Beni Prasad Verma is a loose cannon of Congress. He seems to be unstoppable at the moment and doing more harm than good to the struggling national party. Azam Khan, and many BJP stalwarts are competing with each other in discovering the new depth of gutter politics. The Latest salvo in this dirty war is fired by Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah on Sunday at Azamgarh. Addressing a public meeting in Sagri area of Azamgarh, Shah said, “Azamgarh is the base of terrorists as there is no fear of the government, which is advocating their release.” Blaming the Centre also, Shah said Pakistani intruders would retreat ’30 kilometres’ inside Pakistan when the Narendra Modi government comes to power.
In 2013, Narendra Modi had started his campaign with a sober note of ‘Vikas.’ For public and politics, it was roses roses all the way. However, somewhere his strategy was diverted and the chariot of his ‘Vikas’ lost the road and the road map. Today, he is desperately fighting on every front. It was absolutely unnecessary. People had begun to believe in some of his promises. Unfortunately, as the poet said – “Zamana barey shouq se sun raha tha, hum he so gaye dastan kahte.” The public was listening with rapt attention, it were I – the story teller, who slept during narration. Modi could have avoided all that superfluous dispensable rhetoric. Only May 16 would reveal the efficacy of his judgment.
Yesterday, he crossed the limit of Political ‘Maryada’ and targeted the Election Commission, accusing it of not acting impartially and daring it to take action against him. “I am leveling a serious charge against the Election Commission. You have failed to stop rigging and violence in West Bengal, Bihar and parts of western Uttar Pradesh. Why are you not acting? What is your intention? If you feel what I am saying now is wrong, you have permission to lodge another case against me…Democracy doesn’t work like this. I know how much rigging took place in the elections on May 30… Isn’t it the EC’s responsibility to conduct peaceful and fair polls.” He forgot that EC doesn’t need his permission to take action against him. One can smell the traits of dictatorship in his dialogue.
Sometimes back, JDU President Sharad Yadav had ridiculed Narendra Modi for what he said was his “desperation” to become Prime Minister and advised him to take the oath of office from PA Sangma, whom BJP had fielded as its contestant for the 2012 Presidential elections. “If he (Modi) has become so desperate, he should place the replica of Lal Qila (Red Fort) behind himself and take oath (of prime ministership) from Sangma, whom BJP had fielded (as its candidate in the presidential elections). He is not going to become prime minister. He is selling dreams. A merchant or a juggler (‘madari‘) sells dreams, but a politician is one who talks about dreams that can be realized. The manner in which he used the word ‘third rate’ is not done in political discourse. Neither Congress nor BJP is going to come to power (at the Centre). They (BJP) are now shouting from rooftops. They will just remain there.”
The EC had earlier ordered action against him for allegedly violating electoral laws by displaying his party symbol and delivering a “political speech” minutes after casting his vote.
Targeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, NaMo said he would make her stop all her “natakbazi” if the BJP comes to power at the Centre. “If you elect me, you will have rasgullas in both hands. If there is a strong and powerful government at the Centre, Didi will have to stop all her natakbazi in West Bengal and run her government seriously.”
This scribe is deliberately avoiding the Assam’s Kokrajhar massacre as it is a highly emotional debatable issue. It needs another treatment. Was NaMo justified to raise the issue of migrants during these volatile times?
Here, I want to share the merits of the politician with the reader. In a democracy, we can’t do without a politician. He may be unfit, contemptible and wide of the mark to the merit or the stature of the office he contests; he might have deceived us in the past with his promises and deeds; he might have misled us in many domains. However, he is just one of the galaxy of politics and all of them are not bad apples. Granted that Indian politics have become so murky that we seldom expect good deeds of our politicians, but they often do good things also. We do not learn about them because we care two hoots about good deeds. What we know about them is mostly through the propaganda of their opponents. In spite their bumpy rides we shouldn’t give up upon them. Hoping against hope, we should keep great expectations and high hopes in them. We should try to know about their character, their past and their outlook of the future. They aren’t really dispensible.
No individual is perfect and no constitution upon earth is perfect. That is why, time and again, we need amendments. Our constitutional fathers were so lenient to human flaws that despite the plethora of checks and balances, we have a galore of alleged criminals in our temple of democracy today. ‘Worthy Character’ is the fundamental of all human beings who want to lead. It is a noble quality in public and private life. It is crucial because politics in a democracy is about ‘trust.’ Character and Trust are concomitant. We must define what is acceptable and unacceptable; what we ought to expect and not to expect from our leaders. A politician who breaks the law with impunity should be held responsible not only at the polling booth, but in court-of-law also.
‘Integrity’ is another point. Integrity means incorruptible honesty in the eyes of the law and behind the law; that is, when the law is not looking. It means playing be the established rules, not subverting them, even for the ideological or party gain. Integrity also means leading by example. Another important merit is ‘civility.’ It is easier to observe than define. It means showing the necessary respect towards opponents and colleagues on account of their personal dignity. It demands fortitude to abstain from returning a pungent and scorching comment. It means refraining from demeaning the opponents through down-right nasty advertisement.
Finally, Election is a competitive sport and it asks for an equivalently sportsman like conduct.
By Naim Naqvi
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