WHEN I was editing The Pioneer
, we conducted a rather naughty opinion poll in the four metros asking adult and educated voters to rate
various professions in relation to their usefulness to society. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, journalists came high up (doctors topped the list); the bottom three places were closely contested by pimps, black-marketeers and politicians. Politicians, in fact, beat pimps by a short head. A couple of politicos rang me up and protested strongly, some threatened to take the paper to the Press Council. Readers,
interestingly, confessed they were neither surprised nor shocked. The poll according to them was rather predictable. Understandably. Politicians in India are held in very low public esteem and the only people who don't seem to know that fact are politicians themselves.
Therefore, one welcomes the knocking Lord Ram's own party, the BJP, has taken in the past few months. The corruption
(for dissidence one must read corruption) visible in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi has proved that Messrs Advani, Vajpayee and Vaghela have no divine sanction to win the next election. This knowledge must surely be healthy for Indian democracy. If it is true that a country gets the leaders it deserves, then it is at least helpful to know that our benighted republic does not have much of a choice.