Slap on the face

An enraged youth slapping Sharad Pawar signifies a lot


Few days back a young man slapped   the Union Minister Of  Agriculture, Sharad Pawar on his face  while he was attending a public function in New Delhi. Prior to that the same person had slapped   ex Telecom Minister Sukh Ram after  he was convicted by a local court in a telecom scandal  of the late nineties. Unfortunate events, no doubt. Apparently, the young man was outraged  by the scandalous behavior and brazen misdemeanor of so many politicians, some of whom are in prison facing serious criminal charges ,  who had shamed the country and brought untold miseries to the people. On being caught, the young man instead of expressing  remorse over the act  conducted himself  in such a manner as if   the occasion was his glorious moment. Cutting  all barriers, most  people   shared the joy and glory of his  moment. A matter to ponder over, indeed  !
This attack on Pawar  alerted all politicians, cutting across the Party lines. They prepared one man to condemn  the young  person. Additionally, they   criticized   Anna Hazare  and  his team for having unleashed  the  ‘   undemocratic forces.’ They blamed the civil society for having developed and propagated   anti politician  rhetoric. It seemed that the condemnation was more  to save  their not so  illustrious  tribe, in the trade of politics, than in sympathy  of  Pawar.All sorts of adjectives were hurled in their support of democracy and the democratic institutions of the country.  The  slap on Agricultural Minister was taken as an assault on the democratic fiber of the nation. Nice words, indeed. However, coming as they do from the  traders in politics, who are known for their love of the lucre, and have no qualms to stall the  premier institution of the democracy – Parliament of the country – from working  and bringing it in disrepute, these words  sound like “Devil quoting Scriptures.”
To appreciate  the concern (false) of these  ‘honorable ‘ politicians for the democratic institutions and the democratic practices one has only to look at their record in holding up Parliament and the State legislatures  for months together;  and the bedlam they create by quibbling over  petty  things. But then look to the alacrity with which these lawmakers  allow the institutions function, smoothly, when they  come to deliberate upon their perks and the privileges. These ‘gentlemen’ have been slapping  every one of us, every day every moment, with impunity and with no sense of remorse. Yet they decry the act of desperation of a victim of their misdeeds. The reaction of the men in politics did not go well with the  suffering masses. That explains why  most of the people  derived a vicarious pleasure   in the episode , though the action of the attacker can’t be   appreciated. Leaving the self serving and opportunistic politicians apart,  behavior of the young man can not auger well for the  future of the country. Indeed, it should be a matter of concern for all right thinking people.
Every  citizen of the country is protesting for variety of the reasons. He feels marginalized, excluded, betrayed and let down by  those very persons whom he had elected and looked up to. The populace is on the streets  demanding that the government and their representatives  make good on the promises made  for better governance. Some agitate for bare minimum  necessities of life like, food and shelter ; while as some suffer on account of faulty law and order  situation and have to live in constant fear .  Others have their rights of free speech and freedom of expression trampled upon. Our political leaders  do not see beyond a chosen few when it comes to   providing health care, education,housing  and good governance . For most of the people these  basic requirements are on sale ; and one who pays  a higher price will have them. The situation undoubtedly impinges upon the   rights necessary for a dignified human being. Denial of access to these rights  amounts to  gross violation of the human rights.  So, here one  is   forced  to recall the note of warning  sounded by  its framers  when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights  was adopted on December  10, 1948 , that  “ it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny  and oppression, that human rights should be protected  by the rule of law.”
Respected  political leaders, heed the warning. Or else, be prepared  for the rebellion.

(B.L Saraf is Former Principal District & Session Judge)

Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST

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