B S Raghavan

Bug of the same political rug

B. S. Raghavan | Updated on November 14, 2017

Alas for the poor voters of India! How many times will they suffer themselves to be conned by wily politicians who have nothing but cynical contempt for them!

No matter what the party is, who the candidates are, how old or young they may be, how many hours of standing to attention with folded hands on the stage, the moment the election is over and the Returning Officer's certificate is to hand, all the obsequious Jekylls turn into dreadful Hydes. To Hell with the people and the promises for the next five years!

The surprising part is that even those with their wits about, who have known this to be the unvarying pattern in election after election, still allow themselves to be taken for a ride, bringing themselves to believe that there could still be parties or candidates with a difference.

For instance, in the recent election to Uttar Pradesh State Assembly, there was a lot of hype and hoopla about Mr Akhilesh Yadav.

Barely 38 years old, he was presumed to be imbued with youth's idealism, spirit of public service and sensitivity to right and wrong. The Samajwadi Party's impressive performance, giving it 224 MLAs in a House of 403, was certainly because of the readiness and willingness of the voters to put their trust in his solemn undertaking during the campaign to rid UP of goondagiri, give no quarter to those with tainted background and criminal antecedents as members or ministers, and usher in an era of good governance, all-round development and prompt and efficient service.

The post-election scene has shown how Mr Akhilesh Yadav, now in the exalted position of the Chief Minister, has let down the people within and outside the State.

Even as the results were being announced, his party workers went on a rampage, attacking journalists, defeated rival party candidates and the police. Many prominent members of the party brandished their guns on the day of the swearing-in. It was all like bad old days being here again.

Pointing out how out of 17 Cabinet Ministers and 30 Ministers of State sworn in, 11 had criminal records, a British newspaper says “the list of Ministers reads like a veritable rogues' gallery”.

WILD BUNCH

It devotes considerable space to the alleged criminal records of Ministers such as Kunda Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya, Durga Prasad Yadav and Raja Ram Pandey. Mr Akhilesh Yadav has not covered himself with glory by brazenly defending his harbouring, indeed honouring with Ministerial posts, this kind of ‘Wild Bunch' as they have been called. In doing so, he has used words identical to the ones we have been accustomed to hear from old-style politicians all these six decades.

Without batting an eyelid, Mr Akhilesh Yadav parrots the well-worn excuse that the charges were all politically motivated and the cases were all frame-ups by political opponents.

He does not seem to realise that he is setting a terribly bad example to the younger generation and corrupting it in the process, besides dragging public life and political discourse down to the pits.

He is also thereby sowing the seeds of anarchy in a State already in disrepute all over India and the world as the most backward and benighted.

Continued neglect in this egregious manner of the basic expectations of the people is the surest invitation to social upheavals on a horrendous scale at some future date. What a pity that India's political class is so blind to the dangers that are looming ahead thanks to its own arrogance and insensitivity.

Published on March 20, 2012

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