How will corruption end when glamourised?
JAMMU: When Amma-J. Jaylalitha– went to jail for ‘swindling’ poor tax payers’ hard earned money to lead a luxurious life, thousands of her supporters in Tamil Nadu felt pain, which they shamelessly demonstrated by beating their chests in open. Similarly, the blind followers of Om Prakash Chautala created quite a scene when the octogenarian walked into the jail for jumping his bail by campaigning in the elections despite getting relief on the plea of bad health. He went to jail like a groom goes to bedeck the wedlock. In his ‘sermon’ to media, Chatuala accused the Centre of misusing CBI for political purposes thereby casting aspersions of the judicial dispensation.
Both the former Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Haryana have been convicted for possessing assets disproportionate to their known source of income. Instead of getting condemned for betraying public trust, they get projected as victims by their supporters, most of who are poor, exploited and subjugated by the system their leaders imposed upon them during hey days. Hero-worship has taken toll of virtue in Indian public life. The evil is being glamourised without an iota of effort made by self-proclaimed champions of corruption-free India to generate public awareness. The hero-worshipping of the people like Jaylalitta and Chautala raises many questions about the success of anti-corruption drive in 1.25 billion strong nation.
The nation witnessed similar scenes when 2G accused A. Raja or former Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s parliamentarian daughter Kanimozhi were released on bail after being sent to jail for their omissions and commissions. The jail birds found huge trail of supporters walking down the streets cheering on their flower bedecked tainted leaders. Commonwealth Games scam accused Suresh Kalmadi also managed a similar euphoric crowd when he walked out of the jail barricades.
India is portraying a real grim scenario on account of war against corrupt. Corruption is rampant. It is not only in highest echelons of power centre but every limb of administration is inflicted of this cancerous growth. Every government office with dusty environs and Gandhi’s portrait hanging on the shabby walls has become citadel of corruption. The unfortunate part of the malady is that corrupt are not looked down upon in the Indian society where monetary affluence is a major measure of success in life. See how Jaylalitha mocked at the poor when she opened up the coffers of illegally accumulated wealth to solemnize the marriage of her adopted son. He stands abandoned since. The poor who are shedding tears now on her pathetic situation were nowhere allowed to be near the scene of royal marriage.
Imagine how convicted corrupt like Lalu Prasad Yadav is taken on shoulders to celebrate his comeback from the jail-cell. He did not only manage to find a space in political arena but staged his comeback with big bang, securing several crucial seats in the Bihar bye-election a month or so ago.
True, judgments cannot be passed on the corrupt leaders as they have preferred appeals against their conviction but perception matters much in public life. Of course, a person is innocent till proved otherwise but at the same time how can the criminals be allowed to dominate politics and civil services. They can’t be kept at distance in the matters of the state, if the people themselves glorify them brazenly and openly.
The only palpable solution lies in generating awareness about the evil of corruption that has retarded the growth of this nation which was known centuries ago a golden sparrow. Who will do that? Not the corrupt politician or unscrupulous public servant! The command has to be taken by the people themselves. Unless the poor stand against loot and plunder unleashed by powerful and those in public life, corruption will not go. It will not go as long as the people worship their leaders blindly. If corruption in public life is to be tackled, politicians need to be humbled. Otherwise, Rajas, Yadavs, Kanzimohis, Chautalas, Jaylalithas will continue to don the mantle of respectability and trample rights of the Indian poor. Verdict lies in you and me!