Trickle-down Effect of Irresponsible Behaviour

This morning brought the horrifying news of a farmer who died because of the casual attitude of two officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). The PSPCL officials were investigating a complaint about a current in the support cable of an electricity pole.

 On site inspection, PSPCL officials Mithu and Kulwant allegedly asked Harbhagwan to touch the cable. As the farmer obliged, he collapsed due to the shock.

What irresponsible behaviour on the part of the officials resulting in a totally needless death!

Last week there was the news report about a pro-farmer advertisement issued by the BJP state government in Karnataka, in advance of local taluka and zilla elections. It featured

  a ‘happy farmer’ seemingly endorsing the government’s benefits and schemes.

However, in reality,

the farmer, unable to handle his mounting debt burden, committed suicide in May last year.

Such a heartless attitude by those responsible for the advertisement!  Obviously the farmers who are supposed to benefit from the various government schemes are not important at all in the eyes of the officials concerned!

But why should we be shocked at the thoughtlessness of bureaucrats or government officials, when our so-called leaders are showing the same attitude?

Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan recently questioned whether Kashmir was part of India!

“Only one Muslim minister (Ghulam Nabi Azad) is there in the (Union) Cabinet and that too not of India, but from Kashmir.”

The statements of Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh regarding alleged conversations between himself and ATS Chief Hemant Karkare just hours before the latter’s death, have received wide publicity.

  Kavita Karkare, Karkare’s widow, accused Digvijay Singh of trying to play politics with her husband’s death,

and said she had no doubt that the chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was killed by the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attack.

Did the Congress general secretary not even care that the families of those who lost their lives in the Mumbai terror attack would be pained by his political manoeuvres?

But how can we blame these politicians when even the Crown Prince himself  does the same?

According to the recent news reports about Wikileaks, he said to US Ambassador Timothy Roemer that

though ‘there was evidence of some support for LeT (Islamic terrorist group) Lashkar-e-Taiban among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups’.

The Congress Party had to do some serious damage control when there was an outcry that this was a highly irresponsible statement.

Do political leaders not have any obligation to behave responsibly? 

 If they do not show a sense of responsibility, if they talk and act as they please  just for political gain, others in society will unfortunately do the same.

 As we saw in the previous post on this blog- Yatha Raja Tatha Praja.

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19 thoughts on “Trickle-down Effect of Irresponsible Behaviour”

  1. “irresponsible behavior ” is a mild term. the officials committed MURDER – PERIOD.

    Kashmir is a conspiracy. Nehru/Gandhi/ Farooq Abduallah ( he is nehru’s son) – and they have made laws to ensure to keep the land for themselves.

    “Do political leaders not have any obligation to behave responsibly? ”
    No. they don’t. Politics is the business of power and entrusting accountability to someone else.

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    1. Yes, I agree that it was murder, though they may have not intended it. The farmer would not have dared to disobey the officials’ order.

      Kashnir is such a complex problem. And many Indians insist on believing Pakistani propaganda that India does not allow a plebiscite.

      Apparently demilitarisation of the region was a prerequisite for the plebiscite as agreed in the UN resolution, but Pakistan kept on stalling on this point.

      Some say Nehru should have let Sardar Patel deal with Kashmir as he dealt with other Princely states.

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      1. for sake of discussion:
        q1. Why did the officials ask the farmer to touch the cable ? What was their intention in asking the farmer to touch the cable. And if the cable was one that ignited electric current, i assume that they would have known it. i don’t know.

        q2. and kashmir – ” pakistan kept on stalling ” pakistani officials – we never know what was the transaction between jinnah and nehru. if gandhiji was so powerful and was a force to reckon – there is some dynamics which has not seen the light of the day yet . Why did Gandhi side with Nehru, when nobody agreed with Nehru. Did Nehru blackmail gandhi ? What is it yet that we don’t know?

        if you can recommend books written in marathi on indian history and politics please recommend. thanks

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        1. re: q.1 – When I said they may not have intended it, I meant that they may not have thought that he would die. They may have told him to do so because it is their habit to order people around.

          I am not at all making excuses for them. It was certainly an extremely stupid thing- to ask the farmer to touch the cable. And I hope they are punished.

          re: Kashmir- perhaps we will never know for sure exactly what happened in 1947?

          I can’t think of a book offhand- but I’ll keep it in mind and let you know…

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  2. Our political leaders have lost their bearings. They are in their own ivory towers and have no sense of reality.

    But don’t you think that our society on the whole has become intolerant, cruel, bigoted and insensitive. I see and feel the change in the last twenty – thirty years.

    Money and that too at any cost has replaced everything else. Politicians are not an alien race. They are from the same pool as us.

    What these employees did is just another example of the rot in our society. There is still much goodness left but is completely overshadowed.

    I guess change can come about, but requires patience and effort of Himalayan proportions.

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    1. Yes, I agree that politicians are from the same pool as us. But when ordinary people see leaders behaving immorally with impunity, they are emoldened to do the same- which they otherwise might not do.

      As you say, it will take patience and effort, for a change to come about. And most of all, I feel, a will to change.

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    1. Chowlaji, even if a different party comes to power, will things change? Unfortunately, barring a very few exceptions, most leaders of all the political parties seem to be the same!

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      1. india does not know what leadership is . Nor has leaders been made in india. We detest leadership potential in India. Indians think that leadership abilities are considered unfaithful , and namak harma !
        for eg. narsimha rao was far more a loyalist , when he could have been a powerful leader . many others are following this model than become leaders.
        Great countries are conceived and made by Visionary leaders.

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  3. Our politicians have reached the nadir.
    its like what i used to read in my childhood..andher nagri chaupat raja.and that time we nevr ever thought it possible. Now only citizens can rise above the situation and do something to bring a change.

    Instead of wasting our time about the past we must devote that time to the present to bring better life to everybody NOW.

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    1. Oh, yes, I agree. Unfortunately many people- particularly of the educated middle class- do not want to look around them at what is going on in our society.
      Yes, constructive action is needed.

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  4. When my dad was in the IAS, he always told people who asked him what he was doing, with the standard answer – I am a government servant. They believed that they had to work for the government and render service to the people. This attitude is so sadly lacking in these days. And the least they could do is keep their mouth shut and keep a control over their words. They do not do that either. When the politicians do not set an example in leadership, whom do the bureaucrats have to look up to?

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    1. your dad was right , he was a government servant. that has been the problem all along. if the bureaucrats were leaders they had more than enough information to turn things around. politicians are leaders of selfish power , not democratic power. in order to become a leader one has to turn inward and move out wards. politicians cannot be role models. they never can. they shouldn’t be.

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      1. Radha– Yes times have changed. And even if there are any civil servants who do not want to follow the general tendency of corruption and irresponsibility, others may force them to ‘fall in line’.

        neera– Why should we not expect politicians to be role models/leaders? Ideally we should vote into power those with such leadership potential.
        On the other hand, that is not always possible- sometimes because of lack of such ideal candidates, sometimes because of various pressures brought upon economically weaker individuals in society.

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  5. The sops offered to farmers benefit the rich ones,not the ones who till the land for a living. And no, politicians have no conscience or responsibility to the countrymen at large. It is their fiefdom and they have full ‘control’ over it with much help from their handmaidens — the media.

    Look at the way the UPA is handling the entire 2G scam and letting Raja get away scot free. All to retain the gaddi and keep it safe for the Crown Prince to take over. Look at PC and his soft pedalling with the Maoists for the same reason. What can we expect from such leaders?

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    1. What can we expect from such leaders? Good question! And one with no satisfactory answer, I’m afraid.
      It’s a wonder how they manage to get elected time after time. Are ordinary citizens ( including ourselves) so helpless that they have to vote for them regardless of their faults?

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  6. I read this somewhere – One reporter asked a minister, ‘What would you have been, if you had not been a minister?’ and the Minister replied, ‘I would have been an IAS Officer as my father wanted me to be and kept on opening the door of the car of a minister like me!’ There is no respect for real govt. servants now.

    The case of the electrocuted farmer is shocking. As you said, the govt. people are in the habit of ordering all the time and they would not even have noticed the farmer falling down, otherwise they would have run to hold him (if they had some ‘heart’ inside them!) and got themselves electrocuted!

    This wikileaks report about Rahul will die down soon and the irresponsible dumb man will become our PM in the next election because we, the people, do not go out and vote for a proper candidate, yes, I agree that there is no ‘proper’ candidate now, still we don’t take action to cure this plagiarised politics.

    I am very late, here Manju, sorry.

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  7. India needs a leader who can rise above all this dirt and politics.. One thought MM Singh being a honest person shall do this job, but he seems to be more interested in being meek.
    as for Rahul, he was being dismissed as an idiot but now he has become a dangerous idiot, specially with his recent comments that was leaked on Wikileaks. And the media is as usual quiet… but then their fate is sealed with that of the politicians and corporate kings in Swiss banks.. how can they now play straight?
    I read one media interpret Rahul’s comment thus: that he was only trying to say that because of Islamic terrorism, there is now a rise in Hindu terrorism… you have a media who is ready to offer to the masses only what their bosses want.. and they shall drum it over and over again until the truth is killed..

    and those citizens who try to rise above all this mire are facing a hard time and some are even getting killed!

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