Wednesday, May 6, 2009

EI Suggestion: Painting all with the same brush...

Here is a mail that we received from a reader – Mohan Menon. He has sent us a few suggestions on what we could include in more comprehensive information on
Similarly, we would like to urge our readers to let us know what they would like to know about their leaders, and we would make an honest attempt in providing the same.

The email:

Dear Sir,
I congratulate you for spreading awareness about the financial assets & criminal records of candidates contesting for the General Elections in our beloved country. I have read various reports published in news papers and magazines on these matters – wealth and criminality of MPs/ MLAs. However, I would urge you to consider the following suggestions and use your communication power to improve the presentation of facts so that it is easily understandable by the citizens.
There should be a parameter to distinguish the ill-gotten assets form those made by sheer hard work and professionalism.
(a) Many employees of Infosys are crore-patis. Let us call them Honest Professionals 'H'. This category could have employees of Wipro and its chairman Azim premji (honest tax paying business), Ratan Tata , Mafatlal (once a millioaire), Shaporji Pallonji, etc. – businessmen who are known for their ethical business practices.
(b) Then there are businessmen known to employ short cut methods like - bribing, political patronage, muscle power. They make money and hide incomes. They have both black & white money stashed away. Money was the end and the means did not bother them. These businessmen let us call them 'B'.
(c) The third category is professional politician known for honesty and integrity with or without family wealth who used political power to do good work for people. They did not amass personal wealth or curry favour for sons, relatives or anyone. Leaders like Sri Gulzari Lal Nanda, Indrajit Chatterjee, Sri K Kamraj, Sri Madhu Dandavate, Sri Vasudevan Nair, Sri AK Antony and Dr Manmohan Singh fall in this category.
They are known for their personal integrity and professionalism. Let us call them Model Leaders "M".
(d) Then there are professional politicians who rose as student leaders or trade unions leaders or local thugs /goodas with little or no family wealth and no professional achievement or high scholastic ability. They get elected and amass wealth slowly at first and at greater rates as their money-cum-political clout enhance. Many start legitimate looking businesses. These politicians are not genuinely interested in the progress of the country but usually create projects to get kick backs. They form sadly the bulk of the elected representatives. Let us call them “P”.

Among the hardcore criminals, there are many people who have with politically sponsored criminal cases foisted on them. Hence, we cannot categorise all criminals as one. Below are a few categories that I can think of:
(a) Student activists who get little bit of success in their altruistic struggle often get locked up by politicians. E.g. the recent agitations in All India Institute of Medical Sciences where students struggled to prevent erosion of its reputation. Some of the students were arrested and criminal charges of rioting were registered against them. They are the usual democratic agitators. Let us call them Democrats - "D".
(b) Then there are the professional politician's henchmen who agitate, indulge in all kinds of violence and goondaism. Let us call them Goons "G".
(c) The political rally is disturbed by agitators of opposite party – party in power – who uses official strength of Police to suppress the agitation. Criminal charges are filed. Often the leader of the opposition is implicated. It is a politically motivated criminal case. Let us call such politicians “V” (victims).
(d) The mafia Dons and erstwhile goondas who came to get elected by the corrupt political system. They have genuine criminal cases, rape & murder cases registered. Let us call them “C” (criminals).

In your published articles and news reports all the categories that I differentiated above are clubbed together under high asset ('A' above) rich candidates and candidates with criminal records ('B' above). Is it accurate to paint Rahul bajaj & Mayawati with same brush.??

Many CPI /CPM candidates have criminals charges filed against them. Factually they fall under category "D" democratic agitators. There are Dons & Goons who have committed murders (of subcategory "G" above). But candidates of both subgroups D and G are clubbed under one category in reports "Candidates with criminal records". Is it fair?

Please do consider the above submission and act honestly with integrity and no private agenda.

- Mohan Menon

1 comment:

  1. This is an interesting suggestion. The question is how and who will determine the different categories.

    One way could be if we ask people to rate their MPs / MLA, leaders by such categories. In that case, we can say the categories reflect people's perception about the leaders.

    We welcome comments and suggestions, on whether and how we might be able to take this forward.