TWO-IN-ONE LIFE OF OUR POLITICIANS
If one were to go by the logic of our politicians, particularly the ruling ones, they have two lives — political and personal/private. This makes them enjoy the best of the two lives in one birth — a two in one.
Take note of the recent averments. The External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid criticized two important institutions of the Constitution: the Election Commission (EC) and the Supreme Court (SC) of India on a foreign soil in London. He said: "They are only three (members of EC) and they can decide which word you can use during election campaign. The broad philosophical approach is that you should do and say nothing that wins you an election, you should try your best to lose election," Khurshid was quoted saying.
Commenting on the SC he said: "Judges sit and they say this is not to happen and of course go to the extent of threatening contempt proceedings against officials. Two judges can say anything about parliamentarians that they will be allowed to contest or not, what kind of affidavit they have to file, what they can do and so on," (http://www.hindustantimes.com/news-feed/chunk-ht-ui-myindiamyvote2009-stateofstates/salman-khurshid-slams-supreme-court-ec/article1-1194459.aspx) Later, he also displays the graciousness to deny it altogether, even though every word is there on the audio/video.
On February 26, 2014 the same Minister called Gujarat chief minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate "impotent" The next day Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi strongly disapproved Khurshid’s remarks dubbing BJP leader Narendra Modi “impotent” saying “I do not appreciate this kind of comment... the kind of language,” (http://www.deccanherald.com/content/388875/rahul-snubs-khurshid-039impotent039-remark.html)
Khurshid is not a novice in this craft of speaking out his mind. He opens his mouth but always with a definite design. He has a great history behind. While campaigning for his Congress candidate wife during the last UP Vidhan Sabha elections, he had defied the EC and violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCoC) by promising religion based reservation. When EC took offence, he regretted and EC treated the matter "as closed". Hardly had the din died down, another Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma took up the gauntlet to adopt the same rebellious posture promising the same benefit to minorities for which the EC had censured Khurshid. Khurshid defiantly he went on to say that he was too willing to attain martyrdom with a smile emphasising that he will continue his crusade "even if they (EC) hang him". He continued to speak in this tone of a martyr till the polling in his wife's constituency was over. The electorate gave him a boot. His wife was pushed down to the fifth position when the counting was over. A distressed EC complained to the President of India against the conduct of the Minister. When the matter came to a boil and polling in his wife's constituency for which he was doing all this was over, Khurshid turned a sober man. In all humility he apologized to the EC saying he had full respect for it. EC too responded very kindly and graciously pardoned the fallen guy.
The same story was repeated in the case of Beni Prasad Verma's defiance.
Another habitual offender is the Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh. He has the secrets of every organization in the world holed up in his chest. He leaks these 'facts' at will when it suits him. Not once but in dozens of times the Congress party had to disassociate itself from his bold declarations dubbing it as his "personal opinion". Let us quote only one instance of the Batla House encounter case in which the valiant Delhi Police Inspector M. C. Sharma attained martyrdom while fighting terrorists. The Union government decorated this martyr posthumously. The trial court convicted the culprits. Yet Diggy Raja went on a 'pilgrimage' to Azamgarh to express his sympathies with those hauled up by the Police. He even now continues to maintain that the encounter was 'fake' and demands a judicial inquiry although the Congress Home Minister has repeatedly denied Digvijay's allegations and turned down his demand.
A political leader, a minister or a bureaucrat is the official and only official voice of the organization he belongs. What is this humbug of a "personal" view? If it is, it should remain confined to the four walls of privacy. Why should a "private and personal" opinion need to be aired publicly? When whatever they say and do is in the public domain under public glaze and gaze, how does the voice of the same person become other than official when it comes from a similar or the same public platform? Can a Prime Minister, his ministers or even a bureaucrat afford to say — and should say —something that is at variance and in defiance of the official stand? And if they do, can it be dismissed as "private" opinion of an individual?
Another recent case is that of veteran NCP leader and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. At a gathering of NCP workers on March 22, 2014 he said, "Vote for the 'clock' (NCP symbol) there (in Satara) and come back to vote for the clock in Mumbai too". (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2587446/Do-erase-ink-mark-Sharad-Pawar-tells-supporters-vote-twice.html). An alibi is always at hand to the put the blame on the media saying he was "quoted out of context". And he did that. He went further saying that the particular "meeting was not a political meeting or rally". Pawar needs to understand that a political party is a public organization and not a "private or personal" fiefdom. Further, an overwhelming number of crimes are committed only within "private and personal" premises but that does not suck away the sense of criminality out of the offence to turn it into an act of piety.
All said and done, it is a deliberate and intentional act with a definite design to grab political advantage — and, at times, electoral bounty — by dubbing any statement as "personal" opinion.
When a person comes to occupy an official or political position in any organization he ceases to have his right to a "personal and private" opinion in matters of public and to air it publicly. People and the media wish to seek only his official as against his "personal" opinion. If they were not holding that exalted position no media person would waste his time to hanker for a "bite" from him. Do people holding official positions in political organizations or governments ever discuss their "private and personal" family matters and opinion in public?
Our politicians know that their "private and personal" opinion has been well taken and well understood by those sections of the people for which it was targeted and intended, and from whom they anticipated political or electoral favours. Political leaders stand nothing to lose if, later, they have to claim their words having been "quoted out of context" or they altogether deny their statements or are, at the most, censured by any authority. They have realized the objective for which they say or do something. This helps them derive benefit from both the worlds as one stand will please one section and denial the other. ***