Credibility of the Incredible
A nation with a heritage dating back to even thousands of years before Christ was born is facing a crunch. A crisis is in the making in this state. A serious lack of credibility is staring us in the face and we can at best put our brave face up against the developing situation.
The government of India had its fair share of embarrassment last Friday when the Chief Justice of India nullified the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner and termed it illegal. The judgment could be viewed as the final nail in the coffin of a Prime Minister whose impeccable integrity could give Harishchandra a run for his money. But the Prime Minister must be lauded that he admitted that he made an error of judgment and took full blame for the fiasco. Such grit is hard to come by in the power circles. However, had this confession come prior to the appointment of Mr Thomas, it could have saved him of the disgrace.
The man in question, whose appointment ruffled feathers in the establishment, is a certain Mr P J Thomas. His crime, a charge sheet has been pending against him in court for last twelve years in a graft case when he served the government of Kerala. Whether Thomas is innocent is for the courts to decide (but justice delayed is also justice denied), but someone assuming the office of CVC must have a clean track record, which Mr Thomas sadly did not have. However a question haunts me. If in due course of time Mr Thomas is given a clean chit by the courts, will the supreme court retract this judgment that created ripples in history?
Interestingly, the leader of the Opposition Mrs Sushma Swaraj had objected to the appointment of P J Thomas as CVC and was overruled by the Prime Minister and Home Minister. She succumbed to the majority decision and was content with issuing a dissenting note on the appointment. However the opposition had not been vocal enough on the issue until ex Chief Election Commissioner Mr Lyngdoh sought to move court against the same. And surprisingly enough, the principle opposition party, known for baying for the PM’s blood at the drop of a hat, maintained a dignified silence after the verdict was announced. Mrs Swaraj even tweeted “it is time to move on” (and later retracted it).
In what could be called a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has laid down several guidelines for the appointment of future CVC’s. The Chief Justice of India became an instant hero in the media and among many in the civil class. However, on the same day a judge in Uttarakhand was chargesheeted by the CBI on charges of corruption. It was the same day that ex Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan got embroiled in a scam with a huge amount of unaccounted money being obtained from his kin. These two incidents put the judiciary’s credibility at stake too.
Public institutions reflect the morale of the society. While we may assume the high moral ground and blame corruption on the Congress and the BJP, we can never escape responsibility as long as we elect the same people to the offices they hold. But then do we have choices? These people rise from within us. To uproot a tree we must shake its roots, not aim for the branches. To weed out corruption we must introspect and take a stand against it. While we may expect our leaders to lead the way, should we not prepare ourselves for the march?
[P.S. Sorry for this late post on this topic, my computer was under siege, dusht fungi had captured the RAM and a battle against them was launched which ended successfully in my favour today].