21 November 2012

Celebrating The Death Of A Terrorist

A. A. Kasab
Kasab was hanged. It was a quick decision from Pranab Mukherjee who has been a President for less than 4 months. He assumed office on 25th July 2012. According to our best judgment, we may assume that Mukherjee’s predecessor, Mrs. Pratibha Patil, was busy with other more important Presidential duties.

We must understand that after the hanging of Kasab, the noose is being tightened on Afzal Guru. People of the likes of Afzal Guru are political pawns. Kasab was a pawn. And every citizen could be a probable pawn. To clarify, the preceding statement should not be read that Guru is innocent.

As a citizen of India, this is not a time to ‘celebrate’ the death sentence. It’s the time to ask questions.

The question that comes to my mind is that why an Arnab Goswami of Times Now doesn’t shout for the thousands of innocents who are wrongly implicated and deteriorating in Indian Jails? Similarly, why is it that only Sarabjit Singh is the only Indian that all Indians care about? After the media coverage of vandalism, who pays the damage to the public and private properties that are vandalized by the members of infamous political parties?

Independent media is not independent the way we all assume. It is run like corporations, backed by corporations and corporations are backed by parties in command. This is something what we all know!

Dear citizens of India, please understand that this is all a fa├žade to keep us occupied in verbal banter. To overlook the more important areas that directly affects our lives. Yes, the media asks the questions; but are these really important questions?

As citizens we should organize and with or without the support of media, let us not just ask questions; Arnab and company are doing a good job of questioning; let’s ask the right questions and follow up till we get the answers.

Authority was the second point of Henry Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management. I would like to word it as, ‘Responsibility without authority is difficult. Authority without responsibility and accountability is stupid’. But this adage, in India, unfortunately reads like this: ‘Authority without accountability is a political right and responsibility without authority is ordained for the people’.

The basic problem lies in accountability. Let’s start with the biggest question and to the people whom we know the best, i.e. ourselves; the question being: How can we become accountable?

Corruption and delay in administration, etc. etc. are like the bacteria in our intestines. They were there and will be there. They were and will be present in all the countries. Once we accept this, only then can we move ahead.

The difference in the largest democracy (India) and the some other smaller, yet functionally better democracies is that they are accountable. And I believe, our democracy is not. If governments and its officials have authority, they should be accountable for their actions. And the same should be true for the citizens.

When an ordinary citizen writes derogatory comments on a social networking website, he is held accountable and is arrested without proper procedures and then let of with an apology followed by an inquiry. But when an official, appointed by the government, be it a minor babu to a minister, commits a crime, there is an inquiry first and then action later! Is it because the citizen is more responsible than a public servant? No, because the public servants claims zero accountability as a matter of rightful inheritance!

It is a matter of accountability and nothing else. The RTI Act is a wonderful tool in the hands of the citizens to measure the public servant's accountability. It is already proving to be a thorn in their dhotis. But it is a curative measure. We need a system to make the public servant's accountability acting as a preventive measure to avoid further pain to the ordinary citizen.

The day people holding public office are made accountable, that day we would be a better democracy. Let us build a case for accountability.

For that we need to stop obsessing that we are the largest democracy. Large is quantitative, lets aim to be better, which is qualitative and that is what matters!


Aamir Ayubi
Citizen of India