The National Commons

The sedition charges against Aseem Trivedi show how desperate our political system has become. The fact of the matter is that politicians and bureaucrats have reached a new low of legitimacy — they simply cannot command respect, they can only intimidate and coerce. That loss of moral legitimacy was the end of the Raj, which was a good thing.

But now that we have our own nation, the violation of the moral commons is a matter of deep concern. If the erosion of legitimacy was only about the reputation of netas and babus it would be perfectly fine, but it is eroding the nation itself. We are one of the great civilizations of the world that emerged from a long shadow sixty five years ago. Sedition charges, encounter deaths, wholesale corruption, utter destruction of the environment, each one of these removes its share of bricks from the national edifice. How did we fall so far so fast?

The only thing to which I can take recourse is

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham

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