Sunday, April 13, 2014

22 Marital affairs and Illicit Relationships of Indian politicians

Topics for discussion, चर्चांश: Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Rahul Gandhi, Congress, BJP, Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Arun Jaitley, BJP Vice President was reported to have said on 12th April 2014.

"I do not understand how disclosing a legal relationship is wrong in any way. Narendra Modi has done the right thing the right way. There are many people in illicit relationships in Rahul Gandhi's party. If people have the right to know this, then, they also have the right to know things which are not yet disclosed..."

ybrao a donkey's feelings

Disclosing a legal relationship is not wrong in any way. The question is why it was not disclosed in the previous elections. It is true, that as pointed out by Mr. Jaitley, Mr. Narendra Modi has now done it in the right thing. But, still, it is not fully in the right way. Truth should be disclosed in full in an honest manner, and not like Yudhishthira of Mahabharata who said 'aswaththama hataha kunjaraha' (AswaththAma was dead, the elephant).

The object of the Election procedure requiring candidates to disclose their spouses names and asking for the details of properties held in their names seems to be that corrupt politicians should not accumulate properties in spouse names.

In February 2014 Mr. Modi said at Sujanpur:

"Mere liye na koi aagey, na peechhey. Kiske liye bhrashtachaar karunga? (I've no familial ties. Who would I ever try to benefit through corruption?)."

May be he might have unofficially, unilaterally, in his mind, he broke his ties with Ms. Jashoda Ben, whereas Ms. Jashoda Ben still says that she is his dharma patni, like legendary Sita who was abandoned in the forest. He did not apply for his divorce through Indian courts, as per Hindu Marriage Act and customs under which he was married. According to Hindu traditions, and Indian laws, a husband has to bear his wife (bharta = one who bears. bhArya= one who is borne), unless and until he gets a legal divorce. Simply dropping wife at her parents' does not discharge his responsibilities.

By withholding essential, material facts, Mr. Modi has withheld information needed by the election process. The Returning Officers at that time acquiesced to the non-disclosure and blindly validated his nomination.

Even in the 2014 Vadodara affidavit, Mr. Modi, ought to have included an additional explanation for not providing the details of assets and liabilities of Ms. Jashoda Ben.
I and my spouse have been living separately for the last 45 years. She has her own sources of income. She has her own assets purchased from her income. I am unable to provide those details, because we live separately and do not have contacts.

What is missing here, is the required transparency. Once transparency is maintained, criticism from other parties and people may arise: How can a person who cannot look after his wife, can empower the women of the whole Nation? But this question is to be handled separately, outside the election nomination affidavit.

About illicit relationships of politicians

Unfortunately, the election procedures and the affidavits to be submitted are silent about persons in illicit relationships with the leaders, and the assets they own. Assets held by such illicit partners (we can't call them wives/husbands. Use of the word concubin will be harsh) can also be sizeable. Probably, election rules may have to be amended, seeking additional information on assets and liabilities of persons having illicit relationships with politicians.

Mr. Narendra Modi and some BJP leaders were vociferous about the assets of Ms. Sunanda Pushkar (Tharoor) before and after her marriage with Mr. Sashi Tharoor. Mr. Modi referred to her as "Rs. 50 crore girl friend". Mr. Narendra Modi himself did not hesitate to raise personal issues. Where did the political ethics pointed out by Mr. Jaitley go?

Discussion in Andhra Pradesh State Assembly

As far as I could remember, there was once a discussion in erstwhile United A.P. State Assembly about the extra marital relationships of M.L.A.s. It transpired that nearly 70-80% of A.P. M.L.A. had relationships of some type or other. I also recall that Mr. Suresh Reddy, the then appointed a House Committee to inquire into facts. The Committee went to dogs.

A.P., though we cannot generalise, still can be taken as a representative sample of India. At least 50% of M.L.A.s of other States, and Indian M.Ps may have this type of relationships. Four issues arise from these relationships:

1. Whether corrupt moneys are diverted to buy assets to illicit wives/husbands.

2. Whether the illicit wives/husbands interfere into the working of the M.L.A.s, M.Ps and Ministers? .

3. If the M.L.As, M.P.s and Ministers stay at the houses of their live-in illicit partners, how far the first wives are neglected?

4. Do prior wives remain silent out of fear, or out of hope to get property shares of the politicians from their corrupt wealth. If the prior wives take divorce, they will only get some maintenance. By remaining mum, they will get property shares, even if they lose husband's cohabitation and love.

Mr. Jaitley was reported to have commented:--
"There is the political ethics that women and personal life of people are never brought in politics. It has never been made an issue in our country. Because the Congress party is on the verge of defeat and it has no other topic to bring up, it has taken up the marital status of Narendra Modi as an issue."

ybrao a donkey's feelings

Ethics in this country requires rulers to set exemplary standards to the common people they rule.
Bhagavad Gita 03/21. Whatever elite and leaders in society do others will emulate. Whatever the elite take as standard, the world will copy. ——↠↠ yad yad Acharati SrEshThas tat tad dEvEtarO janah sa yat pramANam kurutE lOkas tad anuvartatE.
If a ruler neglects his wife, leaving her to fend for herself, howsoever noble may be his reason for doing that, what will the common people do?

Why political ethics in India ignores personal behaviors? It is very inconceivable to expect that a person who is unethical in his personal life, will be ethical in his political life. Personal life and political life go hand in hand, and are inseparable. However, politicians can have complete rights to justify their behaviors and even right to privacy, as long as they do not pontificate and harangue to common people on the same affairs and subjects.

There is a story about Gandhiji. A parent went to Gandhiji with his son and requested Gandhiji to counsel the boy suitably and persuade him not to eat laddus. Gandhiji went on postponing his advice, until one day he conceded and counselled the boy suitably. The surprised parent was said to have asked Gandhiji, why this couldn't have been done during the first visit itself. Gandhiji said that he too had a fetish for laddus, and that he could not advise the boy to restrain from eating laddus, until he himself stopped consuming them. The postponement was time needed for Gandhiji to resist his own temptations.

Mr. Jaitley was reported to have commented:
"He has stooped down low by bringing up the marital status of Modi. So, if Rahul Gandhi has stooped down so low, then he should tell about his own party leaders."

ybrao a donkey's comments

If Rahul Gandhi has anything to disclose about himself, he ought to disclose. He will then be setting a great example. He can also advise his followers to be transparent.


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