There has also been excess of sanctimonious verbiage around falling standards of Indian democracy. Politics in India has always been seen as morality play, and moral posturing is a national pastime.
Politics is about give and take, about deal-making and capturing, holding and perpetuating power. The question of ends and means is a contentious one, but it is not easily resolved by paying lip service to the Gandhian legacy.
The lack of morals in politics is not resolved by resorting to moral sermons but in helping to bring about good politics. In that arena, every single political formation is in favour of the status quo and against radical political and electoral reforms in the country.
The law alone offers no solutions. Legally, there is no constitutional bar on Shibu Soren, who has had his life sentence in the Shashinath Jha murder case stayed, from being sworn in as a Cabinet minister for the third time in the last five years. But morality demands that he stay away from office till his name is fully cleared by the courts. Yet, even this is not enough.
What is actually needed is a bold new initiative to clean up the entire relationship between cash and politicians. Sunlight, it is said, is the best disinfectant and it is perhaps time that political parties openly acknowledge that our political system is linked to hard cash. Cash is needed to fight elections. Cash is needed to keep cadres loyal. So, how is this cash to be legitimised and the taint of ‘dirty money’ removed? ...
What will our politicians do? Close their eyes and insist on a phoney Mahatma-hood? Or will politicians put their heads together and honestly work out transparent, open and public methods of political funding. It is an urgent, indeed critical need. 4:03 PM