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The Privilege of Privileges

First Published: 25th October, 2023 20:28 IST

Moitra for her part did not deny having allowed Hiranandani to log in to her Parliament account from Dubai

Pranab Bora

The entire Mahua Moitra episode that seems to have taken political circles–and much of the nation–by storm raises a number of questions about us Bharatiyas, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.

The way things stand currently, just about everything may be unsubstantiated and the Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee is slated to look into the matter only tomorrow. However, a couple of questions should nag the collective Bharatiya conscience: Are people in positions of power sometimes–even often–pushovers?

Is our democracy simply taken for granted and not respected? Going by Darshan Hiranandani’s television interview, when asked if he had used Moitra’s Parliament login details to post questions he wanted asked by the Parliamentarian, he said his was an “error of judgement”. That’s it? His statement which came on plain paper initially was then notarised at the Indian consulate at Dubai, he said. That itself seems to push Moitra back by a step given the fact that she had, when the allegations first flew, alleged that the government had “put a gun to Hiranandani’s head” to make him sign that document, something that Hiranandani says in the interview he had sent in of his own volition.

Moitra for her part did not deny having allowed Hiranandani to log in to her Parliament account from Dubai, preferring instead to say that the National Informatics Centre should first put out the details of all parliamentarians whose accounts have been accessed in their absence by research scholars for example, in the absence of the parliamentarian. Question is: if that allegation, however oblique, is true, would that not be unethical?

Moitra, again has been silent on the list of “gifts” that Hiranandani claims to have given her, a rather amazing scenario given the fact that Moitra has been among the loudest when it comes to targetting the government in Parliament about just about everything under the sun. A lot of the other opposition party members who were speaking up for Moitra, have, of course, since fallen silent with Moitra’s party itself seemingly distancing herself from her.

It is time that the Ethics Committee takes a serious view of not just the allegations against Moitra but also widens the ambit of its observations to include everything that is plainly unbecoming of parliamentarians. The healthiest part of a democracy is the Opposition that stands against the government, the golden system of checks and balances that we cherish. However, it is perhaps time that certain lines of propriety were drawn.

Also Read : Mizoram: Can Zoramthanga Win The Race For MNF?



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