Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tehelka II

Another day another scandal. This time it is about politicians taking money to ask questions. And good old Aniruddh Bahal (Yeah! the same chap who won the bad sex writing award) has got another scoop to his name.

The breast beating that has followed is really funny. This episode has apparently “lowered the dignity of Parliament” and “angry members” demanded “stern action against the guilty”. I am sure!! Laughable.

A few of them would have gone back to their govt. bungalows in Lutyens’ Delhi after their bouts of indignation and anger was demonstrated in Parliament and heaved a sigh of relief that they were not caught on tape. Bad for business all this sting wing thing. What now. I am sure there is a bunch of very annoyed Parliamentarians bemoaning a loss of yet another avenue of income. Pity these poor chaps.

But really, on a slightly more serious note, is it all that bad. Sure they did take money. And to ask questions about Catch 22 Cotton etc. So what? Why has the political establishment got its khadi pyjamas in a twist? He is merely asking a question. This highlights an issue. An issue that is close to the heart/wallet of the interest group concerned. If it is against national interest what are the other politicians doing? What is the government of the day doing? Surely they can ensure that nothing nefarious happens? Or can’t they?

If we are so aghast at this why does the Indian Government hire Lobbying firms on Capitol Hill and to lobby with the Parliamentarians in UK? Is that not the same thing? If Somanath Chatterjee, Pranab Mukherjee, L.K. Advani et al believe that what has been exposed is a shameful thing then what we are doing in the capitols of US and UK is just as shameful and the Indian Government is paying these firms the taxpayers money - our money. So maybe they should stop that too.

Or best get rid of the hypocrisy and recognize that these things happen in a democracy and ensure that it is done in a transparent manner. After all that immortal question remains, “Who will guard the guardians?”

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