19 October, 2020

No Scams For Us, Please

A rare breed in a scandal-tainted world, a few honest politicians hold aloft the torch of high ideals

No Scams For Us, Please

MAHATMA Gandhi was the ascetic ideal. Since his time, multi-crore ‘scams’ have transformed post-Independence politicians from khadiclad ‘satyagrahis’ to be jewelled ‘buccaneer capitalists’, buyers and sellers of the national destiny rather than inspiring examples of national service. Unholy alliances with criminal-godmen and ostentatious lifestyles, the distribution of petrol pump patronage and the unsavoury a la carte of animal husbandry are the routine facets of the modern Indian politician. Today, the Nehru jacket and cap are caricatures of integrity, stereotypes of sleaze.

Yet in times when ‘serving the people’ is only a sad cliche and when public despair mounts with fresh examples of impolitic activities, is the elected class entirely a write-off? Or are there still among them who remain true to the spirit that moved them to join in the service of the people? Are there still some who cling to frugal lifestyles or to a commitment to the ends of politics, rather than to the simple means of professional...



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