27 January, 2021

As Red As Herrings Get

Smear campaigns or not, the corruption fight is still worthwhile

Illustration by Sorit
As Red As Herrings Get

According to Indian scriptures, we live in Kaliyug, the age of dark forces, of disintegration, greed, rivalry and moral decay. Just consider the spectacle unfolding before us: muck is raked, mud is smeared on men who had imagined they would ride the crest of public outrage against corruption to clean the system. Ever since Anna Hazare, a rather militant Gandhian, sat on fast at Jantar Mantar a few weeks ago, covert and overt attacks on the anti-corruption brigade have arrived from every direction. There’s the mysterious manufacture and dissemination of CDs, the appearance of an old political fixer like Amar Singh in the sordid drama, the planting of stories to discredit the father-son duo of Shanti and Prashant Bhushan, both lawyers, well known for crusading against corporate, government and judicial corruption. There’s an open attack by some Congress members, and then there’s the more highbrow criticism by civil society members and opinion-makers who worry that the institutions of our great democracy could be undermined by a...



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