The following comment was published on Next.com February 10, 2010
For a quick and easy way to be outcast, outlawed, to be put forever beyond the pale, whatever, try this.
Try standing up for the idea of the rule of law.
Since the past two decades, the Government of India, the Government of my own state, Andhra Pradesh, the Andhra Pradesh High Court , the Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioner have combined to impress on me that what works in India is what I have called the "patronage paradigm" - the paradigm of shoddiness, irresponsibility, cronyism and corruption - and that ideas of the rule of law and democratic processes are merely spectacles to lull the gullible.
I have been denied the recognition that were commended to me.
I have been unable to earn a decent living.
The office of the Governor of Andhra Pradesh incited my neighbours to cut off my water supply.
The information commissions in the state and at the centre denied me my right to information on spurious, brazenly illegal grounds and punished me for daring to object.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court, in the inimitable manner of the Indian judiciary, has misbehaved egregiously.
The high court denied me my right to competent counsel and punished me for complaining. Even as we speak, Dr Manmohan Singh's office, "Daredevil" Pratibha Patil's Rashtrapati Bhavan, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, State Information Commissioner CD Arha are all in an obvious conspiracy to deny me justice.
Why are we so abysmally cynical and hopeless that conditions will continue to remain outrageously inhuman in India?
One simple reason: The following comment or variations of it have appeared in almost every major Indian online publication plus in a few abroad. However, not a single editor or reporter has had the nous to pick it up and work it to the max.
My credentials are strong and I have taken much trouble to meet many editors personally, usually on impeccable referrals.
And of course our editors know it all. They have had nothing but smirks to offer.
When I sought the solidarity of the press, Shekhar Gupta (editor in chief of New Indian Express) advised me, "You cannot go around taking pangas (quarrels) with people, yaar."
Even my comments are mutilated.
Vinod Mehta's "Outlook" has banned my comments on risible grounds.
The Hindu crawled. It published "spin" by corrupt officials and got hissy with me for pointing out, with evidence, its craven, yellow soul.
The Indian Press (with a solitary exception) blacked out the fervent open letter written by Padma Vibhushan Kaloji Narayana Rao. That dear man , clear as a bell in his nineties, had laid his head on my shoulder, hugged me and wept.
In India today, it is difficult to tell the difference between policeman and journalist, politician and criminal, lawyer and judge, Indian Administrative Service Officer and the village idiot. But they all are laughing all the way to their offshore accounts.
India's Home Minister has called on civil society to speak out against Maoist depredations. Will he kindly let me know why Rashtrapathi Bhavan and the Prime Minister's office have not taken appropriate action on the representations made on my behalf by the former Home Minister Shri Indrajit Gupta, Padma Vibhushan Kaloji Narayana Rao and others ?
Even as the Prime Minister's Office maintains a baleful and ignominious silence in my case, it appears to have jumped through hoops to heap honour on a businessman alleged to be a serial swindler.
What about "civil society" in India ? Since close to a year now, I have written to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Campaign for Judicial Accountability And Reform, Forum For Judicial Accountability, MKSS and Anna Hazare regarding this serial delinquency of constitutional bodies in India . There has not been one constructive response.
They all appear to be in deep denial of the awful truth that an innocent citizen has been relentlessly persecuted, not for any bad behaviour or wrongdoing, but for resisting the dilution of the values of the Indian constitution and standing up for the correct administration of the Right To Information Act 2005.