And All Fall

What was wrong with V P Singh’s brand of politics? Was he too trusting of his opponents? Where did he fail and what was it that raised the ire of the people?

Santosh Bharatiya, Janata Dal, analyses the reasons behind the fall of the Raja’s government.

Was V P Singh against any kind of organization? Do the people not like or accept the anti-Congress theory any more? Has Singh now become just a name in history?

Once again history repeated itself, and this time with such inexorability that it left all parliamentarian in a dilemma. V P Singh became the country’s greatest political leader in just three years and, as a result of the people’s natural aspirations, also became the prime minister. At that time no one would have even dreamt of not making him one. Now, 11 months after becoming prime minister, he is no longer in power and people have started criticising him roundly. There were not many who were crushed by his departure, but the same people who berated him also admitted that an honest and patriotic man had left office. On the night of November 7, when Singh was going to Rashtrapati Bhavan to hand in his resignation, an employee at the prime minister’s residence sighed and said, “It was the first time after independence that for 11 months no one could enter the prime minister’s residence on the strength of money.”

But is honesty the only qualification necessary for running a country? Did Singh really believe that everyone in his cabinet was as honest as him? Was he really unable to ascertain as to who pulled the carpet from under him and when? There is a long list of such questions in the minds of the populace. Now- a day I am constantly surrounded by people who, despite their love for Singh, are very angry with him too. These people feed that Singh was unsuccessful in fulfilling his mission and that it will be a long time before he regains confidence. Everywhere in the country people, angry and bewildered, are asking questions like: Was Singh against any kind of organization? Do the people not like or accept the anti-Congress theory any more? Has Singh now become just a name in the history?

There are no straight answers to these questions. If we take a quick look at the chain of events we will be able to discuss where exactly the trouble started. Did the Janata Dal ever become a reality? Or was it just an assemblage of some trusted people of certain leaders?

In 1977, defeat had so baffled the Opposition leaders that they had lost all courage. Not one of them would step out to call a public meeting, and none of them was willing to meet the party works either. In 1987, when V P Singh started his agitation against the Congresss-I, no major Opposition leader came forward to meet him for the first four months. They felt that the crowds at his meetings came not to hear him but only to see him. Later also they continued to feel the same despite the fact that there were always huge crowds at Singh’s residence.

In September 1987, the Opposition leaders started feeling more warmly towards Singh because they noticed the tumultuous reception he received everywhere. V P Singh toured the whole country and in his simple language explained various issues to the people and during his talks established two simple facts. The first was that he was an honest man and the second that he was a man of masses. After so many years of independence the common man had been disillusioned and was convinced that an honest leader in the Opposition ranks was impossibility and talk of ideals was so much baloney. That is why Singh seemed like a whiff of fresh air to them. Just before the general election V P Singh had toured the whole country and convinced the people that the government which would be formed after the elections would be truly a government of the people and that it would fight the fundamental problems facing the country. The youth blindly accepted Singh’s promise that they would really get the right to work and that they would be able to find their way out of the unemployment jungle.

Singh toured the whole country, and even a party of which he was a chairperson was launched, but the thing which could not be clarified was unity. The only use the Opposition leaders had for Singh was that he was a sure-fie candidate who could win them elections. Ad Singh, busy changing the atmosphere of the country, failed to find people who thought like him, who were fighting for him and who were busy mobilizing the people. When it was time to select candidates for the elections, Singh had no names to put forward. If there was a list of likely candidates it was Arun Nehru’s who had put down names of people who had quit the Congress in it. It is possible that V P Singh thought that considering his first battle was to who stood for the elections, whose party he belonged to. Also, what did it matter with whom an alliance was forged? Apparently he failed to understand that such battles were not fought in stages.

All the nominations for the Lok Sabha elections were distributed amongst the men of Devi Lal, Chandra Shekhar, Mulayam Singh, Ajit Singh, Ramkrishna Hegde and George Fernandes. The fear of votes being divided led to too many places being left vacant for the BJP to contest. Indications of BJP anger and desire to marginalize Singh were available during the elections itself, but it is quite difficult to say whether Singh was aware of it. Singh had requested all leaders of the BJP not to put up a candidate for the Farrukabad seat but just with the intention of slighting him they did. And not only that, they even nominated a candidate for one of Singh’s own vidhan sabha seat.

It is true that while on the one hand V P Singh was busy making a battle-plan to oust Rajiv Gandhi, on the other his fellow partymen were selecting candidates for the Lok Sabha who would help them in preventing his election to the prime minister’s post. At that time I remember one editor telling me that even though the Congress would lose, V P Singh would not become the prime minister because his partymen would not let him. I had replied that the pressure from the people would not only make Singh the prime minister but would also get the government to function. Only half of my prediction came true.

During the November 7 debate on the confidence motion, Devi Lal in no uncertain terms said that at no stage did he or Chandra Shekar accept V P Singh as a leader and it was only as a part of the strategy to win elections that they had used him and made him prime minister. When their purpose was served they started proceedings to remove him.

From the time he quit the Congress-I till the elections, while V P Singh gave no indication whether he would fight the elections or not, he constantly made it known that his whole battle strategy would be drawn out by Arun Nehru. The Opposition leaders had, and still have, reservations about Arun Nehru. And as such Singh’s indications raised in the minds of other leaders doubts about his political integrity. They also served to warn them. They started seeing Singh’s complicity in every step Arun Nehru took. Arun Nehru, on his part, made statements to the press to the effect that he was responsible for drawing out Singh’s strategy, and that he also bore the expenses for them. There was never any attempt from Singh’s side to deny these statements. Whether Arun Nehru met Ajit Singh, Mulayam Singh, Chandra Shekhar or Devi Lal, or the BJP or the CPM, everyone thought this was another one of V P Singh’s scheme whereby he would align himself with different people and, taking advantage of their inter-personal rivalry, try and become their leader. The truth, in fact, was far from this.

Scepticism directed towards Arun Nehru was soon directed towards V P Singh. That is why care was taken to see that none of the candidates nomated by Arun Nehru were given tickets for the general elections. It was around this time that the unannounced battle strategy of outstanding Singh from the position of India’s premier post started to take shape in the mind of Opposition leaders. Unfortunately, during this period, anyone who attempted to get close to Singh flet that he was not being given the prime minister’s full confidence. This invariably led to the person withdrawing from him. It is possible that this strategy of not trusting anyone was Arun Nehru’s advice to Singh or may be, it was a decision Singh took himself. But whoever the strategist, all the reticence led to Singh’s friends moving away from him.

All those who had no desire to see the economy change became V P Singh’s enemies, byut the question is, did Singh have the blueprint of a better system with him?

The dilemma of the situation was that no one wanted to talk to Arun Nehru and there was no one else who they could talk to and who would convey their message to V P Singh. The situation led to the creation of many intrigues. All the Opposition leaders separately reached the decision to use Singh to win the elections and then see what to do about him.

The election results were announced and a curious situation developed. Only 144 Janata Dal men succeeded in getting themselves elected. On Biju Patanaik’s advice Devi Lal decided to make V P Singh the leader without informing Chandra Shekhar. This possibly was Singh’s second folly. He should have insisted upon holding elections within the party to decide who the leader would be. One doesn’t know what hand Arun Nehru had in formulating this strategy but according to a member present during that meeting, the mind behind the scheme was most probably his. The CPM and BJP gave their assent to the proposal and V P Singh formed his government.

Both the BJP and the CPM had their own different reasons for supporting the Janata Dal. The BJP thought that just like it had pressurised the Janata Dal and managed to capture ninety seats in te Hindi belt, similarly, by applying pressure itg would strengthen its postion in the administration and using V P Singh, would emerge as the strongest party in north India. The CPM thought that it would increase its influence in the north, where it currently has no status, by using V P Singh. Both the parties had one name which they would use to pressurise Singh- Arun Nehru’s. Strangely enough, Arun Nehru shared the same rapport with Lal Krishna Advani and Jyoti Basu. Coincidentally, in political circles the close relationship Arun Nehru shared with Dhirubhai Ambani, who avowed aim was to sabotage V P Singh’s political career, was also much-talked about.

V P Singh raised a lot of expectations in the minds of the people in the past three years. The biggest was that the new government which would be formed would be theirs. A government in whose reign the prices would fall, where the education system would change, where a battle would be launched against unemployment, where justice would be cheaper, where there would be roads to connect the villages to the cities, where the farmer would receive his due for his produce and where there would be hope for the future.

When V P Singh spoke about fighting against the system the people felt that he was pledging to do the same. Changing the economy was the basic promise of this fight. All those who had no desire to see the economy change became Singh’s enemies, but the question is, did Singh have the blueprint of a better system with him?

How close V P Singh’s rule of 11 months came to fulfilling this hope, we will leave it for the people to decide. But the fact that during these months there was a sharp increase in prices which the government did nothing to stop has to be accepted. That despite the setting-up of a committee to review the education system the government’s desire to change the set-up was not visible. The fight against unemployment remained a dream.

Even the reservation of 836 products to be manufactured exclusively by the small scale sector could not be done. If the big industrial houses had manufactured them they would have sold them only in the foreign markets. Lakhs of people would have been ensured jobs by this decision alone. If priority had been given to making roads, schools and hospitals in the villages in the five years plan, then for the first time after independence the people would have felt that the government was sympathetic to their plight. Not a single decision which would have alleviated the common man’s misery could be taken and this led to a new wave of discontent.

Once, while I was returning home in a friend’s car, I struct-up a conversation with his driver. I asked him his opinion of the government’s performance. It was bad. I tried to explain him the financial mess, the balance of payment problem, the Kashmir and Punjab problems which the Congress-I had left behind. His answer to my explanation shocked me to the core. He said, “Sir, Kashmir and Punjab are just games played by big men like you. They are not our problems. You give Kashmir to Pakistan, we don’t want it. I have a small child who can not be breasted by my wife and the cost of power milk is Rs. 80 per tin. How will I keep the child alive? Dalda is Rs. 65 per kilo, dal Rs. 20 a kilo. We do not even dare think of buying vegetables. You tell me, we elected you and njow you are trying to kill us?” We have shattered the dreams of that poor man. What have we given him to live for? All the arguments we gave on his behalf were just useless excuses. This was the thing the Janata Dal government was unable to understand.

When Rajiv Gandhi became the prime minister he had full control over all the ministers and it was the PMO which took all the important decisions which were then conveyed to all relevant departments. In a way it was a very repressed atmosphere. Let alone give decisions, ministers were afraid of offering opinions. V P Singh did the exact opposite. He gave a free rein to all his ministers and in the process nullified the status of the prime minister’s office. Slowly the freedom given to the ministers became so great that all co-ordination between the various ministers was lost, and a feeling that there was not one but many prime minister engendered. The concept of inner-party democracy was used so clumsily, that the cabinet was plunged in anarchy.

All the ministers had become so independent and arrogant that they felt it was beneath their dignity to talk to the Janata Dal MPs. When the MPs approached them for some community work they thought that the MP was trying to make a fast buck through the whole thing. Sometimes the ministers would even think it a favour to accept the MPs’ greetings. For them it was more of a honour to fraternise with the people of the Congress and BJP.

All the party workers who had struggled for three years found the doors of not only the ministers closed to them but also that of the prime minister.

The ministers’ willfulness reached the limit when they stopped attending the Friday meeting of the parliamentary board of the party. Many felt that it was an insult to do so. At every party meeting, complaints against the working of various departments and the ministers were lodged with V P Singh . Singh would listen to them but was not able to offer any solutions and, despite his injunctions, his ministers never showed up for the meetings. They thought that Singh would not be able to take any action against them. And the Janata Dal parliamentarians were limited by the knowledge that however much they complained, no action would be taken.

On the one hand while the ministers refused to listen to the problems of their own MPs, they helped fulfil the Congress-I’s and BJP’s requests with great alacrity. Naturally, the anger against them grew. At the same time there were rumours about the ministers which the MPs were willing to believe only too readily. There was no cohesion within the party, no important ministers attended the party meetings and things had come to a pass when the complaints made to the prime minister had no effect.

Often the MPs would talk amongst themselves of how the ministers had stopped behaving in a parliamentary manner. One example was their growing disdain towards the party cadres. The party workers got no position in the Board of directors of Banks and advisory committees of ministries, departments. There was no organisation either. If there was, then at least some workers would

have felt satisfied that a few of their fellow partymen had entered the Parliament and the state assemblies and that they were also equally important. Every time there was talk for the need for organisation V P Singh would say that it was Chairman Bommai’s responsibility. He was always trying to close his eyes to the fact that the people had made him the centre of confidence and as such, the responsibility of work not done would always fall on him irrespective of the fact who was actually supposed to do it. All the party workers who had struggled for three years found the doors of not only the ministers closed to them but also those of the prime minister. And despite their repeated requests they were not able to gain entry into the prime minister’s residence.

What could the government do in such a situation? Undoubtedly many laws were promulgated during the first few months, but what was really required was not done. What the people wanted was that at least after 40 years of independence their villages should be connected to the cities, that there should be connected to the cities, that there should be at least one dispensary shared by 4-5 villages where a cure for their coughs and colds was available, that there should be a school where their children could get primary education at least. After 40 years we could not even get a guarantee for a glass of clean drinking water from the government. These small jobs got lost amidst the big projects and even we forgot that the lives of the poor villagers were connected to the result of these small jobs.

Three months after the formation of the government, Devi Lal or Chandra Shekhar started to create some political problem or other every second week. Possibly this was the first government which was criticised not so much by the Opposition than by its own leaders. Approximately every month there would be a stability crisis and once every two months the functioning of the government would stop. The prime minister had to seek a vote of confidence from his party at least three times because of the doubts planted by some party members that he had lost support.

Kashmir, Punjab and Ram Janam Bhoomi were the three problems which had not been created by V P Singh, but the people had set their hopes on him to solve them. And though Singh made an honest attempt at solving them, there was something wrong with the strategy he used. he established too many channels and opened too many circuits to solve the problems. Anyone who claimed to have a solution was asked to try and solve the problem. But the people who wer at the centre of the problem were baffled by this, because all the people who went to them said they were talking on behalf of Singh. Those people felt that Singh was not serious about resolving the issue and that he was only complicating the matters more. They could never understand who was Singh’s emissary and who they could talk to if need arose. And the people who were representing the PM never could decide what direction their arguments should take because the PM never told them what he wanted.

Suddenly, one day, news came that the journalist who had been drawing a fat salary from Dhirubhai’s future newspaper had become the prime minister’s press adviser.

The reasons behind the PM’s reticence was explained by three ministers to their friends. Chandra Shekhar would often say that whenever he met Singh, the PM never asked him for advice or suggestions on any issue. Nor did he ever take him into his confidence. Devi Lal says that till the end he wanted Singh to hand over some responsibility to him and trust him, but Singh never did that. According to Advani, though there were weekly Tuesday night dinners, no attempt to discuss any problem seriously was ever made. Atal Behari Vajpayee says that each time he tried to talk to Singh, midway through the latter would call up Vinod Pande and start discussing the problem with him.

With the intention of establishing a healthy democratic society V P Singh put an end to all political spying. The result was that there were many intrigues against him and he did not ever come to know about them. Political meetings took place at the prompting of foreigners a Bombay seth spent crores trying to gain a controlling hand in the politics but Singh remained unaware of all that.

Another result of this was that he remained totally ignorant about the growing discontent with in the party. If he had known about it, then surely he would have done something to curb it. The flow of information to him was so restricted that when Chauthala was re-elected chief minister of Haryana he received the news not from his agents within the party but from a news agency. The news was flashed in the 7.30 news bulletins but according to P Uendra when at 8 he asked the chief of RAW about it, the chief asked with some surprise, “Is it so?” A high official of the IB told me that he had passed on this information to the PM’s secretary Sharma. But like always the secretary did not forward the information. The question which arises here is, who is to blame for these happenings?

At the beginning of the new governments’ tenure, the bureaucracy was afraid that there was now a strict PM at the helm who would question them about everything. Bureaucrats in league with the businessmen wondered what treatment would be meted out to them. But within two months they realised that their freedom would not only remain intact but would grow. That the decision to make Vinod Pande a cabinet secretary was a good one is being doubted now because he had no control over the bureaucracy. Any decision which could not get implemented by him. His temperament and attitude only served to aggravate the people; and in every decison he took he tried to prove that the PM wanted it so. Unwittingly may be, but he stated giving of indications that all power rested in his hands. The ministers tried to talk to Vinod Pande, who would himself go and tell the ministers what the PM thought of them. The appointment of Vinod Pande’s relatives on some of the most coveted posts in the country raised the question of his credibility.

Dhirubhai Ambani is the country’s leading industrialist and he also has a deep interest in politics. He also has a stong desire to control it. Often he has been successful in doing so. His antagonism agains Singh is not a hidden fact. Two months till his taking over office the bureaucrats were worried about what V P Singh’s attitude towards them or Dhirubhai Ambani’s would be. At the same time Custom and Income tax officers close to Dhirubhai Ambani were being selected for office and Dhirubhai was assuring them of his constant backing.

Suddenly one day news came that a journalist who had been drawing a fat salary from Dhirubhai’s future newspaper had become the prime minister’s press adviser. Well wishers of Singh were greatly surprised at this news because all this time he hade been vehemently opposing the recrutiing of a press adviser. The result of this move was that the bureaucracy felt that if Dhirubhai Ambani was so powerful that he could place his man in prime minister’s house in a position so close to the PM it would be better to stay loyal to him.

It was at this stage that the bureaucracy picked up courage to disobey Singh’s orders and the journalists who had found no fault with Singh for three years suddenly ranged against him. They could not understand how one of their men could make contact with someone they could not even think about. Decisions were made in Delhi and Dhirubhai Ambani was informed of them because the bureaucracy was no longer loyal to Singh.

One example of this will suffice. The decision to raise the prices of all petroleum products was announced by the finance ministry on Monday morning but Dhirubhai Ambani’s newspaper Sunday Observe published the news a day before!

The finance ministry and its bureaucrats were not working under V P Singh at all. The decision to raise the price of petrol a day before Diwali, then allowing the rumour that petrol would be rationed, all these were done and there was no official to dispel them.

When Advani had announced that in case he was arrested he would withdraw support from the government why was a surcharge of 24 percent levied on the petroleum products? Political sagacity demanded a wait till October 30, and then if the government remained a surchage could have been imposed or, alternatively, the new government which took over would have imposed it. But Dandavate’s decision reduced not only the Janata Dal’s popularity but also highlighted the weaknesses of its political insight.

VP Singh’s biggest enemy in his house was Doordarshan. For 11 months Doordarshan did not report on any issue that Singh had made the basis of his politics and even if we ignore issues, the credit for fanning 75 percent of anti-Mandal agitation goes to Doordarshan.

Devi Lal successfully managed to create an atmosphere of doubt about Arun Nehru which was similar to the one created about Rajiv Gandhi before the elections.

It glamorised incidents of violence, and self-immolation. But it never bothered to explain to the people what the commission was all about. And the October 2 rally in which 50,000 people participated, it boradcast as ” a massive rally of two lakh people.” that the Mandal commission addresses itself not to the question of employment opportunities but to social justice was never made known by Doordarshan. The Babri masjid issue on which the government fell was never discussed by Doordarshan. On the contrary, it gave the impression that Singh and the Janata Dal were against the construction of the temple. The fact was the Singh wanted a grand temple to be made, but not at tghe cost of the masjid.

Even the two major leaders of the VHP Mahant Avaidyanath and Swami Chinmayananda felt that a temple which would keep the masjid intact should be made. After all Ram is omnipresent and does not teach one to murder others.

The tragedy was that V P Singh never had time to listen to anyone who wished him well. He always listened to people who wanted to oust him. He had no time for his cabinet, CCPA’s meetings, bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries, files or senior leaders of the Janata Dal from whom he could find out what the country thought of him. Excluding the IB, it’s only the party workers of the Dal, journalists MPs and MLAs who can feel the pulse of the country. But V P Singh had no clue about the people’s feelings for him for the last six months.

Will the Bofors controversy be decided against us? We made the biggest political mistake of not telling the nation what we were doing to solve the Bofors scandal. Only when the Congress-I raised the issue in Parliament did we speak. Devi Lal successfully managed to create an atmosphere of doubt about Arun Nehru which was similar to the one created about Rajiv Gandhi before the general election.

If, during the hearings of the scandal, names of Rajiv Gandhi’s relatives do not figure, then chances are that he will use it as a political up being branded culprits without any proof. Because in the replies given to rumours generated by Devi Lal it has not been said that Arun Nehru is not involved with Bofors whoever else might be.

There was a meeting of the parliamentary board of the Janata Dal in the central hall of Parliament on August 6. At the meeting there was an intense demand for the implementation of the Mandal commission report. Incidentally, the same people who hade made this demand was the first step in fulfilling the manifesto promises of the party. During the meeting not one MP said that the report should not be implemented or that the implementation should be postponed for some time. This step which was raised in the direction of social justice possibly surprised those who wanted to maintain the status quo. These people started spreading canards about the report and linked it up with the employment issues. Un-employment is a sensitive issue with the youth and when they realized that their chances would be further limited by the report they got agitated. The misunderstanding reached such limits that even those who were benefited by the report took to the streets against it.

The name V P Singh does not represent a person, it represents a stream of thought which is synonymous with honesty and idealism.

The step was so momentous that the people were taken by surprise. Rajiv Gandhi took to the roads for a satbhavna yatra while Advani started a rath yatra. The BJP played with the nation’s hope and confidence and the result was a blood-bath. Ram’s name was used to attain selfish political ends. Advani thought that his rath yatra was political and according to Times of India, November 18, he fixed the election symbol of his party, the lotus, on his chariot. Afterwards Ashok Singhal made a statement to the effect that they did not want to break the masjid, they only wanted to make a temple. This statement was no different from the one Singh was making. But at the time the only motive of the BJP and the VHP was to pull down the Singh government. That is why they stopped the kar seva immediately after Singh’s resignation. Both the Congress and the BJP were afraid that if Singh was successful in dealing with the myraid problems their efforts to malign him would come to nought. Apparently the BJP could not stomach anyone talking respectfully to them. Anyone who depended on them gave them a moral weapon which they turned into a tool for blackmail.

V P Singh acquired the image of a soft fighter while the people had thought that he would fight their problems like the phantom. Indians often rest their hopes of being delivered from their problems on one person and this time they did the same. The people had selected Singh because they want to take revenge for the treatment meted out to them for forty years by the ruling party. But Singh did not do so. When the elections were held the people took the candidates of BJP and the Left Front to be the candidates of Singh and at that time all these candidates promised to elect Singh the prime minister. But on reaching the Parliament they all went their separate ways and announced their intention of being supporters rather than participants in Singh’s government. V P Singh’s tameness became so well-known that he was called stupid and idiotic on the front-page editorial of a newspaper.

Once during his speech Ram Vilas Paswan, the harijan leader, in V P Singh’s presence made a statement that Jagjivan Ram’s generation would be forgotten and now it was Ram Vilas Paswan’s generation which would take over. In those days it used to seem as if all power resided elsewhere and V P Singh was only using it competently. The 11 month rule and the unbalanced behaviour of all national leaders led to a dangerous situation and that was that V P was relegated to the status of a leader of a group rather than of a nation and was made to be one among many leaders.

Now with the Janta Dal having split, how will the Dal function? Will V P Singh be once again used by the people who dream of becoming prime minister? The use these people have of V P Singh is limited to using him as a crowd-puller who will ensure the election of their candidate from that constituency.

Here I would like to make my view-point clear. V.P. Singh’s greatest strength is the people’s confidence in him that he will be able to solve their problems. Therefore, only he is the leader and there should be no place for factionalism in the party. Anyone who has doubts about Singh’s strength, his ideology and honesty should leave the Janata Dal and look for some other party. The name V P Singh does not represent a person, it represents a stream of thought which is synonymous with honesty and idealism.

This is where V P Singh will be tested anew. Will he be able to stop the foolish infighting in his party? Will he be able to distance himself from those who have brought things to such a pass? Will the party workers who had been sidelined for so long receive the respect due to them? Will he be able to get his partymen to obey him or will he once again succumb to their pressures and let the atmosphere of confusion prevail within the party? He has been accused of being a slow decision-maker. But now he will have to take decisions, and fast. He will have to do this immediately before people lose confidence in him completely.

Now let us turn to the possible answers to some fundamental questions. V P Singh’s brand of politics was not wrong. It was only that it left a lot of scope for mistakes in execution is a must. It was also not as if the people had wrong expectations of him because even today he is capable of fulfilling them. He has the will power too but he will have to list out his priorities very clearly and make an earnest and immediate attempt to deal with problems directly confronting the common man. The answer to the question why people don’t say loyal to V P Singh is also not too difficult. Singh today possibly has the most committed cadre, but he does not have the time to pay attention to them. Actually Singh has a tendency to pay more attention to his opponents or to his new acquaintances. In politics this is called opportunism but for someone who has to fight a battle for the improvement of society and who has to write a new chapter in history, such methods will have to be given up. If this does not happen then the Janata Dal workers will have to search for their address care of some other party. And those who can’t do this will have to reconsider their position in politics. It’s not always looking for crowds that is important. We have seen where that led us in the past three years when we ensnared our politics in the web of factions and self-serving leaders. It will be dangerous if we once again fall in the pitfall of watching crowd’s. What is necessary now is to search for a leader for this crowd.

History does not give one a chance too often. Neither does it always forgive one’s mistakes. Those who ignore the demands of time are treated very callously by it.

V P Singh has not become just a name in history, he will emerge once again whether anyone supports him or not. His weaknesses always become his strengths but even those should not be considered week which have been trying to make Singh a part of history. The funny part is that it is Singh himself who encourages such forces. He has this habit of creating demons. And once a demon is born it is very difficult to kill it. An ordinary journalist like me can only warn Singh that history does not give one a chance too often. Neither does it always forgive one’s mistakes. Those who ignore the demands of time are treated very callously by it. So now it is only in Singh’s hand and no one else’s what sort of a future he makes for himself.

It is essential that even Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar knows of these incidents which occurred in the past 11 months, because he has the inspiring factor of may of them. The chance history has given him is nothing to be proud of, but whether he makes it worthwhile or not is in his hands now. If he himself starts dong the things which angered him in the past, then he will be a contradiction within the party. I sincerely hope that he is able to reach the goals he has set for himself and wish that he starts working towards those goals which he felt were essential for the nation as soon as possible.

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