PUCL Bulletin, June 2002

Is 'Govt the Executive of Capitalists?'
By Rajindar Sachar, May 7, 2002

Karl Max has said that government is the Executive of the capitalists. That seems to have been highlighted by what happened at the annual meeting of the CII. Sonia Gandhi was invited on April 26 to address the inaugural session. Normally it should have been considered as a routine function. But do not know who advised Sonia Gandhi to open her speech and take pride in the fact that she had been invited by the leading industrialists to start off their annual get-together and opining that this shows what sort of political winds are blowing.
Frankly, it did not show a good taste, being self-praise.

The Prime Minister's reaction was equally inapposite. If the Prime Minister felt that he had been slighted by the CII by deliberately calling the Leader of the Opposition to inaugurate the function whereas as a practice in the past it used to be the Prime Minister, he would have been well advised to keep away from the function to indicate his annoyance. But to have gone there and then to try to answer back Gandhi at the CII conference was not in keeping with the dignity of a political debate. Both these leaders seem to have provided an unnecessary inflated ego to the business lobby.

As a citizen one feels sad that both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition should have vied with the business lobby to curry their goodwill. This incident reveals how both the Government and the Opposition are out to please the business lobby such political outfits cannot obviously represent the suffering millions of poor of our country.

I wish the Prime Minister at least should have followed the example of his man-Friday George Fernandez (not the present walking companion of Narendra Modi but the old trade unionist Minister for Industries in the Janata Government in 1978), who as an invitee to the Chambers of Commerce annual function lambasted the business lobby and even used un-parliamentary language, but the biggest businessmen gathering nevertheless cheered him. What an unfortunate reversal of roles now.

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