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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The times are changing

Finally Lalu goes to jail. I vividly remember his days in the rail bhawan and the eagerness of the powers that be to line up and do his bidding, in fact do the bidding of his cronies. How my head still hangs in shame at the conduct of those whom the society regards as having arrived.   

Yet this indeed is a moment for all of us to rejoice; one more member of the power club goes to jail close on the heels of Asaram Bapu. This is the true beauty of our democratic system that even power and pelf of the highest order fails to prevent the entry of the high and mighty inside the precincts of the holy jail. Yet the ground reality that even such high profile arrests fail to act as a deterrent is a failure beyond comprehension. Sukh Ram, Kalmadi, Raja, Kanimozhi, Choutala and many others passed considerable time behind bars yet surprisingly fail to deter others of their ilk from following suit.

This country amazes me. A self anointed godman openly flirts with and sexually abuses young girls despite the presence of unsuspecting parents a few metres away. The brazenness of the godman as well as the naïveté of the parents are disturbing in this nation that calls itself modern. The crime of the godman is undoubtedly worse than the rapists of Nirbhaya, for while the act was similar, the godman also crudely exploited the sentiments of his own naive followers. How I wish we also had a law that prescribed stern punishment in city squares for such heinous crimes, yet I am certain that the fellow would walk out with a punishment not commensurate with the crimes on humanity that he inflicted.  

Modi’s speech in the capital has perhaps been the only piece of reassurance that the nation has had in the recent past. His address held promise for the future, a vision of the emergence of our nation as a state that shall brook no nonsense internally or externally. The emerging internal contradictions in the ordinance that ensured the entry and continuance of criminals inside parliament and state legislatures also gives hope that perhaps the political class has seen the light.

The best thing about the verdict of yesterday is that the spectre of Lalu will continue to haunt aspiring politicians and bureaucrats, a class that has aspirations for quick silver for a long time to come. That a powerful politician who throughout his life had scant regard for institutions and probity has been made to bite the dust by those very institutions would indeed prove to be a humbling experience for many.

We are indeed in for rapidly changing times! 


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