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10110On Justifying Systems & Elections

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  • john_jacob_email
    Dec 19, 2013
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      Christ makes a very telling remark in St. Luke 16: 15 which states as follows: ‘And He said unto them, “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”’ This world could take a lot of lessons from these words of Christ - including when viewed from the perspective of the episode of India’s Deputy Counsel General in New York.

      Firstly, let me begin by stating that while the passage of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament is good news for the nation at large, the speedy closure to the Lokpal saga in the 8th attempt is also a clear indication of better times ahead for good governance in our nation. I think that it would be right to state here that, among others, part of the credit must also go to the Integrity in Public Life maintained so far by the President and Vice President of the Congress Party. Neither can anyone deny that it was Anna Hazare who caught the imagination of the nation on the subject of corruption.

      The above said, keeping in mind that political representatives (of all parties alike) are custodians to the trust reposed by the common man to safeguard their interests, the question is - to what extent have they lived up to that trust in their actions? In other words, they cannot forget that they have been primarily voted to their respective positions thanks to commoners’ votes, as against those of bureaucrats and other fellow politicians. Thus, for example, while it might be appropriate for them to rise in solidarity and support of the above-mentioned bureaucrat, the lack of a similar concern when the common folks are at the receiving end of an unjust and oppressive foreign government – displays a very stark contrast. Herein remains the accountability, not just to the common man, but also to the Almighty as well. As the words of Christ above clearly states – never mind the justifications (and possible cover-ups); God knows our hearts!

      As to the US, let me state that their ‘standard procedures’ are crueler than the atonement of many of the so-called ‘sins’ itself. As such, while the letter of the law does apply uniformly in the US, the Spirit is sorely missing from it! It is also the truth that their system is such that it seeks to ‘corner’ even plain innocent ‘targets’ identified based on various criteria revolving around ‘susceptibility index’ etc. until they get it appropriately ‘framed up’ for being properly grounded up by their overt system. This seems to suggest that the top brass there appears to be still grappling with the question, “God? What God?”

      So much for the American and the Indian systems; coming back to the assembly election results, the AAP was understandably sulking a bit considering that the primary plank upon which the party was established had been yanked away from its very feet. Nevertheless with its ambitious leader at the helm of affairs, it has done well in the Delhi assembly elections - albeit with some generous help from his ‘activist’ role in public life. Yet, despite having gained his sly ‘pound of flesh’ through his political foray, he seeks to justify himself now by taking a stance against Anna Hazare who rightfully welcomed Lokpal passage by Parliament. Truly an uncommon act by an erstwhile common man; wasn’t it? But yes, on its part the Congress paid a heavy price for taking the common man for granted.

      This election also proved the maturity of Indian political system vis-à-vis the violence noticed in the Arab spring, et al. It is also a quiet vindication of the trust reposed by Indian society at large in the Indian judiciary’s apolitical functioning. However, were one to go through the sound bytes made by political stalwarts prior and post the elections, it would become clear that ‘past performance is no indicator of future performance’ – even sound-byte wise, if one might say so. Yet, given the existence of political will, if two words were to describe this condition it could only be ‘misread’ and ‘misguide’. In other words, the situation arose due to misreading of the ground realities by the top brass, and also due to being possibly misguided to make the wrong moves at many points of times.So much for experienced analysis and corrective actions!

      In my view, to a large extent, the media should also be blamed for the same. In fact, given the open acknowledgement by even the leading publications of it being in the business of advertising (yes, you heard it right – Advertising), it was amply clear that diligently and unbiasedly propounding information and news items to its readers was not its topmost priority – since the top spot is occupied by advertising, you see. Here is a link that clearly presents this true fact as admitted by one of the major news publications that seeks to anticipate news.


      Here is another link giving a lucid analysis of media by one of their own ilk.


      Here are a few quotes from the above opinion-piece from the journalist, Ms. Tavleen Singh.

      “What the whole sordid story gives us though is a chance to talk about how badly the Indian media has been damaged by the collusion between journalists, politicians and rich businessmen.”

      “It has led to the lines between media power and political power blurring enough for journalists to forget what their real role is and start thinking of themselves as players in the political game.”

      Unfortunately for such unscrupulous 'journalists' – out goes their credibility which, to their chagrin, now slowly moves towards their 'competitors’ including - maybe the common folks crowding the social media as well. The question is – have some even begun to wonder - “How do we put these pesky common folks in place”?

      “You are those that justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts” – does a bell ring?

      Yours in Christ!

      John Jacob