In my post Speech Disorder or Spinal Problem?, I had said, “All of us grumble in private. Many of us speak strongly to persons who are not in a position to hit back. Very few of us speak up to persons in positions of authority. Why? Do we need speech therapy or spine strengthening exercises?”
Hence, I was naturally delighted to read a report in The Hindu that, when Union Minister K. Chiranjeevi and his family tried to jump the queue at a polling booth at Jubilee Hill Club, a voter, Raja Karthik Ganta, objected. Mr. Chiranjeevi apologised with folded hands. He and his daughter stood in the queue for about 25 minutes before casting their vote. During the melee, however, Mr. Chiranjeevi’s wife and son exercised their franchise. IBN-LIVE reported that Raja Karthik Ganta, a Cambridge-based IT professional who had come all the way from London to cast his vote, later said, “I respect Chiranjeevi. But he is not 65 years of age and he’s not disabled, then why should he be given special treatment?”
I am not sure whether Mr. Chiranjeevi would have apologised and stood in the queue had it not been for the Model Code of Conduct. Politicians in India are notorious for displaying extreme humility during elections and complete arrogance between elections. However, if more “common persons” speak up whenever the occasion arises, politicians will be forced to display humility, if not actually become humble, even between elections.
I must mention that there are quite a few Indian politicians who are genuinely down to earth. A prominent example is Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar. Please do read this report in The Hindu and this blog on IBN-LIVE about his austere ways.