26 November, 2020

In Defence Of Politicians

The 'hate politician' mood, if allowed to intensify, can have dangerous results. The public will look for other options of governance, and that way always leads to dictatorship.

In Defence Of Politicians

LAST month, at a dinner, I met a middle-aged man with diverting and generally moderate views. We moved towards the dining table and there he spotted the former Congress MP, Mani Shankar Aiyar, harmlessly engaged in filling a plate. The sight brought him to a state of near-apoplexy. He became loud, unpleasant, abusive—directing all his ire at Mr Aiyar. Even as he shook with rage, he told me he had nothing personal against the man, "I just hate all politicians".

A week or so later I was invited to speak to the Delhi Rotary Club. After making the usual superficial speech, the question and answer session became quite volatile and dominated by one subject: the vileness of Indian politicians and how the country would benefit if the entire lot was thrown into the Yamuna. That very evening at an informal gathering, I found the issue of Priyanka Gandhi's search for a house being discussed animatedly, with no quarter being given to Priyanka. Everyone saw the controversy as one more example of how rich and powerful politicians fleece the poor tax-payer. When I...



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