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Know your Neta on the Net

President Kalam is calculating how inept and corrupt leaders can be e-vaporated from the Indian electoral field.
None | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2007 04:32 AM IST

Here’s yet another missile heading out from Rashtrapati Bhavan — and this time, it’s being guided towards all those politicians whose report cards as elected leaders have consistently failed to impress. President APJ Abdul Kalam has ignited his mind into action to calculate how inept and corrupt leaders can be e-vaporated from the Indian electoral field. And this, he has declared, involves collating all known data from state and central web services about a candidate’s personal assets, educational qualifications, criminal records, etc and making these available to voters. Presumably, this knowledge will power the people’s dream of making a free and fair electoral choice.

It’s wonderful to see that in many ways, the President’s mind has retained the innocence of a child. Unfortunately, cleaning out our political stables will take more than spreading the Net wide. The President’s rule, if anything, has one simple flaw: it assumes that the baddies of Indian politics would willingly be transparent about their misdeeds so as to let it be flaunted on official websites.

They don’t, of course, really mind if we know about these unofficially. In this aspect, they do share something with President Kalam; they, too, believe that knowledge is power. Why else is it that in many places, the knowledge of a gun hovering around their heads pushes voters on to make the right choice: between choosing a leader who’ll actually strive to make their life worth living or just plain living?

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