All for One and One-for-All Oath

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

One of the con­se­quences of this in­creas­ingly trans­ac­tional world is that even the most mun­dane ac­tiv­i­ties have agree­ments and con­di­tions that must be agreed and ad­hered to. At the very least, the con­cerned party must sig­nal ac­qui­es­cence by means of a sig­na­ture or a tick mark in a box, vir­tu­ally or on paper. Most of the time, people take just a cur­sory glance be­fore ac­cept­ing and then quickly move ahead to what­ever busi­ness is con­tin­gent upon that agree­ment. So why do swear­ing-in cer­e­monies of gov­ern­ments still ad­here to the weari­some task of in­di­vid­ual enun­ci­a­tion of the terms and con­di­tions of their ap­point­ments, distin­guished only by dif­fer­ent names pre­fixed and suf­fixed by an “I” and the rest of the oath re­spec­tively? Not only does it make for need­less rep­e­ti­tion, the en­nui of the cap­tive au­di­ence is also a much un­der­played fac­tor. Pub­lic pro­nounce­ments are all very well, but not when there are dozens of them, all the same. In this age of speed, surely, there could be some method of col­lec­tive oath-tak­ing — say, for all min­is­ters of sim­i­lar rank — with only the PM sin­gled out for a solo per­for­mance. While their com­bined per­ora­tions may not make for very melo­di­ous em­a­na­tions from the dais, the time, en­ergy and te­dium saved may make such a re­vamp of an age-old tra­di­tion worth­while in­deed.

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