New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Expressing alarm over the politics-money nexus, former West Bengal Governor and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopal Krishna Gandhi on Tuesday said Indian politics was in danger.
“Today, politics is in trouble; the word politics now suggests intrigue, manipulation and rivalry, every conceivable form of rivalry ranging from simple envy to most complicated and psychopathic jealousy,” said Gandhi, who was conferred the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award at the Vigyan Bhavan here.
The 17th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award was conferred on Gandhi for excellence in public administration, academics and management.
“Politics has come to being something which simple people are wary of and keep a distance from. The word politicians are in even greater trouble. It conjures the image of a person who is one thing in appearance and another in reality,” Gandhi said durign his acceptance speech.
“This is more than a pity — it is a tragedy,” said the former diplomat.
Observing that politics not long ago meant “public service of the highest order”, Gandhi said unlike earlier, politicians now make calculated moves.
“Politicians of today don’t walk, they make moves. Like chess players — some moving sideways and then leaping forward; some take two steps at a time, replacing the one ahead,” he said.
Reflecting on corruption, Gandhi questioned why the country did not get the Lokpal.
“Why is Lokpal still eluding us? Why are whistleblowers still in danger?”
Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, who presented the award to Gandhi, hailed late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri for his leadership role during the 1965 India-Pakistan war.
Reminiscing his memories of the 1965 war as a school boy, Justice Thakur said: “War is a very very scary and unnerving experience. I have seen how bodies of the soldiers lay scattered on the ground. I have seen severed legs of soldiers being eaten by dogs. It’s very unnerving.”
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Deputy Prime Minister and BJP veteran L.K. Advani were among several dignitaries present on the occasion.