Cry, Beloved Country! by Mohammed Ataur Rahman (NOVEMBER 22, 2010)

Self-respecting, patriotic citizens have nowhere to hide, nowhere to run as scam after scam after scam blows in their face, writes Mohammed Ataur Rahman.

I dread the sight of the morning newspaper. It makes one’s cup of tea taste like rat poison. Every morning, morning after morning, we are treated to some cheeky chicanery of our political class that disgusts and nauseates every self-respecting Indian who has pinned his/her hope on India’s rise as a regional power in years ahead.

The uninspiring display of rowdyism in parliament late last week, instead of helping transparency in public life, only further damaged the falling standards of parliamentary decorum. We cannot expect anything better form the BJP, which was leading the show.

On the other hand, the BJP-led NDA government in Karnataka has created new standards of communal partisanship in public life, besides the worst ever scam. BJP was never bothered about cleaning its own house till everybody pointed the glaring duplicity in its Delhi and Bangalore acts. Now they are trying to get Yadurappa out and get another CM in. Let us wait and watch.

Let us forget this game of one-upmanship between corrupt parties and think for a while whether this is what our freedom fighters had laid down their lives for. Is it what the highly principled Founding Fathers of the august Constitution envisaged? Is it not time for us as a nation to think seriously about where our country is going?

Probity in public life is a major hallmark of a thriving democracy. The politician-police-criminal nexus is a recipe for oligarchy and “robber democracy” (as Fareed Zakaria puts it), not democracy as we understand it.

The 2-G scam of Rs. 170,000 crore is serious enough issue to galvanise the government into action, send A. Raja packing, initiate a proper enquiry and bring the scamsters to justice.

But, that will be just the beginning. We must go beyond that and launch a second freedom movement, this time for freedom from corruption and bad governance.


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