And, then suddenly the matter is diverted to the British government and that too on its Prime Minister's courtesy visit to the country. Do we want to be a small brother of the Big Brother? What point are we trying to establish?
It is obvious that the deal was done with the knowledge of the government, and now we seem to be mercy pleading, as if telling the British Head of State that no we are blissfully unaware of such impropriety, please look into the matter. In other words, please bail us out. What an opprobrious thing to do!
In the meantime shame and scandal has rocked Italy. But we, without batting our eyelids are sitting pretty, and circumnavigating the entire scandalous issue.
I think our democratic ideals have crashed rock bottom.
Who are we trying to fool?
There is no dearth of news in our country, and that too for the wrong reasons! Now we have the spectacular one of a Minister of one of the North Eastern states caught napping with Rs 1 crore and some ammunition to boot it. And that happened in another country, Nepal to be precise. The Minister had the grace to resign. Perhaps if this was in any other state, this may not have happened.
What the Minister was doing with the guns is the moot question. And of course the money! But one crore pales into insignificance when we have a helicopter deal worth few thousand crore rupees. One crore is peanuts.
This happened just on the eve of the state assembly elections, but what was and is befuddling is that why it happened in Kathmandu. So no election connection, only flatulence of money? What bothers most is the presence of guns.
No wonder then that the Church in Nagaland is vocally asking for free and fair elections, and also exhorting everyone to vote judiciously. The Church is propagating anti corruption, and to vote for people with and for a conscience, not venality and money power. This is influencing especially the youth, and the church is playing a pivotal role here. It is pleading for the right to vote and asking for more than a semblance of sanity while exercising the right to franchise. This may not evoke wonders immediately, but it surely is a step in the right direction, and I think that the church in Nagaland irrespective of denominations is taking a gutsy and moral stand. This is so because politics needs to be inculcated with ethics, something which Gandhi represented.
It also shows that our body politic has reached a nadir. Money, money and money are the passwords in politics and elections. This is excruciatingly true. Like the church in Nagaland, social bodies in other parts of the country can take a cue. The people of this picturesque state are yearning for peace, the peace which has been elusive, even after fifteen or sixteen years of 'ceasefire', and for more than four decades.
This initiative of the church should be highlighted as a peace initiative and an effort, a serious one to rub politics of its tainted and dirty smudges. If similar collective action is taken at all levels in the country then there may be results, results that are salutary. But this has to be a conscious effort - a silent revolution. It is only through the collective conciousness of the people at community levels and through the intervention of organizations which are apolitical can a semblance of sanity be restored to the ubiquitous venality and nepotism which has plunged the country into thralldom.
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