Mon, 18 Feb, 2019

Decency, decorum on decline

The rot in behavioral pattern starting at the top percolates down to the institutions and bureaucracy and is worsening every passing day

09th February 2019, 02:25 Hrs

Deepak Laad  


The decency in the country’s polity has fallen to a low and is worsening further every passing day with the general elections fast approaching. The rot in behavioral pattern starting at the top percolates down in the institutions and the bureaucracy. The PM, the CMs, the Ministers are more often seen on roads getting in verbal duels with rivals and settling political scores than working quietly in their respective Ministries. We have witnessed it during very recent dead lock between West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and the Union Government, when in a horrific action, 40 CBI sleuths barged in the residence of Police Commissioner in Kolkata as if to nab a petty thief. Then it turned more horrific when the hunter became hunted and the raiding CBI officers were whisked away by the local police force holding them by scruff of their necks like ordinary criminals.  

It indeed is unfortunate that the nation’s premier investigative agency and the states’ law enforcement agencies are used as tools to settle political scores by the Center and State Governments alike, instead of leaving them alone to do their respective jobs impartially and independently without external interference.  

The Chief Minister of the state sitting on dharna in the street and running her office from the stage made a bizarre sight. She was seen signing papers there on the roadside brought to her by Chief Secretary. Invectives were freely flying between the Centre and the state and the world watched in amusement the wretched unprecedented drama unfolding on TV.  

A full day was wasted by the Union Ministers on single point agenda – bashing Mamata in the media. The Cabinet Ministers Nirmala Sitaraman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani playing this   assigned part with gusto must have made Modi happy.   

PM Modi, as usual away from his office, is also on the road these days crisscrossing states, delivering campaign speeches after speeches cussing the Gandhi family – his pet peeve. And now Mamata is the latest addition to this familiar narrative. In coming days he is supposed to go on whirlwind election campaign tour of 10 states in 5 days. The man is so steeped in bigotry and his sectarian politics that he has forgotten he is the Prime Minister of the whole country and not just of the BJP. Otherwise why should he be equating Kerala in a derogatory manner to Somalia?  

Recently, Yogi Adityanath too was on road with his full cabinet by the riverside at Kumbh Mela. He held a cabinet meeting right there after his cabinet members had taken religious dip in the holy water. This was a pedestrian populist stunt to impress the masses assembled there but compromised decorum and secular ethos of the august state legislature. Looks like Ajay Bisht aka Yogi Adityanath is a Yogi first, doubling as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.  

The inauguration of UP budget session was chaotic. The slogan shouting and placards waving SP and BSP brigade was even seen throwing paper balls at the Governor. Sadly, these days, the Governors too are responsible for losing the sheen of their constitutional positions as they are seen throwing propriety to the wind in public functions and abrasively flourishing their links to some rightist political groups. Well, Yogi rightly described the hooliganism in the UP assembly as unbecoming and unconstitutional, but he himself broke the rules later the same day when addressed a public rally in Purulia, West Bengal slamming Mamata, without bothering to take the  necessary permissions from the local authorities.  

Abusing the political opponent in public spaces has become a new normal. The Ministers, MLAs and MPs who participate in TV debates and discussions are seen berating and roasting one another using overheated language.  

The increasing lack of decorum, decency and discipline in autonomous institutions on account of rabid politicization at the highest level is a major cause for concern. The Director and Special Director of the nation’s premier investigative Agency flinging high value corruption charges at one another openly in public was disgraceful.  

Ideally, barracks is a place for army in the times of peace. The present Chief of Army staff, an appointee of the current regime, is a blusterous man often seen talking to the media. He has no business to give Pakistani PM Imran Khan lesson on secularism or comment on our Apex court’s recent verdict on gayness. Threatening the enemy nation is way far beyond his position, best left to the PM and the Minister for External affairs. Recently the day after he threatened Pakistan, the Pak rangers broke ceasefire and started firing indiscriminately in Krishna Ghati area of J&K but normally at such time the General loses his tongue and fails to surface.  

S Gurumurthy is a known RSS ideologue with known connection in ruling party. After his appointment as part time director on RBI board, his broadside against the Governor had hastened  the latter’s exit.  

Nearer home, an independent MLA using filthy language against a Minister during a cabinet meeting was recently in news in Goa. Breaking the law, taking the law in one’s own hands, shooting the mouth off or talking through one’s hat needs to be curtailed to maintain decorum and decency in our country’s socio-political systems.  

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