DISAPPEARING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A "neta" thrashed

One wouldn’t be way off the mark if one were to say that politicians have increasingly proved to be bane for this country. It is they who are largely responsible for most of the ills that the country suffers from. Whether it is corruption, non-governance, lawlessness or whatever – all can be traced mostly to acts of omission and commission of the politicians.


One, therefore, does not find oneself harbouring any sympathy for the Member of Parliament (MP) from Madhya Pradesh who the other day happened to be at the receiving end of a sound bit of thrashing at the hands of the Government Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force near the Bina Railway Station.


Quite clearly, he had no business to collect a crowd around him in a bid to obstruct the Railway Administration from removing the encroachers from the Railway lands. As a member of the nation’s Parliament he, surely, is aware of the massive problem of illegal occupation of hundreds of thousands of hectares of prime Railway lands by unscrupulous people. The Railways now need these pieces of land for various purposes, including those of further development and generation of revenues. The encroachers had been given sufficient notice to vacate the lands, and yet they did not do so. Instead, presumably at their instance, the MP decided to jump into the fray along with his supporters and came in the way of the authorities who were implementing the government’s directions. As generally happens on such occasions, violence ensued and the MP got beaten up when the police resorted to use of force to restore order.


Objectively speaking, he had no reason to interfere in execution of a government decision which, from all evidences, was taken in public interest. But, this is precisely what our netas (politicians) are wont to do. Self-aggrandisement is what they believe in, regardless of its ill-effects on the general quality of governance in the country. They indulge almost regularly in such acts of indiscretion in pursuit of votes unmindful of the larger interests, fostering pervasive lawlessness. No wonder, laws and rules are seldom enforced, so much so that even the apex court has on occasions given vent to its ire in this regard. The administrative and law enforcement machineries have been rendered effete and powerless – all because of the constant interference of our netas, petty or big.


As the ugly situation was entirely of the MP’s own making, one dares say that it would be travesty of justice if the policemen concerned are brought to book for no fault of theirs. If that were to happen it would further encourage the unruly to breach the laws, demoralise the law-enforcement machinery, prevent development and economic progress and result in undeserved glorification of our self-serving netas.

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