceny while exposing the nexus of corruption and criminality that has gone behind the scenes unchecked for decades as both fronts have covered up for each other. Keralites have been taken for a ride for so long, and their patience is wearing thin. They deserve a government that reflects their character and traditions and willing to serve the people with clean governance. An honest government will never shy away from exposing the wolves in the sheep’s clothing who have violated their oath engaging in corruption and graft. Poojapura Jail still has a lot of room, andhonourable R. Sankara Narayanan Thampi never belonged there!
(Writer is a former Chief Technology Officer of the United Nations)
George Abraham
If one follows the political dynamics in Kerala, the recent events surpass any drama on Broadway in terms of creativtiy, itnrigue, and investigations. At the core of any storytelling lies a compelling array of charactert ypes. Unlike many novels, here, we have many three-dimensional characters with great backgrounds and experiences. Daily, the protagonists, antagonists, and all the supporting characters present Kerala as a little thetare where the audiences are condemned to watch this unfolding drama at a high cost to themselves in terms of resources, serious mental stress, and physical agony.
There must be a woman as one of the main characters in the story, and Swapna Suresh is playing that role with passion, and the former Chief Secretary M. Sivashankar is already branding himself as a dynamic man of mysteries. The Chief Minister of the State, Pinarai Vijayan, appears to be twisting in the wind unsure of his own destiny. The Communist Patry that came to power attacking corruption seems to swallow their own words uttered against a former Chief Minister.
As this drama plays out in the open, one thing is sure. Keralites cannot be fooled any longer by these frequent denunciations of corruption and graft by one patry and presenting themselves as righteous. They see through most of these characters, except a few with integrtiy, for their hypocrsiy decrying corruption at high places. They have been witnessing these shenanigans for the past several decades. It is no longer an occasional revelation of wrongdoing but has become a way of life.
Kunhalikutty, a rising star of the emerging political realtiy in Kerala, revealed as much when he said at a press conference that during their time in power, many charges of corruption by the opposition were brought to their attention. However, they glossed over or did nothing about it. He appeared to have taken pride in their inaction about corruption, fraudulent conduct by those in power. It is quite amusing how our politicians view bribery, extortion, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement with such a tongue-in-cheek attitude. In other words, Kunhalikutty is almost telling us that we not only protected our own corrupted souls but even the ones who belonged to the opposition! What a sorry state of affairs Keralites are in!
What has changed in the body politic of Kerala? Please take a close look at many of our leaders in the public arena today. Most of them came from humble or moderate backgrounds. Some of them might have come from comfortable settings but were not wealthy or big landlords. However, today, scores of them are said to be filthy rich, with most of their assets hidden under some Binami somewhere in India or abroad! Some of their submissions with the election commission may be characterized as an affidavit of avoiding thet ruth.
Keralites, to their credit, tend to topple corrupt governments. However, more and more, they look like facilitators of equal opportuntiy corruption schemes. They are sick to the stomach of games these career politicians are playing at their expense and are utterly helpless and unable to do anything about it. The swamp that includes these politicians, Administrators, and crony capitalists have been plundering the Treasury and dividing up the government lands for so long that it has become business as usual regardless of who is at the wheels of power. In all of Kerala’s history, only one politician has gone to prison for corruption, and then Chief Minister could not wait to get him out of jail so fast.
In the past, Kerala was blessed with great leaders who ruled the states with high integrtiy and honor. Having roots in Chengannur, I could still recollect the story of late R. Sankara Narayanan Thampy, a communist leader who could have chosen to live his life in luxury and comfort but decided to give it up to fight for the rights of the poor and the disadvantaged from an etnrenched castes ystem. He was harassed by the powerful, repeatedly threatened by law enforcement, and constantly on the run, often saving himself hiding in mud huts with those who were the victims of oppression. He was frequently arrested and detained for his powerful speeches aimed at Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer, defending freedom, and promoting social justice.
In an interview with Times of India on the 23rd anniversary of Thampy’s death in 2012, P.L. Thankamma, his wife, reminisced her husband, saying he was an image of honesty, courage, and dedication. Thampy, who was part of the freedom struggle at a young age married Thankamma when she was 20 years old. She recalled when she had to bring their youngest newborn daughter to the Poojapura jail in Thiruvananthapuram as he was serving prison time at the time of her birth. Foregoing the little pleasures any married woman would desire and letting go of all dreams that a woman has for married life, she wholeheartedly supported his endeavors in the public arena. His hard work and dedication to the cause did not go unnoticed as he was selected as the first speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957.
As the saying goes, this is not your grandfather’s Communist Patry anymore. It is a patry in decline with its failed ideology becoming increasingly obsolete. It has survived so far in Kerala primarily due to its commitment to the Backward and Scheduled castes whot ruly attribute their improved lot to the decade-old reforms the patry has championed. Another more recent phenomena for their success has been due to the growing perception among some quarters that they are more reliable to defend secular nationalism and protect the rights of the religious minorities. In the last election, scores of Christians, Muslims, and secular Hindus voted for the Hammer and Sickle against their own age-old aversion towards a totalitarian ideology.
However, today, the belly of the beast is cut open, baring the ugly secrets of a patry that has sold out its soul for greed and obscene profits. The ruling hierarchy’s hypocrsiy is wide open, having a lavish lifestyle with estates and posh homes with spoiled children creating a ruckus across the globe and engaging in criminal behavior. In the meantime, the young people at the cadre level are being asked to sacrifice their lives for the patry, often engaging in riots and killings allegedly ordered from the top.
While the public witnesses the heated rhetoric, the parties hurl at each other, questioning each other’s integrtiy and motives; bear in mind that it is part of a grand deception, and their only goal is to snatch the power from each other, especially close to an election date. Behind the scenes, they are all close buddies, often engaging in joint ventures that bring in hetfy profits. One of the IT companies involved in recent scandals alleged to have vital links with family members of both political fronts with strong financial support from prominent NRIs in the Gulf.
It is time to end this ongoing heist and grand larceny while exposing the nexus of corruption and criminaltiy that has gone behind the scenes unchecked for decades as both fronts have covered up for each other. Keralites have been taken for a ride for so long, and their patience is wearing thin. They deserve a government that reflects their character andt raditions and willing to serve the people with clean governance. An honest government will never shy away from exposing the wolves in the sheep’s clothing who have violated their oath engaging in corruption and graft. Poojapura Jail still has a lot of room, andhonourable R. Sankara Narayanan Thampi never belonged there!
(Writer is a former Chief Technology Officer of the United Nations)

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