Trust Vote 6 : cash, stings, and murder of trust

Posted on July 22, 2008. Filed under: India, Nuclear, Politics |

The closing hours of the trust vote has been disrupted by a scene on the floor of the parliament. Packets of cash allegedly offered in bribe to an opposition MP were thrown into the well of the parliament. What could have happened :

(1) it could be a genuine allegation, that money really did pass hands

(2) it could have been a sting operation, well planned by the opposition to trap a briber from the government side – however, if it is shown that the “opposition” enticed or negotiated “prices” as part of the sting operation, then ethically and legally the whole things comes under a cloud

(3) if it was a sting operation then it was not ethically above board completely, as the sting should then have involved vigilance officers, or that if it was “unexpected” then both party and the MP should have gone to the police at the earliest possible opportunity

One crore appears to be way too small for the rumours of 25-30 crores. If it was not a genuine sting, but a staged affair then the persons responsible should be brought to book, and similarly if it was a genuine bribe, then also the persons responsible for it should be brought to book.

The speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, is being vociferously opposed by CPI(M) MP’s, and he almost surely faces suspension and possible expulsion. He has shown himself willing to take the risk, and is the first sign of disillusionment in the gradual decline of the party – but still there are not going to be any spectacular splits.

What has been murdered today in the Parliament is trust – trust about political negotiations between responsible and mature politicians. But there is great hope. It is the “young” MP’s, like the NC representative Omar Abdullah who could speak with great and genuine conviction that he saw no distinction or conflict between being a Muslim and an Indian, or the scion of the Nehru Dynasty who spoke haltingly, poorly but with enthusiasm, and those in the opposition who spoke with equal but genuine conviction, who hold the future of politics in India. At least they appeared to be much less cynical than their elders and were trying to believe what they were saying.

They will make mistakes, will reverse their current positions, and many of them will act like their elders of today. But I think they will learn to look forward and into the future. I do feel confirmation of my belief that the “old order changeth, yielding place to new”.

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