It is imperative to expose the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of our politicians.
By Rashid Ahmad
It was extremely shocking to see former chief minister and National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah publicly making an obscene gesture in response to some question asked by a journalist, the other day. Farooq Abdullah was apparently miffed by the question as the journalist wanted to know whether the National Conference president was mulling over forming government with the BJP in the state. Jammu and Kashmir is reeling under Governor’s rule after the fall of Mahbooba Mufti as chief minister. The state assembly has been put under suspended animation. Some groups are hobnobbing to form the government.
Probably, the question was asked against the backdrop of Farooq Abdullah’s show of loyalty towards BJP by not only showering more-than-required accolades on former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away some days back, as “king of hearts” but also raised slogans “Bharat Mata ki jai” and “Jai Hind” with no apparent cause or provocation. His slogans shouting was termed as his attempt to please the BJP as the party’s entire senior leadership was in the audience.
Farooq Abdullah, as recorded on video, first ignored the question and left the venue. But he suddenly returned and made an extremely uncivilized and vulgar gesture towards the journalists. It was such an obnoxious act expected only from a lout.
In a civilized political business, politicians are deemed as role models for the society. They set the moral standard for the society by way of their conduct in public life. People follow them and adopt their ways and behavior. The greater the moral conduct of politicians, the more civilized the society.
But it is sad to note that our politicians do not match even to the lowest levels of morality in public life. They are rotten heads only contaminating and polluting the society. They are opportunists eying only at reaching the highest seats of power. Numerous licentious stories are being associated with their private lives. In 2006, dozens of politicians were accused of being involved in sex scandal by the CBI. Many of them were arrested and sent to jail. Muzaffar Hussain Baig, in 2009, caused flutters in the state assembly when he revealed that Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah too were involved in the sex scam. He said that Farooq Abdullah figured at serial no 38 and Omar Abdullah at 102. Omar Abdullah was chief minister then. He was so embarrassed by the expose’ that, in full House, he announced to resign only to backtrack later.
Public life is always the mirror of one’s private life. The two cannot be separated. If you are dishonest and uncivilized in private dealings it gets reflected in public life in one way or the other. When Farooq Abdullah made the obscene gesture so publicly, he, in fact, revealed the real man inside him.
Farooq Abdullah has always been a moral wreck. That he is motor-mouthed is common knowledge but he will stagger into such depths of disgrace and shame so publicly and under the gaze of dozens of cameras is quite intolerable. He should be questioned, and protested against for indulging in such salacious behavior.
Ethically and socially our society is orthodox with no approval of such moral meanness. The journalists should have registered their protest then and there but it appears that either they could not differentiate properly between the “smartness” and “smuttiness” of the former chief minister instantaneously or they are quite insensitive to such disgraceful gesticulations.
Like any individual a journalist has certain responsibilities towards the society. It is rather a journalist who describes a society. That way his/her responsibilities are quite sensitive and touchy. Conveying information, ideas and opinions are good but protecting and preserving social and cultural ethos cannot be left to wayward politicians. For them politics is merely a power grabbing game. Given their greed and lust for power, the politicians, in fact, are the polluters of social culture, violators of human values and societal norms. They need to be put under check by way of exposing and censuring them for whatever claptrap they are involved in. It is imperative to expose the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of such politicians.
(The write-up has appeared as editorial in today’s (August 28, 2018) Kashmir Monitor)