This refers to T N Ninan’s column “Political penalties” (Weekend Ruminations, November 4). The piece offers an insight into the ironical reality of inequality of atonement in Indian politics — how our politicians experience, or escape, penance for the faults they made or did not make. Back into the past and now, we find a steep fall in the moral behaviour of our leaders. After independence, K D Malaviya and V K Menon, who were close to the prime minister, quit on charges of favour or inefficiency. From this zenith, the decline was set in motion by Indira Gandhi, who chided A R Antulay — not for being corrupt, but for having been caught when he was chief minister of Maharashtra. The moral morass is at its nadir now when tainted ministers are promoted, despite public protests (Salman Khurshid), or claim prominence even when allegations of malpractice pile up against them (B S Yeddyurappa). Why do political parties react with impunity to allegations of moral cowardice and harbour corrupt elements? They believe the cries of corruption against such leaders are outbursts of a few errant mortals and a self-opinionated media. How long will it take for the accumulating public outrage to crystallise into a wave sweeping the brazen corrupt politicians in elections? And, will it happen without crusaders like Anna Hazare and a perseverant media?
Y G Chouksey Pune
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