To introduce an ordinance that allows legislators convicted by a court in India to continue in office is a breach of values, ethics and principles integral to civil society. A ‘convicted’ legislator ought to demit public office and stay out of it through the period of appeal till he is acquitted by the higher courts. Leaders and public servants, who are mandated to protect and enforce the laws of this land, must lead by example and not take cover behind the purdah of ‘ordinances’ and ‘special privileges’. All this fiddling around with basic laws that govern a society to protect those who misuse their positions and power must be corrected urgently so as not to endorse personal gain under the garb of rajneeti.
This abuse of civil society is bound to have severe repercussions. India has had enough of this kind of damaging hypocrisy from its rulers. The insult of Indians and the assault on their patience could well be the single trigger that could force the United Progressive Alliance to quit office in spite of its good deeds. During the decade-long tenure of this ruling coalition at the Centre, the Congress has condoned numerous wrong and illegal acts in an effort to please and protect erring partners to keep the numbers that are necessary to remain on the gaddi. This has led to untenable politics and has encouraged corruption. The malignancy has reached unimaginable proportions. India has been ignored, neglected and mauled for personal gain and profit. The ethics enshrined in the Constitution are being increasingly disregarded. The desperation to remain in power at any cost defeats the very essence of democracy.
A new and young India craves for dignity, transparency and clean governance. India has been deprived of these. Even as the states of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and a few others develop and move on, the Centre has become a symbol of malpractice and dishonest governance. Therefore, it seems clear that in the state elections, local concerns will be of paramount importance. At the national level, India is desperately looking for self-respect, dignity and a regeneration of damaged pride. Who will be the contenders for the throne who would prioritize reinvention and restoration of good sense and clean governance? Today, our politicians with their personal agenda are looked at with scorn and disgust. If we are to preserve our liberal democracy, we need a clean, intelligent and committed political class that believes in the idea of India.
If one were to look at how Delhi has developed over the last 15 years, one would see that it has been one of the most positive transformations. From being a babu town, it has turned into a cultural and corporate metropolis spilling into the National Capital Region. There is amazing energy, creativity and connectivity in this metropolitan city. The chief minister’s commitment has been salutary. Electricity that was once erratic is now consistent. Delhiwallahs are beginning to learn to pay for civil services as they gradually emerge from the debilitating freebies and dole syndrome of the days of the command economy.
India’s capital possesses infrastructure that no other Indian city has. The metro has made movement easy. Roads and flyovers have ‘democratized’ space, linking its diverse layers. Parks and greenery allow the city to breathe. In spite of the electronic media’s assertion that the Congress in Delhi will lose the forthcoming assembly elections, Sheila Dikshit fights on to win again. She has the true spirit of a stalwart who is unaffected by superficial sound bites. The rude and unsavoury comments against her by the Aam Admi Party show how shallow politics has become. She has a chance of winning a fourth term.