When politics becomes an art 12 Feb 2014
Pranab Mukerjee’s R-Day address is the most honest public expression that we have had of any president’s personal view on an election’s outcome
President Mukerjee introspects no less than these great predecessors of his. And he knows the impact that a President’s ‘open introspections’ can exercise over the country’s mind. And so, in his Republic Day address this year, when he spoke about corruption, about elections, about the dangers of anarchy, he did what he knew was expected of him.
He gave us this proposition: “Corruption is a cancer that erodes democracy”. Who would disagree with that? No one, but anyone and everyone would wonder: Surely corruption does more than that, does worse than that. When it infiltrates the ranks of our bureaucracy, our magistracy, our media, our corporate, our educational system and even the impeccable cloisters of our armed forces with audacity, corruption is gross. It corrodes the core of civilized nationhood-trust. It undermines faith in all our institutions, those that create governments as well as those that sustain the limbs of society. Corruption mutilates confidence in the fairness of our swaraj. It reduces the accessing of entitlements to a scramble, faith in our Republic to a gamble.
The President’s corruption is a cancer that erodes democracy’ observation did not quite serve to show us this multiple malevolence. But the made sure to tell the corrupt politician and his type that unless they altered their ways, they would get replaced. That was artistry, that was finesse! And then, lest he be seen as inadvertently giving AAP his blessing he sounded three notes of a very contrary caution:
“Elections do not give any person license to flirt with illusions”
“Those who seek voters’ trust must promise only what is possible”
Counter-archery, in which you shoot an arrow to hit the arrow you have just shot, is about finesse too.
Precisely because our President is who he is, I believe, he is going to use his political artistry in the coming months very differently from how he has done it, in the past. This is my gut feeling.
Extract on an Article HT 8 Feb
by Gopal Krishna Gandhi