There was a time when the elders’ views were highly valued with reverence since they come from their age, experience, wisdom and maturity. But, definitely one cannot vouch on the fact that all elders irrespective of their position, background, knowledge and age will come out with profound statements. In recent times, we have been witnessing more such incidents where the so called ‘intellectuals’ and ‘old timers’ coming out with absurd, incorrect, illogical and puerile statements and declarations.
To start with we had Anna Hazare who had turned into a ‘darling of the media’ because of his orchestrated tirade against corruption through a ‘fast unto death unless the Lokpal Bill is passed’. What was the end picture? He proved himself to be the most confused and weak person who could succumb to any pressure from any side. His own clique had several skeletons in their cupboards and not only they tumbled out but one active partner parted ways with him even before the group could achieve something tangible and useful to the society except undue publicity.
The retired judge VR Krishna Iyer is constantly in the news for his stand against capital punishment. His arguments only give a great leverage and audacity to the criminals whose number and crimes have been on geometric progression in this undisciplined land called India. Yet, his views are favored by a select group of scholars and media. His claimed Gandhian views and ‘non violence’ could only lead to this country’s already chaotic conditions and many more outrageous criminal records.
On the contrary, Markandeya Katju, another retired judge thundered ‘hang the corrupt from the nearest lamp post’. Katju have several ‘feathers’ like this on his cap through his flippant and biased remarks and comments on Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar, Narendra Modi and Salman Rushdie and his illogical rulings in certain cases. Today, he had let out another absurd statement like a law should prescribe qualifications for becoming a journalist as if laws are religiously obeyed and followed in this country.
As the Chairman of Press Council of India, is he holding any qualification in journalism? His plain speak once again has drawn a host of retorts from even qualified journalist like Barkha Dutt of NDTV.
TN Seshan in his recent address in a Chennai college where he had been honored made a statement that he couldn’t get into engineering college because he was not able to answer the question from the interviewer who asked him to give the number of films Sivaji Ganesan acted. It was an absolute nonsense and factually erroneous statement because by the time Seshan should have appeared for engineering seat, Sivaji Ganesan was yet to make his entry into filmdom. These apart everyone knows TN Seshan’s arrogance and absurd comments on many occasions which had received flak from the unbiased and appreciation from his fans.
These clearly indicate that in Kaliyug, (or for that matter in any ‘Yug’) ‘Old is not always Gold’. Unfortunately, these old people too aspire and crave for publicity and popularity and ready to do anything or reel out statements to draw public attention or ire.
Well, after all India is a nation where freedom of speech and democracy are at their highest levels.