Snowflake Politi­cians

India Today - - UPFRONT -

When you see In­dian politi­cians in their bul­ly­ing, swag­ger­ing pomp, you imag­ine their hides are thick and scabrous, im­per­me­able to shame. At other times, though, their skin is so thin, so eas­ily bruised, you imag­ine even a baby can’t be as sen­si­tive. So a 19-year-old in Tamil Nadu uses “filthy lan­guage”, ac­cord­ing to news re­ports, about the prime min­is­ter in a Face­book con­ver­sa­tion with a friend, who hap­pens to be a BJP func­tionary, and is ar­rested once those re­marks are re­ported to the po­lice. What can pos­si­bly jus­tify ar­rest­ing some­one on the ba­sis of a com­ment, how­ever crude, made to one friend about the most pow­er­ful pub­lic fig­ure in the coun­try? Even if said friend com­plains. And what can pos­si­bly jus­tify ar­rest­ing a car­toon­ist for draw­ing an ac­cusatory car­toon about three of Tamil Nadu’s most pow­er­ful pub­lic fig­ures in re­sponse to the sui­cide of one of its least pow­er­ful pri­vate cit­i­zens? A daily wage labourer killed him­self and his fam­ily be­cause the po­lice would not lis­ten to his com­plaints about ha­rass­ment by a money­len­der. No doubt be­cause they were too busy ar­rest­ing kids and car­toon­ists.

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