In India as probably in other countries, Ministers are often in the news for wrong reasons. They do funny and even hilarious acts unbecoming of their position. Some such instances which are in public domain- reported by press are presented by the author for the readers.
Bihar-Displeased Audience !
In September 2014, Culture Minister Mr Vinay Bihari- cabinet Minister of Bihar faced wrath of audience in Sasaram during Navaratra celebrations. Poor sound and sitting arrangement annoyed the audience and they started hurtling chairs- some of which landed on the SP. This prompted the policemen to lathicharging the crowd.
Further infuriated, the crowd started pelting stones. The Honourable Minister hid himself below the dais for over two hours to save himself. Subsequently the dais and the Minister’s vehicle was torched. He sustained minor injuries.
The politician in Mr Vinay Bihari prompted him to wonder aloud- “Why was only my vehicle torched ? Many official vehicles were parked nearby”.
Subsequently just three days later the Honourable Minister faced the same situation in Ara. Protesting against poor sitting arrangements, slippers were hurled at the dais resulting in lathicharge by the police of the crowd and hundreds being injured !
Whither Constitution !
A minister swears to abide by and protect the constitution.
In May 2015 Mr Ram Shankar Katheria was having a press conference at his residence in Agra. In contravention to Child Labour Laws a minor boy was serving sweets and water to the guests.
The politician in Mr Katheria spoke up to claim the boy to be a “family member”.
Practise Kicking !
The citizens and civil servants dare not cause discomfort to our Honourable Ministers. This was the lesson given by Kusum Mehdele, Animal Husbandry Minister in Madhya Pradesh.
In November 2015, Mehdele kicked a small boy who happened to beg her for money during her visit to Panna. Video of this was captured and has been doing rounds in the net.
Earlier in Tikamgarh two officials faced her anger for being bitten by mosquitoes. They were threatened with action.
The citizens hope she will use her powers and leadership qualities to wipe out mosquitoes.
A RTI communication has revealed high absenteeism among Ministers in Cabinet meetings in Maharashtra. It came to light that Pankaja Munde, Women and Child Welfare Minister topped in absenteeism- absent in 9 out of 28 cabinet meetings (figures of June 2015). Others were also close to this figure.
It also came to light that there is no rule or advisory regarding punitive action on the Ministers for such regular absence.
One wonders how the civil servants will be serious about their jobs in such a scenario ? This may be a reason for laxity in attendance in government offices- putting the citizens to discomfort.
Ultimate in Servility
Holding slippers of Mr Rahul Gandhi by former Union Minister Mr V Narayanasamy was “out of courtesy” as claimed by Mr Narayanasamy after video of this incident went viral. This happened during Mr Gandhi’s tour of flood in Puducherry in December 2015.
Earlier Mr Ramesh Bagwe, Minister of State for Home in Maharashtra picked up shoes of Mr Rahul Gandhi in 2010 as he was paying homage to Mr Ambedkar’s statue.
It is also reported that Mr N D Tiwary held slippers of Mr Sanjay Gandhi during the Emergency.
One hopes our other leaders take a cue from Mr Narayanasamy and others to extend the same courtesy to common citizens of the nation who elect them to seats of power.
Above incidents enforces the perception that something is seriously wrong with our political set up. One hopes good sense prevails among voters who elect these personalities.