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Rare decency

Editorial |

It is becoming increasingly rare for commentators to find something positive upon which to opine in the contemporary era of bitterness that consistently degenerates into the vicious mudslinging which is the prevailing tenor of the current debate.

Hence it was an elevating, refreshing change to note the mutually laudatory twitter exchange between arch-rivals Arvind Kejriwal and Ajay Maken following the praiseworthy showing of the latter’s son in the CBSE’s Class X examination.

The Delhi Congress president had been thrilled enough to send out a message, “proud to share, that my son Aujaswi passed his Xth exam scoring 475/500 marks! A perfect 95%…” And the Delhi chief minister and AAP boss responded, “Congratulations to the boy Ajay Maken ji. May Aujaswi do well in life and may God fulfil all his dreams.”

The conversation did not end there, in response Maken tweeted, “As a parent, both of us know that nothing can be as joyful as basking in the reflected glory of academic accomplishments of our children”. All that despite Maken having said that under AAP’s supervision, the examination results had been the “worst in past one decade”.

This is not to even momentarily suggest any new warmth in their relations, only to hint at their being mature enough to be graceful when speaking about their children. Time was when such graces were the norm and political leaders were sincere when attending weddings in their opponents’ families, or issuing condolence messages in times of bereavement.

Now those have become routine, it is sometimes suspected that the leaders have not even read the messages drafted by their officials. Even visiting the hospital when a rival is ailing has become rare, the excuse being not wanting to disturb the normal functioning of the hospital.

Sonia Gandhi is presently abroad for a health check, wonder if the NDA leadership condescended to send her a “get well soon” card. Contrast that with when Atal Behari Vajpayee had to undergo treatment in the US ~ the-then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, directed that all medical expenses be borne by the Government of India.

Or when Badshah Khan arrived in New Delhi with just a small bundle of clothes as his baggage, Indira Gandhi carried it for him at the airport. Those were indeed elegant times. The trickle-down effect of petty politics has been devastating.

No longer does the military enjoy the support of the nation at large, nor does India present a united front at international forums. When last did an Opposition leader head the Indian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly ~ as Vajpayee had done?

Thus Kejriwal’s noting the success of Maken Jr in an examination is like a balmy breeze in the tornado that sees the Prime Minister being slammed as neech, and he calling for a “Congress-mukt Bharat”. Does India deserve this?