It is no secret that India’s governance record in the last three years has been dismal, and that the people’s respect and belief in the democratic institutions is eroding. No greater evidence could be presented than the little speech that Union law minister Salman Khurshid gave in Farrukhabad, his Lok Sabha constituency, where he thundered, among other things, that even if activist Arvind Kejriwal manages to enter the town, he will not be able to leave it. For good measure, he also said that he will replace ink with blood.
If Mr Khurshid was a gang leader of Uttar Pradesh’s badlands, then, perhaps, his words would have resonated among his ilk. And would not even have sounded out of place or inappropriate.
But Mr Khurshid is not a gang leader; he is the Union law minister. He is supposed to uphold the democratic institutions with the constitutional office he holds. It is the ultimate irony that Mr Khurshid, instead of challenging Mr Kejriwal in court, has threatened him with violence and blood for alleging his role in a scandal.
That this government has lost touch with reality is not even a topic of debate anymore. What is shocking is the complete disdain it has for the common public, something that was exemplified when several Congress ministers rose to the defence of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of their party president Sonia Gandhi, when he was accused of impropriety only last week. It is a sad reflection on our governance standards that our ministers cannot separate their constitutional duties from their party obligations.
Mr Khurshid, under pressure for a scam that involved siphoning funds meant for the differently-abled, has not exactly been an epitome of good behaviour for the last week. If journalists and publishers were on his crosshairs last week, it is anti-corruption activists this week.
Consequently, the erosion of faith in this government’s ability to lead the country out of the governance quicksand is perhaps complete.