ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Politics with the Value of ‘Honesty’?

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The raid on the houses of the opposition leaders just before the forthcoming elections conveys the most obvious—it has a political connotation. The “opportune timing” of the raids is seen by many as an unusual move; they are unusual for two reasons. First, the investigating agencies do not seem to be following the systemic mechanism to detect, from time to time, the meteoric accumulation of property and wealth that would lead such agencies to consider a phenomenal growth in some “suspected” persons’ income beyond the known sources of income. But the recent raids that the central agencies conducted do not seem to follow the normal space of investigation, which is why the spectacle of a raid leads to suspicion. Second, the politics of using the trope of honesty, in its very logic, foregrounds the first point, in the sense that it facilitates the intensification of raids on the election eve and the electoral opponents being its exclusive target.

However, although the ruling party does not openly vouch for the restoration of the virtue of honesty in Indian politics, but, by implication, it might suggest that it really cares for the promotion of such a virtue. If it is the value of honesty that is at stake and hence the raids, then it becomes absolutely necessary to find out in what political condition the value of honesty goes for a toss? However, if the raids are politically motivated, then it requires no reiteration that the value of honesty goes for a toss. The ruling party’s attempt at raids do produce honesty as a moral category, which has meaning only for certain sections such as the middle class. Thus, the narrative of honesty is used by the ruling party to electorally target the middle-class constituency on priority. However, the moral meaning of honesty does not seem to have any serious meaning for the members from the ruling dispensation. The ruling party thus imposes on certain sections of the people the moral weight of honesty as the supreme value, while at the same time, it escapes from the moral scrutiny that is internal to the value of honesty. The politics of honesty as a value worth adoring involves the ruling party’s design to create in the opponent a corrupt figure who, hence, is morally fallen.

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Updated On : 15th Jan, 2022

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