With the summer upon us, our thoughts are turning to holidays in cool climes. Or at least ways and means to keep ourselves from feeling the heat. The fly in the ointment is that most of us cannot afford to vacation on the slopes of Gstaad or take a cruise in Alaska. Or indeed be able to run air-conditioners day and night fearing a whopping power bill. We can only look and yearn at how many of our netas have been able to get themselves a nice long rest in salubrious conditions at the State’s expense. We refer, of course, to those who have been put in jail for various misdemeanours ranging from extortion to intimidation to murder.
The latest in the line of netas to be thrown into a well-appointed clink is Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former Punjab minister who allegedly had a hand in the murder of her own daughter. We can understand her constraints, with the IPL and other elevating events on, she has naturally sought — and got — an LCD television for her cell. And an air-conditioner. And, given the delicate nature of her constitution, food from home. And to make sure that she does not feel homesick, a mobile phone. All this and a bit of feet-touching from the prison officials. Many other netas have lived the lives of kings in jails, even to the extent of conducting their businesses from there. Those who do not find the comforts of jail up to the mark usually develop a feeling of queasiness or a stabbing pain in the chest upon which they are whisked off to a luxury ward in a hospital. Others are given house arrest where they can gambol at will while paying their dues to society. We would like to avail of such State facilities for free too. But we are such cowards that we quail at the thought of breaking the law. But we are tempted as the mercury soars. Our jails should perhaps think of cashing on this testimony to the good life inside and open up some cells to the public. The next time you read our editorials, we could well be in the chokey and churning out our words of wisdom for you.