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Will Other Leaders Follow Suit?
|by Ananya S Guha|
The President's mandatory speech on the eve of Republic Day is noteworthy.
This year the President was candid in talking about the problems besetting the country in terms of extremism and the degradation of values as evinced in the Delhi murderous assault on a hapless lady and her friend. But what is important and an eye opener is that he broke the silence by politicians on the generally peaceful protests by the youth mainly, on the gang rape.
Secondly he showed empathy with the Naxal problem highlighting the fact that if this is not adrresed properly things will go out of hand.
By lauding the youth our President gave credence to the fact that the youth who now form a bulwark of the country, can play a positive role in the cognisable future. By at least touching on these two issues the President gave more than a semblance of credibility to otherwise what turns out to be a routine speech and a rigmarole on the eve of Rebuplic Day. We hope the President takes a more salutary course on events, which are ruinous of our environment and body politic or society.
We are at our wits' end as to what will happen in the country. There seems to be not only physical turmoil, but mental as well. Even film makers and writers are at the helm of controversies, because they cannot remain inert. They feel compulsive to speak out. In the process there is hysteria and derangement of ethos.
Once again Salman Rushdie is at the centre of controversy because he dared. And once you dare, in our country there are people who are obstreperously lashing out, and the politician with an uncanny eye on the vote bank becomes sedated, is defensive. There is another furore, calumny is heaped upon calumny, society is divided on the basis of caste or religion. We need wisdom at this stage, what will our leaders say, how will they react to murderous assaults, vilification and the tyranny of power centres?
In all this pandemonium the common man is silent, unfazed by the cacophony, because he has to eke out a living on a daily basis. Maybe our intellectuals and youth can also show acts of empathy and goodwill.
But in all fairness to our President, he at least had the gumption to talk about this decrepitude and laud the youth for their valiant protests. His remarks on the Naxalites showed empathy. He has understood the crises, and gave vent to it, minus the rhetoric. He did not use theatrics, but played it down consciously, at the same time giving it a humane touch.
Will other leaders follow suit?
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02/05/2013 09:45 AM