In his latest piece in The Hindu, Harish Khare, former media advisor to Manmohan Singh takes another typically apologist and passive aggressive stance
On Anna Hazare:
“His only asset was that he was perhaps the only one around who still donned a Gandhi cap“
I have to admit I was one of those who had roundly criticised the Anna-Kejriwal-Bedi show for their intransigence. But in dismissing Anna, Khare is dismissing the public mood of the time (in spite of a cursory line in the article acknowledging the public frustration). Then, he goes on to allege an unholy nexus between Team Anna and corporates. This may well be true, but the delicious irony, of using corporate association to vilify civil society when the government he defends was literally bending over backwards to please its corporate masters, is hard to ignore.
Then, on Manmohan Singh and a swipe at the CAG
…the Manmohan Singh government has taken a few baby-steps towards instituting a new accountability structure. The Prime Minister had the wisdom and the humility to acknowledge and salute Anna Hazare, only to be greeted with arrogance and hubris of petty politicians. But thinking citizens do understand the soundness of the constitutional scheme of things. The Anna Hazare-backed solutions were located outside this constitutional arrangement. And if he is a forgotten man it is because the great institutional equilibrium is in the process of recovering its centeredness…
…An errant Comptroller and Auditor-General, who whetted our appetite for conspiracies and corruption, lost his bite as he increasingly painted himself in a partisan corner. No institutional functionary can be effective if he chooses to give an impression that he believes that all the bad men and all the badness are located on one side of the political divide…
By now, Khare is just plain ridiculous. He resorts to be centrality of the Parliament (which is duly acknowledged) to paper over the failures of the government in showing any serious intent in fighting corruption If anything, coal-gate and the latest fiasco with Ashwani Kumar just shows the government and Manmohan Singh in pathetic light. When attacking the CAG of being partisan, he also completely ignores the (entirely comic) JPC report – and the way UPA muscled its way through the entire JPC inquiry process – which makes a ridiculous attack on the CAG, gives UPA a clean chit and accuses the NDA government of corruption.
And, the non-partisan Khare doesn’t forget to take a final swipe at Modi and his followers, while sidestepping the canonisation of Rahul Gandhi by the rank and file of the ruling party.
But on reading this and his previous columns and considering how inept his successor to the PM’s media advisory job has been, you wonder why he quit the job in the first place?