A New Low

A New Low
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Politics in Jammu and Kashmir hit a new low after Choudhary Rajendar Singh, brother of the expelled minister, Lal Singh, openly and publicly and, in fact, cockily, was spewing abuse against Mehbooba Mufti. The extent of the man’s depravity is reflected in the choice of verbal abuse that he was employing against Mehbooba and his small band of followers was chanting back the abuse, drawing some sort and form of sadistic pleasure and enjoyment from the volley of abuses they were directed against Jammu and Kashmir’s female chief minister. While Singh has been booked but this will neither detract nor take away from the fact that political discourse is plumbing new lows here. Perhaps, this among other things, is a reflection of one insalubrious aspect of mass democracy wherein anyone can actually become a “leader”, irrespective of his or her credentials, morality, ethical standards and behavior. (One such egregious example of this ungainly aspect is the elevation of Donald Trump to the highest office of the United States). If mass democracy can throw wretched scoundrels to political offices or give them political space, they are likely not only to abuse their position and office but also, as Rajender Singh did, throw all standards of morality and decency to the winds and begin an abusive discourse against women, for instance. Can, the question is, this insalubrious aspect of mass democracy be checked? The answer is not clear cut. But, perhaps one way to check flagrant abuse of democracy and democratic processes, in general terms, is that a certain threshold of education must be the sine qua non of entry into politics for an aspirant. Plus, misdemeanors, employment of abusive approaches and /or language must carry penalties that exact a political price in terms of career growth and so on for someone who takes recourse to ungainly practices. Again, as a general point, it appears that politics is such a discredited profession or vocation, that hardly any or a few decent people choose it as a career. More and more, it appears that politics holds appeal for those who might not be part of the decent segments and sections of society. Gone are the days, when politics was co eval with public service and the spirit of sacrifice, all for public good and welfare. Politics has now appeared to morph into a profession where returns are sought to be cannibalized and monetized for mere personal gain and benefit. In the process, it attracts unsavory and insalubrious characters. Lal Singh’s brothers’ abusive tirade against Mehbooba merely proves and illustrates the point.