Atanu Dey On India's Development

The Louder She Talked of Her Honor, the Faster We Counted Our Spoons

| 9 Comments

Used to be that once upon a time, India had leaders who had a backbone and could shoulder responsibility without buckling. Thus have I heard that one man, Lal Bahadur Shastri, resigned as the railways minister following a train accident in which scores of people died.

He felt morally responsible for the deaths and resigned as an act of contrition. He was not driving the train, nor was he directly in charge of the signalling or switching mechanism of the system. But he recognized correctly that he was responsible for the actions of the people working under him, regardless of how many links separated him from the source of the error in the chain of command.

That’s integrity. That was then, this is now.

We hear of a team of very celebrated people around Anna Hazare fighting corruption vociferously. A noble cause and no doubt the people who are demanding public officials be not corrupt are themselves not corrupt. But wait! What’s this we hear that one member of the team has been fudging the numbers a bit and claiming reimbursement for travel expenses that were not actually incurred?

Ms Bedi, it appears, does not deny that her office inflated the bills but claims that she was doing it for a good cause. She says that the money taken under false pretexts was for some NGO. Sweet. Take from the rich and use it for . . . who knows what. Besides, she can always claim that it wasn’t she who took the money but someone else working below decks in her great big organization. She can’t be held responsible for people working for her, can she?

In any case, people who take money from others by misrepresenting the facts should hardly be talking too loudly about honesty and probity.

The louder she talked of her honor, the faster we counted our spoons.

  • ram

    If we all stuck to “let the sinless cast the first stone” then we will never get to stone the sinner

    While Ms Bedi must act responsible .. It is naive for anyone to expect all Lal Bahadur Shastris working for the Nation. Forgive the smaller sins and move on.

  • http://rexzilla.livejournal.com Rex

    ram,this is a case of continuing to sin after casting the stones.

  • anup

    Swamy39 Subramanian Swamy
    Congress seems desperate judging by charge against Kiran Bedi. Unless a misconduct happens after she joined Anna movement, her past is past.

    What’s worse is this man seemingly condones Kiran Bedi’s actions. And this is the man who almost singlehandedly (not counting the support of VHP/RSS) has managed to get the wrongdoings of the UPA govt. out in the open Talk about sincerity of purpose in eradicating corruption from public life!!! Long live this nation of hypocrites!!

  • http://www.sudarshan.org Sudarshan Gaikaiwari

    I would like to understand what is the crime that Kiran Bedi is being accused of. As far as I know the following are the facts:
    Most conference organizers cover the travel costs of speakers. When a conference invites a speaker it notifies them that they are willing to cover expenses upto first class or business class travel. Now Kiran Bedi decided to travel in a second class compartment and donate the difference to an NGO.

    It is ridiculous that people are making a hue and cry about this. I wonder if the people who are castigating Kiran Bedi have ever endured second class travel with the Indian railways. She deserves applause and not condemnation.

  • Krish

    If the money thus saved and given by Kiran Bedi to her NGO is used by Kiran Bedi for personal expenses, then it is corruption but otherwise it can be ignored.Atanu seems to be falling in the trap laid by Congress which is trying all dirty tricks to divert attention of people like Atanu and Sanjeev from the most serious issue of humongous corruption at all levels of the govt machinery.There is a saying in Hindi “Why concern yourself with counting mango-kernels, just focus on the mangoes !”

  • Poltergeist

    Atanu,

    The people who paid Kiran Bedi were aware of what she planned to do. In fact, she told them about her plan, and they still gave her the money. They are the only people who can have any legitimate grouse on this issue and they have no problem. So, where is the corruption in Bedi’s case?

  • Kaffir

    Atanu, you do realize that you’re inadvertently helping Madam and the Congress Party, don’t you?
    Forget the merits or demerits of the Jan Lokpal Bill for a moment, and it’s easy to see that Congress is clutching at straws here in trying to throw mud on Anna’s team members. Besides, shouldn’t the enemy of your enemy be your friend?

  • http://mukund-musings.blogspot.com Mukund

    Why don’t you apply this logic to the govt. By this logic our clean-image-PM should resign.
    There is clear evidence he know what was going on with 2G scam!! Even if he didn’t its his business to know.

  • Santosh

    Anna Hazare and team sabotaged Baba Ramdev’s movement to bring back black money. Anna Hazare and his team at the behest of Cong I agents alias NAC stabbed the 1.2 billion people of Bharath.

    If Anna Hazare is being compared to MK Gandhi then I am looking for Nathuram Vinayak Godse.