Satire | Bias against electoral bonds

Mar22,2024


'These are immoral practices for ordinary people like you and me but kosher for our rulers.'

'These are immoral practices for ordinary people like you and me but kosher for our rulers.' , Photo Credit: Getty Images

Electoral bondage, like yoga and zero, is one of the great inventions of Indian genius – it is our gift to human civilization. Sadly, the judiciary and the media have made it a joke.

For example, the other day we were going through Lutyens Delhi to drop a friend to his hotel. As we turned into a tree-lined street with beautiful mansions on either side, Kattabomman started playing his pipes. “Papa, who lives in these houses?”

“Rich people with lots of money,” I said.

“You mean, the people who buy electoral bonds?”

“What?” I was shocked. “Who told you about electoral bonds?”

He will not answer. I looked at his mother, and found that she was diligently avoiding my eyes. My suspicions were soon confirmed.

to spread discontent

As we reached near Janpath, we saw barricades. I slowed down and asked a constable why they had blocked the road.

,a foreign prime minister is coming,” He said.

“You going to catch him?” Our friend wanted to know.

As the policeman looked at him, the wife quipped from the back seat, “Don't let him leave India until he buys the electoral bonds.”

“Both of you, stop it!” I had said. “If this were America, the police would ask you to get out of the vehicle and lie on the ground before arresting you and putting you in handcuffs.”

“In fact?” The wife said. “On what charge?”

“Spreading discontent by making fun of electoral bonds,” I said.

Frankly, it is appalling to see all kinds of busybodies – people who have no knowledge of India's ancient traditions of extortion and bribery – campaigning on electoral bonds. The sad thing is that none of them could tell you the difference between bribery and extortion.

subject of vedic debate

In fact, who had the right to bribe and extort and who did not was one of the most heated debates among Vedic jurists. According to Jaitley ShastraAccording to a 2017 BC canonical legal treatise, it is prohibited for common people to offer or receive bribes, and prescribed punishments include freezing their bank accounts to -27 degrees. However, the king has the right to demand bribes as well as collect donations. Chanda Purana clearly states that this is part of a business Religion To give donations to the king regularly. Any businessman or businessman who fails to voluntarily make a generous donation is subject to raid by the ED branch of the King's Guard.

This column is a satire on life and society.

However, it is 6,000 years old week code Who first distinguished between bribery and extortion – a distinction that is still followed in modern jurisprudence. According to the Hafta Samhita, bribery occurs when someone pays a king's official for preferential or “better than fair” treatment. The giver and the taker are equal partners. Extortion occurs when a king's official demands donations by threatening harm or unfair treatment. Here, the King's officer is the active agent while the payer is a forced defendant – classified as a 'victim' in today's jurisprudence. It is noteworthy that all three – Jaitley Shastra, Chanda Purana And week code – It is clear that bribery and extortion are legal as long as they fall within the scope of religious morality of the parties involved. This is why they are immoral practices for ordinary people like you and me, but kosher for our rulers – be they politicians or businessmen.

As a great Indian text on good governance, bond formula, says, “O Partha, happy are those businessmen for whom the purchase of electoral bonds comes naturally, opening the doors of heavenly riches. However, if you do not perform your religious duty of giving alms to the king, you will receive the wrath of the central agencies and people will talk about your infamy. (Volume 2, Chapter 4, Verse 27, translated by Monica).

Given the preponderance of historical and textual evidence indicating that extortion and bribery are part of our Tradition, it is amazing how deeply and uncritically we have internalized Western prejudices about them. I still have fond memories of my school days in Kolkata, when around Durga Puja, gangs of party goons would aggressively knock on our doors and make demands. Chanda For Goddess Durga. We will happily donate – who wouldn't, for the sake of their beloved deity?

Electoral bonds are nothing but an opportunity – duly unknown to the shy people – to express their love for the King, who is an instrument of God on earth. Those who have money buy electoral bonds; Those who don't, vote. Sure, this means the king may listen more to those who give him money than those who vote, but who said the world is fair?

The author of this satire is Social Affairs Editor, Hindu.

sampath.g@thehindu.co.in

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