Before I proceed further, I would like to make this clear- I am not about to make any value judgments about people who watch porn or porn itself ! It is their choice and if they want to watch it let them do it BUT on their time. Unfortunately, these fellows not only did it at the time of the Indian people but also right within the building where the business of democracy gets transacted! If it is not outrageous then what is I keep asking myself. Probably the fact that they feel that they have not done anything wrong!
Today I had the opportunity to watch the speaker of the Jharkhand Assembly say on a television channel that had this happened in his house, he would have reprimanded them and let them off with a warning! Wanting them to resign or be expelled according to him was asking for too much ! My mind goes back to the civics lesson in my daughter’s text book where the duties of the speaker are listed – the most important one among them is about his responsibility of taking action against members indulging in “wrongful conduct” Watching porn in the assembly obviously is not a serious matter in Jharkhand or for that matter even in Karnatka!
I was discussing this with a friend and his take on this was – “This is just one example of bad behaviour. Our elected representatives have beaten each other up and climbed up on benches wielding microphones and flower pots as weapons in Tamilnadu and Bihar so why are you so surprised”! While I am inclined to agree with him, I still think watching porn inside the assembly while it is in session is probably the heights of disrespect to the institution of democracy! Beating each other up , though equally disgusting serves to disrupt the proceedings and one has to physically put an end to the deliberations. What was happening here was something more passive but dangerous! It speaks of a decay in the entire institution of democracy!
And imagine the cheek of these fellows- they had the temerity to say that they were watching a woman being raped by some men at a rave party and they wanted to know more about it so they could put an end to it in their state!!! I would, in turn like to ask them if they were so keen to know about the impact of rape on women they should have asked for a special talk by some feminist group or psychologists!
And all the while, I was wondering where Mr. Pramod Muthalik was? Probably getting ready to bash up the owners of shops that sell Valentine day cards ( after all it is only next week)! It tells you clearly about a very sick society where women are treated with scant respect while men can get away with anything! Morality as they describe it is only for the women- it is like a rule that I hear now is being imposed in Saudi Arabia that women with “tempting eyes” would be prosecuted if they do not cover them up!!
Anyway, coming back to our friends in Karnataka, is it surprising that they are not being expelled? The BJP with its “high moral position” on all matters relating to conduct and culture obviously does not think watching porn inside the assembly is a serious issue. The way their statements are changing by the hour regarding this incident is shocking! Nirmala Sitaraman, the BJP spokesperson, an otherwise articulate woman was initially finding it difficult to defend these guys on a TV news channel! So today they had the Jharkhand speaker give out different views! I haven’t been watching much TV( as my daughter is having her mid term tests ) this week, but I am extremely curious to know what Sushma Swaraj’s views on this were? She probably feels that since the porn clips involved foreign women and not the “bharatiya nari”there nothing for her to shout around about !
Of course, it is not to say that the Congress and the rest are pristine pure. They have indulged in other kinds of crime but probably not inside the assembly or probably have been clever enough not to get caught!
I shudder to think what the founders of Indian democracy would have felt about this! They probably had no rules for this kind of misdemeanor because technology had not progressed enough those days where such activities could be indulged in right inside the assembly/ parliament!
I wonder what kind of example this sets for the youngsters? Next time a school boy is caught with porn inside the classroom he can definitely get away with it. But then, as my father says” These elected representatives can never be a role model for any youngster in this country. When your qualification for standing for election involves the extent of your clout in the neighborhood which simply means your ability to intimidate the people there then how can you hope to be a role model?”
As a citizen of this country, I can only hang my head in shame! The candidates that I have to choose from are likely to range from hooligans, criminals, petty thieves, gangsters, rapists or murders depending on what is the office that they would be contesting for..!!
If this is what democracy is about then I am all for a dictatorship!
(PS: What do you think of this new template? After one year I felt that there was some need for a change)