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Moral question


Why should those in high constitutional and government positions be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing when charged with irregularities or improper behaviour? It has taken a lot of arm-twisting by the SC, the media and political leaders to get Justice AK Ganguly to submit his resignation. What kept him from doing so immediately after the allegations of sexual harassment burst on the scene – particularly if he was innocent? Surely a judge ought to have confidence in the processes of the law and expect to come out with his reputation intact? Or, did he know that the wheels of justice not only grind slow but never actually get anywhere in India?

The same goes with the simple reforms that would satisfy the self-respect of today’s citizen, such as not being humiliated at every step by arrogant politicians and government officials. Why should the decision on red beacons have to be forced on the big shots by a Supreme Court ruling, or because they find the mood of an awakened electorate particularly belligerent following AAP’s victory in Delhi?

For a nation that extraordinarily won Independence from a powerful colonial power by merely persisting with a moral argument, it is strange that morality counts for so little today. Having witnessed in reality the power that emanates from nobility of character – as exhibited by the nation’s founding fathers – why has it become necessary for today’s so called leaders to have all the accoutrements of power surrounding them, their families and supporters? Obviously, they have been schooled in the wrong way from their very beginnings in politics or governance.

Why is there so little faith in doing the right thing? Is it because there is evidence all around that honesty is not the best policy? Are there not enough examples of people who have succeeded by walking the straight and narrow; obeying the dictates of their conscience; being generous and upbeat as leaders should? Now that activists functioning simply on the basis of high morality have achieved success, people have greater confidence in doing the right thing. On the other hand, those invested heavily in the status quo will resist and everything will not be as easy as anticipated. This is already being seen in Delhi, where the AAP image is already being chipped away in small ways. The forces of morality must consolidate before the assault is raised to the next level.