When a politician says something both true and important, I try to applaud without regard to his political colour. So here is Babul Supriyo, BJP MP from Asansol, complaining that the public come to him (and politicos in general) by and large with requests for out of turn or even absolutely illegal favours – get me off the hook in this police case, get my undeserving son a job, get my daughter with hopeless examination scores into a good college, get me a flat though I didn’t make it through the lottery. He went so far as to observe ruefully that the very same people walk out and then condemn the same politicians for being ‘corrupt’. All I can say is ‘Hear, hear!’
I have always maintained that in this country the man in the street has no right to call politicians names without taking a good hard look at himself first. As I see it, we call a politician corrupt if he gives undue favours to someone I don’t know or dislike. Also, if I take bribes in hundreds or thousands, I am honest, but he takes them in millions, so he is corrupt.