For all of UPA minister’s shenanigans, this must surely take the cake.
In the last two days, V Narayanswamy, MoS in the PMO and the Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, have launched a broadside against Anna and his team, apparently as a response to their questioning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s role in the so-called ‘Coalgate’.
"How the three persons Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and this (Arvind) Kejriwal all three got this award. What is their contribution? What is their contribution to get a prestigious international award or the Magsaysay award, what is the purpose? So, it all kind of a (sic), I suspect there is a conspiracy to destabilize Indian politics," Ravi thundered.
“...American Trusts, Rockefeller Foundation as well as the Ford Foundation finance these award committees. The money comes from the American foundations”, he added in good measure.
Earlier, Narayanswami had charged that Hazare was surrounded by "anti-national elements" and those supported by "foreign forces".
Apparently, the ministers’ logic is that as Kiran Bedi (1994) and Arvind Kejriwal (2006) have been awarded Magsaysay, which funded by “American Foundations” , who presumably act to destabilise India, which can only mean that – Team Anna is a proxy for bringing India to its knees.
Only problem with this formulation of the esteemed ministers is that Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council (NAC), the body that sets the tone and tenor for socio-economic mandate for the government actually has three members – Aruna Roy (2000), Deep Joshi (2009), M S Swaminathan (1971).
So by the ministers’ logic it stands to reason that the NAC itself stands infiltrated by “anti-national elements” funded and backed by “foreign forces” to bring India to its knees.
Surely, they are not questioning the judgement and integrity of their own party president!
Moreover, by the logic of the Narayanswami-Ravi duo, the following are those who should be suspect in their eyes, for they are among those Indians who have been awarded the ‘American funded’ Magsaysay Award.
Vinod Bhave (1958), Verghese Kurien (1963), Jayaprakash Narayan (1965), Ravi Shankar (1992), Arun Shourie (1982), R K Laxman (1984), Baba Amte (1985), Ela Bhatt (1994), M S Subalakshmi (1994), T N Seshan (1996), Mahasweta Devi (1997), J M Lyngdoh (2003).
(Just another small point, Minister Ravi did not even get his facts right. Anna Hazare has never been given the Magsaysay Award, though he has been awarded both the Padma Sri and the Padma Vibhushan.)
Of course, not a word on the fate of the Jan Lokpal bill from the ministers. But, ‘anti-nationals’, ‘foreign forces’ it is!