24 November, 2020

Politics As A Morality Play

Should a political outfit be really bothered about an individual’s choices as long as s/he doesn’t break the law?

Illustration by Saahil
Politics As A Morality Play

Though chaotic, cacophonic and treacherous, the Indian political theatre always offered some personal space in the wings for its prime players. Unlike the hypocrisy of the West, here men and women could carry on with their live-in relationships, multiple affairs, separations, divorces and re-marriages without getting impeached by colleagues or booted out by voters or getting unduly apprehensive about peeping Toms. The private lives of even prime ministers were just that—private lives. But the modern gadgetry for spying and narcissism is changing it all. Now, a grainy video clip, however nauseating, can send a minister home and cause an electoral debacle. As if all we needed ever was a video clip to prove a politico’s ‘misdemeanour’. As if before the advent of the camera phone, they were all experimenting with truth, celibacy and poverty. This is probably that moment when an entire society is slipping into an abyss of irrecoverable duplicity. And the moral grandstanding of the Aam Admi Party (AAP) has contributed immensely to the speedy spiral to political...



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