Are We Living in a ‘Clean Chit’ India?

 ‘Jayalalitha to Return as Chief Minister on Saturday’ was the news headline not so long ago.

Just this one headline is enough to raise enough questions and ponder the state of our country today – be it Politics, Law and Order, Health, Education or even Bollywood.

 Clean Chit to Jayalalitha

She came, she saw, she ‘conquered’ by way of disproportionating assets worth grossly large sums of money, and then she got acquitted. And is back to her post of CM of Tamil Nadu.

Need I say much more? A Chief Minister of a state of our country who has been misusing her office during her entire tenure by amassing properties and assets worth a whopping 66.65 Crore of rupees – assets that include farmhouses, bungalows, jewelry, agricultural and industrial land, investments in luxury cars, banks and tea estates – this chief minister, following an ongoing trial spanning 18 years during which she was convicted thrice and sentenced to a four year jail sentence was just recently acquitted from all charges and set free  which has reinstated her eligibility to be reelected as CM. Are we as a country really resigning and accepting the idea of bonafide criminals taking charge and holding any pertinent positions of office? This may as well be called ‘Misleading by Example’. This also raises the issue of my ever diminishing faith in our country’s corrupt law and order.

Clean Chit to Salman Khan

Not that I need to add fuel to the already blazing debates on this man but he definitely makes the list. We can sit and talk legalities all day but the truth of the matter is that Salman Khan is a man who drank one too many, got behind the wheel without a driving license, and ran over some poor homeless souls while they were asleep on a footpath. And killed one of them. Oh and Salman Khan happens to be Bollywood’s biggest, most worshipped superstar. So, in true superstar glory, Salman Khan manages to wriggle free of jail time for now – a suspension they say. I am a big fan too and yes all the great charity he does is very commendable, no doubt but that shouldn’t even be a consideration here. He is still a man in the wrong no matter what his social status. You can’t empathize with such irresponsibility. If Salman Khan was an ordinary citizen like you or I, there wouldn’t even be a debate because we would ALL be baiters. To be fair yes, I do think that if a similar case where many more persons were killed did occur then the number of years for jail should be allotted fairly in his case too. But then I am not a lawyer. I am a citizen who objects to the suspension of a man’s jail time who has murdered one and ruined the lives of others just because he is a famous, wealthy celebrity. And he didn’t even care to turn up for the hearing! How is THAT ‘Being Human’, Mr. Khan? Strike two for ‘fair justice’.

Clean Chit to Mayawati – Another lady politician and four-time Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh whose rise to power as described by the former Prime Minster P.V. Narasimha Rao is nothing short of a ‘Miracle of Democracy’. While her early climb to political success was admirable, her trodden path too is stained with controversy and dirty political play. Becoming the first female Dalit CM in 1997, she has attained cult status among the Dalits today and is referred to as an icon – ‘Behenji’ as she is fondly called. But like Jayalalitha, the rise in her personal wealth and that of her party’s has been hugely criticized as being a result of corruption. Dishonest and corrupt politics can never take India very far and the mind is boggled by how personal agenda always takes favor over the country’s progress among our leaders. And yet it is these corrupt leaders who time and again get re-elected. Then there are the statues. During her tenure, Mayawati commissioned Dalit, Hindu and Buddhist statues to be built and displayed to the tune of $500 billion to address the ‘lack of respect’ shown by past governments towards Dalits by not building anything in their name.  And of course, in true corrupt minister tradition, she was also investigated by the CBI over disproportioning assets and property in her name, a case that after a lot of rallying with the courts, was finally dropped in 2012. Similar was the Taj Corridor clean up raid at her home.  We seem to have become experts at the ‘brushing under the carpet’ clean up.

Clean Chit to Lalit Modi – And now the latest gem in this jewelry box of corruption is Mr. Lalit Modi – First Commissioner of the Cricket IPL. While it is certainly commendable how Modi launched and spearheaded the IPL as well as chaired the Champions league for 2 years, he was subsequently found guilty of misconduct and indiscipline and was not only removed from office but banned from the BCCI – Board of Control for Cricket in India. After a series of suspensions and even a court case lost to Chris Cairns as a result of fabricating a false story against him on Twitter, Modi was banned from the BCCI but defiant, he was unfazed by this and merely brushed it off. It is quite ironic that a man dripping in dishonest dealings and exiles for indiscipline is also a man who is vehemently fighting against IPL match-fixing and has been quite vocal about it calling it a ‘death penalty for the sport’. The news and social media today is full of the recent revelation about Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj being an alleged ally in the UK visa case of Lalit Modi that opened a can of worms that warranted the combative Rajdeep Sardesai to fly to Montenegro where Modi is currently holidaying and interview him about the whole affair. An interview that shows a hysterical, high pitched Modi struggling to defend himself while also blurting out names of those involved, obviously determined to not go down alone.  And there he is, posting Instagram pictures from Montenegro.

The list, of course, is longer. Indian politics truly has become a ‘Game of Thrones’ meets ‘House of Cards’ Tv show (as someone poetically put it), only in the real world it is most distressing as a citizen of India to live through. It is really high time that we as a nation borrow from our ‘cleaner’ and more honest counterparts around the world and also from our own ancestral leading legends if we want to live to see true progress and leaders worth idolizing that will make a real and ‘honest’ difference in the times of our future generations.

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