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Active ?neta? spells trouble for someone

ONCE AGAIN Amar Singh?s perkiness reaffirms the well-established fact that politicians are most active only when they are themselves in trouble or when they want to create trouble for others. In other words, the public life of people?s representatives revolves around politics and sheer politics. There is nothing apolitical in their life or conduct. Then why do we crib when they feed us politics in place of the promised ?Roti, Kapada and Makan??

india Updated: Jan 15, 2006 00:16 IST

ONCE AGAIN Amar Singh’s perkiness reaffirms the well-established fact that politicians are most active only when they are themselves in trouble or when they want to create trouble for others.

In other words, the public life of people’s representatives revolves around politics and sheer politics. There is nothing apolitical in their life or conduct. Then why do we crib when they feed us politics in place of the promised ‘Roti, Kapada and Makan’?

One wonders if Amar Singh would have criss-crossed the state on some public issue with the same speed with which he is now going about with his phone-tapping saga. He is knocking every door. What is more interesting is the manner in which doors are being flung open for him, whether they are of Natwar Singh’s house or that of Jayalalithaa, LK Advani. Obviously, they all have some axe to grind with the central government.

But is it phone tapping only that is troubling Amar Singh? Agreed that it is illegal, it should not be done, but is it being heard about or done for the first time in the country? We did hear something about it in Uttar Pradesh also in the early 1990s when the key political players were Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati.

After an obnoxious anonymous letter had made the rounds in political and official circles in mid-last year, something was heard from the police quarters that some telephones of media personnel were under watch. “Be cautious in your conversation” was their cryptic advice.

In fact, there has to be something much more than what meets the eye in this phone tapping case. Amar Singh himself sniffs a plot, Mulayam hints at a conspiracy to eliminate him and the political circles are laden with speculations or rather say rumours -- and that too very juicy. Sample this – Amar Singh has himself weaved this ‘chakravyuh’, he is the ‘Abhimanyu’…. Another rumour is that Congress got his phone tapped to record his conversation with some female friends --- or some deal.

In other words a sting operation, a la Congress style. But is morality really an issue in the political circles now that so much has been heard about them (exceptions are always there). And does any exposure of this kind really disturb them or their stature among their supporters. Perhaps not. India still remains a feudal country in which king was worshipped for both his vices and virtues.

Nonetheless, the truth would be known only when Amar Singh would himself divulge the contents or the CBI would reveal it. However, in a pre-emptive move, Amar Singh has already displayed his mistrust in the CBI. One wonders if he trusts CBI when it probes cases against Mayawati or his other political foes.

Whatsoever the background, whatsoever the intentions, whatsoever and whomsoever may have weaved this ‘chakravyuh’, fact is that phone tapping is illegal, unwarranted irrespective of the fact that whether Amar Singh’s, Mulayam Singh’s , Shivpal Singh’s phone is tapped or that of the media personnel. By the way, did we really hear of Mulayam’s phone too being tapped? Nothing has been heard about it in the recent past with the focus shifted to Amar Singh’s case.

Even Mulayam is shunting between Lucknow and Delhi harping about Amar Singh’s phone tapping. Apparently his own case seems to have got lost in the din created by his own political friend.

However, many believe that something else is cooking under this phone tapping ‘hungama’. And it has been partly confirmed by both Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh. Remember Amar Singh’s statement that Chandrashekhar’s government was pulled down only because a constable of Haryana was found keeping a watch on Rajiv Gandhi’s house. Is Singh telling his political friends, especially in the Left, that time has come for them to withdraw support to the UPA government on the issue. Significantly, Mulayam dangled the carrot, telling the Left to take the lead to form the government. Is it phone tapping or drumming up support to first oust the Congress-led UPA government, second prop up an alternative government led by the Left and last but not the least raise, despite all odds, a Third Front.

As of now it seems impossible. Left doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to withdraw support. And even if they will withdraw support, it would certainly not be on an issue of phone tapping and that too of Amar Singh. But certainly Amar Singh’s energy, combined with unrest in the UPA, may lay some foundation for a Third Front which, as of now, appears more of a dream than reality.

First Published: Jan 15, 2006 00:16 IST