Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are Our Leaders beyond Reproach?

Heard this on the streets while walking to V.T. on the way back from work. The walk involves crossing two maidans, or grounds, and I like to listen to what people are talking. In the evening the steady stream of people makes one think of a big fair that is going on around the Azad Maidan area. There’s a colourful array of bags, knick-knacks, rings, necklaces, boiled grams, and such like on display.

Anyway, what I heard is this said in Marathi:

“Laaj vatath nahi, ithka mota mansala shivi dyayala.”

“Aren’t you ashamed to curse a big man like that?”

Ho hum! What’s this? Have I heard it right? I would like to think that freedoms exist somewhere in the country, some remote godforsaken corner. But it exists. Freedom of expression, I mean. Or, has the equivalent of the American First Amendment gone out of the constitution of America’s biggest follower – the Sovereign Republic of India?

I have read in some misplaced epoch in my life that big men should not be beyond surveillance and censure when they stray from their duties. But are our representatives blemish-less and pure? Now there hangs a big question mark over this question. A sort of double question mark. 

In India we consider our leaders as beyond reproach, truth be told.


ms said...

in india, we forget that we chosse our rulers from the same pool we inhabit - one our own. a man's greatness has become linked to his political and social standing. once they have our vote, the leaders don't have to make good on their promises. every where else, they have to constantly prove themselves worthy of the trust placed in them. as if one victory at the polls has made them immune to scrutiny and responsibility. i am reminded of the time walter mondale lost his chance at gaining political office. the scandal that brought him down fades into obscurity in the light of the criminal and civil scandals that our politicians are guilty of. our ministers have 20-30 criminal and civil cases pending trials. a survey disclosed that 1 out of 7 politicians carry atleast one conviction, the other 6 are innocent because there is no tangible proof. govts in UP, bihar, orissa, jharkhand are run by convicted criminals. what greatness have any of our leaders achieved that we have to feel any "laaj" while abusing them? we have the freedom to speak up against injustice, but not the freedom to slander and destroy reputations. we have the freedom to practise our faith, but not the freedom to annhilate others'. we have the freedom to pursue happiness, but not at the cost of another's. see, when i was a child, all schools had daily assembly where we recited the preamble to our constitution. when the last phrase of :
"WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;..."

was spoken, we felt a connection. our leaders were the glue holding us together. total chaos, corruption reigns. ah well, i musn't complain since i chose to live here and become part of the great indian dream!

John P Matthew said...

Thanks MS for your detailed comment. I appreciate it.