Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal.

When I go from hence
let this be my parting word,
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Mothers and sons

Margaret Alva has alleged that the Congress Party sold tickets to politicians before the Karnataka polls and that tickets are given on the basis of inheritance rather than on merit. While the first allegation has to be proved, the second can be easily verified by a brief glance at the list of nominees fielded by Congress in the last couple of polls. Neither of the two allegations are as earthshaking as the electronic media - perennially starved of news - would have us believe. Given the state of Indian politics it would be surprising (though probably not news worthy) if any aspect of our democracy is found to be free from corruption. I am pretty sure the opponents from the other parties have the same skeleton in their closets as well. This is the most probable reason they are not making as big a deal out of Alva's revelations as they could have.
The bit about inheritance being more important than merit is even more ridiculous coming from someone who has spent her life serving a party which has been ruled almost uninterruptedly by a single dynasty for the last five generations. Inheritance has always been of paramount importance in the Congress Party since it first came to power. In fact, none of the rulers from this dynasty have had any claim to the throne - either because of their talent or their experience - except for their inheritance. Ms. Alva is not concerned by the lack of democratic spirit in her party. She is merely miffed that her son was not allowed to benefit from the lack of it.

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