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Some Manners Please

It was extremely shocking to see former chief minister and National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah publicly making an obscene gesture in response to some question asked by a journalist, the other day. Farooq Abdullah was apparently miffed by the question as the journalist wanted to know whether the National Conference president was mulling over forming government with the BJP in the state. Jammu and Kashmir is reeling under Governor’s rule after the fall of Mahbooba Mufti as chief minister. The state assembly has been put under suspended animation. Some groups are hobnobbing to form the government.

Probably, the question was asked against the backdrop of Farooq Abdullah’s show of loyalty towards BJP by not only showering more-than-required accolades on former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away some days back, as “king of hearts” but also raised slogans “Bharat Mata ki jai” and “Jai Hind” with no apparent cause or provocation. Farooq Abdullah, as recorded on video, first ignored the question and left the venue. But he suddenly returned and made an extremely uncivilized and vulgar gesture towards the journalists. It was such an obnoxious act expected only from a lout.

In a civilized political business, politicians are deemed as role models for the society. They set the moral standard for the society by way of their conduct in public life. People follow them and adopt their ways and behavior. The greater the moral conduct of politicians, the more civilized the society is.

But it is sad to note that our politicians do not match even to the lowest levels of morality in public life. They are rotten heads only contaminating and polluting the society. They are opportunists eying only at reaching the highest seats of power. Numerous licentious stories are being associated with their private lives. In 2006, dozens of politicians were accused of being involved in sex scam by the CBI. Muzaffar Hussain Baig, in 2009, caused flutters in the state assembly when he revealed that Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah too were involved in the sex scam. He said that Farooq Abdullah figured at serial no 38 and Omar Abdullah at 102. Omar Abdullah was chief minister then. He was so embarrassed by the expose’ that, in full House, he announced to resign only backtrack later.

Public life is always the mirror of one’s private life. The two cannot be separated. If you are dishonest and uncivilized in private dealings it gets reflected in public life in one way or the other. When Farooq Abdullah made the obscene gesture so publicly, he, in fact, revealed of the real man inside him.

That Farooq Abdullah is motor-mouthed is a commonly known fact but he will wallow in such a shameful act so publicly and under the gaze of dozens of cameras is quite unacceptable. He should be questioned, and protested against for indulging in such salacious behavior. Ethically and socially our society is orthodox with no approval of moral meanness. The journalists should have registered their protest then and there but it appears that either they could not different properly between the “smartness” and “smuttiness” of the former chief minister instantaneously or they are quite insensitive to such disgraceful actions.

Like any individual a journalist has certain responsibilities towards the society. It is rather a journalist who describes a society. That way his responsibilities are quite sensitive and touchy. Conveying information, ideas and opinions are good but protecting and preserving social and cultural ethos cannot be left to politicians to dictate. Given their greed and lust for power, the politicians, in fact, are the polluters of social culture, violators of human values and societal norms. They need to be put under check by way of exposing and censuring them for whatever nonsense they show of.