BENGALURU: Former Chief Justice of India Justice MN Venkatachaliah on Saturday expressed concern over “cynical dismissal of dangers that are lurking in the democratic process”.Referring to author Alan Bullock’s writing on Hitler’s Germany, the former CJI said, “Bullock had stated that street gangs came into possession of resources of a great modern state and they say the lowly came to power, but Hitler never ceased to boast that it was by popular democratic vote. Popular democratic vote is phantom.”
He was speaking at a ceremony to release ‘Smruthivahini’, a memoir by senior BJP leader S M Krishna as told to Dr Pavagada Prakash Rao and narration by Dr K R Kamalesh.“This is the kind of things we see being enacted in this country,” he said. “In five years from now, the great corporates of this world will find their places in legislatures and parliaments of the world. They will be able to dictate terms to developing nations. Under such circumstances we are discussing about leadership of Krishna -- the kind of leadership we should look forward too.”
Krishna said influence of money in politics is a cause for concern and asked the younger generation to think about addressing this serious problem. “As long as we have influence of money in our politics, we will not have a good democratic system in our state and country. All of us who have studied political science must accept it. But there is no simple solution for it and youngsters must think about,” he said.
The book release ceremony was a rare occasion wherein politicians from otherwise warring parties came on a common stage to recall Krishna’s contribution as chief minister and External Affairs Minister. Several Congress leaders, including D K Shivakumar and B L Shankar, BJP leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwatnarayan, and JDS leaders were present on the occasion.
In the book, Krishna recounted his various experiences and developments, including his days in college, study abroad, his political journey, how JDS leader H D Deve Gowda wanted to join Congress, how he had handled a number of complex issues, including the time when forest brigand Veerappan had kidnapped thespian Dr Rajkumar and his appreciation for many Congress leaders.
“With Krishna’s permission, let me mention it. In the book, he (Krishna) mentions that when he was in America, many beautiful girls were going around with him. He also writes that he had never crossed the ‘Lakshman Rekha’. However, what Krishna has not mentioned is whether all those beautiful girls crossed the Lakshman Rekha,” quipped Venkatachaliah even as the audience burst into laughter. He added that such statements should taken with a pinch of salt, and reiterated that he had great faith in Krishna’s self-confidence and restraint.