Saturday, 3 September 2011

Catch yourself before you trip!

"In the 15th Lok Sabha, 153 MPs have criminal records. So when this crowd gets prissy because somebody called them boors or liars, it does sound rather precious."
Dipanker  Gupta -
Bad Manner, Good Democracy- 2.82011 Times of India

Thank god for the guts and conviction of Kiran Bedi! Whether appropriate or not, modules of self expression by citizens  that are neither violent nor communal, should not be muzzled by authoritarian methods of suppression. That she refuses to apologise supports her position to hold a critical space as a citizen. If  Parliament does in fact pass a privilege motion against Ms. Bedi then they truly have dug their own graves. Today the obvious targeting of the members of team Anna is not going unnoticed by an electoral public and will cost this government dearly in the next election. Members of parliament need to comprehend and address what the crucial issues of the hour are, and should not sideline the urgency of this by smart rhetoric and partisan agendas which only serve to procrastinate insightful and meaningful governance.

Perhaps more crucial is the fact that the Congress party should stop undermining the voice of the Prime-minister's office by constantly talking about Rahul baba's accession to the throne! There are many other vibrant young leaders who are equally, if not more, competent and capable of being groomed for this inevitability; and so to make it a hereditary issue as though NO other candidature can be contemplated, violates the intrinsic  principles and ideals of what a democracy is founded upon.

In his recent parliamentary address during zero hour in which he provided the famous "interventional"  speech (!) on the issue of the Jan Lokpal bill, Rahul Gandhi in my opinion disrespected the position taken by the prime minister earlier on this same issue, by attempting to take a leadership role that did not conform to his fledgling status within the party. His amateur posturing as a statesman in such situations does immense damage to the congress party, and only appears to encourage the sycophantic behaviour too prevalent in politics these days.

I may not necessarily agree with everything that Team Anna is doing. However that people, small or large in number, desire to form a movement to call attention to a systemic failure related to the control and addressal of corruption should be respected especially as it is a non-violent mass movement. That suddenly the leadership of this movement become the targets of autocratic methods of suppression cannot be accidental. 

Parliament as a whole put up a united front in their attempted to engage with the movement and call off the stalemate brought about by their collective mismanagement. The demand for action to pass a bill of significance to the nation that focuses on the issue of corruption now needs to be formulated and processed without further distractions and tamasha by those who are invested with the powers to chart policy making within the parliament. Why then this immediate volte-face  that is hell bent on vindictive and vengeful methods of harassment to the Team Anna members all of a sudden?

I think Arvind Kejriwal is completely correct when he says that politicians in India still haven't learnt any lessons.

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