Greed, criminality threaten Republic of India

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Two shocking events of a criminal nature took place in different parts of the country on the day before Republic Day. In Maharashtra, the additional collector of Malegaon was burnt alive, allegedly by the kerosene mafia. And in a courtroom in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, in what is virtually a suburb of the nation’s capital, Dr. Rajesh Talwar, father of teenager Aarushi — whose gruesome murder a couple of years ago had shocked the entire nation, was grievously attacked. The President’s speechwriters could not have anticipated such terrible happenings, and yet it is hard to miss that there is no more than a cavalier understanding in the President’s speech of the fact that criminality has enveloped our society faster than anyone might have imagined.

Republic Day 2011 arrived in unusual circumstances. While the country’s economy is expanding at a rate that is the envy of the world, the national mood is relatively low key and dispirited. This is not just due to the inflation which is eating into real incomes. All major economies have been hit by inflation and, unlike in India, the sustained rise in prices for them comes without the compensation of a noteworthy expansion of their economy. It is evident that factors for our despondency lie elsewhere. A major consideration here cannot but be the canker of corruption, which is eating into our vitals, stripping the prestige of the nation’s elite in all fields, and making a mockery of the political and economic system. In addition, the failure of our delivery systems appears to render the making of high policy fruitless, particularly in social sectors which aim to cater to the bulk of our population, which is depressingly poor. From time to time this has been noted by top dignitaries, who ascribe to this glaring failure the rise of the menace of Naxalism that generally hides criminality in the garb of a pro-people agenda. Indeed, criminality in every form and at every level of society has spread so wide that honest citizens despair they can’t find redress. True, as President Pratibha Patil noted in the First Citizen’s customary Republic Day-eve address, our biggest achievement is that we have sustained our democracy. No doubt this has been in the face of severe challenges in the social, political and economic spheres that tested us from time to time. The President might have added that we have also retained our stability in spite of all the gnawing negatives. This is easily appreciated when we cast our eye on our geographical neighborhood. But while making a cursory reference to democracy, the President’s speech fails to enthuse. When needed, says the head of state, course correction should be undertaken unhesitatingly and with urgency, but she leaves us guessing in what areas of our national endeavor might this apply with immediate effect. Two shocking events of a criminal nature took place in different parts of the country on the day before Republic Day. In Maharashtra, the additional collector of Malegaon was burnt alive, allegedly by the kerosene mafia. And in a courtroom in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, in what is virtually a suburb of the nation’s capital, Dr. Rajesh Talwar, father of teenager Aarushi — whose gruesome murder a couple of years ago had shocked the entire nation, was grievously attacked. The President’s speechwriters could not have anticipated such terrible happenings, and yet it is hard to miss that        there is no more than a cavalier understanding in the President’s speech of the fact that criminality has enveloped our society faster than anyone might have imagined.

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

 

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