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Convicted Politicians And Decline Of Political Morality

By Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava

03 October, 2013

Indian democracy has experienced many ups and downs but the recent conviction of two political leaders by the courts have put certain pressing marks on its quality and future trajectory. The conviction of Lalu Yadav is not bizarre, he metamorphosed the Indian politics as light weighted game which could be managed in a funny manner. A feat which SP is trying to emulate by fielding comedian from one constituency of UP.

They believe that Indian public can be managed in a very simple manner. They have managed it since a long time .This feature points out to the declining qualities of the ruling elite. The political leaders of India have changed the democratic system in accordance to their whims and fancies. This is a long story. The decline was visible since the time of Mrs. Gandhi but one serious blow came when V P Singh in the name of social justice divided the Indian society.

There are many to mention who have disfigured the Indian democratic system to their advantage but the case of Lalu Yadav is more perplexing, he not only played a cruel joke by dealing the Bihar as his personal fiefdom, as he managed to put Rabri Devi on the seat of the Chief Minister though she had no capability for the same but also went to extent of corrupting the political system by involving in cases which led him inside the prison. Many cases of similar nature where politicians or administrators were found involved in the corruption cases helped to grow a sentiment that by following the path of corruption , goals could be achieved.

This sentiment is now well entrenched in the larger section of the society. The corrupt ones have lowered the national psyche from lofty values to such degraded level. They have prevented the new generation to think in terms of greats like Swami Vivekananda or Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, of both the 150th birth century nation is celebrating. Sadly these corrupts succeeded in establishing a veil of ignorance to many of people and exploited them to their advantage.

The young lots feel that without bribery it is hard to get a government job, an unimaginable thought for people like Jai Prakash Narain, a moralistic leader from Bihar whose presence in the 1970s helped Lalu to learn and develop his political skills. Unfortunately Lalu like leaders failed to learn the basic principle of his life that politics was a selfless service to the masse, particularly to the underprivileged, farmers, labours and marginal ones in the society.

The paradox is that Lalu and his party always exhorted that they were championing the cause of this particular section of the society but he was convicted in fodder scam, sad emotion is that fodder is used by cattle and cattle are housed and managed by the farmers and other village people whose cause he did show to champion.

This is loss of political morality. Political morality has many dimensions but its one base is located in the theory of justice as enunciated by Greek philosopher Plato in book Republic, which states that any person who by his birth and training gets whatsoever position in the life, that fellow should discharge the assigned duties in selfless and best manner. There should be specialization and non interference in others’ tasks.

Alas Lalu Yadav like group of politicians never reached to these ethical approaches of the politics. They only inculcated the low quality to the Indian democracy although he had immense chances to show the high standard to Indian politics.

The conviction of Rashid Masood is another sad tale, primarily it is highly inexplicable as to why Congress, a party with great legacy promoted those leaders who had certain taints. The corruption case of Masood was well known in the public domain but still Congress went to elect him for Rajya sabha, a house about which Nehru and Ambedkar like greats had the view that this house would act as a debating forum due to presence of galaxies of learned persons who could deliberate about the quality of the legislation, but Congress failed to fulfill its duty to emulate the sayings of its patriarch just for no reason as Masood never carried any influence in upper house , moreover neither in UP nor in the minority community to which Congress targeted by electing him to upper house, he had any influence.

The decline of political morality is main disease of the Indian political system. The loss of ethical value is justified in the names of political compulsions. The withdrawal of ordinance on the tainted politicians has exposed the concept of the political compulsions. Earlier there were the compulsions but as the political events unfolded and Rahul Gandhi took a different line, the same compulsions were changed in no time. Government had no logic, moral ground and legal basis to nullify the SC decision on the tainted politicians. In fact President should be appreciated that he put the initial pressure on the government about the ordinance.

This day is a sad day in the history of Indian democracy. The sentencing of Lalu Yadav and Masood have exposed the moral edifice of most of the politicians.It has revealed that all is not well with the political culture of the country. This also shows quality deficit in the parliament like institutions, caused by the political parties.

The decline in political morality has many consequences. We can not create a great country if its ruling elites have tainted personality. Moreover people of the country can never lead a happy life.

Hence corrupt politicians must learn that their ultimate valuation will be made in the history books. They must write it with golden words. Political elites must never forget this is 150th year of celebration of two greats and how they themselves want to be remembered, with respect or with bad name, they must explore it.

Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava has twenty years University level teaching experience, presently Assistant Professor in CSJM Kanpur University[affiliated college],Vice Chairman CSSP, Kanpur a think tank and educational hub for deprived section of society, have presented papers in Chile, Australia, Finland, South Korea, Sweden etc., regular contributor to Mainstream Weekly, have been published in Dainik Jagran, AJ newspaper.Recent paper ‘Message from a Lady of Exceptional Courage’ on Sushmita Banerjee,(with feminist view) Mainstream Weekly,21st September available at www.mainstreamweekly.net, Email: [email protected]


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