me move on to the more recent swearing-in ceremony for the
new mayor. In no sane democracy do we see such fanfare and
display of money power while assuming public office. In all
mature democracies public office is a sacred trust, and hence
a responsible occupation. Any public official exhibiting signs
of pomp and self-importance is severely upbraided and rudely
brought to earth. Even the faintest effort to use office for
private gain is punished severely. The German defense minister
who made a detour on official travel to meet his ladylove
is now licking his wounds, with his political future sealed.
A US Treasury Secretary who made one short private trip in
his official car had to resign. An official or a politician
is judged by the results, not by words or manipulative skills
or display of power.
we nurtured a culture of sycophancy. We tend to worship power
as a goal, not treat it as a means to public good. Landing
a job becomes more important than doing a good job. For a
society beset with so many problems, it is amazing how those
in power do not allow themselves to be weighed down by the
responsibilities of office. Half the time is lost in congratulations
and felicitations, processions and vulgar display of pomp.
Much of the other half is spent on meaningless foundation
stones, inane speeches and petty inaugurations. Perks of office,
possibilities of misuse, and private gain at public cost are
the only considerations in political activity. Power is often
seen as private property to be used as the incumbent pleases.
Our contribution to society becomes irrelevant. Notions of
humility and accountability are alien.
is no secret that our city was divided on communal lines in
the recent election. In elections there are no victors and
vanquished. Humility and sense of responsibility are what
we look for in those elected to serve us. And once elected,
they should bridge the communal and class divide, and give
a sense of participation to all segments of society. Display
of power and pomp mocks at ordinary people and leads to resentment
are a poor country and we have much to do before we claim
to be a civilized society. It is time we focused on a few
specific and practical goals to make Hyderabad better. Power
games and business-as-usual will not do. Let the mayor and
corporators get down to work, serve us with humility, and
seek the quiet satisfaction of real achievement. They have
a glorious opportunity and let it not be squandered.