Are we all not becoming small men?
Yes, certain thoughts seem to keep coming!
Indians have some months or even days devoted to some rituals. August 15. January 26. October is reserved for Gandhi Jayanthi. And what is more funny is the fact that each passing year we seem to be having men and leaders to celebrate these days for us, the citizens, the subjects, the mass! The leaders in turn seem to be becoming smaller and smaller in stature!
So, their invocations on these supposedly solemn days become mere rituals and of late simply boring to the point of inviting not even tears, no not even laughter but just dismissive ridicule!
Each of our readers can identify the days, the leaders and the sort of speeches they heard on these occasions! Such is the changing politics and out changing values!
The Prime Minister was once the most powerful person and the office of the PM was all splendor and glory! So too the office of the President of India. But alas! We seem to be living for the most basic necessities of life. One such necessity is the survival instinct. For sticking to office or offices, all sorts of offices from high offices to low offices, from Delhi to the gramapanchayats we seem to be telling all sorts of lies, taking oath not to our conscience but to keep the eyes on the office within our sights and what we have now is a series of political illegitimacies of all kinds. We have reduced our great charts, our magna carta, our Constitution, to all sorts of illegitimate pressures. See the number of pronouncements of the highest court, on the Rajya Sabha nominations to the basic structure of Constitution once again in the OBC quota controversy.
Are we setting good examples to our own sense of self honor or we surrender our entire true worth of self worth, self-honor to just to stick to office? The Supreme Court judgment is final and we have to abide by it, all citizens. That is the spirit of our democracy. Fine. But then the legal and judicial verdict is one thing. But the moral and ethical basis of our belief in truth, morality, what is right and wrong wont go away by any amount of legal and judicial pronouncements. The moral dilemmas won’t go away.
Rajya Sabha is a very honorable body and it had evolved over the years. Yes, even now, it has great people and does a great job. But is true that Rajya Sabha nominations can be from any state and for anybody? There needn’t be any criteria? How then it becomes a Council of States? The domicile criteria were not of course the end of everything. But then you can’t have a leader, a Prime Minister keeping a residential address certificate in his pocket just to show to anybody who asks for it! That was the lowest level we can stoop to, to prove our innocence or prove our own honor!
Also, the secret ballot. After all we have taught our children about the morality of keeping a citizen’s right to secrecy when he or she votes. Right? Now, to tell our children another explanation, just because the political pressures today demand such a pressure on our bribe-taking MLAs might cross vote is do a dishonor not to those guilty MLAs but to do it to ourselves, we the powerful of the political and the professional classes!
So too the OBC controversy.
Politicians, more so the more ambitious and the more unqualified scum of the earth, who have all entered the common domain of democratic politics, should we take the names, one hopes we needn’t.
These scum of the earth now put so much demand on all our sense of values and pander to the demands of the OBC champions is to deprive the very large majority, the poor of the Dalits, SCs, STs and the not so well-ff so-called upper castes is to deny all sense of truth and morality to ensure equality and equality of conditions that would ensure every citizen in this country, irrespective of caste or religion or economic status would have equal opportunities to get educated in the best of education institutions and get jobs on merit.
So, in the name of compulsions of coalition politics, on the ground of political survival, we once again put pressure on the highest court to help the politicians to keep themselves in power. Surely, the polity is under heavy pressure to tolerate so much corruption, so much immorality, so much of undeserving tolerance, to throw away all values just for the caste politics, for the religious bigotry etc.
It is such thoughts that bring back the name of Gandhi in the month of October.
At least, the leaders of the major parties must be giving out their thoughts on what is right and what is wrong in politics today. Political leaders must be widely questioned on a range of issues by the powerful media today. Both the print and TV channels must do this job, just to pay homage and do honor to the illustrious name of Gandhi who alone gave us, Indians something to be proud about in the world today.
We found not even the PM is heard on any of the major issues confronting the nation. It is the PMO officials, minor officials who seem to be setting the agenda for the country! PMO media adviser has set out in a book on what constitutes India’s strategic importance today. PMO has nominated one minor UN official for UN Secretary General’s post! Our foreign policy is so flawed that Sri Lanka and Nepal, for instance, seem going out of India’s sphere of influence.
We are asked to emulate China, by so many fellows, big and small, qualified or unqualified, when we find that in spite of so many months of secret negotiations, the China trust deficit in India is so enormous!
Why such delay in finding a foreign minister?
Why so many of our much-hyped programmes are not working in such short time itself?
Simply, because, in our opinion, we are not now an open society, as we were even yesterday! Yes, there is a trust deficit building itself rapidly in our own way of running the government. In our own way of governance. There is so much lack of transparency, lack of open and free discussions at many levels.
On Gandhi Jayanthi, let us at least remind ourselves; let us become a more open society, open-minded government!