It is a fact well established that drivers of powerful people in this country have committed a string of high profile offences. Even the AgustaWestland helicopter scam, which has been all over the news since yesterday, has a “driver connection.”
As a result, media and public debate often tend to focus way too much on ordinary drivers instead of the “driving force” behind shady deals.
Who is this family? Do they have a driver? And who is this “AP” mentioned under the “POL” category? Could this “AP” be a driver for someone big and important?
On his part, Congress Leader Aljo Joseph headed to AICC headquarters immediately after appearing as the lawyer for Christian Michel in court. The question is: who took Aljo Joseph to Congress headquarters? Was it a driver?
In our popular culture, such revelations have led to an unfortunate level of prejudice against drivers. What have these humble folk ever done to anybody? They just drive people around. Come election time, they tell celebrity reporters exactly what they want to hear about the voting choices of the people. The contribution of drivers to political analysis in India has been immense.
Which is why it comes as a huge relief to me that Dr Manmohan Singh’s driver has been found to be completely innocent in the Coal Scam. The news about the Coal Scam verdict got a little lost in the feverish excitement over the extradition of middleman Christian Michel.
It wasn’t Dr Manmohan Singh’s driver! It was the Secretary!
Take that… everyone who was spreading rumours about the alleged involvement of Dr Manmohan Singh’s driver.
Simply because PM Dr Manmohan Singh was also in charge of the Coal Ministry at the time the scam happened, the Ex Coal Secretary H C Gupta tried to drag the name of his illustrious boss through the dirt.
Shocking! I dare say that a driver would never have done something so shameful to his boss.
So the Secretary says he cannot be held responsible for things that happen in the ministry? Ridiculous! Who should we hold responsible for what happens in the Ministry? The Minister?
Fortunately, the court nailed all the lies.
Indeed, why would the Prime Minister suspect that all guidelines had not been followed? The Prime Minister is a busy man. He can’t get into the details of every little issue lingering in his ministry about a few lakh crores here and there.
Recently, when Manmohan Singh said that Modi as Prime Minister should exercise “restraint”, many people saw it as a taunt. I beg to differ. I think Dr. Singh was just giving his successor some sage advice. Exercise restraint. Stay aloof.
You can’t get so involved with the minute day to day things. What about the much needed work life balance? Leave it to the Secretary.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.