Monday, April 25, 2016

Chidambaram right and wrong

The former Home Minister who was also the Finance Minister for some time has criticised the Modi government for its over-sensitivity to Raghuram Rajan's logical observation about the need to avoid complacency. Chidambaram is right in accusing the government of seeing ghosts where there are none.

His attempts to justify his volte-face in the Ishrat Jahan case are of course pathetic. His indefensible role in the jihad against Modi and unlawful amassing of wealth by his son will come home to roost.

A new controversy has now arisen where Chidambaram as a lawyer can air his views. The public spat between the CJI and the PM is a sad spectacle. Both the government and the judiciary are living in glass houses. The question is not who is more duty-conscious. The question is who is more indolent. Modi himself may be working tirelessly. But this cannot be said of the rest of the government. Chief Justice Thakur may be burning midnight oil daily. Other judges are not known for their indefatigable labour.

Modi and Thakur ought to realise that they are not speaking for themselves. They represent and lead institutions. Claims that government is more efficient than judiciary or vice versa will only attract sarcastic comments. The government that could not bear Raghuram Rajan's balanced observation cannot be expected not to respond to CJI's livid and lachrymose comments. Fun has only begun.

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