It is said , do not to speak bad about the deceased. Those who are gone from this world should be respected. We should not mention their bad deeds. Agreed . So why we still rant about Ravana, Kans or Duryodhan ? Or why we still speak about / against Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini ? Or nearer home about / against Nathu Ram Godse ? There are people whose legacy is tainted, whose life was controversial, whose actions affected the vast populace in a wrong way. So whether alive or dead, they can’t escape public wrath. Arjun Singh belonged to this august ( ? ) category .
Arjun Singh died on March 04, 2011 in Delhi at the age of 80 . He belonged to Churhat Jagir under ex-princely state of Rewa. His father Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh was also a Congressman and was Union Minister of Industries under Jawahar Lal Nehru. He was convicted of forging documents favouring a diamond business and was sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment. He eventually died in prison.
Arjun Singh was the worthy ( ? ) son of his equally worthy ( ? ) and illustrious ( ? ) father. Father a convicted prisoner and the son a scamster. I am giving lists of his scams and cases, which I have taken from Wikipedia :
Churhat Lottery Case and Kerwa Dam Palace :
While Arjun Singh was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, he was involved in the scandal which was called by some the Churhat Lottery case. The Churhat Children Welfare Society was floated in 1982 by relatives of Singh, and permitted to raise funds via lottery, and also given tax relief as a charity. However, there were widespread allegations that a substantial sums were siphoned off and used to construct the lavish Kerwa Dam palace near Bhopal. The donations to the society included a Rs 150,000 donation from Union Carbide, whose chief Warren Anderson was permitted to leave the country after the gas leak, allegedly by Arjun Singh’s office.
At a public litigation hearing the high court observed that “Arjun Singh owed an explanation to the nation about the costs and sources of construction of the palatial mansion in Bhopal”. While Singh had claimed the value of the palace was Rs 18 lakh, the IT Department estimated the cost at above Rs one crore. However, a one-judge commission investigating the scandal gave a clean chit to Arjun Singh. The case was re-opened however, after the Jain Hawala case, and Singh was asked to submit fresh re-estimates of the palace cost. In court, the case was argued by Kapil Sibal and the order for re-examination was squashed on the grounds that it had been issued in a haste and “had not applied his mind”.
Bhopal Gas Tragedy :
Arjun Singh was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh when the deadly gas leak from the Union Carbide factory occurred. It is widely alleged that on the fateful night between December 2, 1984 and December 3, 1984 , when the gas leak occurred, Arjun Singh fled to his Kerwa Dam palace (outside Bhopal) to save himself from deadly effects of leaked gas and was not available to manage the crisis or lead the administration. Subsequently the Arjun Singh government’s mishandling was criticized by the court in the 7 June 2010 verdict on Bhopal Gas Disaster pronounced by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal. The media raised serious questions about his role in the release of Warren Anderson.. In particular, the pilot of the aircraft in which Warren Anderson flew out of India after the gas leak, has recorded that the final sanction to permit the flight came from Arjun Singh’s office.
Reservation Controversy :
Additional controversy was created in 2005 by drafting the proposed 104th Amendment Bill to the constitution, which subsequently became the 93rd Amendment. According to this amendment, which has yet to pass the ‘Basic Structure‘ test of constitutionality by the Supreme Court, all private unaided educational institutes could be asked by their State Governments to reserve seats for designated Other Backward Classes. In early 2006, Singh also sought to increase caste-based reservation quotas for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the internationally reputed Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management, along with other Indian central government-run institutes of higher studies, from 22.5% to 49.5%. Arjun Singh planned to impose quotas not just in 32 Central institutions, but also in over 100 deemed universities.
Other Controversies :
1 – After the Mumbai train bombings of 2006, he reportedly quoted at a Cabinet meeting the statements of a former judge of the Maharashtra High Court that an earlier attempt on the headquarters of the Hindu revivalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Nagpur had been a plot set into motion by the Sangh itself. This followed his denouncement of the Ekal Vidyalayas, one-teacher schools run for the benefit of the tribals of India by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad., as communal.
3 – Arjun Singh was accused of irregularities and corruption in the grant of Deemed University status to private for-profit educational institutions which did not meet requisite educational standards, during his tenure as Minister for Human Resources Development. The Government of India initiated proceedings to repeal the “Deemed University” status of 44 such institutions in Jan 2010.
He was of the opinion that he is the best person to lead this nation , if there is no Nehru-Gandhi scion on the throne. So every person other than Nehru-Gandhi clan, who became Prime Minister, is a usurper. So he thought , it is his divine duty to conspire against them. P. V. Narsimha Rao , who according to him , was the usurper and this willy Thakur of Churhat conspired against Rao throughout his tenure, though Rao was legally and constitutionally elected Prime Minister. He broke away from the Congress and formed All India Indira Congress [ Tiwari ] and led an open revolt against P. V. Narsimha Rao. And his revolt was to convince Sonia Gandhi, a reluctant widow , to enter politics. If he can’t be the Prime Minister so no one else should be allowed to continue. Let there be a Nehru-Gandhi scion. He was ready to be a doormat.
He was 3 times Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. He was Union Cabinet Minister under Man Mohan Singh from 2004 – 2009. During Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure he was Governor of Punjab also and is widely credited for Rajiv – Longwal Accord. But his image of being a shrewd politician preceded him . He trusted none and no one ever trusted him. He used to record even his normal conversations.
Ironically , he died on the day he was dropped from the Congress Working committee by Sonia Gandhi , for whom he fought relentlessly with P. V. Narsimha Rao. Such is life !
I am not happy that he died. But I am not sad either. He was very controversial politician of our time. He was tainted and he was a psedo-secular. Above all he was a known Hindu-baiter.
But still I pray that his soul rest in peace !
And this prayer comes from the heart of a Hindu , a secular Hindu. And to be a secular I don’t need to berate my religion like Arjun Singh.
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
[ I have taken many factual details of Arjun Singh and his father from WIKIPEDIA. I express my gratitude ]
- “Arjun Singh to be cremated on Sunday” and related posts (asianetindia.com)
- “Veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh passes away” and related posts (asianetindia.com)
- Till the end, Arjun Singh was in socialist-secular mould (hindu.com)
- Arjun Singh passes away (hindu.com)
- Arjun Singh on Devil’s advocate (incoherentmusings.wordpress.com)
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