17 April, 2021

How Many Seas...

A good man goes, head held high. Ethical cleansing in reverse?

Nilotpal Baruah
How Many Seas...

The many people telephoning or trooping in to meet Justice Nitte Santosh Hegde after he put in his papers as Karnataka’s Lokayukta, on June 23, are either trying to persuade him to stay back and fight the system or are congratulating him for effortlessly giving up the much-coveted chair, which affords him moral authority even over a chief minister. Among those who have urged him to continue are Union home minister P. Chidambaram and Opposition leaders in the state. Among those who have congratulated him are two former chief justices of India and an octogenarian Gandhian. Justice Hegde appears more inclined to accept the congratulations than to heed advice on reversing his decision. He does not sound stubborn, but understands the importance of stepping down. And to anxious questions about who might replace him, he has a ready line from history: “People asked, ‘After Nehru, who?’ But we got a very competent man after him.”

Justice Hegde chuckles when it is suggested that he is perhaps now the most famous Bunt...

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