What is common between the Janata Party’s (or a section of the JP’s) over-eagerness to press a number of charges against Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi’s “maut ka saudagar” remark about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi? They were both unsubstantiated wild allegations that only ended up wiping out the accuser and handed the accused a big win in the next elections.
There have been some instances of late where such personal abuses and allegations have been given a big thumbs’ down by the public. A classic example is the current number one in the race for the prime minister’s chair, Narendra Modi. After more than a decade of unsubstantiated allegations and personal abuses against him, he has only emerged cleaner and stronger.
What does this say about Indian politics and voters? Just that while Indian democracy may have many areas to improve in, it still is a place where basic decorum and respect for the constitution is maintained. Wild, personal allegations might win you some applause and an election but nothing beyond that.
Our nation has a constitution, which provides the citizens many rights. If someone feels that a person has indulged in unlawful activities, and there is enough proof to nail that person, one has every right to go to courts against that other person. Many times (or rather, most times), when a political party charges the leaders of another party of corruption or wrongdoing, they do so with enough proof in hand. Barring a few incidents, most Indian parties have respected this tradition. This tradition is not a “joining of hands by corrupts” but it is a basic respect towards the judiciary of this country (which has sometimes delayed justice, but never denied it).
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems to be totally unaware of our systems, the constitution and democracy. The way they have begun making wild allegations and crazy lists of corrupt leaders, one wonders if they have even heard of basic things like “proof” or “courts”. Even Ajmal Kasab was given a proper judicial hearing before he was convicted and hanged. But the AAP is in a hurry to brand everyone except themselves corrupt and to hang them without even a counter argument. Even Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal admits the list was based on “kahi-suni baatein”. Pretty dangerous, isn’t it? Tomorrow, anyone will brand someone else corrupt, and tar that person badly.
Arvind Kejriwal forgets he is a CM. And as a CM, the least that is expected from him is to trust and follow the basic guidelines of democracy. If he feels one or more leaders are corrupt, why not produce proof against them and take them to courts? Why is he shy of ensuring they are punished? Honestly, this list of corrupt leaders is as childish as a list made by a college kid of the number of his classmates he/she thought had crush on him/her.
Most political parties have maintained the decorum of not attacking other elected representatives and leaders without proof. This decorum becomes more important when it has to be upheld by a CM like Arvind Kejriwal. A CM with no faith in democracy can only bring in anarchy.
The AAP is forgetting that consensus is a crucial part of decision-making in a democracy. While we ridicule the current political system for what hasn’t happened, we forget to credit it with all that has. And consensus played a huge role in that. Remember when Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to the United Nations (UN) to bat for India on Kashmir? That is the spirit of consensus for the better of the nation.
This spirit of working together for the nation means leaders don’t make wild baseless allegations against each other. But it also doesn’t mean wrong doings are ignored. Be it CWG, 2G, Adarsh or Bofors scams earlier, the opposition did not resort to mindless charges like the AAP is doing. The opposition acquired the necessary evidence, followed it with due judicial process and at most times, nailed the government and its leaders. The AAP is trying to be judge, jury and executioner. This just shows their immaturity and disdain for democracy.
It’s high time Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP think as a party in government and stop behaving like the immature children out to seek attention. They are already doing a great disservice to democracy.
Jiten Gajaria is Convener, Social Media Cell, BJP Maharashtra. He is also an entrepreneur and writes on political issues. He tweets at @jitengajaria.