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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Making a clean sweep
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 08, 2013
First Published: 02:00 IST(8/7/2013)
Last Updated: 02:03 IST(8/7/2013)

Loyalty, as we all know, is a prized quality in Indian politics. And the faithful have devised ever innovative ways to show how much they revere their leaders. A favourite way is to say that the devotee will go to the extent of sweeping the floor if such a thing were sought by the leader or leaders.

A prominent personage recently offered his sweeping services to his leader but it is a different matter that the august soul did not accept the offer. Much earlier a colourful president of the nation said that he would take to the floor, broom in hand, if desired by the leader of that time.

The gracious lady did not insist that this be done, much to the relief of everyone. Recently, a senior leader dismissed a political opponent as being not even qualified to sweep the prime minister’s residence. It is a different matter that the prime minister did not require such services but the offender saw this as a way of pointing out the rival’s inadequacies.

Now we appreciate this penchant to make a clean sweep of things. But in a country where unemployment is a problem, what would hundreds of genuine sweepers do if our netas were to usurp their positions? No, what our netas need to do is to find other ways of proving their loyalty.

And here we can make a few suggestions. Why not carry forward this tendency to sweep into the public domain and perhaps undertake to clean up vast swathes of rivers which are polluted? Or set in motion a cleaning up operation in our dirty and littered cities?

This would not only grab the attention of the leader but also win them accolades from the people. This could then extend to renovation of buildings and restoration of denuded mountainsides and forests.

The more the area covered, the greater the appreciation that will be showered on the devotee by the leader.

Of course, we are not saying that this precludes the mandatory falling at the feet of the leader as we have seen in Tamil Nadu or composing odes to him or her. But we think it is also time that our netas cleaned up their act a bit. It really is good for the soul.


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