Over the last few months, we are seeing one scam after the other. One or the other scam surfaces every fortnight. It all started with 2G, then CWG. We then had the Adarsh housing society scam. Then the mining scam and so on and so forth.
Media is kept busy with high profile people frequenting Tihar jail on one side and Parapana Agrahara (In Bangalore ) on the other. In turn media is keeping the people of the country busy by bombarding news (sometimes speculations) and hosting talk shows (PS: No one is facing the nation ).
People are no doubt frustrated and at the same time helpless. One great paradox of this country is that we are so proud of our vibrant democracy but at the same time, the confidence we have in our elected representatives is at an all time low.
Nevertheless, People in the country are helplessly watching these developments. Most people have helplessly resigned or are not bothered by the scams. Some end up discussing the sorry state of affairs during the family supper time. Little more frustrated lot have joined the Anna Hazare camp and in their own way trying to do something. One way or the other, most concerned people are giving some vent to their frustration. We just witnessed a while ago an agitated guy taking his anguish on the ICC president (Who also happens to be the agriculture minster of India).
A former cabinet minister in the central government was arrested in February this year. Later, we have seen a bunch of high profile arrests in Karnataka including its former Chief Minister. Other than him the former tourism minister and the former BWSSB minister of Karnataka were also arrested. However the former CM managed to get bail.
About a months ago, another high profile arrest happened in Bangalore. But for a change it was not a politician but a film actor. That was Darshan Tugudeepa , who is branded as the "challenging star" in the Kannada film Industry. He was arrested on charges of domestic violence and assault.
The arrest of Darshan and the former CM of Karnataka and his subsequent release on bail were accompanied with lot of high drama and activity. Though the emotions accompanying these incidents were high and intense, it was not a positive one.
First, Mr Darshan was arrested of charges of brutal violence. He was reported to have physically assaulted his wife, threatened her on point blank and had held his three year old son by neck and had threatened to kill him. In return, when he was arrested on these charges, huge crowd gathers outside the police station and demands his release. People go on a rampage and damage furniture in the police station demanding the release of their "hero". It was very disturbing to see some senior people in the kannada film industry also supporting Darshan. Further, the film industry bans a heroine from Tamil Nadu who apparently had an affair with Darshan from acting in Kannada cinema. They hold her responsible for the imbalance in Darshan's family.
Rest is history. The film industry influences Darshan's wife to withdraw her complaint and Darshan's film "Sarathi" gets released and its supposed to have done well in box office as well.
The former CM of Karnataka was arrested on charges of corruption involving de-notification of land. Its only second time in the history of this country that a private complaint has lead to the arrest of a former CM. All in all the former CM is accused in 5 cases including the mining case.
No doubt, the former judge of the supreme court of India Justice V.R.Krishna iyer has correctly said "Bail is the rule, Not Jail". Accepted that the charges against the former CM is not yet proved. At the end of the day he may be clean. But the fact is that the former CM is accused of criminal charges. Its now for the honourable courts of this land to deliver justice.
It is disturbing to see how certain sections of the society have reacted to the former CM's release on bail. We witnessed a festive atmosphere outside Parapana Agrahara when he was released. Crackers, sweets and drums were seen outside the jail premises. He was treated as though he was a "War Hero". There were facebook updates like "Triumph of truth", "Justice delivered" etc etc. It was after all Bail and not an acquittal. He still faces criminal charges.
Next he goes to Bellary, the political hotspot of Karnataka. He is welcomed with a huge crowd as though he is a hero. Facing criminal charges, having lead a cabinet with two tainted ministers both of whom are in jail now, the former CM addresses a rally and asks for votes. He claims that his party is clean and the administration provided by them so far is the best. (or is that what the people of this country deserve?). Wherever he goes, a huge crowd rally behind him and he manages to garner plenty of support.
It is not about politicians or about people with money. It is about public reaction and public perception. It is shameful that an actor who abused his wife and gave her physical torture managed to get so much support (hopefully not sympathy) which eventually lead to the withdrawal of case against him. Its even more shameful that a leader facing criminal charges is welcomed, greeted, honoured and even appreciated in public for his works.
Morality is seemed to be buried in oblivion. Brazen illegal activity seem to be the norm. The audacity with which immorality is justified in public space is scary. "Hero-worship" was always done in this country. But the recent developments particularly in the case of Darhan is a sign of worsening public values.
(PS: I had met the former CM of Karnataka in a TV program. Later had a chance to make my representation to him. He also acted upon my representation and my problem was partially addressed too)